John Fraser: Integrity in the Fourth Estate: Ensuring Media Remains Ethical and Honest in a Digital Age (Spring 2023 Talk #1 Summary)

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After a long absence, we all gathered on April 12, 2023, to hear the series’ first speaker for Talks 2023.

Mr. Fraser is well known to many of us for his multi-faceted career. He was trained as a journalist, but he dabbled in many other fields, though he always remained a journalist at heart. He has written 12 books and many other distinguished works. He brought many of his work experiences to life during his talk, with a lesson from each.

Under his tutelage, commissions were formed in all provinces to adjudicate complex complaints that could not be solved conventionally. He also created a joint council across Canada; now, only a few areas still have the commission in place.

The other thing that he emphasized was the support that we should give to journalism at all times. Also, try to expedite the complaints rather than let them sit.

Mr. Fraser continued to emphasize today’s society and the Artificial Intelligence situation that will continue to persist in many writings. This new factor will challenge the universities and communities because of its existence, and many people believe in it.

Many things present today send the world into a dangerous situation, so one must be careful. Also, we live in an age with a lot of anger, distant relationships, and distrust. He emphasized trusting yourself and using your good judgment.

He spoke a bit about China and that the Globe and Mail was the first paper to have an office in China, but he could not elaborate more on the Chinese situation.

There is also a lot of denial in today’s society and dealing with issues. One should call things out rather than deny them.

Newspapers must have individual responsibilities in handling situations with pictures, which should be appropriately shown rather than manipulating and having extracts of them.

Throughout his talk, plenty of good funny comments made it very pleasant, leaving one in a positive frame of mind.

by Mariana R. Grinblat, M.Sc., M. Eng.