The longtime journalist and blogger Harvey Oberfeld talks to Joseph Planta about local news, reporting, and more.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.
If you grew up in this part of the world, Harvey Oberfeld was a familiar figure on television screens reporting for the old BCTV, becoming an intrepid reporter here and from Ottawa for nearly a decade. Every major television market has legendary reporters like Harvey, Los Angeles had Stan Chambers for years, New York City had Gabe Pressman. Harvey is well-remembered chasing some politician down the hall, microphone in tow, asking tough questions and getting the stories that helped keep BCTV number one in this market for decades. He retired from daily reporting in 2006, but has quickly gained quite the following online with his blog, ‘Keeping it Real…’ which you can find at www.harveyoberfeld.ca. It’s a great site with Harvey’s many stories, as well as observations of the current political scene, and the media scene. I’ve long lamented on this program how there isn’t the high level of engaged media criticism in Canada, as they have in the United States or Britain, and Mr. Oberfeld, who joins me now, has provided some of that especially on the news market here in Vancouver, where it remains competitive, despite dwindling money and audiences. Jesse Brown’s Canadaland has fashioned a bit of a niche for media criticism, but even that’s not enough. I’ll ask Harvey about a recent article he wrote on gravitas and news anchors, which has gotten a lot of attention online and elsewhere; Drex talked about it on his CKNW program recently. As well, we’ll discuss other realities faced by the big media outlets here, and across the country. Before joining BCTV in 1979, Harvey Oberfeld was a reporter in Montreal, Saskatoon and Regina. He joined the Vancouver Sun and was a reporter there from 1971 to 1979. For BCTV he was its Ottawa bureau chief for eight years. He’s won a lot awards. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Harvey Oberfeld; Mr. Oberfeld, good morning.