Here’s a welcome development: Bill Tieleman, one of BC’s liveliest political voices, has jumped into the blogging world:
Bill Tieleman is one of BC’s best known communicators, political commentators and strategists. Bill writes a politics column Tuesdays in 24 Hours newspaper. Hear Bill on Mondays at 10 a.m. on CKNW AM 980â€™s The Bill Good Show. Bill has been Communications Director in the B.C. Premier’s Office and at the BC Federation of Labour. Bill owns West Star Communications, a consulting firm providing strategy and communication services for labour, business, non-profits and government.
At least Paul Willcocks understands why we need the BC legislature:
Until last fallâ€™s legislative session, for example, the government had insisted that everything was fine in the ministry of children and families, despite evidence of mounting problems that were leaving children at risk.
It took daily hammering by the NDP to force the government to admit that the system, battered by budget cuts and mismanagement, was in fact failing. Without the session, and the forum it provided, the Hughes inquiry and badly needed improvements might have been stalled. Children and families would have suffered as a result.
Cancelling the fall session is a supreme act of either arrogance or cynicism; either way, it’s the logical conclusion for a government that prefers phony accountability (such as the stage-managed “open” cabinet meetings) to the real thing. And it ought to cost the Liberals dearly.
Readers of Sean Holman’s Public Eye site have been following the saga of freelancer Vivian Smith, who was cut from the Victoria Times-Colonist after penning a column that criticized the high price of many Victoria attractions and suggested no-cost alternatives. The column contained a minor error, and Smith’s removal from the paper came after a meeting between the features editor and several heavyweight tourism advertisers.
Now, Holman reports, another freelancer has tendered her resignation. And this one is U Vic journalism professor Lynne Van Luven, who has certain strong feelings about ethics and public service. According to her letter,
Vivian Smith wrote an informative and reasonable column in the July 2/06 issue of the newspaper. Smith’s sole error about Buchart Garden’s fees for children was minor and duly corrected. That she should be suspended so summarily seems greatly disproportionate to whatever complaints the column sparked within the Victoria business and tourism sector…It also suggests a harsh “one strike and you are out” mentality that does not bode well for staffers at the TC itself.
As a teacher of future journalists, I would feel hypocritical if I were to continue my column under a publisher who appears to have so little respect for freelancers’ autonomy and freedom of expression, and who appears to value only the business aspect of his newspaper’s intimate and vital role within its community.
Updated: Make that two freelancers.