B.C.’s mainstream media
just can’t get it right (II)

For the second time in four days,
dozens of B.C. papers misrepresent the OPCC

Nov. 14, 2011


Police accountability has been a hot topic for years now, yet there’s hardly a man or woman in B.C.’s mainstream media who knows the first thing about the subject. As if to illustrate that principle, the Black Press newspaper chain, with dozens of papers across the province, screwed up twice in less than a week.

On Nov. 10, Black Press papers claimed that B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner investigates municipal police. It doesn’t. That’s a key point about our system of police accountability and, after all this time, almost no one in the media can get it right.

Then, on Nov. 14, the same Black Press papers claimed police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe “will finally have a limited power to investigate the RCMP.” He won’t have any such power. The police complaint commissioner and the OPCC do not investigate police. They review police investigations into police.

I could refer B.C.’s media to this or this.

But they wouldn’t be interested. There’s hardly a man or woman among B.C.’s mainstream media who knows — or cares — about the topic.

Stan Lowe and his crew of ex-cops will have investigative power, by the way, over the upcoming Independent Investigations Office. The only possible reason for that is to preserve the police status quo.

But don’t expect B.C.’s mainstream media to show any awareness, let alone concern, about that danger.

Go to News and Comment page