The care and feeding of reporters: A lawyer's guide

AuthorTracey Tyler
g Sring 2011
e care an eein  eers:
Journalists and lawyers seem ever-fascinated by each other’s
work. Perhaps it is the case, to borrow from Harry Kopyto, that we are
stuck together like Krazy Glue.
I once had a call from a lawyer with a case he wanted to publicize
and a plan for making that happen. He decided to provide documents
in advance to my colleague Kirk Makin so that he could break the story
exclusively in The Globe and Mail. According to the plan, I was to come
along the following day and write a “softer” story about his client.
More recently, in another memorable encounter, I found myself at a
legal conference seated beside a veteran criminal lawyer who was quite
curious about how much I made. I didn’t tell him, but his interest in the
subject wasn’t abating. He said he was shocked to discover most print
reporters in Canada earn less than $100,000. With pity in his eyes, he
told me how tragic it was that I would never know the thrill of going
to the Kitchen Table grocery store and lling a cart with $100 worth of
impulse buys, as he had the previous weekend. In retrospect, what was
most astonishing about these conversations was that I was having them
with lawyers – members of a profession to whom words matter, but
who, at those moments, seemed to have little appreciation of the eect
of what they were saying.
It happens. Lawyers are human. Sometimes, in dealings between
journalists and lawyers, it’s the non-verbal issues that trip you up. It can

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