IKEA monkey leads to zoo at courthouse
If ever there was a case made for the importance of local media, it happened just before Christmas at the Oshawa courthouse. Anyone driving by the building Thursday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 21 might...
If ever there was a case made for the importance of local media, it happened just before Christmas at the Oshawa courthouse.
Anyone driving by the building Thursday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 21 might have thought the prime minister was in town with the number of Toronto media camped out on the street. But no, they were there to cover a monkey, the IKEA monkey to be exact. I hadn't followed this story and didn't care about it until the monkey was moved to a Durham animal sanctuary. Only then did my level of care rise above zero to one.
Yes, we made sure we had a reporter, videographer and photographer at the courthouse both days but I was more interested in what was happening in a second courtroom on the Friday. Former Oshawa councillor Robert Lutczyk, charged with kidnapping Oshawa's solicitor, was back in court after a month's absence. During that time he was to undergo a psychological test to see if he was fit to stand trial.
We arranged our schedule to make sure we covered both. We were the only media in the courtroom when it was revealed he could stand trial.
Throughout the almost two-month trial of Michael Monckton, who was convicted in November of killing two-year-old Keagan Davis, we were the only media there on a consistent basis.
In May, Jacques 'Junior' Amakon' was convicted of manslaughter in the killing of 16-year-old Michael 'Biggie' McDonald following a simmering feud between the two.
Again, it was local media at the courthouse every day.
But when a monkey gets loose from a car at IKEA the Toronto media goes ape. Local court officials knew they were in for a zoo with the media and prepared a two-page handout which included names of all involved in the case, phone numbers of relevant people, where to park and where they could take pictures.
None of that information was required when the trials of Mr. Monckton and Mr. Amakon started because only a few of them showed up.
As the world gets smaller and smaller with new technology and people can get news from hundreds of different sources, local media is still your best bet for finding out what is happening at your kid's school, in your local arenas and in your community.
Over the next few weeks we will be asking our readers to fill out a survey to gauge your interest in what we cover, how we can do it better, and what you would like to see us do differently. I hope you take the time to fill it out. -- Managing editor Mike Johnston would be happy if he didn't hear about the IKEA monkey for a while longer
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