The award winning journalist and educator Ross Howard discusses the future of newspapers, the media culture in Vancouver and beyond, and the value of journalism, with Joseph Planta.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.
Describing anything is often made easier by taking the time to describe what something is not. For example, I get dubbed a journalist elsewhere on the internet. I don’t like that because I never trained as a journalist, and it would unfair to those who have. But the program does have an air of that, and perhaps it’s from inspiration more than anything else. I grew up consuming all sorts of media, and continue to do so. I like the news, and the chance to talk about it on this program is one of the perks. As this is an avocation, and I can do pretty much whatever it is I’m interested in, in terms of topics and the sort of guests on here, it’s also a great chance to talk about the media, journalism, and how it’s all put together. As I’ve said with other guests in recent weeks, there isn’t a robust culture of criticism in Canada, and I think we’re the poorer for it. Why is that? And what would criticism mean for the press: better journalists, perhaps? I’m joined now by Ross Howard. He’s a veteran journalist mainly in print, but he worked in television for a spell, before moving into the world of academia, where he teaches journalism at Langara College here in Vancouver. He was a national correspondent for the Globe and Mail, where he also served in the Ottawa bureau as a parliamentary correspondent. He worked at the Toronto Star too, and the Toronto Telegram. He’s won numerous awards, including two Websters one for writing, and one for television. He often contributes to the Canadian Journalism Project at www.j-source.ca. We’ll talk about the state of journalism in these parts, focusing on the print business. Are newspapers going to survive? How can they be profitable again, as they seemingly can’t? Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, in studio as it were, Ross Howard; Mr. Howard, good morning.