“News should be what people don’t know about yet”
The money quote from Toronto Life’s profile of Jesse Brown.
I’ve been following Brown since he was the host of CBC’s Search Engine. When he and the show left CBC and moved to a distributed podcast, I put it up on CFUR Radio and when he started his newest podcast, Canadaland, I was a listener from the start. I also became a Patreon donor shortly before this whole thing blew up.1
While he and his show are going to get a lot of attention as the guy who brought down Ghomeshi, I think it’s worth looking at the rest of his work. He isn’t just about taking down the establishment, he is looking for ways to make journalism better. To that extent, his interviews with Michael Enright, Jan Wong, and David Beers (of the Tyee) are well worth listening to, among others. As are more cultural pieces with Kate Beaton and Carl Wilson.
Anyway, back to the quote above. It’s true. Journalism, at it’s purest form, should be about telling people what they don’t know and what you won’t get from press releases. Unfortunately, I do have to recognize myself when Brown says:
“I think that there’s a sense in the press that they don’t want to start something. They want to respond to something.”
A healthy reminder that you shouldn’t always wait for someone else to expose something before reporting on it. Sometimes, you’ve just got to expose it.