Power, Prime Ministers And The Press

Lewis Robert

Robert Lewis began his career as a member of the exalted Ottawa Press Gallery reporting for the Montreal Star. He later was a correspondent for Time-Life News Service, and in 1993, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Maclean’s. In 2001 he became Vice President of Content Development at Rogers Media, and in 2009 he founded Robert Lewis Ink. Bob Lewis is a former Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Journalism Foundation and a former member of the Board of Governors, York University. He lives in Toronto. 

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Power, Prime Ministers And The Press 

Robert Lewis gives us a vivid and stirring history of Canada and our leaders viewed through the piercing lens of the Parliamentary press corps. From the days of John A. MacDonald in 1867 to the election of Justin Trudeau in 2015 we see our powerful politicians through the colourful gang of journalists who followed them, served them, argued with them, and exposed them. 

Bob Lewis was a fresh-faced 22-year-old reporter when he landed his dream job in 1965, covering parliament for the Montreal Star and joining the august Press Gallery. Lester Pearson was Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker had been dispatched from Tory leadership, a sex scandal raged, the Quebec separatist movement was growing in strength, and soon Pierre Trudeau stepped forward in the struggle to hold the nation together. Major change was at the gates. 

A skilled reporter, Bob Lewis not only scoured the archives and memoirs of dozens of Ottawa veterans, he interviewed journalists, politicians and their families to cull their experiences of events. He has written a Canadian history like no other in bringing the personal relationships and battles between prime ministers and the press to life. 

Underpinning this panoramic journey lurks a welling anxiety. Newspapers and media outlets are contracting dangerously. Today, fewer organizations are sending reporters to cover parliament’s national agenda, and the diminution is producing citizens who are less engaged, and who are voting in fewer numbers.