In the media, it is common practice to give rookie reporters or editors three-months probation to see if they can handle the job.
What they need to do, among other things, is return to the newsroom with the answers to most basic of questions: who, what, when, where, why, how and how much in a story.
If the rookies can’t answer those questions after three months, the budding reporters are released.
Transit committee chairman Stephen Blais couldn’t or wouldn’t answer when the LRT project, the most expensive endeavour in Ottawa municipal history, would be finished. Blais narrowed it down to 2018 but the city said specifically when the project began it would be May 7, 2018. The city set the standard of reporting in days. Blais couldn’t meet it. He couldn’t meet it in months either.
John Manconi, the city’s general manager of transportation services, patronized reporters with “the train will go into revenue service when the train is ready to go into revenue service.”
Neither Blais nor Manconi could answer one of the most basic questions a reporter must ask and which they should know. And this on the most important project in municipal history.
So like a rookie reporter who can’t meet the basic ‘when’ question, should for the same reason Manconi and Blais be replaced?
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