KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Arts reporters and columnists are getting awfully scarce in Nova Scotia, and good ones like Tara Thorne, who as a matter of course drew attention to the new rather than the already established, even more so.
But it seems CBC Nova Scotia fired her. Thorne had posted a hurtful and very bad joke tweet about a son of Stephen McNeil, right after the premier announced his departure from politics. That was wrong, and she deleted the tweet and apologized.
I am not saying that should have been the end of the story. We always need to be aware of the harm we can inflict, especially if we have a large social media platform, and especially also if the target is an innocent bystander. A more reflective apology would be good.
But I am saying that firing Thorne on the spot for one bad joke tweet is excessive, and the CBC should reconsider, putting in the balance her many years of excellent arts coverage.
How easily Thorne was fired accentuates the precarious existence of freelance journalists in this province. Even after a professional relationship of many years with the CBC it seems you don’t have any rights to due process.
There’s a double standard in Nova Scotia society, one that allows a man found guilty of domestic abuse to resume his job as Liberal spokesperson, yet that punishes one bad tweet with the loss of what must have been a major source of income for a female freelance journalist.
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