“Media is playing catch-up with NDP”: Chantal Hbert

Don’t look to the parliamentary media for guidance on most NDP-related matters, says Chantal Hébert. Or at least, don’t look any time soon.

“Not since Bob Rae took power at Queen’s Park two decades ago have so many combed their Rolodexes for solid NDP contacts,” she quips in a recent Toronto Star column.

“In English as in French,” she adds, “Past media coverage of the federal NDP can only be described as sparse. Old habits die hard.”

Even today, with the party as the official opposition, there is a tendency by most media to treat the party’s goings-on as a distraction to the Liberal’s main event, says Hébert.

“Over the past two decades” she says, “The parliamentary press corps, like most of the groups that interact with the federal government, has accumulated tons of increasingly obsolete Liberal inside knowledge and cultivated legions of now-dried-up Liberal sources, often at the expense of acquiring intelligence about the other parties.”

What to do now?

Well, wait for journalists to do their thing: “In time, the parliamentary media will raise its game and give the NDP the scrutiny it and the voting public deserve.”

After all, Hébert adds, for most “the so-called new normal on Parliament Hill will likely have more profound consequences than simply updating the list of their go-to contacts.”