Holman: "...the media is also a public institution..."

For the past five years, I've been holding British Columbia's public institutions to account - along with the elected and unelected officials who are supposed to serve those institutions. But during last month's swearing-in ceremony, provincial New Democrat Saanich South legislator Lana Popham asked me if she could have a shot at holding me to account, if she could come into the studio to ask me some tough questions - the same kind of tough questions I've asked her. And since I'm a strong advocate for media accountability, I agreed.

After all, the media is also a public institution and, arguably, among the most influential - with a voice whose decibel far exceeds the chorus of politicians at the legislature, often talking over its critics and those we cover. So, last weekend, I lent my voice to Ms. Popham last week. And I extended the same opportunity to the Liberals, inviting a member of their caucus to appear on Sunday's show. But they've declined to take that opportunity at this time.


It's a bit dismaying to hear that.


Why would they want to expose themselves to frank, honest and open discussions that might actually mean something when they've got 223 fine folks on the payroll whose main job, overall, is to do all they can to make sure that just the opposite occurs?


The media are rarely, if ever, held to account.They do not criticize each other. It's like professional courtesy among sharks that won't eat each other.

But we can comment on their stories and omissions, which I think has made all of them more accountable to us.

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