Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cone of Silence Receives a Crack

Censorship in a democracy is generally considered as unthinkable. When governments are caught lying and hiding facts from the public, we hear demands for investigation and consequence. In Ontario the sitting Liberal government shakes at the mere mention of emails and their disappearing act. But what do we do as people when it is the mainstream media that is proven to intentionally censor the facts? Can we ideally sit by and allow this to happen without voicing our disgust? Are we to permit a publisher of a newspaper or its reporter and editor to decide what we have a right to know?

This has happened in St. Catharines, Ontario, not in China or some dictatorship in South America. Publishers, editors and reporters of the main newspaper The Standard and the community newspaper Niagara this Week took it upon themselves to decide what the people of St. Catharines will be permitted to know. A cone of silence, (excuse me Maxwell Smart for borrowing your term) has been placed over one individual in the community who is willing to fight for his community. It has been their decision to exclude the people of St. Catharines from knowing information and fact in order to protect members of local government, and others. Serious questions of abuse of power and possible corruption hang in the air, and local media has become the saving umbrella for trusted public officials, sheltering them from consequence.

On August 18th 2013, at high noon the first crack in the cone of silence was permitted. It was radio host of 'The Region' Andy Petrowski on CKTB Newstalk Radio who interviewed Alexander Davidoff. Listen to the questions posed and the information provided through the interview and ask yourself is censorship to be permitted in a democracy. Thank you to the management, producers and to Andy Petrowski for their courage.

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