A Halifax man impersonated as an RCMP officer, leaves at least 22 victims from a mass shooting in 16 different crime scenes during a 12 hour time span before he was shot dead by the RCMP in Nova Scotia. This has left some of the family and friends’ of the victims wondering why an emergency alert was not issued to warn the citizens about a murderous gunman on the loose, to possibly prevent some of the deaths. In this piece, I will be doing a deeper examination on these news stories.
CBC News in the article “Questions emerge about RCMP’s failure to send emergency alert on gunman’s rampage By John Paul Tasker, begins with the victims’ family and friends and how heart broken and devastated and they are, and how big of a tragedy it was for all of them. Without mentioning RCMP or the government for why the Emergency alert wasn’t sent out via phones, radios, or TVs.
It has bias effect on the mind and perspective of the reader. The article starts from the victims’ loved ones’ perspective and continues until more than half way through the article when it’s fully done. Only then, it starts to mention the authorities’ perspective and words. It gives the readers the thought of “Oh, those poor people! The alarm could prevent many of their deaths,” without discussing the RCMP’s view on this matter until the very end. And when it does, the mind of the readers is set and automatically reads it with bias.
CBC’s “about” page writes, “CBC/Radio-Canada holds itself to the highest standards of journalistic practices. All employees of CBC News, as well as the content they create […] must respect the principles of accuracy, fairness, balance, impartiality and integrity as expressed through the Journalistic Standards and Practices.”
According to Scholastic Journalism, Twelfth Edition. C. Dow Tate and Sherri A. Taylor. “A straight news lead is often used in a breaking news story as part of the inverted pyramid structure, in which the most important information comes at the top of the story while the rest of the facts and details are organized in descending order of importance.”
This shows that the Mounties and the government’s view is counted “less important” than the families’ view. If it was vise versa, where the victims information and their family came last, it would have meant that the victims were counted “less important” than the government.
CTV news on the other hand, seems to be almost doing the opposite. The article “N.S RCMP say they were in process of preparing for alert when gunman was killed” By Graham Slaughter and Ryan Flanagan, write about the mistake of N.S. RCMP by saying, even though the RCMP had One hour and eleven minutes between the time “provincial officials offered to help send an emergency alert to every Nova Scotian’s phone and the time the attacker was killed,” They didn’t send emergency alerts to citizens near crime scenes.
The majority of the article is about how the RCMP didn’t send an emergency alert and information about the gunman, Gabriel Wortman. In the whole article there are only two pieces of information about the victims’ and their loved ones. How ever this article didn’t openly state that the tragic death of those people is RCMP and the emergency department’s fault, it still doesn’t include more than a quote and how one of the victims was killed. It can only be said that it’s biased, more than CBC. It’s purpose is to put all the blame of the tragic deaths of these people on the RCMP and the emergency department.
After the research that I have done on this issue, I agree that RCMP needs to give an explanation of how and why the situation wasn’t handled more properly and why the citizens weren’t informed earlier.
Both of these articles take away an authority or power from the reader to know all the facts equally and come up with their own opinion on the matter, even if the reader doesn’t read through the whole article.
The article “Nova Scotia: Emergency alert wasn’t sent during shooting spree by fake RCMP officer” by Rebel News is the same as CTV only difference is that they don’t talk about any of the victims nor their family and friends at all which shows that it’s biased. It’s trying to make readers believe that it’s the RCMP’s fault that those people died rather than giving the readers all the facts and the victims’ loved ones views and letting them decide what they want to believe however the same conclusion or not.
The author openly states their opinion by saying, “But we do deserve to know who is responsible for failing to warn the people of Nova Scotia that there was an active, armed and dangerous shooter on the loose.” Rebel news.
This takes us to an article from National Observer. “Number of N.S. victims hits 22, questions why emergency alert wasn’t used” written by Michael Tutton & Adina Bresge, where the article goes back and forth between the victims’ and the RCMP’s point of view. I didn’t find any bias in this article. It only states the facts and doesn’t have any tone in it. It has both sides in it, it includes the route that the gunman took, it shows the sorrow of the victims’ loved ones, and it has the incomplete explanation of the RCMP and the emergency department. It’s complete, and fair between the two. Although the amount of info about the victims and their family is more, it still gives the reader the authority to make their own decision, so even if the reader doesn’t read through the whole article, they have balanced facts about both sides of the matter.
Still, bias can be found in some of these articles. From CTV news and CBC news, where both say that they are fair, balanced and accurate, to rebel news where they openly state that their “world view is generally conservative,” Rebel news “about” page.
CTV, CBC, and N.O., are all a part of the Trust project, an international group of news organizations collaborating to use transparency as a way to educate readers and promote news that lives up to fairness and accuracy. Rebel news states that other news sources “increasingly behave like political parties. They don’t admit their own political bias, and they pretend to be neutral providers of the news when they are anything but,” while having bias themselves.