Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Surprising admission from the French CBC's Ombudsman: Quebec journalists are all the same

Yesterday, Quebec columnist Richard Martineau wrote a surprising column quoting at length an article written by Radio-Canada's ombudsman Julie Miville-Deschenes in Trente, a magazine for the journalists.

I won't quote the article, but I will translate the quotes that he put in his column (and which is not a continuous text):

The most influential journalistes often belong to the Baby-Boomer Generation. And that great majority of them possess the same ideology. These Quebecois "de souche" overwhelmingly studied social sciences and were active protesters in the nationalist or left-wing movements.

Often, their way of seeing the world consists of the following: biases favourable to unions, anti-americanism, anti-clericalism, etc.

This does prevent these journalists from becoming bourgeois over the years, thanks notably to the collective bargaining agreements that have become more and more generous.In addition, they live in the city and are part of the middle class, or are even well-to-do. It is difficult for them to see coming events such as the rise of the ADQ or the malaise that underlies Herouxville's code of conduct.

On the whole, in the Quebec media, the debate usually is reduced to a confrontation between sovereignists and federalists. And the two options define themselves as being either centre left or left-of-centre. In other words, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

There is a debate of ideas that was never able to take place in Quebec, and which jumped in our faces the day Mario Dumont and the right almost won the elections.

The media is biased and journalists all think the same. No kidding.

Martineau tries to balance the picture a bit by naming some right-wing columnists from Quebec, none of whom work for the state-owned media. He seems to be saying that her impressions are probably the result of all the journalists at Radio-Canada being homogenous.

However, I think the diversity in the Quebec press is fairly limited. They're all writers, and there's not a social conservative or a religious believer in the bunch. Plus, none of them are on television.