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"If it bleeds, it leads" bad for local democracy | Q&A with Ira Basen

Too often we hear the tragic tales of local politics made more divisive & toxic by sensationalized news coverage, media driven "scandals" and "if it bleeds, it leads" reporter logic. This not only has a negative effect on community culture, but can be destabilizing to local governments and civic leaders when this coverage leads to resignations, by-elections, personal and family trauma and an excessively hostile environment for local officials, discouraging individuals from public service.

Civic leaders are invited to join this Kalen Academy Masterclass with Ira Basen, distinguished CBC Radio producer & journalism ethics university instructor, as we examine these issues and more:

• What is the role of media in supporting local democracy & civility?
• How can civic leaders work effectively with reporters and media outlets to enhance the quality of citizen understanding of complex issues?
• What role can the media play in reducing polarization and fostering constructive and civil dialogue about issues of public interest?
• How do reporters decide what makes a local political story newsworthy? What ethical considerations or guidelines are journalists encouraged to follow in reporting and coverage?

You are invited to send in your questions for Ira Basen at

(or in the booking form for this event below).


& Related Ethical Considerations

Kalen Academy Masterclass with distinguished CBC producer Ira Basen

Space is limited. Register early.

Cost: $45/person

IRA BASEN is a distinguished figure in the fields of radio and journalistic ethics. His CBC radio career included serving as senior producer for Sunday Morning and Quirks and Quarks. He was also involved in the creation of the network programs, This Morning, The Inside Track, and Workology. More recently, he has produced several one-hour CBC radio documentaries. In June 2021, CBC Ideas aired his fascinating documentary on the legacy of Technocracy, Inc titled "Welcome to the Technate".

Basen has also written for Saturday Night, Maisoneuve, and The Canadian Journal of Communication, and he is the recipient of numerous radio awards, among them several New York Radio Festival Awards. He has taught journalism and journalistic ethics at Western University, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, and at McMaster University.


1 Comment

Mayor Kathy Moore
Mayor Kathy Moore
Jul 08, 2021

Can't wait to hear what Ira Basen has to say! thanks.

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