News editor wins award for editorial

A column about censorship written by the Ponoka News’ George Brown has been recognized as one of the year’s best

  • Aug. 15, 2012 3:00 p.m.

A column about censorship written by the Ponoka News’ George Brown has been recognized as one of the year’s best among an association of newspaper editors.

His January 2011 editorial, “Decide for yourself what words are offensive” was selected by a team of judges as among the Golden Dozen honoured by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) at their annual conference in Bellingham, Wash.

The editorial centred on the decision of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) that the Dire Straits song Money for Nothing, a song that has played on radio stations around the world for more than a generation, contravened the human rights clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code. One person complained — 25 years after the song went to number 1 on the charts — that it was discriminatory because it includes the word faggot in its lyrics.

After some outcry, the CBSC later thought better of its decision and reversed its action.

Judge Lyle E. Harris Sr, journalism professor emeritus at Western Washington University, said Brown’s editorial “addresses the issue in Canada and the United States, using powerful examples of censorship that succeeded, or failed, and tells his readers that removing words in classic literature that today are offensives is a harsh disservice to readers’ rights to be challenged in their thinking.”

“Canada and the United States have a created a culture of censorship: we allow government censorship; we permit citizens to initiate censorship; and we censor ourselves, lest we offend our neighbours,” Brown told an international audience of newspaper people.

“Every day we see reminders of why we as newspaper editors must fight for freedom of speech.”

Brown also received the ISWNE Golden Dozen Award in 2006 for an editorial about the Royal Visit to Alberta in 2005; and in 2008 for a piece about the importance of voting in the 2007 municipal election.

Just Posted

Ponoka’s Caleb Shimwell arrested after pursuit

Police allege that Shimwell rammed a police cruiser

Ponoka looking for ways to fix splash park issues

Council hears report on challenges last summer, will have to wait on costs

Survey of Ponoka residents state recreation as top budget priority

A total of 122 survey responses also note need for increased bylaw enforcement

Ponoka will save $430,000 with change to new waste contractor

Transition to take place with CanPak for Jan. 1, contract includes two bins

Crime rate slowly falling in Ponoka County

Ponoka RCMP stats show crime figures down from same nine month period in 2017

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Most Read