Kill The Messengers by Mark Bourrie

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While Bourrie’s historical perspective is useful, he misses the chance to place Canada’s experience in an international scope. Many of the same restrictions seen in Canada are part of a worldwide trend.
-Globe and Mail


Ottawa has become a place where the nation’s business is done in secret, and access to information?the lifeblood of democracy in Canada?is under attak.

It’s being lost to an army of lobbyists and public-relations flacks who help set the political agenda and decide what you get to know. It’s losing its struggle against a prime minister and a government that continue to delegitimize the media’s role in the political system. The public’s right to know has been undermined by a government that effectively killed Statistics Canada, fired hundreds of scientists and statisticians, gutted Library and Archives Canada and turned freedom of information rules into a joke. Facts, it would seem, are no longer important.

In Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper's Assault on Your Right to Know, Mark Bourrie exposes how trends have conspired to simultaneously silence the Canadian media and elect an anti-intellectual government determined to conduct business in private. Drawing evidence from multiple cases and examples, Bourrie demonstrates how budget cuts have been used to suppress the collection of facts that embarrass the government’s position or undermine its ideologically based decision-making. Perhaps most importantly, Bourrie gives advice on how to take back your right to be informed and to be heard.

Kill the Messengers is not just a collection of evidence bemoaning the current state of the Canadian media, it is a call to arms for informed citizens to become active participants in the democratic process. It is a book all Canadians are entitled to read?and now, they’ll get the chance.

This paperback edition of the national bestseller has been updated and features a new chapter on the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Bill.


About Mark Bourrie

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MARK BOURRIE holds a PhD in Canadian media and military history; he is a National Magazine Award–winning journalist and has been a member of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1994. He has written hundreds of freelance pieces for most of the country’s major magazines and newspapers, which have resulted in several awards and nominations.Bourrie lectures on propaganda and censorship at the Department of National Defence School of Public Affairs; media history and propaganda at Carleton University; and Canadian studies at the University of Ottawa, where he is also working on a Juris Doctor degree.Bourrie’s book The Fog of War: Censorship of Canada’s Media in World War Two was the first examination of Canada’s wartime news-control system. It reached number six on the Maclean’s bestseller list. His academic paper “The Myth of the 'Gagged Clam': William Lyon Mackenzie King’s Press Relations,” published in Global Media Journal in 2010, is considered the authoritative analysis of the media strategies of Canada’s longest-serving prime minister. In 2011, Bourrie was invited to contribute to a collection of papers written by Canada’s top military historians. His essay “Harnessing Journalists to the War Machine” was published in 2012 in Canada and the Second World War.Bourrie lives in Ottawa and is married to Marion van de Wetering, a corporate lawyer working for the federal government. They have three children.
Published January 27, 2015 by Harper Perennial. 416 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Current Affairs.
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Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by Chris Hannay on Jan 30 2015

While Bourrie’s historical perspective is useful, he misses the chance to place Canada’s experience in an international scope. Many of the same restrictions seen in Canada are part of a worldwide trend.

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