Papal visit tests and shatters “journalistic” expectations
TORONTO – Weep for Canadian journalism. Not the “private enterprise” variety whose clear mandate is driven by an unforgiving imperative to meet the monthly payroll demands and operational requirements to stay afloat and relevant to their readership. Rather, be saddened by the “faux journalism” offered by quasi-State reporting and commentary on issues that should help define who we are as a country and a society.
After Day one of Pope Francis’ historic pilgrimage of penance to Canada, of all places, I am saddened by our Media’s inability – unwillingness – to narrate the significance of such a momentous event.
Not just for Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples but for all Canadians, Catholics or non, whether they “buy into” or reject the “colonization” and “abuse” narrative which so consumes much of Press and Media attention.
The Pope’s entourage seems so far meticulous in its preparation in its planning to leave no stone unturned, no individual, no group of “survivors” out of the circle of they who have been affected by the residential schools issue and the Church’s part in it – good and otherwise.
As an individual and as a leader of a Team whose mere attendance on Canadian territory is tantamount to accepting blame and begging forgiveness for “sins’ – real and/or perceived – from the past, the Pope’s dignified manner brings credit to his hosts and the peoples for whom the pilgrimage was structured and for whom the need was recognized.
For the CBC and its ilk it was little more that a passing recognition that one of its foundational story lines is about to vanish. I used to respect National reporting by the CBC and its local affiliates for their efforts to be “balanced”. Now I understand better why they are losing audience market share, regrettably, even in their NEWS and special features signature items. They can be counted on only to disseminate divisiveness.
The juvenile, superficial meanderings of both their reporters, as well as that of their “head and shoulder” on-air readers, was embarrassing.
Their blatant efforts to belittle the man, the organization, and the value of his/their purpose for coming to Canada is an affront to decency.
He is here because he was asked; moreover, his presence was/is considered key to a process launched to eventually bring closure to events for a significant group in the Canadian experience.
Why any media outlet would think that the most appropriate reflection to utter is that (snicker, snicker) the Pope is risking the moral authority of the Church, “or what’s left of it”.
If he has little to none, then he will have no bearing on the Truth and Reconciliation issue for which he has come.
The entire Residential Schools issue rests exclusively on the doorstep of the Federal authorities that conceived it and maintained it as part of public policy, good or bad. One supposes that the “moral authority of the Media” – such as it is – will be more effective.