Politicians, media disconnected, Peter Mansbridge says

Voters not interested in mudslinging; would prefer if politicians focused on issues: former CBC anchor

Canadians aren’t interested in federal election mudslinging and want to hear about real issues important to them and their children’s futures, retired CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge says.

He said coverage of the Justin Trudeau brownface photos was a legitimate story covered with great energy. But, after that, he said voters were no longer interested, something the media and candidates are missing.

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“They’re not interested,” Mansbridge said of voters.

“Justin Trudeau. He’s had an interesting few days. We’ll have to see how that plays out.”

He said Justin Trudeau and father Pierre Trudeau have few similarities but said, “They’re both fighters. Never count each of them out.”

He said it was accepted as a story after which voters wanted a return to issues.

“There’s a disconnect between the media and the public and what the issues are,” Mansbridge told delegates at the Union of BC Municipalities annual convention Sept. 25.

“This time, more than any other election I’ve covered, people are talking about what matters for the future rather than themselves,” he said. “That’s a wholesale departure. I’m not sure the politicians and the media have caught up to that.”

He said media should remember voters are seeking information from news outlets to give them the tools they need to vote.

“They want issues to discuss,” he said.

“The media bears a responsibility,’ he later added.

Mansbridge said young journalists come to him asking how they should pursue their careers.

Speaking to many municipal politicians, he said new reporters should start at the local level, learning about city councils and school boards and finding out what issues matter to most people in their daily lives.

jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca

@jhainswo

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