Earlier this week, veteran CBC News journalist and host Carole MacNeil signed off after a 34-year career with the public broadcaster.
In her closing remarks, which you can watch below, MacNeil thanked her audience and reminded the rest of us what the public expects from journalists: precision, competency, straightforward questions, context.
“You like it when someone is challenged, but not shamed or embarrassed,” MacNeil said of the audience. “You don’t want us to cower in the face of pressure. You want us to work with no fear and no favour.”
But what resonated most for me was MacNeil’s commentary on the state of public discourse, misinformation and hardening attitudes about journalists:
“I believe strongly that as journalists, we are in service to you, the public. But the sand is shifting. You get so much information now. Some of it wrong. Some of it right. Some of it meant to make you angry. Some of it out of context. Some weaponizes you. And some of you try to attack us personally, physically, even when we are doing our job. Not many, but some.”