Editorial: Ben Isitt's attempt to muzzle criticism

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt’s complaint about CFAX Radio should be seen for what it is: An attempt to muzzle a critical member of the media.

Isitt’s complaint to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is based on Adam Stirling’s Feb. 11 broadcast, which he said is “typical of the wider pattern of unbalanced, ­misleading information.”

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Stirling has been outspoken in his criticism of Isitt and other members of council. It’s understandable that Isitt would not appreciate that.

One major role of the media, however, is to shine a light on the actions of elected officials. If those elected officials squirm, so be it.

Isitt is hardly the first politician to try to silence critics. Former U.S. president Donald Trump was a master of it. But journalists must not give in to that pressure.

If Isitt has concerns with Stirling, or any other journalist, those concerns should be dealt with at a local level. Taking those concerns to the CRTC is not only grandstanding, but is also an effort to bully journalists.

Victoria is being transformed, for better or worse. Council members need to be open to all points of view, and show empathy for the people who are being affected by their actions.

Censoring opponents is not the answer. Isitt, a student of history, should know that.

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