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Media, ethics, and journalism. What works. What doesn't.

Jeffrey Dvorkin

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Rob Ford Story: The Best Journalism Money Can Buy?

For the past weeks, Toronto has been riveted by the allegations that the mayor of Canada's largest city was caught on a cellphone camera, smoking crack cocaine

Mayor Rob Ford has denied that it's him. He has also said the video doesn't even exist.

The only journalists to see the video are from the Toronto Star. They say, yes, it is Rob Ford.

The video is purported to be in the possession of a group of Somali-Canadian drug dealers and they have put the video up for sale.

Gawker, the New York based website said it would raise the money to obtain the video and they launched a campaign they call "Crackstarter."

It took less than a week to raise the required $200,000. But since then, the owners of the video have disappeared along with the video.

The ethics of this form of check book journalism have been hotly debated in Toronto and elsewhere.

I was asked to appear on CBC Radio's "Q with Jian Ghomeshi" to debate Gawker editor John Cook on the implications.

In effect, is this the best journalism money can buy?

You can listen to the debate here.


  1. Thank you, Jeffrey, for demanding professional journalism, no matter which side you support.

  2. Rob Ford will ride this one all the way back to City Hall. He'll be re-elected playing the role of "media victim."