Journalist alleges she was told that she'll never write for CanWest

Today, I heard an astonishing story while moderating a panel discussion  at the Vancouver Public Library on media democracy.

A member of the panel, Linda Solomon,  claimed that  she  "got serious" about  the Vancouver Observer, an on-line publication, as a result of an odd exchange with the editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Sun.

Solomon is an experienced U.S. journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times and the International Herald Tribune, among other publications.

She moved to Vancouver two years ago, and later decided to  submit a commentary to the metropolitan daily paper dealing with Cambie Street.

Solomon  told the audience that she  later saw a lead editorial in the same  paper that resembled her piece. She conveyed her objections to the Vancouver Sun, and subsequently  received an angry call from the editor-in-chief (Patricia Graham).

According to Solomon, the Vancouver Sun's editor-in-chief demanded an apology. Solomon said she was concerned about being sued, and  emphasized that  she did say she was sorry.

"They did not plagiarize," Solomon assured the audience at the Vancouver Public Library.

Solomon  alleged that  she was then told that she will never write for CanWest, which owns the Vancouver Sun, the Province, the National Post, the Vancouver Courier, the North Shore News, and scores of other publications across the country.

"That's when I got serious about the Vancouver Observer," Solomon said.