Alberta’s Public Affairs Bureau and the Office of the Premier have launched a new website “For the Record.” The website is meant to correct “mistakes” made by media outlets when reporting about Alberta.
Will this be another exercise in spin that portrays the government as a victim against the the big, bad media, or will it be an honest attempt at correcting information? Discuss.
UPDATE: It looks like this site is off to a great start. As reported by Jeremy Klaszus in Calgary-based FFWD Weekly:
So far, both entries are about the oilsands. The second entry addresses a recent report about the oilsands’ deadly effect on migratory birds, referring to a story about the report in the “Toronto Globe and Mail.” The entry links to a government PDF that assures readers that oilsands operations have “strict environmental requirements, including bird protection, and are required to collect dead birds and report the numbers.”
However, there is no paper called the Toronto Globe and Mail; the publication is a Toronto-based national newspaper called The Globe and Mail.
Despite its insistence on accuracy, the government isn’t admitting its mistake. “It’s the Toronto Globe and Mail — don’t kid yourself,” says Tom Olsen, spokesperson for Premier Ed Stelmach. “We don’t see that as an error. We see The Globe and Mail as the Toronto Globe and Mail.”
Olsen, a former columnist for the Calgary Herald, says the site was created “to get the best factual information to Albertans as possible.”