Where Was The Media?
Did you see all the media coverage of freedom rallies all over the world this weekend?
Yeah, me neither.
Thankfully, I was there.
So let me give you an inside scoop…
In a province weary with longterm lockdown, thousands of people (I heard one estimate of 15000 throughout the day here in Toronto) defied the rules and gathered outside the provincial parliament building.
This was the scene when we first arrived...
By the time we left, there were thousands behind us as well.
There were people of all ages, all cultures, all persuasions.
There were home-made signs, beach balls, and Canadian flags.
Experienced demonstrators and first-timers.
An elderly man beside my husband and I was talking to a young couple.
“I’m a retired doctor and this is my first protest. I just had to be here.”
He couldn’t abide the lack of scientific rigour being used by our politicians and media.
He wasn’t the only one - and he wasn’t the only doctor.
The speakers included and represented doctors, frontline nurses, active and retired police officers, politicians, parents, and other concerned citizens.
I was there for 2 hours and didn’t see or hear all the speakers, but what I did hear was a concern about children’s suicide rates going up due to unscientific and unhealthy mandates. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/media-spotlight/202006/are-we-facing-post-covid-19-suicide-epidemic
I heard a concern about the defiance of science through lockdown policies that were never a part of the WHO pandemic guidelines and have already been proven not to work.
I heard a concern about the lack of freedom and human rights being denied people through unconstitutional rules and policies - like media censorship.
When we first arrived, being in a crowd felt surreal.
I hadn’t been with and amongst people in so long, it was like visiting a foreign land.
I don’t think I’d realized how much a year of virtual solitude had impacted me.
It felt good and right to be with people.
It felt natural and healthy.
What didn’t feel right was the eery absence of media.
Despite thousands of people defying the rules, rallying at our legislative building, risking fines and arrest, not one media truck was there.
I saw no reporters that day.
I saw no news the next day.
Regardless of what we think about covid and the measures to deal with this disease, we must not be complacent about freedom and responsibility of the press.
If we are getting our information from the media, what is the consequence when they are MIA?
How can we form reasoned opinions, make real choices, or give informed consent?
It’s easy to feel frightened right now.
To dig into our camps around covid policies, politics, and opinions.
But we have an opportunity right now, too.
To find and focus on our common goals and values.
If we all stand up for freedom - of information, of speech, of assembly, of conscience, of person - we can use this crisis to move beyond our polarization and create a culture of openness and concern for the truth.
Perhaps then, the media will follow suit, claim its proper place in society, and show up.
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