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Things Are Good: Louder is a New Website Designed to Increase Your Media Impact

Louder is a new site that aims to bring important news that is usually ignored to the forefront. The site does this in two ways which revolves around Twitter: organic stories can get attention or organizations can sponsor some of the content they want to spread. This could get more attention for fringe candidates in elections to local issues that deserve larger attention.

After an intensive, four-month accelerator program, Matter – the world’s only startup accelerator focused on independent media – recently launched its 3rd class of portfolio companies. Readers interested in new technology that organically pushes worthy, underreported stories (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Join Ricochet: A new take on independent media.

Have you joined yet?

No? So, you’re good with corporate media spinning things for you, against your personal, community, national and ecological interests?

Oh. Ok.

Ricochet is an audacious response to a difficult context. Independent and in the public interest, Ricochet will provide a space dedicated to investigative journalism and high-profile opinion. Published in two distinct editions, English and French, Ricochet will illuminate the cultural and political diversity of this country.

via Ricochet: le journal nouveau genre. A new take on independent media. | Indiegogo.

July 6, 2010 More Bad News for Dreams of Solid Journalism (1) November 15, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: People Should Stop Attacking The Margaret Wente

It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t read Naomi Klein’s new book about climate change.

It doesn’t matter because the internet of things.

It doesn’t matter because most of what’s important in the world is in the comment section of news stories, not the stories themselves. We all know journalists are biased anyways.

She is a public intellectual and deserving of respect. Maybe you’re all just jealous. Or lazy.

Look, it’s easy:

Stephen Harper wrote a book about hockey in Canada, A Greater Game. It’s a sociological book about hockey’s place in our culture. It doesn’t matter that Stephen Harper doesn’t (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Ebola Panic

Ebola has gripped the imagination of North American media and been spun into a terrifying spectre looming like a horseman of the apocalypse over us. So widespread has it become that Jenny McCarthy, one of the top wingnuts of quackery and pseudomedicine, and poster girl for the pro-measles-pro-mumps parents, felt compelled to pipe up with her […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Flirting With Fascism

ICYMI: @DonMartinCTV does his last word on changes to the Copyright Act http://t.co/bLonc1F5om @ctvnewschannel #cdnpoli

— CTV Power Play (@CTV_PowerPlay) October 9, 2014

It’s about damn time someone in the MSM noted the obvious. This isn’t akin to calling Harper a Nazi; It’s about calling a spade a spade. Hijacking news footage for propaganda purposes, is entirely unethical for any political party.

Harper’s latest “nefarious scheme” should be called out for what it is. Too bad this sort of thing isn’t enough to change more minds about him.

Uncool for @DonMartinCTV to say PMSH is "flirting with fascism"; proper (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How @Dicks Sporting Goods Can Advance Feminism, So Easily

Dick’s Sporting Goods, in the all-too testosterone world of sports, released a catalogue with virtually no women in it. Except for cheerleaders and a girl watching men play sports.

A 12-year-old calls them out on this because even 12-year-olds get equality.

Dick’s sent a FOAD brush off letter back [see below].

Here’s what Dick’s ought to do now.

Recognize that there is profound sexism in sports. Recognize that they have been a part of that. Seek out organizations that promote equality in sports. Partner with them to promote equality. Open up their catalogue and advertising process to expanded stakeholder input. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: While Canada’s Free Press Gets Beheaded…

When one corporation owns most of the English language newspapers in Canada, the free press is essentially dead, not that it’s been much of anything but comatose for a while.

Switch to non-corporate media:

Worried that the PostMedia buy out of Sun News means you won’t have any options for news? Here’s a handy (imperfect, incomplete) list of websites to check out. (If you have any independent news sources I missed – I’m sure I did – message me and I’ll update…) Alright, third and last version for now (unless I decide to do something else with it…). Thanks for (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Media Lens – Our Propaganda

I’m always amused when I see people commentating on the “liberal bias” in the media. It is usually followed by a trenchant analysis of at least one instance of how news corporation X has finally gone off the rails and has lost all of its journalistic integrity blah blah blah.

Sitting where I am, in political and social Outlier-ville, I have to smile to myself. This might be a case of “liberal bias” but when you take a step back and look at what the media does, it is fairly easy to discern that mouldering just under the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The Postmedia-Quebecor deal: Welcome to newspaper hell, where the lowest common denominator will prevail

An unreconstituted Toronto Sun front page. Newspaper hell? Turns out it’s not quite as bad as we imagined it would be, except for the few unfortunates who still work in what’s left of the industry. Below: Tom Kent, who headed the 1981 Royal Commission on Newspapers, which was ignored when it was written and is still ignored.

If you want proof the Canadian newspaper business is on its last legs, look no further than yesterday’s announcement Postmedia Network Canada Corp. is about to take over Quebecor Media Inc.’s 175 English-language newspapers and a few other assets, including the five (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #DontLookAtTheSun it’s now #PostModernMedia

Now Sun News is owned by the National Post now [soon]. The National Post, AKA the Financial Post has made it clear they’ll do lewd things in a washroom with Big Oil for money and power. Sun has made it clear they do do lewd things on TV for Big Oil, just because that’s how they roll.

Stop buying newspapers, and start funding independent media competition to them.

In a day of media consolidation, remember you can give to independent media http://t.co/98N9fDokel OR http://t.co/6g6x3gp3Y1 #Postmedia #Sun

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) October 6, 2014

Postmedia buys Sunmedia. Newspaper anti-concentration (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how leaders who stand up to hysterical calls to abandon peace and human rights in the name of fleeting threats tend to be vindicated by history – and how Thomas Mulcair is carrying on the NDP’s legacy on that front even in the face of criticism from Very Serious People.

For further reading…- The two prime examples of media attempts to strong-arm Mulcair into writing a blank cheque for war in Iraq (based a combination of threat hype and a general affinity for hippie-punching) come from John Ivison and L. Ian MacDonald.- Meanwhile, Janyce (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Sun Media – not its squalid commentator Ezra Levant – is the problem

Ezra Levant, on the job with his Sun News microphone. Mr. Levant is not the problem. Sun Media is the problem. Below: Justin Trudeau, Bernie Farber, and Brian Mulroney.

Ezra Levant is a squalid nuisance, barely worth contemplating.

Sun Media is the problem.

On Monday, Sun Media apologized for Mr. Levant’s repellent and sexually obsessive hysterics about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s parents, one dead and the other an elderly grandmother and thus neither in a position to defend themselves.

This only happened, of course, because Mr. Trudeau threatened no longer to talk to legitimate Sun Media journalists, of which we (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: Sun sets on Trudeau’s relationship with a certain broadcaster

So, Justin Trudeau isn’t talking to Sun Media reporters, or opinionators, or whatever other categories of people they employ, until the organization apologies for a ridiculous Ezra Levant segment I don’t care to describe — suffice it to say it was a highly offensive personal attack not just on him, but his family.

The press gallery, apparently confident that their condemnation of Levant’s bloviating is no obvious it need not really be vocalized, instead lept straight to the hustings of journalistic freedom. Much furious tweeting amongst themselves ensued; how dare Trudeau do this, and so on. We’ve seen the pattern (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: People’s Climate March

On Sunday I attended a climate rally in Regina with what looked to be well over a hundred other people.

It’s too bad more of the 33,400 Rider fans in attendance didn’t make the People’s Climate March a priority for their pre-game activity. Listening to the crowd at the Legislature though, it’s apparent there are plenty of people in oil country who are afraid to speak out against the industries ruining their water tables and flooding their towns with oil money. Who would they speak to anyway? Some local papers won’t publish stories of oil spills a journalist told me (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Don’t believe the hype

drive-by planet: US journalists critical of Obama admin secrecy – ‘setting standards for secrecy that are spreading nationwide’

Barack Obama came into office promising the most open and transparent government ever. In the light of the Obama administration’s obsessive concerns with secrecy and information control the claim seems badly out of sync with current realities.

People close to the action are best placed to judge when it comes to issues of access and transparency. Veteran NYT Washington correspondent David E. Sanger described the Obama administration as “the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered.”

More recently at a convention of news/media editors in Chicago speakers were sharply critical of the lack of White House openness. AP’s (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Christy Clark should try being more leader, less cheerleader

BC Premier Christy Clark dons Canucks jersey during 2013 election campaign (Andy Clark / Reuters)

Nowhere in the appalling record of the Liberal government in Victoria has its shortcomings been more obvious than at the very top. Premier Christy Clark has been a terrible leader whose pronouncements get more and more embarrassing as time passes.

However, she so dominates the government that one is hard-pressed to think of even the names of her cabinet ministers, which doesn’t say much for their abilities or courage to speak out on issues.

Tsilhqot’in move merited praise…BUT the proof is in the pudding

I recently applauded (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Dear Scotland: Do whatever you think is best … but remember, the Globe and Mail never has your interests at heart

A typical Western Canadian scene: snapped in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2014.

The Scotch, as we used to say when I was growing up in B.C., pretty much built Western Canada, leastways the European superstructure of buildings, roads and railways that lies atop the land of the first inhabitants. You need only see the names assigned the points of land, the streets, buildings and high places out here to realize how profound was the influence of Scots.

Where I grew up on Canada’s West Coast, names like Dunedin, Inverness and Holyrood, Douglas, Tolmie, Dunsmuir and Finlayson, were part of (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: John Pilger Excerpt – Breaking the Last Taboo

Gaza and the Threat of World War

“There is a taboo,” said the visionary Edward Said, “on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free.”

For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can’t look away now. Staring at them from their TV, laptop, phone, is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the United States, the cowardice of European governments, and the (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Feminist Casts Jundiced Eye toward Kia’s Dancing Hamsters

Let it be said up front that this cranky second waver bears no animus with regards to hamsters, electric vehicles, or dancing. Yet, once these elements are mixed into the toxic soup of everyone’s favourite capitalistic patriarchal construct – better known as ‘our society’ – hilarity is bound to ensue.

The advertisement in whole, before we begin.

http://youtu.be/ZYWHsOeDf3M

This commercial is about selling cars. (Duh!) But who is the target audience? (if you thought hamsters, please leave now there are places better suited for your attentions). Let’s break this down and take a (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

I love Nicholas Carr’s book. There are lots of studies and science mixed with many stories and asides and discussions of philosophers and other great thinkers. It reminded me of reading a Bill Bryson book. You get the facts painlessly. And it presents a strong argument for keeping kids (and everyone) off-line when they work, but I’m still unlikely to  convince them to actually turn off facebook.  Reading the bare bones here doesn’t do it justice, but here’s what I don’t want to forget about my memory:

The Medium is the Message

He quotes McLuhan from 1964 – “The electric (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century

I feel like I don’t have to read this one with all the press it’s getting. Maybe next summer.  This is the gist I’ve gotten so far:

 Michael Rozworski wrote a piece about it recently. In brief: the basic thesis of the book is that capitalism has a tendency towards the concentration of wealth in few hands.  And there’s a discrimination inherent in the system that ensures whites are better able to make it at least into the middle.

In Canada right now, our distribution looks like this: * the top 10% owns 58.2% of the wealth, up (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Occupy Movement Gets Its Own TV Station

The Occupy movement has partnered with FilmOn Networks to create a free 24/7 Online “TV for the 99″ television outlet for news, evidence, and commentary.

The post Occupy Movement Gets Its Own TV Station appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

A Puff of Absurdity: On Ethos – a 2011 Documentary

“Our ethos is all that we currently hold to be true. It is what we act upon. It governs our manners, our business and our politics.” –  Howard Zinn

Directed by Pete McGrain, and hosted by Woody Harrelson, this 68 minute film explores how we got here and what to do about it as we “fight for a new democracy.”   It’s nothing new, but it’s succinct and watchable, and divided into sections which is handy in a classroom.  My notes are below, after the film in its entirety.

Like in Go Further, which is a (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: On Glorifying Psychopaths

Murray Dobbin wrote a very provocative article relating our TV viewing of psychopaths to our politics.  Owen explored the glorification of psychopaths in a post discussing the article, and I commented there on the difficulty of establishing kindness in our self-absorbed culture.  I wrote years ago about the crux of the problem: that it’s not cool to be kind.  When Fonzie started wearing glasses and caring about things, he lost his status with the viewers, and then he literally jumped the shark.

But the article has sparked a few other thoughts.

First of all, is two shows enough to (Read more…)