07 May 2005

and the award goes to...

Ryan Cleary, managing editor of The Independent, for missing a simple fact.

On the front page of this week's Indy is Craig Westcott's testimony at a senate committee hearing into media ownership.

Cleary concludes his own column this week with a little bit of insight into the soul-searching he apparently endured before putting Westcott on the Indy's front page.

Apparently, Ryan was worried about attracting "added publicity" to Westcott.

Oddly, Cleary was worried too that people might be thinking the Indy was taking shots at the competition. Don't visit newsrooms around town on Monday as they are likely to be full of people rolling on the floor with laughter at that one.

Cleary never misses a chance - including in that column - to hold up the Indy as something superior in the world of journalism throughout the province. A "perceived bias" Ryan? Geez, me son, how many times have we endured the self-massage in your column that does all but say the Indy is the home of the only unadulterated journalism in the place?

My favourite is this line: "But there's another reason why The Indy decided to go with Westcott's story on the front page: you won't read it anywhere else."

So why the worry about "added publicity", Ryan?

I already read an account of Westcott's testimony.

In The Telegram.

Which is owned by Transcontinental.

Which also owns the Express.

Where Craig Westcott is still employed.

And as for The Indy being independent - as Ryan points out at the start of his column - we are still waiting for the investigative reporting on Brian Dobbin's business relationship with Taiwanese interests.

Independence is a relative thing.