James Carville’s Three Points

  1. Change vs. more of the same.
  2. The economy, stupid.
  3. Don’t forget health care.

Some legal terms

  • Attorney (America and Quebec): an all-purpose lawyer.
  • Barrister (Britain): a lawyer who can plead cases before the “higher” common law courts. Their job is to build cases with their specialized legal expertise and to defend it in court.
  • Litigator (Canada): a barrister.
  • Solicitor (Britain): a lawyer who cannot plead cases before the higher courts. Solicitors handle civil law cases, like a North American paralegal. At the higher court level, they serve as law clerks to and as contractors for barristers.

“must be totally transparent”

“This was about justice for my niece.” Paradkar told me.

After extensive discussion of these issues, Foreign Editor Lynn McAuley agreed to send Paradkar to India to report this story. The ground rules were clear: Paradkar and the Star must be totally transparent with readers about the journalist’s connection to the story. Paradkar would of course be held to the highest standards of fairness but readers would know her personal interest and could assess her reporting in that clear light.

I read the Paradkar’s article earlier this week and if I were the Editor of the Star, I would’ve taken a pass on this story.

The cons of the article outweighed the pros:

  1. the article added nothing to the understanding of Canadians about the low-quality of police investigations in India,
  2. the journalist superficially tried to argue that the killings were not motivated by paternal honour—which it probably was,
  3. the backlash to the newspaper would be tremendous, and
  4. the “journalist” was a relative to the family in question, and if that isn’t a red flag, nothing is.

While I am aware the Toronto Star will go out of its way to publish their personal friends, this little and avoidable controversy was of its own making.