Something happened on Highway 401 east of Chatham, Ontario sometime yesterday, or the day before that. We are not really sure. But something happened. The best that the London Free Press could accomplish on their website was to provide a historical view of Highway 401 – But nothing about the collisions and fire that reportedly occurred.

In response we have provided our own photo of Highway 401 (below) taken in January of 2010. It has nothing to do with the matter we are to discuss but neither does the photo produced by the London Free Press.

This is our example of an informative photo of Highway 401 taken in January of 2010. It is a pretty picture of the smooth asphalt leading up to Highbury Ave. Of course it has absolutely nothing to do with the case being discussed.

The serious fact is that a series of collision events supposedly occurred on Highway 401 east of Chatham, Ontario. There was a fire. There was a tractor-trailer that was involved. And the full highway had to be shut down. However there is nothing available about what happened. Only a single historical photo provided by the London Free Press.

Several decades ago there would have been numerous independent reports on the incident because there used to be numerous independent news organizations doing the reporting. The Chatham Daily Newspaper used to be an independent newspaper and it would undoubtedly have provided an independent news story about what happened. TheĀ  Windsor Star Newspaper would also have been there. And many others. But not anymore.

Now CTV News, which is part of a conglomerate of news stations that have swallowed up many of the independents, have so far not produced anything about what happened.

The headline of the March 4, 2019 London Free Press article indicated “Fire, crashes force ‘full shutdown’ of eastbound 401 in Chatham -Kent”. Was there an earthquake? A massive nuclear attack by a foreign country? If any of these occurred we would only hear about it on Twitter, Facebook, or something similar. On that note, social media have displayed photos, apparently of the collision site, as shown below.

Social media photo, possibly showing some of the collision events on Hwy 401 east of Chatham.


Social media photo, possibly of the collision site on Hwy 401 east of Chatham.


Social media photo, possibly of the collision site east of Chatham.

What normally happens these days is that the journalists from most news organizations are kept far away from anything of relevance on Highway 401. They will then submit a long distance telephoto view of a collision site, possibly after the most relevant evidence has been destroyed or removed, and they will then report precisely what the official police statement indicated as it was provided to them. But that is not really news reporting. It is just parroting what the police have indicated. That is not to criticize the official news media as they are limited in their abilities to do more than they do. There is no independent fact-gathering or investigation. That is what we have lost in this social media frenzy.