Another media outlet has presented admiring coverage of the campaign by Halifax restaurateur Lil MacPherson and Halifax actress Ellen Page to oppose something one might expect environmentally conscious citizens to campaign for: the productive recycling of composted human waste as a worthy alternative to dumping it, semi-treated, in the ocean. A Contrarian reader describes today's Herald story as: One-sided journalism at its worst. Lil MacPherson is not an environmental scientist. Ellen Page is not an environmental scientist. Nowhere in the entire story is there any effort to present the case in favour of biosolids. Even the headline “Rising in defence of province’s...

Haligonian Warren Reed objects to the thoughtlessly patronizing word choices many journalists apply to wheelchair-users and those who discriminate them. In an email to two Chronicle-Herald reporters who recently wrote about separate cases of discrimination by Metro Transit and the Nova Scotia Justice Department against wheelchair users, he complained about three sentences in their stories: "The driver even called his supervisor, who confirmed that wheelchair-bound passengers are not allowed on [Bus No.] 60." "However, Sunday morning the driver said that he could get in a lot of trouble for letting wheelchair-bound passengers onto non-wheelchair routes." "Amy Paradis, 16, is quadriplegic and...

Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim is the title of a 1980 compendium of unintended double-entendre headlines collected by the Columbia Journalism Review. It illustrates the power of tiny punctuation flubs — in this case, a missing hyphen — to radically alter meaning. Readers also have to chuckle in wonderment over how small a town must be for the local newspaper to deem dog bites newsworthy. When the dog is a coyote, however, and the person bitten is a 16-year-old girl in a National Park where a 19-year-old woman was killed by coyotes 10 months ago, there's no doubt about newsworthiness. Still, consider...

Friends and admirers gathered in the Midtown Tavern's antiseptic new digs Thursday evening to honor journalist-businessman David Bentley's 50 years of afflicting the comfortable. Among the crowd were foot-soldiers of the late, lamented Halifax Daily News (née: Bedford-Sackville News), the once salacious Frank magazine, and the meaty, fact-packed AllNovaScotia.com, which today ranks Nova Scotia's premier newsgathering organization. As Frank might put it,  all three began life as Bentley organs. In 1974, Bentley, his wife, and two partners founded the weekly B-S News, modeling it after the sordid tabloids of his native England. Five years later, he took the enormous gamble of moving the paper downtown, transforming it into...

Contrarian reader and consulting engineer Jeffrey Pinhey considers the pros and cons of using consultants, and the media's treatment of the Dexter government: So you are just getting around to the realization that the media are not going to be pro-NDP anything unless they are in opposition? I am no member of any of these "parties" (my parties are a lot more fun) but it sure seems obvious that the Herald is holding Darrell Dexter to a higher set of expectations that any other Premier has been in some time, even to the point of somehow twisting things to...

Lindsay Brown doesn't like anonymous posting: The good news here is that Halifax media are inadvertently leading the charge against the silly practice of anonymous online commentary. First, in April, The Coast demonstrated that the mere possibility of court action was enough for it to de-cloak its posters. Now, The Chronicle-Herald has shown us that its promise of anonymity depends on who you are. Apparently, the promise is worthless if the Herald thinks it can get a story out of identifying you. They'll even go to the trouble of hunting you down. So, anonymous poster, beware. The Herald has also exposed in a dramatic...

Martin MacKinnon writes: I am appalled by these NDP apologists — I do hope they're getting paid — on the  $42,000* press release. Regardless if some of the $42K should not have been included, it did include funding for things like buses and "marketing consultants." If this was a Rodney MacDonald Tory event, I am sure these people would have also pointed out that the $42K was overstated. These NDP'er's are double hypocrites. One because they are governing like Tories (John Buchanan should be proud) and because they told their party members they would govern...

In response to this, someone called Peter Watts or perhaps Paul Buher, writes from a cryptic email account: You, sir, are a pig, and no different than Darrell Dexter. You hide under the guise of a political blog during the day, only to be writing for the NDP at night. A $15,000 pay cheque isn't too bad I suppose. Good for you. I have news for you. Anything you write on that virulent blog from this day forward is tainted with the stink of NDP orange, corruption, and self-serving interest. As I said, you sir, are a pig. I wonder how Mr. Whateverhisrealnameis...

Former reporters turn up in the darndest places. Alan Jeffers, erstwhile ink-stained wretch for the Chronicle-Herald and Canadian Press, turned up this week on the website of Mother Jones, the "smart, fearless" left-wing American magazine once edited by Michael Moore. Jeffers was defending his current employer, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, from claims in both MoJo and Forbes Magazine, a rather more conservative journal, that it paid no US income tax in 2009 despite earnings of *cough* US$19.3 billion. And a fine job he did. In case you were wondering, $19.3 billion is enough to put a new Cadillac...

Here is a roundup of newspaper editorials about Richard Colvin's tesimony about Canadian military and civilian complicity in torture. Globe and Mail: If his account is correct, the federal government was so determined to turn a blind eye to the treatment of the detainees by the Afghan National Directorate of Security and police that it discouraged record-keeping and other documentation – highly uncharacteristic behaviour in any bureaucracy. On this, Mr. Colvin gave evidence from his own direct experience, not hearsay. The word “cover-up,” which evokes the Watergate scandal and a concealment of wrongdoing within an institution, or even obstruction of justice, may be...