If Conservative leader Stephen Harper and some of his party’s candidates are campaigning in a bubble this election season, it appears to be in line with the approach by party and leader for the last few years. A group of Canadian journalists called the alarm last summer on the shrinking space for independent reporting on the government itself:
“It’s been four years since Harper muzzled his cabinet ministers and forced reporters to put their names on a list during rare press conferences in hopes of being selected to ask the prime minster a question,” says the open letter published last June and signed by the presidents of journalist associations and press galleries across Canada.
“It’s not uncommon for reporters to be blackballed, barred from posing questions on behalf of Canadians. More recently, information control has reached new heights. Access to public events is now restricted. Photographers and videographers have been replaced by hand-out photos and footage shot by the prime minister’s press office and blitzed out to newsrooms across Canada. It’s getting tougher to find an independent eye recording history, a witness seeing things how they really happened