Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Headline News: Globe and Mail regurgitates published history as breaking investigative news

I'm pissed this morning, on a professional level, by this alleged "story" in today's Globe and Mail. Apparently a pair of intrepid reporters have ventured into the National Archives, and found documents pointing to the fact that the federal government was warned about tuberculosis in its residential schools for aboriginal children, and yet did nothing.

Before I launch into my snark, let me first state that yes, I know that the residential schools system was horrific, and yes, these findings are accurate. What is peeving me is how these journalists are passing this off as news, and have the balls to include a quote in their "story" from a published historian, John Milloy, who has included this information in his 1999 book, A National Crime. Any of the students who have taken my courses on aboriginal history could have told you about the TB epidemics in these schools, and about the fact that the government, in a cost-cutting mode, did almost nothing to rectify this and the legions of other problems in these schools. It's shoddy journalism to present this as "news" based on some miraculous investigation. Historians have spent years plowing through those documents and have published many books and articles based on this research. These "investigative reporters" should try turning to the published record before reinventing the wheel!


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At 11:36 am, Blogger janfromthebruce said...

I agree. White reporters go into archives and find "forgotten" news. But don't look past their own reason why they just "discovered" this "forgotten" news.
It becomes painted "in the past" with little to no connection to "todays" news. Let's not make those links, people might get the idea that something should happen today, where $$$ becomes the mantra - Sorry can't afford it!

Kashechewan: Water crisis in Northern Ontario
"But Kashechewan is hardly unique among native communities for having substandard water."

And land claims.

So they need to keep it in the past, so people just go, that was awful, but time to move on.
Be pissed.


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