Publisher answers questions about cover story

Earlier, we asked whether it was editorial judgment or political favoritism that put Premier Gordon Campbell on BCBusiness Magazine's front page. And here's the answer: in an interview with Public Eye, the magazine's publisher Peter Legge explained, because the economy will be major issue in the upcoming, he was of the opinion Premier Gordon Campbell deserved a cover story, written as a Q&A. Mr. Legge did that interview himself. "But, instead of having a reporter sort of possibly not get the questions answered correctly, we'll let him answer them the way he wants to answer them."

"And, so we didn't want to do it in May - that would be a little too obvious," explained Mr. Legge. "So the only available month was March."

So was this article then meant to support the Liberals re-election effort, we asked? "Not totally," Mr. Legge responded. "We wanted to ask him what we thought were reasonably interesting questions - and different questions than perhaps someone else might ask. And report his answers as opposed to a reporter's answers. So I guess you could look at either way."

Why then didn't the magazine disclose Mr. Legge's bias or the $7,000 in personal and corporate contributions he's made to the Liberals since 2005? "I guess, perhaps, we assumed because we're a free enterprise business - and I've said publicly just about anywhere I go that I support the BC Liberals, I support their values - we probably assumed that people would automatically know that. But perhaps not," said Mr. Legge, agreeing Public Eye made a "good point" in suggesting those writing about politics should disclose their partisan connections.

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