John Edgar Webster

John Edgar Webster, "Jack," journalist, broadcaster (b at Glasgow, Scot 15 Apr 1918; d at Vancouver 2 Mar 1999).

John Edgar Webster

John Edgar Webster, "Jack," journalist, broadcaster (b at Glasgow, Scot 15 Apr 1918; d at Vancouver 2 Mar 1999). He was pre-eminent among British Columbia public affairs broadcasters for his knowledge of the province's affairs, his probing and pugnacious approach to his interview subjects, and his ability to make news himself. Late in 1947, he immigrated to Canada and worked on The Vancouver Sun until 1953. That year he began a program on CJOR radio called "City Mike." During this period his hard-hitting daily reports on a police scandal in Vancouver created a sensation.

In 1963 Webster found his métier in an "open line" radio program. By championing those with grievances against authority, Webster became in effect an ombudsman, helping, for example, to bring about improvements in the care of severely retarded children, to improve the legal aid system, and to better the administration of care for the elderly. In 1978, when Webster was planning to retire, he was offered a daily open line show on BCTV. He has repeated his success on television. He retired from the show in May 1987 but made known his intention to continue making occasional TV appearances while working on his autobiography. During that same month, he was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame. After retiring, the acerbic Webster was a regular panelist on Front Page Challenge until its cancellation in 1995.