Column: Some issues missed in the media

When the mainstream media gets obsessed with a news item, we’re blasted with it over and over (celebrity deaths, fires, Orlando massacre).

When the mainstream media gets obsessed with a news item, we’re blasted with it over and over (celebrity deaths, fires, Orlando massacre).

These events are certainly newsworthy but there is such a thing as overkill. I know, it’s summertime, and who cares about the heavy stuff, but the world keeps turning. We’re missing out on issues that could have undesirable consequences in the future. Maybe we don’t need to know everything.

Israel cutting water supplies to the West Bank during Ramadan, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians without safe drinking water, is upsetting, but it’s not really our business. NATO asking for 1,000 Canadian troops to “bolster the alliance’s presence amid continued concerns about Russian aggression” is our business. NATO is being accused of warmongering. We should know what’s going on in case things get nasty.

Other missed items include the story of some Alberta foothills ranchers who, alarmed over impacts of fracking in their area, had themselves tested by the London Health Services Centre in Ontario. The tests found high levels of uranium and strontium in their urine, probably due to exposure from soil, water or air. Question: is anyone monitoring the impacts of fracking on people’s health in B.C.? Does anyone care?

Independent MLA Huntington recently released hundreds of pages of FOI records on the provinces’ 2014 decision to split the ALR. The records indicate the government weakened the ALR with little evidence and less consultation. Along with what agricultural land can now be developed, I wonder how much of our farmland is owned by foreigners.

According to the B.C. mining ministry, its new changes regarding public access give the public more information than is available from other government agencies. So, will the government increase access to those other agencies (i.e. the environment ministry) to the mining ministry’s standard?

The fires in B.C.’s Peace River area got short shifted because the media was focused on Fort McMurray.

The savaging Dawson Creek floods weren’t getting much attention either but the coverage picked up after Premier Clark visited the area. Maybe she should visit foreign-owned farmland, fracking areas, etc. so we could get more news about them.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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