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Sudbury letters: Media coverage biased; Trebek a great loss – The Sudbury Star

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Media coverage of Indigenous woman’s death biased, insensitive

The case of the unlawful death of Barbara Kentner is rightfully getting the attention it deserves. But in reading the media reports and defence arguments, we have to wonder: What role does the media play in reporting on this high-emotion case factually? What is the impact of implicit bias through the media?

And, perhaps unexpectedly, we ask: What’s in a diagnosis?

There has been an arguably inappropriate focus on Barbara Kentner’s diagnosis of liver disease in the media and the case’s defense. The Chronicle Journal (in Thunder Bay) featured testimony from the forensic pathologist as the first sentence in an article, “Barbara Kentner was a sick woman who would have died of liver disease, but would not have died exactly at the time she did had she not been injured …”

Socially, we often pass unwarranted judgment on the basis of a person’s health conditions whether it be the injection drug user, the homeless, or overweight individuals living with type two diabetes.

We ask you to consider that a diagnosis does not reflect the value of a person’s life, and that Barbara Kentner’s liver disease does not minimize the brutality and unjustness of her death.

We ask you to consider that the emphasis on her illness on the part of the media and defense should not be, and cannot be, used as an excuse or justification for the accused’s actions. The focus of the defense, forensic pathologist, and media surrounding this case on Barbara’s pre-existing liver condition undermines and distracts from the racially-motivated action on trial. It uses a pre-existing medical diagnosis as a scapegoat to shift blame away from the accused.

The Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action ask for the federal government to “publish data on the criminal victimization of Aboriginal people, including data related to homicide” (#39) and “to investigate

the disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls” (#41).

In order to have accurate reporting on this case, there must be recognition of how the statements reported by a source or said in court by non-Indigenous individuals display implicit bias, perpetuate stereotypes, and unfairly characterize those involved in this case.

We encourage all news sources reporting on this case — and all cases relating to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls — to be socially accountable. Report through an anti-racist lens about what is being brought before the judge in this trial and what media chooses to focus on thereafter.

We must continually advocate for socially accountable, unbiased, racially-sensitive coverage from the media when paraphrasing accounts from

officials involved in this high-profile and (rightly so) high-emotion case.

The inability to report and discuss a case such as Kentner’s with perspective and compassion perpetuates the rightly-called genocide facing Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit individuals in this nation, and in this city (Thunder Bay).

Nusha Ramsoondar

Jamie Thompson

Katie Zugic

Northern Ontario School of Medicine students

Concerned citizens

Classy TV hosts Trebek and Philbin leave the stage

In December 1999, Alex Trebek hosted a week of the greatest game show hosts for A&E TV Network’s “Biography.”

Included in that week was Regis Philbin who passed away earlier this year.

It’s sad that we’ve lost these two classy gents and absolute TV professionals. Yet, it’s somehow fitting and appropriate they went in the same year peacefully, with dignity and, thank gawd, free of COVID-19, to game show Heaven where they’ll be hosting from now till eternity.

My sympathies to the City of Greater Sudbury on the loss of their proudly Canadian son, Alex Trebek.

Rory J. Koopmans

Edmonton

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Judge refuses to dismiss media charges in Pell trial – CTV News

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA —
A Supreme Court judge in Australia’s Victoria state on Friday dismissed submissions from news media organizations and journalists that there is no case to answer on charges they breached a gag order on reporting about Cardinal George Pell’s sex abuse convictions in 2018.

More charges were tossed out in the case against Australian media outlets prosecuted over reporting of Pell’s abuse convictions. But the judge refused to throw out the bulk of the 87 charges of contempt of court for stories published after the cardinal’s guilty verdict.

His child sexual abuse convictions were overturned by Australia’s High Court earlier this year and the cardinal is back in Rome.

More than two dozen media organizations, reporters and editors were charged with breaching of suppression orders and other reporting rules in the days following the guilty verdicts.

In a mid-trial ruling on Friday, Justice John Dixon dismissed eight contempt charges against Nationwide News, Sydney radio station 2GB, Queensland Newspapers and the Nine Entertainment-owned Fairfax Media.

But he rejected arguments by 27 media outlets, journalists and editors that they had no case to answer for the remaining 79 charges.

Prosecutors last month dropped 13 charges against News Corp. staff and publications. The trial is scheduled to resume on Jan. 28.

Such suppression orders are common in the Australian and British judicial systems. But the enormous international interest in an Australian criminal trial with global ramifications highlighted the difficulty in enforcing such orders in the digital age.

Pell was convicted on Dec. 11, 2018 of sexually abusing two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral when he was the city’s archbishop in the late 1990s.

The trial of Pope Francis’ former finance minister and the most senior Catholic to be charged with child sex abuse was not reported in the news media because of the suppression order that forbade publication of details in any format that could be accessed from Australia.

Details were suppressed to prevent prejudicing jurors in a second child abuse trial that Pell was to face three months later.

That second trial was cancelled due to a lack of evidence, and Australia’s High Court in April overturned all convictions after Pell had spent 13 months in prison.

No foreign news organization has been charged with breaching the suppression order. The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment would prevent such censorship in the United States, so attempting to extradite an American for breaching an Australian suppression order would be futile.

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Japanese PM Suga to hold news conference amid third coronavirus wave: media – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, is set to hold a news conference to provide an update on the country’s pandemic response on Friday, his first since coronavirus case numbers surged in November.

Suga is expected to explain his backing of a widely criticised travel subsidy campaign meant to help revive the economy amid infection controls.

In recent weeks, a third wave of the coronavirus has arrived in parts of the country, and some medical groups and experts blame it on a government campaign to encourage domestic tourism.

His news conference will take place at 6 p.m. local time (0900 GMT), according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Suga’s approval ratings have dipped, with many unhappy with his handling of the pandemic, polls showed. That could deal a blow to his plan to prop up local economies and may threaten the chances of his premiership beyond next autumn.

The government has paused its “Go To Travel” campaign in two cities, but Suga said on Thursday the travel subsidy programme would be extended beyond the original end date of January 2021.

“We need to support the tourism industry, which is indispensable for the local economy,” Suga told a tourism strategy meeting.

The world’s third-largest economy rebounded in the third quarter from a pandemic-induced slump, thanks to surging consumption and exports, but some analysts worry about slowing growth ahead because of the resurgence in infections.

Suga also faces a political controversy involving his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, who resigned in September.

He was widely seen as Abe’s right-hand man during his tenure and has defended him in parliament.

Tokyo prosecutors are considering a summary indictment of two officials in Abe’s office over alleged violations of a funding law, the daily Asahi reported on Friday.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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Japanese PM Suga to hold news conference amid third coronavirus wave: media – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, is set to hold a news conference to provide an update on the country’s pandemic response on Friday, local media reported, his first since coronavirus case numbers surged in November.

Suga is expected to explain his backing of a widely criticised travel subsidy campaign meant to help revive the economy amid infection controls.

In recent weeks, a third wave of the coronavirus has arrived in parts of the country, and some medical groups and experts blame it on a government campaign to encourage domestic tourism.

His news conference is scheduled for late Friday, Jiji Press said, but the Prime Minister’s Office has yet to confirm it.

Suga’s approval ratings have dipped, with many unhappy with his handling of the pandemic, polls showed. That could deal a blow to his plan to prop up local economies and may threaten the chances of his premiership beyond next autumn.

The government has paused its “Go To Travel” campaign in two cities, but Suga said on Thursday the travel subsidy programme would be extended beyond the original end date of January 2021.

“We need to support the tourism industry, which is indispensable for the local economy,” Suga told a tourism strategy meeting.

The world’s third-largest economy rebounded in the third quarter from a pandemic-induced slump, thanks to surging consumption and exports, but some analysts worry about slowing growth ahead because of the resurgence in infections.

Suga also faces a political controversy involving his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, who resigned in September.

He was widely seen as Abe’s right-hand man during his tenure and has defended him in parliament.

Tokyo prosecutors are considering a summary indictment of two officials in Abe’s office over alleged violations of a funding law, the daily Asahi reported on Friday.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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