I’ve been a journalist for a long time … more than three decades’ experience in the mainstream and independent media. And now I have my very own blog, part of a new phenomenon called social media. 


Journalism plays an important role in a democracy. I realize that’s stating the obvious but if we are to make informed choices — the hallmark of a true democracy — it’s critical we have information that’s fair, balanced and verifiable. Put another way, the uncensored flow of information is the very heart of a free country. Without it, we’re screwed.

Our job as reporters is to make sense of what’s happening in the world. Of course, life being what it is, that’s easier said than done.

When we read newspapers, watch TV or listen to the radio, it’s difficult to know how much is actual news, what’s opinion, what’s manufactured — or if we’re getting propaganda, bullshit or corporate public relations. Or, if management has ordered reporters to do stories for political reasons. There are way too many “ifs” at play here. 

In referencing a survey that showed a mere six percent of U.S. citizens trust the mainstream media, Joseph Jankowski sums it up pretty nicely. “Most Americans,” he says, “are aware of the staggering dishonesty and reality-twisting, that the mainstream news media engages in on a daily basis.”

You’ve heard of reporters being ’embedded’ with the military. Think of mainstream/corporate journalism as reporters embedded with the status quo. Know where their bread is buttered.

Most grocery products have labels indicating ingredients. But with news content, you will never see the following … 

Fact: 30% … Speculation: 40% … Influence by sales staff trying to woo a client: 20% … Censorship: 10% … etc.

The public is at the mercy of news organizations — and news organizations can have their own agendas, just as reporters can have their own agendas. That’s why it’s difficult to find news that’s truly independent and trustworthy. Trust, like an eraser, gets smaller and smaller after every mistake.

A mistrust of news organizations runs beneath their reports like a bass note. No one knows who and what to believe anymore. As an old lawyer friend put it, “Never mind the laugh channel … just watch the news.”


                          Hunter Thompson … 1937-2005

Hunter Thompson once remarked, “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone but they’ve always worked for me.”

Another thing to keep in mind: In North America, the major news organizations are in the hands of very few companies. In Canada, sometimes the heads of the very big news companies are there only because they’ve passed the right test — a DNA test [as in “daddy owns the company”]. People living in New Brunswick knew this only too well.


                         Image courtesy of The New Yorker


Do you really think a military that hands out junkets to reporters wants those journalists to do an independent job? Fat chance.

Why do you suppose most news organizations fail to mention its staff is on a paid junket? There are two reasons for this: 1] it erodes credibility … and 2] when a reporter is on the take, it’s embarrassing. 

As the subtitle of my blog suggests, news release journalism does not appeal to me. Never has.

Thanks to Gary Larson and crew.

           [Thanks to Gary Larson]

I’ve always been drawn to the ideals of journalism. In my view, that’s far more important than news releases or drive-by reporting.

Some of the most rewarding files I’ve worked on have been the result of digging for original material — often on my own time.


Just to let you in on a dirty secret in the news business, plagiarism is rampant in radio and television newsrooms — and now, the Internet. We’ve heard a lot about identity theft. This is information theft.

Sorry to come across as iconoclastic, but let’s face it, it takes money to gather news — and it’s cheaper to steal. 

Like the world of entertainment, much of the news business is “smoke and mirrors.” That’s how a radio newsroom with a staff of two can come up with the same stories as a newspaper with a staff of 52. Smoke and mirrors.

Why don’t newsrooms always give credit for stories done by others? Because it would be an acknowledgment that someone else got the story first. They don’t want that.

In the end, shareholders and senior media managers with their eyes on performance bonuses are treated far better than a public that longs for meaningful information.


Surveys indicate that journalism is one of the least trusted professions. Hands up if you’re surprised.

Few news organizations abide by a Code of Ethics. As the joke goes, what’s the difference between a brothel and a newsroom? One has a code of ethics.

The credibility of journalists is further damaged when reporters accept military junkets … or they raise money for organizations. When journalists aren’t independent, credibility goes out the window.

While some believe that journalism committed suicide a long time ago, I’m one who feels there are many good reporters out there who are not only doing their best but making a difference. They oppose plagiarism, don’t accept gifts … and they stand up to management that attempts to censor or influence news content. Good for them.




Frank Niertit, Director of Chemical Instrumentation at the University of Southern California, writes, “We cannot be everywhere. That is why we need reporters. Journalists should be our probes and sensors into the tissue and history of our existence. Unfortunately, those probes and sensors are systematically being dismantled — and contrived information is being presented to us.”

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 6.03.01 AM.png



Why not? All ‘news consumers’ should weigh the information they’re getting and judge for themselves the its real value. So, be your own editor. 

Should you discover anything on my blog that’s lifted from a news release or stolen from another source, I’ll contribute $1,000 towards a hit man to put me out of my misery. But enough of the bravado. Enjoy the site … and if you feel some information is worth passing on to others, please do. With credit of course.


One more thing … some entries on this blog appear like trips down memory lane. That’s because they are. But of course they’re more than that, as I often write about “the story behind the story.” My hope is to give readers an insight into certain news events … and into my profession.

These posts are also somewhat therapeutic because I have all these news stories — many of them ugly — “bouncing around in my head” and I need to get ’em out.


This site does NOT depend nor will it ever depend on funding from anyone. You’ll see no requests for donations. 

As well, I receive zero money for this site from government or corporations. They’re not my masters. No editors, senior editors, executive editors, sponsors or shareholders are tapping me on the shoulder. Kinda nice, actually.

You can find out more about my reporting career by visiting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byron_Christopher


“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays [Public Relations Consultant] – 1928



Comments about posts on this site are welcomed. Before a comment can be posted, however, I try to validate the email address by responding with an email of my own. If that comes back as ‘undeliverable,’ the comment isn’t posted.



BY PHONE: 780.716.4693 [Cell] If you’re phoning and not identifying yourself I may not pick up the call. Please try to have a name displayed. Thanks much.

Think you’ve got a lot of choice? Not really. In the United States, basically four companies control the media landscape.

4 media owners.png

Courtesy of Anonews
Courtesy of Anonews

30 thoughts on “About the Author [and how to connect]

  1. Hello Mr. Christopher,

    Thank you for your talk in this morning’s Criminal Law class. I am sad to hear that my beloved CBC may not be the pillar of integrity I thought it was, but I guess it’s good to know these things. I agree that we must be critical and thoughtful hearers of the news. I tend to get lazy in my thinking. Thank you for the shake.


  2. Thank you for having the courage to stand up to the mainstream media.

    Many people are blind to the goings on in the media. If a student in high school, college or university can be expelled for plagiarism, then why can’t people at private radio stations or any other news organization be made an example of. The answer to that is that management expects it, it is a prerequisite of the job these days to be a sleazebag with no ethics.

    Unfortunately, the dirty tactics of the media — plagiarism, sensationalism, nepotism, and being in bed with government, industry and the police — have left the public with McDonalds for information instead of a home-cooked meal. These people make actors and directors in the porn industry blush. I hope people sue these dirtbags for publishing false information and ruining lives.


  3. Hello Mr. Christopher. I am from Miramichi, New Brunswick … formerly known as Newcastle. I was wondering if I might be able to have a few minutes of your time to hear any or more stories you might be able to tell me about my father. You knew him as Cst. Ambury Newman from the Newcastle Police. I read the article where you had mentioned him ‘spinning vinyl.’

    I hope to possibly hear from you. Thanks for your time!


  4. My Mother, Audrey Ferguson, is the same age as Doctor Helen Houston. Doctor Helen visited Mom and Dad from time to time at our farm near Ripley, Ontario when she was home from Nepal — and at least once after she retired.

    Mom lost Helen’s address after she and Dad moved into Kincardine. Mom would love to reconnect with Helen.

    My father, Lester Ferguson, died in 2009. My Grandparents, John and Helen MacMurchy from Ripley Ontario, were friends with Will and Edith Houston [Helen’s parents — Editor]

    I remember as a child it was so exciting getting news of Doctor Helen’s work in Nepal.


  5. Hey old man. Hope all is well with you. Just came across this site. Good to see you still plugging away and putting your own honesty into stories.

    It was always a pleasure to chat with you about news on those lonely weekends many years ago.

    Good luck and stay healthy.


  6. Hi Byron, the link for your e-mail doesn’t work on my computer. So this is my alternative to contact you.

    I was reading “Dead Man Under a Pool Table” from January 2015. I got many chuckles from your writing style. You have a great sense of humour. Was surprised Willie was back in Prison, but that is a great picture of him, he doesn’t seem to change much over the decades. You mentioned, in your story, several prisoner I knew back in the day … Blair P, Willie B, Gerry M, Gord L, David M, interesting to hear about them again after all this time.

    Anyway, I will be passing through Edmonton in about two months, if you could fit me in to your schedule, I would sure like a chance to talk to you. I’ll even buy you lunch …

    I spent from 1973 to 1986 under the watchful eye of CPS … many years of Solitary, Maximum Security, and SHU … even spent over a year in the Alberta Hospital in the Violent Offender Program. Never made it to lower security 😦 Not many people know what it was like back then, so I seek out those who do know, just to share some stories.

    Let me know if you would like to talk 🙂


  7. I enjoyed your article on Eddie. It was very interesting.

    I am the bus driver where Eddie lives. We met one day at the reception desk.

    Take care.


  8. Kevin C. MacKinnon sure would like you to again get involved with his fight for survival with CSC. There is a story of 25+ years.

    Love your truth when writing. Interesting articles.


  9. Just happened onto your Lubicon blog … and was transported to a week in Little Buffalo 33 years ago.

    I was hearing about the Lubicon Cree settlement on CBC, but didn’t hear the name Bernard Ominayak mentioned. So I went to Mr. Google to find out what had happened.

    I had the privilege of visiting Bernard and Louise for five days, back in November, 1985. I was living in Olds, Alberta at the time, and was given a task to write a piece for the ELCiC (Lutheran Church), which was supportive of the Little Buffalo community. I flew up with a Lutheran pastor pilot and Fred Lennarson.

    I got glimpses of what was going on … the inexplicable bribing of locals to sign onto the ”other” Lubicon community, etc.

    One morning, while Chief Bernard was out helping a young family with their hot water heater, Fred Lennarson and I were lingering over a cup of strong tea, enjoying a full-blown argument (over the nature of evil, no less.) Louise Ominayak was sitting in a bedroom off to the side. Her 7-year-old ran over to her and asked her in Cree (she translated later for me), ”Mommy, why are they fighting?” She answered, with a smile, “They’re not fighting – white people always talk loud like that.”

    Back to your blog … a great overview of the Lubicon story! Thank you for excellent writing, which put many bits into perspective for me.

    Sad to know how rough life got for that family and that community over the years!


  10. Very interesting story on the porn star judge.

    Your story on Michael white is very interesting and very detailed. I often wondered if he was guilty or innocent. I’m a crime buff who enjoys investigating older and interesting crimes.


  11. I have been following the story about the mom and son missing in Calgary. Are you interested in calling the prime suspect and getting a interview. Another Michael White case?

    I have read about the Richard McNair case, did you send letters to adx for him to read and respond. ADX is the home of a lot of celebrity killers and terrorists.


  12. Your blog really is something else.

    I am hoping to get in contact with you (in some way, shape, or form) to get a better understanding of an individual you interviewed years ago, specifically one of those interviewed for your ‘Dead Man Under a Pool Table’ bit. I would like to write a paper in the near future exploring the particular case for my Sociology of Law class.

    Hope to hear from you soon.


  13. Hello Bryon Christopher….I met you years ago in a coffee shop in West Edmonton….I can’t remember all the details but I do remember your hat, lol….I was with someone else you were talking to…I remember thinking at the time with the few bits and pieces of the conversation that you were a good and honest person…a straight shooter.

    Lo and behold, I find myself years later reading about the Michael White story…perhaps due to what was in the news today about his parole. Wonderful story…entertaining read and very well written….I had to stop about half way through because of length but will be sure to finish a little later.

    Thank you for what you have done on this story….any objective person who reads it has to stop and say …WTF?. God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good evening Mr Christopher.

    I loved all the hard work from day one that you put into Tania’s case. [Re: Tania and that ‘Family Friend.’]

    I know this is a long and tedious road and I believe you hit the nail on the head with who did it. Hopefully that “Kitty” is now gnawing in the soul of that wretched coward in hell.

    I have a question, I would like to start a bit of a search crew and bring this case back to the forefront again. I would like to gather a large group of people and go down to the area that was shown to you by Mr Hurst. Bring out the metal detectors and have an organized search this summer.

    Would you be willing to point out. the exact spots that were given to you by Mr Hurst? I would greatly appreciate this, let’s try to have one big look in that vicinity.

    Thank you for being so thorough with as much as you were given.


  15. Good evening Mr Christopher,

    I loved all the hard work From day one that you put into Tania’s case.

    I know this is a long and tedious road and I believe you hit the nail on the head with who did it. Hopefully that “Kitty” is now gnawing in the soul of that wretched coward in hell.

    I would like to start a search crew and bring this case back to the forefront again. I’d like to gather a large group of people and go down to the area that was shown to you by Mr Hurst. Bring out the metal detectors and have an organized search this summer. Would you be willing to point out the exact spots that were given to you by Mr Hurst?

    I would greatly appreciate this, Let’s try to have one big look in that vicinity.

    Thank you for being so thorough with as much as you were given.


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  17. Hi there I talked to you a few weeks ago…my nephew and I would like to meet with you to discuss droning and just talk to you in general about journalism. Please email me when a time would work for you to meet…thanks.


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  19. I just discovered your CKMR history and I really enjoyed it.

    Being a Chatham lad, it brings back fond nostalgic memories of growing up On The River and listening to the hits on AM radio.


  20. Hey Byron, i see you finally wrote a book about Tania. I was just wondering if anyone looked into Uncle L’s papers/diaries after he died. Also, was his family aware of him being the prime, or only, suspect in the case. I assume you are keeping his name private because of said family, however, releasing his name could cause some folks in Alberta and/or Ontario to come forward. With all the streaming services dying for content, if you convinced the right folks, you could produce a high quality documentary…which would potentially stir up leads. I was a student of yours over 20 years ago at NAIT, and was lucky enough to look at your file on Tania. Good to know you are still plying your trade, take care.


    • Greetings Byron,

      Good comment. Keep up the good work.

      Since its December I’ll wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy & prosperous New Year.

      Take Care Clarence


  21. Ok I’ve been reading your work on Michael White, I am not an investigator nor a reporter but I have a question. It’s pointed out that a lady confessed, a lady she worked with was a bit sketchy when it came to being accused if she searched for Liana, the way she seems to hesitate to say no she didn’t kill her or even the cop they seem to know where her body was. Would there be any way to find out if either of the peoples husbands, family members where rcmp, lawyers or someone in a position of “power” that would have caused them to cover up the truth? It just seems to odd and instantly my mind wondered if their spouses could cover up the truth.

    Just where my mind went when I read it and I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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