Bob Hepburn, Journalist, Toronto Star

EVENT DATE: December 8, 2010
TOPIC: The changing role of the media in Ottawa/Washington and the world

Bob Hepburn is an award-winning journalist who has worked as the Star’s bureau chief in Ottawa, Washington and the Middle East. He has reported from more than 30 countries for the Star and has also served as the Star’s editorial page editor, assistant managing editor, national editor and foreign editor.  His column appears every Thursday.

Bob Hepburn provided an interesting backdrop of the recent history of the evolution of journalism, with a focus on the newspaper industry.  He Bob highlighted the impact of the changes to the presentation of news events and activities being forged by the developments in the Internet, the social media such as YouTube and Facebook, and the technology of cell phones, IPods, IPads, Wikipedia, and wickileaks.  He described the current and evolving framework within which the news is to be reported, and the waning professionalism of the wider variety of sources now involved in reporting.  He noted the challenges to the newspaper, radio, and television media to retain some semblance of integrity in reporting, given the reduced resources able to be brought to bear on the traditional reporting environment. Overall, Bob presented the challenges to clients/customers of news to appropriately filter the myriad of information flows from competing sources of reporting.