Gazette fur story: journalism or a sales pitch?

It’s an old adage in journalism that reporters must tell the whole story. In the case of business news, this remains true. Yet for some reason, the Montreal Gazette felt they didn’t need to share the facts with their readers.

In an article about entrepreneur Lysa Lash, a former event planner turned fur clothier, the Gazette spoke of her ideas and success. But they missed out on a few obvious things.

“Lash said there’s something about the combination of selling and socializing in a posh setting, with music, wine and the designer there to assist you, that makes women amenable to buying fur,” wrote Paul Delean for the Gazette.

It is somewhat amusing – in a twisted kind of way – that it requires booze and fancy digs to sell fur. But that seemed to be a good thing for the Gazette.

Further, there was no real mention of the animals whose skin was ripped away to make these commodities. In journalistic terms, it’s like discussing last night’s hockey game without mentioning any of the players on the ice.

Within 24 hours of the story being published, angry readers were already writing in about the cruelty of fur. And, of course, Alan Herscovici, the mouthpiece of the Fur Council of Canada, weighed in with another letter, making his usual claims about the glory of the fur industry (and not the bloody, cruel and horrendous truth we all have found it to be).

It’s important to remind journalists that their role isn’t to sell products or businesses; it is to present the facts and allow readers to make informed decisions.

Photo screenshot of Montreal Gazette

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