My two cents: Gillis/Province dispute

So, Mike Gillis wasn’t happy with an editorial published in the Province on Friday, suggesting the Canucks should trade Roberto Luongo for Vincent Lecavalier. Gillis was so unhappy that he decided to unexpectedly call the Team 1040 to voice his concerns (well, particularly with the fact that the editorial had no byline).

The Province’s editor-in-chief, Wayne Moriarty, came on the same radio station a little later to defend the piece and now this has become a huge issue when really, there shouldn’t have been an issue at all.

As an editor-in-chief myself, not to mention the fact that I follow the Canucks religiously, this dispute really hit close to home.

As Moriarty pointed out, there are very few newspapers around the world that actually reveal the author’s name in editorials. Why? Because editorials don’t necessarily reflect the view of one person. They’re discussed thoroughly by an editorial board, which eventually arrives at a consensus.

The Charlatan publishes two editorials every week. Our editorial board, which is comprised of 12 individuals, decides on the topic/premise of said editorials. One of those 12 individuals will write the piece, but it isn’t fair to attach their name to it. The editorial reflects the view of the paper, and the editor-in-chief is responsible for everything that goes into the paper. I thought that was pretty clear. I guess not.

I’ve taken the heat a few times for editorials we’ve run at the Charlatan. It’s no fun, but I understand that I’m accountable for everything we publish. If Gillis’ main concern was a lack of accountability, he should have gone to Moriarty directly, as opposed to a radio station that really had nothing to do with it.

Lastly, for those suggesting this editorial didn’t belong in the Province’s news section, here’s some news for you: it wasn’t. It was in the paper’s opinions section. Sure, the opinions section usually tackles bigger issues related to the paper’s news coverage, but there’s absolutely no reason they can’t be weighing in on sports issues, too. Clearly, it’s something people care about.

In this case, though, I really hope someone from the Province sports department was sitting on that editorial board. Otherwise, my view on this would probably change drastically.

All that said, I think the trade proposal itself was a little silly. While it may make sense in theory, I really don’t see a Luongo/Lecavalier swap happening.

Just my two cents.

Farhan Devji
Farhan Devji is an author, journalist, and communications professional based in Ottawa. His work has appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, the Edmonton Journal, the Vancouver Sun, and the Montreal Gazette. Contact him directly at fdevji@gmail.com.

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