The latest edition of BCBusiness Magazine features a softball interview with Gordon Campbell by publisher Peter Legge. But was it editorial judgment or political favoritism that put the premier on the magazine's cover? After all, four months before the last election, Mr. Legge - who has made $7,000 in personal and corporate contributions to the Liberals since 2005 - did the same thing, distributing 400 copies of the magazine at a fundraiser for the party's Burnaby constituency associations.
At the time, Mr. Legge told Public Eye, "A"s an independent business guy, we need a B.C. Liberal government to continue in power for the next term of office. So I am doing my part, as a businessman. So, if I can put the premier on the cover of (BCBusiness Magazine), I will do that."
And, with another election just around the corner, he's done it again - promoting an interview between himself and the premier that features questions such as "How do you establish and build a constructive relationship with the official Opposition?" and "What do you think will be the three or four legacies of the 2010 Games?"
But BCBusiness Magazine didn't disclose Mr. Legge's previously stated bias nor his donations.
"It's just bad media business" not to disclose Mr. Legge's partisanship, commented University of Victoria writing department chair Lynne Van Luven. "For the readers that don't know, it doesn't give them the information they need. For the readers who do know, it sort of signals this is an insider story and we're on the election campaign for the Liberals."
"This was the publisher's initiative," responded the magazine's editor Matt O'Grady. "As the owner of the company and the magazine it's totally his prerogative to want to interview the premier. So that's why it was labeled as the publisher's notebook and why he conducted the interview ultimately."