media release

Is TV news journalism salvageable?

September 14, 2011

Am Johal, SFU Woodward's Cultural Unit, 778.782.8830,
Scott McLean, SFU Vancouver, 778.782.5151,

When Kai Nagata quit his position as CTV’s Quebec City Bureau Chief, he detailed his rationale in an open letter on his blog entitled "Why I Quit My Job." The letter went viral, generating a fierce debate over the role of TV news journalism in Canada.

On September 22, Nagata will be giving a public talk at Simon Fraser University’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, screening clips from all major Canadian networks and looking at how the Canadian media covers investigative stories, foreign events and local news, as well as the effects of concentrated corporate ownership, the race for ratings, and explaining how one consultant from Iowa has shaped the entire medium worldwide.

“I’m looking for answers as to how so many talented and committed people can possibly put together such lacklustre, timid journalism,” says Nagata, whose primary beat was politics in Quebec City. “My guess is that it has less to do with the efforts of individual reporters and more to do with what’s happening to the industry as a whole. What I’m really interested in is taking these lessons and building something better, I’m counting on people attending the event to bring their own ideas, experience and questions.”

Nagata’s talk will be followed by responses from a panel of guests, including journalist Kathryn Gretsinger, the Tyee’s David Beers, SFU Communication professor Bob Hackett, and former BCIT journalism instructor George Orr.

Nagata is currently travelling, but is available for interview this Friday from Montreal via telephone or Skype. Contact Scott McLean to coordinate.

What: Is TV News Journalism Salvageable? An evening with Kai Nagata
When: Thursday September 22, 2011, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.
Tickets: $10, available online.

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