. . . . and the news is bad.
I’ve written before about media concentration and the problems that ensue. When so many people rely on “the news” for guidance as to what’s important, and how to make sense of it all, it is troubling when the messages are narrow and controlled as they are here in Canada.
We are lucky to live in an age when a vast diversity of opinion and information is out there. Still, what’s in the news matters, because not everyone has access, time and resources to do the necessary searching, or to wade through source documents. This is one role of quality journalism — but it seems we are losing that focus from lots of our newspaper outlets, which include the Sun and Province here in Vancouver.
And we’re all poorer for it.
http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/11/24/news/tawdry-fall-postmedia-newspaper-empire
collage-godfrey-postmedia

“I think ownership matters and that through a series of rather bizarre events… we’ve ended up in the situation where the control of this chain is in the hands of people who not only don’t know much about newspapers and don’t have any evident expertise or concern for the future of newspapers, but are also strangers to Canada and uninterested, as far as I can tell, in public discourse up here,” observes Ken Whyte, the National Post’s founding editor.
“And I think it’s an unfortunate situation when such a large share of the newsgathering capacity in Canada is subject to that kind of ownership regime.”

Comments

  1. It’s been obvious since the 1980s that the concentration of media ownership has resulted in the lowering of journalistic integrity. Another thing that happened at the same time is that the news had to stand on it’s own financially and not be subsidized by the entertainment section of the same newspaper or TV station. This meant that news had to become entertainment rather than just presenting the facts even if they were not entertaining.
    In a politically sophisticated city like this though, most people can see through the news and are suspicious of the messages and how the messages are presented. (I still occasionally meet a few people who just swallow it up without questioning it even if evidence is presented to them. Poor things. )

  2. I find the fact this excellent investigative piece originates with an online publication most relevant to the story. It could be said that independence in published opinions and reporting can foster independent thinking in readers.

  3. Ken: Good work. A thought for a column. The US is tying itself in knots over terrorist threats yet ignores the carnage on the highways. In 2102 there where 764 deaths in the US from traffic accidents during the Thanksgiving weekend. People bend themselves out of shape about terrorist attacks but there is infinitely more danger from automobiles. Dean

    1. I totally agree. In USA, there are:
      – over 12,000 homicides per year, 10,000 of which are by gun.
      – over 32,000 traffic deaths per year.
      – over 32,000 prescription drug deaths per year.
      So where is the focus? Terrorism and the war on drugs. Go figure.

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