Here is the extent to which government organizations hold the media in disregard.
Originally media reports said that Const. Daniel Montsion who has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the Abdirahman Abdi had been released at the Elgin Street police station. Subsequently it was reported that Montsion was released at the OPP detachment in Kanata.
This is an unusual circumstance because normally people charged with a crime make a first appearance in court.
Legal officials were confused by Montsion not appearing and people scurried off trying to find him.
Your agent went with the media report on Montsion being released at the Elgin Street Ottawa Police Service station.
From what I’ve been able to determine, Montsion was released at the OPP detachment in Kanata. I have changed this post to reflect that fact. The CBC has corrected that fact as well.
But by whom and who directed it? The attorney general’s office and Ottawa police will only say Special Investigations Unit officers released Montsion. When I asked if those SIU officers had been seconded from another police force other than Ottawa’s to investigate the Abdi case, I received no answer. I have asked if the SIU officers were former police officers. No answer.
I have contacted the attorney general’s office, SIU and city police spokesman John Steinbachs. No answer to the SIU questions.
Instead Steinbachs responded by saying he would send me the correction the ministry sent the CBC.
Wait a second. When did non-journalistic organizations start writing corrections for journalists? That has always been the domain of the publication and not that of any other parties.
Here is the note from Steinbachs:
I will ask the MAG (ministry of the attorny general) media contact to send you the correction sent to CBC tomorrow morning.
In terms of questions related to SIU, Monica Hudon is the SIU media contact.
Have a good night.
So am I to use this so-called “correction” coming from a party to the story? Is this what is expected of reputable journalists?
This is how I responded to Steinbachs:
John:I don’t write corrections dictated by any organization. If a correction is to be written, it will be written by a journalist. And I will write a correction, if that is necessary, when you supply the information that I requested. If you do not supply the information, I am unable to write a correction because I cannot be sure that the information is correct.You should know this as a former journalist.I have already contacted the ministry and they have not provided the information I requested. I did find out I shouldn’t call them when they are shopping. And I have tried to reach Monica but she is unavailable. Naqvi’s office has not provided information to me that I requested.You and the other organizations have not been co-operative in providing the information so that I can write something that is true.Your attitude shows a great deal of disrespect for my professionalism.kgraycc Steve Kanellakos
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