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daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Postmedia columnists and Fraser Institute team up to attack the Alberta’s climate change plan

The full court press against the Alberta government’s Climate Leadership Plan continued today as Postmedia business columnists Gary Lamphier and Claudia Cattaneo dutifully and uncritically weighed in on the latest report from the right-win… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Postmedia columnists and Fraser Institute team up to attack the Alberta’s climate change plan

Susan on the Soapbox: PPAs and the Master Narrative in Alberta

The American Press Institute (API) describes pack journalism,” now known as “the master narrative,” as a story line the press corps en masse is telling or repeating. The API warns that master narratives can become a “trap or rut” and … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: PPAs and the Master Narrative in Alberta

Alberta Politics: Standard & Poor’s downgrades Saskatchewan’s credit rating and The Anger Machine falls silent

PHOTOS: Like a flock of starlings, the entire Canadian Perpetual Outrage Industry knows when to wheel and turn instantly. Since they do it electronically, it’s almost as if they’re … a machine! Below: Brad Wall, the crumbling Colossus of the Prai… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Standard & Poor’s downgrades Saskatchewan’s credit rating and The Anger Machine falls silent

Alberta Politics: A timely reminder on this historic day: The hammer of D-Day crushed Hitler on the anvil of Russia

PHOTOS: Canadians soldiers storm ashore at Juno Beach on June 6, 1944, 72 years ago today. Below: The late University of Victoria Professor Reginald H. Roy, author of 1944: The Canadians in Normandy. It’s now been two years since I wrote this piece o… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: A timely reminder on this historic day: The hammer of D-Day crushed Hitler on the anvil of Russia

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: A Timeline of Derek Fildebrandt’s “suspension” from Wildrose

The Wildrose Party was not one big happy family this week. Albertans might be confused about what exactly happened between Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean and Finance critic Derek Fildebrandt. It might be one of the most bizarre political stories o… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: A Timeline of Derek Fildebrandt’s “suspension” from Wildrose

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: For Wildrose, “Mr. Wynne” Facebook comment was last straw for Derek Fildebrandt

A statement released late on Friday night announced that Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean had suspended Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt from the Official Opposition Caucus. As AlbertaPolitics.ca author David Climenhaga wrote on Friday night: . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: For Wildrose, “Mr. Wynne” Facebook comment was last straw for Derek Fildebrandt

Bill Longstaff: Post Media comes begging

It had to be mortifying for Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey to come before a House of Commons committee this week and plead for financial assistance. The media mogul wants Ottawa to spend more on Canadian newspaper ads and to give greater tax breaks to companies that do the same. He would also like Heritage Canada’s Aid to Publishers program expanded to include daily publications. " . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Post Media comes begging

Bill Longstaff: Post Media comes begging

It had to be mortifying for Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey to come before a House of Commons committee this week and plead for financial assistance. The media mogul wants Ottawa to spend more on Canadian newspaper ads and to give greater tax breaks to companies that do the same. He would also like Heritage Canada’s Aid to Publishers program expanded to include daily publications. " . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Post Media comes begging

Montreal Simon: The Incredible Gall of Postmedia’s Paul Godfrey

I knew that the Postmedia boss Paul Godfrey is absolutely desperate, as his sinking media empire takes on more water, or debt, with every passing hour.But who knew that after turning Postmedia into a branch of the Con propaganda machine, that attacks … . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Incredible Gall of Postmedia’s Paul Godfrey

Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

ILLUSTRATIONS: Alberta’s terrifying Temple of Tax, found on the media midway. So scary it even frightens billionaires away. Really! Below: Dr. Samuel Johnson, noted wit, N. Murray Edwards, oil sands billionaire (CBC photo), and Mr. James Boswell, bio… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Five CEOs hold a press conference in a penthouse boardroom

It was a case of political friendly fire. With only days left before Election Day, the anti-NDP fear campaign was in full-gear but this shot might have been the final nail in the coffin for Alberta’s 44-year old Progressive Conservative… Continue R… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Five CEOs hold a press conference in a penthouse boardroom

Alberta Politics: Shakeup? Lobby firms launch new publications to compete in a previously comfortable niche under the dome

PHOTOS: Glimpses of two lobby firms’ new publications about Alberta’s government. Below: Lobbyist, lawyer and former Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw, journalist Samantha Power, lobbyist and former Stelmach political advisor Elan MacDonald, and lobbyist … . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Shakeup? Lobby firms launch new publications to compete in a previously comfortable niche under the dome

Montreal Simon: The Grim Story of Postmedia and the Millionaire’s Club

Oh dear. I can only imagine what the mood at Postmedia headquarters must be like after the latest bit of bad news.With writers like John Ivison and Andrew Coyne fighting over the last place in the lifeboat.Or begging their boss Paul Godfrey to give the… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Grim Story of Postmedia and the Millionaire’s Club

Alberta Politics: Postmedia’s symbiotic relationship with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation fails to offer much illumination

PHOTOS: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s misleading “debt clock” trailer back when Alberta’s debt wasn’t $10 billion. Now it isn’t $17 billion. Below: CTF Alberta Director Paige MacPherson, telling Okotoks Online that 44,000 teachers sho… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Postmedia’s symbiotic relationship with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation fails to offer much illumination

Alberta Politics: Questions without answers: Why are our U.S. allies so ambivalent about ISIS, and what does it mean for Canada?

PHOTOS: U.S. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner. (Screen grab from C-SPAN.) Below: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Conservative interim Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. For all we know, Syrian President Bashar a… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Questions without answers: Why are our U.S. allies so ambivalent about ISIS, and what does it mean for Canada?

Alberta Politics: Deplorable Wildrose attack on new government negotiator offers a glimpse of what party leaders really think

PHOTOS: Kevin Davediuk, whose appointment as a senior public sector negotiator by the Alberta Government was announced on March 9. (Screenshot of Global News broadcast.) Below: Recently retired Canadian ambassador to the United States Gary Doer and the… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Deplorable Wildrose attack on new government negotiator offers a glimpse of what party leaders really think

Alberta Politics: Retired journalist’s call to privatize control of Legislature media access unlikely to defuse controversy for NDP

PHOTOS: Former Canadian Press journalist Heather Boyd, author of yesterday’s report on media accreditation and access to the Alberta Legislature. Below: Right-wing Internet commentator Ezra Levant, who started the controversy that led to Ms. Boyd’s… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Retired journalist’s call to privatize control of Legislature media access unlikely to defuse controversy for NDP

Montreal Simon: Could This Be The End of the Postmedia Empire?

As you know the Postmedia empire is in big trouble. It's buried under a mountain of debt, it's running out of money, and its reporters have been forced to tailor their articles to please their bosses.If they attack Justin Trudeau they can keep … . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Could This Be The End of the Postmedia Empire?

Susan on the Soapbox: Journalism Redefined

It’s been a disturbing week. Ezra Levant, who swore under oath that he was not a reporter, sued the NDP government for refusing to let him attend (and report, presumably) on government media events. Established journalists fell all over themselves … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Journalism Redefined

Alberta Politics: Fallout from the ‘Rebel Media’ brouhaha: maybe it’s time to abolish Alberta’s anachronistic Press Gallery

PHOTOS: A screenshot of some of the partisan materials sold on Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media website. Below: Another image of a sale item from The Rebel, in this case a T-shirt with the website’s logo on the back and a slogan supporting the Conservativ… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Fallout from the ‘Rebel Media’ brouhaha: maybe it’s time to abolish Alberta’s anachronistic Press Gallery

Montreal Simon: The Postmedia Cons: We Don’t Get No Respect Waaaaah !!!!

The other day I suggested that Postmedia reporters must be in some kind of contest to see who can attack Justin Trudeau the most.To please their boss Paul Godfrey, and try to keep their jobs.But don't let them know that you think they're biase… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Postmedia Cons: We Don’t Get No Respect Waaaaah !!!!

Susan on the Soapbox: B.C. “attacks” Alberta. Really?

Thirty-six little words. That’s all it took for the media to whip Albertans up into a “how dare you” frenzy. It started with the BC government’s Throne Speech in which Premier Christy Clark took her new election slogan—Say YES—for a … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: B.C. “attacks” Alberta. Really?

Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Postmedia Conspiracy

Ever since Paul Godfrey ordered his major Postmedia papers to run an ad on their front pages attacking the Liberals, there has been no doubt whatsoever which side that media conglomerate is on.And although the move was widely denounced, it seems that … . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Cons and the Postmedia Conspiracy

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair–So Long Ed Murrow and Hard-Hitting Mainstream Journalism

You can hardly pick up a paper these days without hearing of another local paper or indeed chain of papers folding up, laying hundreds off and leaving the community without a local paper, or with Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair–So Long Ed Murrow and Hard-Hitting Mainstream Journalism

A Different Point of View....: Don’t weep for censoring, right-wingPostmedia newspapers

Another 90 dedicated journalists in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa lost their jobs Tuesday as cutthroat Publisher Paul Godfrey slashed away again in an effort to turn Postmedia into a profit-making business. 

In a bizarre move, two competing papers will continue to be separate entities, but there will be one set of editors and most journalists will be shared.

Paul Godfrey – CEO Postmedia Corp

In Vancouver, the Sun and The Province will come under one roof. In Edmonton, the Journal and the Sun will come together; in Calgary, the Calgary Herald and the Sun; and in Ottawa, The Ottawa Citizen and the Sun.

This latest maneuver, in effect, reduces the four cities to print media monopolies. Even as weak as the original Postmedia and Sun papers were, they still competed with each other. Now the same editors will assign reporters from both papers.

Competition Bureau screwed up

This fiasco is possible because the Competition Bureau was wrong in allowing Postmedia to buy the Sun chain less than a year ago. Godfrey had promised the Bureau he would run two separate chains, but this hybrid arrangement clearly violates the spirt of Godfrey’s promise.

Godfrey’s likely last move to try to save his flagging empire will see him close one of the papers in each of the four cities. Look for this to happen within a year.

Postmedia is losing millions each year because of the collapse of newspaper advertising. Meanwhile, the papers have failed to make a successful move to the Internet. Postmedia, which is controlled by American hedge funds, is carrying a debt of $671-million.

Martin O’Hanlon, president of the Communications Workers of America, said “This is not because these papers aren’t making money, this is because Postmedia has a massive debt. “This money that they’re saving by laying people off is going to hedge fund managers in New York.”

If Godfrey cared about journalism he would have been out of the field long ago. Anyone of integrity interested in good journalism would not have stayed around to see these papers turned into shells of their former selves. Maybe it helps that Godfrey commands a large salary, is a multi-millionaire and that, as a prominent (yet failing) businessman he can strut around town as though he is important. In 2014, when the company lost $263.4-million, Godfrey’s income was $1.7-million.

Media experts talk about the day when someone will come up with a formula for quality media to hold its own on the Internet. We’ve been hearing this for 10 years.

Canadians deserve better

While local communities still rely on the shrivelled remains of the once proud broadsheet newspapers, our cities deserve much better. In addition to the problem of the cuts, corporate-owned media in Canada censors or ignores important news. Officialdom commands their full attention, while unions, the climate crisis, and family issues are pretty much ignored. All Canadian papers except The Toronto Star supported Harper values during his ruthless run in Ottawa.

Because of their systematic censorship and support for damaging neo-liberal policies, we should not weep over the decline of Postmedia newspapers. But communities and all levels of government better wake up and get involved in re-establishing credible media.

Firstly, there are about 10 small, independent news sites on the Internet, ranging from iPolitics, to The Tyee to rabble.ca. None of them reach very many Canadians. I’ve been telling them that if they want to really serve the public, they should amalgamate or co-operate in some way. Among them they employ about 20 journalists. I have fundraising experience, and I know money could be raised for such a project. Nothing has come from my suggestion.

By the way, I’ve developed a model that I think would allow a community-owned, Internet-based news organization to become self-sustaining. If anyone is interested, please email me: fillmore0274@rogers.com 

I’ve berated progressive, experienced journalist for not getting out of the mainstream media racket and helping operate or set up media groups to serve their communities. But they’ve been beaten down so badly they don’t have any spunk left, let alone demonstrate a social conscience.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is the one organization that could help lead Canadian journalism back from the wilderness. However, the CAJ has lost influence in recent years, and nothing on its website indicates it is concerned about the big picture of quality journalism in Canada being crippled.

If Canada were part of Europe, our mainstream media would probably be more healthy. Europeans read papers a lot more than Canadians. I recall a few years ago that the average Canadian read a daily newspaper once a week, while the average Dane read a paper every day. Those sales help cover more of the costs of European papers compared to fewer sales in Canada.

Some European governments, recognizing the importance of quality journalism, provide different forms of financial support for newspapers. Grants are either awarded to all papers or through a competitive process.

 I’ve discussed this possibility of government support for media with Canadian friends, and most of them reject the idea. They say people wouldn’t want government interfering with our media. Hmmm . . . . it’s true that Harper interfered with the CBC but, even so, the CBC remains the best broadcaster in the country and it does a lot of socially responsible journalism.

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Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Don’t weep for censoring, right-wingPostmedia newspapers