'Government by photo op': How Stephen Harper froze out Ottawa's press corps - 2015-06-21
Sometimes Harper's disdain for the Ottawa-based media — which he saw as part of the eastern establishment that had at one time helped solidify a Liberal stranglehold on Canadian politics — seemed half-serious, somewhat in the vein of the partisan posturing on display daily in the House of Commons. But for the most part, it was clear Harper saw the national reporting corps as self-important upstarts who amounted to little more than an obstacle to the Conservatives' all-encompassing effort to shape and frame public attitudes toward their government.
Call it government by photo op. More than any previous ruling party on the federal scene, the Harper team elevated message delivery and image creation to priority status.
Once Harper was in power, his handlers wasted little time changing the way things were done when it came to the media. One of the highlights of the average week on Parliament Hill in previous years had been the Tuesday morning cabinet meetings held on the second floor of the Centre Block, just down the hall from the prime minister's office. Reporters gathered in the hallway adjacent to the cabinet room before noon every Tuesday when Parliament was sitting and waited for ministers to wrap up their meeting.