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Journos making it work for the State

Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Peter Kent isn’t the only former journalist testing his chops as a politician…

By Dawn Paley , in Foreign Correspondence , on February 3, 2009 Tags: , , ,

Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Peter Kent isn’t the only former journalist testing his chops as a politician these days.

Kent is now part of the pomp and ceremony, instead of part of the press, and he's not alone.
Kent is now part of the pomp and ceremony, instead of part of the press.

The New York Times carried a story today about journalists who made the jump to work with Barack Obama.

“An unusual number of journalists from prominent, mainstream organizations started new government jobs in January, providing new kindling to the debate over whether Obama is receiving unusually favorable treatment in the news media,” notes the NYT story.

One of the more prominent examples of the journalist to government official phenomenon in the US is that of Jay Carney, Time Magazine’s former bureau chief in Washington. He covered the Obama campaign, and today is in the employ of Vice President Joseph Biden as director of communications.

North of the 49th, Pamela Wallin is probably the most famous journalist gone politico around. After decades as a reporter, she served as a diplomat, and was recently appointed to the senate by PM Harper’s Conservatives.

The phenomenon of journalists going in for a gig in government isn’t new. The Parliament of Canada includes “journalist” in the list of occupations of former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie.

Peter Kent, who was the first anchor of CBC’s Newsworld, has a career in journalism that spans more than 40 years. It remains to be seen if his career as a capital C Conservative politician will be as successful, even though something does tell me it won’t be as long.

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