A Department of Fisheries and Oceans communications plan, filed as an exhibit at the Cohen Commission, portrays the B.C. public as confused, West Coast newspaper reporters as biased and environmental groups as self-serving.
The National Aquaculture Communications and Outreach Approach, prepared for DFO by a New Brunswick consultant, sets out a three-to five-year plan for convincing both DFO staff and the public of the merits of fish farming.
David Black, associate professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University, said communication plans prepared for government ministries, with the public interest in mind, need to be held to a high standard and the DFO plan fails to meet that higher standard.
“To represent the citizenry as confused and unaware raises some concerns in my view as to the underlying attitude,” he said. “It is also a strange thing to identify journalists as not effectively doing their jobs.”
The report impugns the named journalists and shows a lack of respect for the practice of journalism, Black said.
“To assume bad faith and a lack of professionalism on the part of journalists is ethically and strategically dubious,” he said.
Maybe this should be titled:
“When publicly funded institutions forget who butters their toast…“
Seems a bit odd that a publicly funded institution is using public dollars to tell the public how dumb they are… but then that’s also been the take by some individuals commenting on this site, defending internal practices of DFO, and explaining how ‘misinformed the public is’.
Does this harken to the North Atlantic Cod issue…?
As I’ve said before: