Journalist group protests Alberta war room’s use of term reporters

EDMONTON — A group for Canadian journalists wants staff in the Alberta government’s so-called war room to stop calling themselves reporters when speaking to the public.

Numerous cases have surfaced over the last week of Canadian Energy Centre employees in Calgary calling people for interviews and identifying themselves as reporters.

The Canadian Association of Journalists says that’s not what they are.

President Karyn Pugliese says real reporters are, at the very least, arms-length from government.

She says the war room, set up by the government to correct what it sees as misinformation about Alberta’s energy industry, has a mandate to support the industry and government policy.

A spokesman for the energy centre has said staff are not advised to call themselves reporters.

Pugliese says journalism relies on fact-checking, something already shown to be questionable in war room stories.

She says using the term reporter for workers in a government public relations office is Orwellian.

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