First: "There's no story here. Nobody cares."
Brown had wanted to introduce another Canadaland feature called "Spiked," which would cover stories that got held back or pulled for political reasons. Problem: people can't really submit tips about that anonymously, since the management that spiked the story will figure it out.
Brown's now describing the circumstances under which he and the Toronto Star published the Jian Ghomeshi stories last fall, after Ghomeshi heard Brown promising a "monster story" in an upcoming week and posted the Facebook letter that would prompt the Star to go forward with publishing its reporting.
Brown's now describing Canadaland investigative reporter Sean Craig's reporting on Amanda Lang's conflict of interest with RBC in January earlier this year.
This brings him to the second thing people bring up to discredit his stories: They've been covered or headlined too sensationally.
Our stuff gets criticized very closely. I don't think we could survive a story falling down the way, say The Star's HPV coverage fell down.
We've had to issue corrections like everyone does. But nothing we've published we've had to fully retract.
Q: As a critic of media, but also someone who's published stories in praetorships with other media organizations, how can you continue to do that without a conflict of interest?
Q: Tim, how did the Chronicle Herald respond to your reporting on its coverage?
Bosquet: Before I publish something criticizing, I contact the people I'm writing about for comment. Their initial response was OK—the people he wrote about got back to them. One of the writers left the paper. "Now I still make perfunctory emails to the business editor and publisher of the paper, but they just ignore me."
Q: Do you think you have enough material now, with newsrooms and resources shrinking?
Bosquet: I think the problems have gotten worse *because* of newsroom shrinking. This re-writing press release stuff. Every time I see it, I call out the reporter.
Brown: I don't romanticise the past; I think there's always been enough material to do this work. But having blogs, Twitter, more ways of aggressively questioning people in public and more ways of people to leak information, it's become more possible.
Q: If the point of media criticism is to improve the industry—have you seen that happen?
Brown: I don't know if Canadian journalism is *better* because of Canadaland. But things now get called out. Or it's known now that even things that are open secrets can be talked about.
Brown: For example: Ghomeshi story opened up the conversation about harassment at work. Also: the radical disparity in job security, between contract and staff employees.
And that wraps up this panel. Thanks for tuning in!