Jas Johal's career transition from reporter to LNG industry publicist isn't that unusual

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      The video below shows some bickering between a protester on Burnaby Mountain, Mel Clifton, and Jas Johal, then a Global TV reporter.

      Mel Clifton and Jas Johal had a lively discussion on Burnaby Mountain.

      They were arguing over how Johal and his station were covering environmental and natural-resource issues. 

      Clifton complained that Global was biased, whereas Johal responded that he worked for the only station investing money to address these topics.

      The timing of the video is intriguing. It was posted on YouTube on September 3.

      On September 18, Johal gave his notice to Global TV that he was leaving his job to work in the energy business.

      Johal became director of communications with the BC LNG Alliance in October.

      He's a familiar face to many British Columbians after his 23-year reporting career. I felt that he sometimes asked tougher questions of newsmakers than other TV reporters, which made some of his stories more engaging than those filed by other journalists.

      Johal won a 2013-14 media fellowship from the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, enabling him to produce a documentary addressing energy security in Asia. This came after he had been stationed in New Delhi and Beijing and had reported for Global across Asia.

      Johal's fellowship concerned "Delivering Canadian Energy Resources to Asian Markets and the Implications for British Columbia", according to the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada website. 

      When the program aired on Global TV in February, it was called Our Energy Future.

      Here's the promo for Jas Johal's documentary Our Energy Future.

      Meanwhile, the BC LNG Alliance announced in November that the world's largest publicly traded energy company, ExxonMobil, has become a member.

      The energy giant has a licence to export up to 30 million tonnes of LNG per year, according to an alliance news release.

      If Mel Clifton reads this article, I'm sure he would have lots to say about that.

      I've done TV reporting in the past and it's extremely gruelling work. So I'm not going to criticize Johal's decision to leave the business at this point in his life.

      I merely wrote this post to provide context behind the video at the top of this article and to show how Johal made the transition from hard-nosed news reporter to key publicist for B.C.'s LNG industry. 

      It's a story that plays out repeatedly in the media. High-profile journalists decide they've had enough of the business and use their communications skills working for unions, business associations, self-governing professional societies, corporations, public-relations firms, or the government. 

      A few, like Kelowna mayor Colin Basran or Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland, successfully make the switch to politics, but that's a far less common route. Others end up teaching future journalists and still others sell real estate.

      So far, I haven't heard of any former journalists working as stockbrokers or insurance advisers.

      Comments

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      10 Comments

      Ha ha ha

      Dec 25, 2014 at 3:43pm

      So, former "hard-nosed news reporter" got bought off, and you're suggesting this happens all of the time, via foundations, societies, etc. which provide less "grueling" work? I think we call that "selling out."

      For things like truth-telling, if you're not a lifer, you're a never-was, you were just deluding yourself and others.

      tedo

      Dec 25, 2014 at 8:21pm

      after Jas almost had a brain hemorrhage on Adrian Dix for opposing an oil pipeline i kind of saw this type of thing coming and that his media career wasn't going so well

      Kiskatinawkid

      Dec 26, 2014 at 12:06pm

      I personally like a lot of the personalities on Global, but I rarely watch it. It's just another corporate, free market capitalist mouthpiece. It's all pretty boring. Their "news coverage" is very predictable and full of holes big enough to drag mike campbell's over inflated ego thru!
      Speaking of campbells, when Global was BCTV, it was commonly referred to as GCTV (gordon campbell television). 'Buff said.

      Peter

      Dec 26, 2014 at 12:23pm

      Global's coverage of energy issues has set up Jas Johal for a nice, soft landing doing PR for LNG. While he may have asked tough questions sometimes, energy companies and major polluters got an easy time of it. Let's hope Global TV starts scrutinizing the LNG issue and isn't just a cheerleader for it. But I'm not holding my breath.

      Evil Eye

      Jan 1, 2015 at 6:37pm

      I am sorry the Jas has now gone over to the dark side. His credibility is now shot forever.

      blackwater

      Mar 11, 2015 at 12:07am

      little pig how do you do? You have no business in my neck of the woods.

      Realist

      Mar 19, 2015 at 6:17pm

      just goes to show how the 'news' is anything but, just a PR outlet for the corproate agenda, and ole' Jas there finally showed his true colours.

      Leroy

      Jun 12, 2015 at 7:01pm

      Jas...not you too...

      murray lane

      Jun 13, 2015 at 7:45pm

      get your facts straight before you con the media..i worked the oil fields...feel free to contact me about the truth of what gets pumped down those frac holes...i HAD faith in you

      Ken Collins

      Jun 15, 2015 at 8:53pm

      Jas has just joined the B/S crowd and sold out for the big bucks, but don't let the truth get in the way, Shilling for Clark and the LNG crowd is just "business" It is amazing how lng fracking and oil fracking is "different" only in BC will such crap be sold to the public with a straight face.