Jordan Brake did something the vast majority of Canadian journalists don't do -- he pushed a boundary to cover an event. It was protestors who broke a law and he followed them covering it.
But Mr. Brake decided that he would be inspired by the old ideal of journalism and go and go where there was something newsworthy and cover it.
Brake did what journalists should have been doing all along, but now he is getting punished by the government -- the ones the others who call themselves Canadian journalists want to fund their newspapers.
Now the Brake Affair's various parts are being lumped together into a single unit, and that is extremely deceptive.
So let's break down each component and examine it separately:
- There was a protest that turned into an illegal one. Brake went to where the action was while all of the other journalists obeyed the law. He broke a law, but he had no criminal intent while doing so. There was no reason to arrest him or charge him. Unless there is proof that he incited the turn of events, this is a mere intimidation practice, and Brake alone was abused.
- Any journalist who uses the Brake Affair to pretend this is an attack on journalism is a liar because, as stated in #1 -- Brake was the only journalist who walked across the line, so to speak. The others stood by and did nothing. Let us not exploit this man's predicament to say that all journalists are under attack -- why didn't any of the others move in when he was being arrested? I would have crossed that line even before then. Remember this incident the next time journalists are covering wars. We now know without a doubt that reporters bow to authorities.
- Journalists are not only sitting around deferring to authorities, and then manipulating the optics to gain a benefit from Brake's problems, but these still are clamouring for government money to fund them. Why? We see what happens when a journalist is naive enough to do the actual job of reporting -- they not only stand alone, they also get arrested and charged alone.
- Brake should have never been arrested for an important reason -- this sort of situation should have been known to media outlets, and had they been functional, there would have already been a strategy in place, not to mention strong laws to support journalists who cover unrest. There isn't.
This incident shows the lack of discipline and seriousness of a profession that proclaims to cover reality. It is not as if these situations don't crop up, but there is no reason for it to happen in this way.
But it did happen, and Brake is a lone soldier fighting a war that has already been lost with no other soldier to share that burden...