Charlottetown Guardian prints yellow journalism in shooting death

Coverage of Charlottetown shooting includes racism and scandal mongering
A man injured in a shooting Monday morning in Charlottetown is taken out of a home on Ridgemount Cres.
(photo and caption – Charlottetown Guardian)

A man in his twenties was shot yesterday in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The victim was taken to the hospital. He died overnight.
Despite a lack of facts in the story, the Charlottetown Guardian website became a haven for unmonitored racism, scandal and fear mongering.
The cacophony got so virulent and loud that a comment from Toronto called Islanders “small minded and stupid.”
While the Guardian claims a high standard of journalism, it appears they will allow any kind of scurrilous remarks to be printed.

Yellow journalism
 is “the use of cheaply sensational or unscrupulous methods in newspapers, etc. to attract or influence readers.”
Along with the usual suspects – drugs – the crime was blamed on Chinese immigrants and then crime in Halifax on “blacks”.
In reality, the two “persons of interest” were both white males born on PEI and reported to be relatives of the victim. 
The following comment is one of the worst on the Guardian site, but not the only one. “I think that there definitely is an immigrant problem on PEI. The chinese (sic) have no idea how to drive and anyone who denies that part of susan’s comment is living in a dreamworld. And we won’t get like Halifax because most of the crime there is commited (sic) by blacks and we don’t have nearly as many black people as they do.” (Charlottetown Guardian)
“I am a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto,” writes one outraged Guardian reader. “I have followed this story and am truly disgusted by how small minded and stupid you people all sound. I cannot believe my income taxes prop up an economy that clearly cannot educate its citizens past the race riots of the 60s. I have been to PEI. The locals drive far slower and worse than the drivers in Chinatown here. I could go on. But I am laughing too hard at how ridiculous and stupid you all sound and I don’t want to miss anything. You may have your island. I have learned to read and love my neighbour.”
The Charlottetown Guardian policy of allowing any comment flies in the face of normal editorial comment allowed as Letters to the Editor. “We ask that users remain courteous,” says the Guardian website. “You may not post insulting, discriminatory or inappropriate content, which may be removed at our discretion. We are not responsible for user content and opinions.”
We note with some irony the hypocrisy of the Charlottetown Guardian. Their managing editor made a Facebook post on my wall accusing me of yellow journalism.
“Stephen, you continue to practice the worse yellow journalism ever exhibited in this province. And for that you should be very, very ashamed. You continually slander and libel myself and other Guardian staffers. Your ignorance of the basic concept of acceptable comment is stunning.” Gary MacDougall bites back
Looks like the pot calling the kettle black, n’est-ce pas?
In 2009, two Guardian reporters organized a meeting of the Press Gallery of Prince Edward Island to have me ejected from the press gallery, a mere two weeks after the same two reporters elected me to the executive. PEI Legislative Speaker bars disabled journalist from press gallery.
In reality, the Charlottetown Guardian does not have high standards of journalism. They probably just don’t like competitors in the news space.
Is this a case of anything to sell newspapers?  Creating controversy and stirring up the worst racist parts of our population put the Guardian in the class of Canada’s worst yellow journalism.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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