Exasperated, the 253 locked-out employees of the Journal de Montréal briefly waded into the newsroom on Wednesday afternoon during a protest to mark the six-month anniversary of their labour conflict. They protested noisily but peacefully for a few minutes.
The union members stayed in the building for a few minutes before leaving of their accord. There were no reports of untoward behaviour by the union. However, some protesters were roughed up by security guards: a young female journalist was tossed to the ground and a reporter from the sports section was grabbed by the throat.
That’s from a report by Rue Frontenac. If you didn’t know it already, Rue Frontenac is staffed by the very same locked-out union members who burst into their former offices at the Journal de Montréal in the incident mentioned above. They’ve done a generally commendable job with the website since their labour conflict began—in fact, it’s one of my regular reads. But the story above risks undoing a lot of that good work.
The problem is that there’s video of the security guards “roughing up” the sports reporter. Here, see for yourself:
The guard doesn’t seem to have much of a hold on the reporter when he suddenly throws up his arms and makes like he’s being choked. Then, a photographer quickly graps a shot of the “assault” and, within seconds, everything’s back to normal.
It’s touchy enough to have a news outlet reporting on its job action. It probably shouldn’t be done at all. But to knowingly run a staged photo of a purported news event that involves you? Well, that’s pretty much as unethical as it gets.