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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…)

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…)

Alberta Diary: If you can’t trust Postmedia when it reports on oil and the environment, when can you trust it?

If you can’t trust your Postmedia website, who can you trust? I mean, other than Alberta Diary. Regardless, don’t blame these poor guys. They’re just trying to earn a living. Below: Economist Robyn Allen, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey.

Industry self-regulation doesn’t work and never will for a simple reason: He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Companies that tell fibs to their customers don’t like being regulated by their own tame “watchdogs” any more than they like being told what to do by the government. The difference is, in the case of in-house regulation, they’re big enough to kick (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Hudson Mews v. Portland Hotel Society

The Code of Ethics published by the Society for Professional Journalists includes, among others: Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

Is the pro-media of British Columbia guided by those or similar principles? Consider the following.

When insiders at the Portland Hotel Society were caught misusing tens of thousands of dollars provided them by public agencies and donors, outrage echoed for weeks and heads rolled at the PHS. I did a Google search tonight, using the phrase, “Portland Hotel Society” audit.

(Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Enough petulant propaganda, please: the hammer of D-Day crushed Hitler on the anvil of Russia

D-Day on Juno Beach: Canadians trudge ashore under a strange colorized sky. Below: The distinguished Canadian military historian, the late Reginald H. Roy.

It’s been 70 years today since our magnificent Canadian soldiers went ashore at Juno Beach in Normandy to play their part the grim and deadly task of sweeping Hitler and his odious empire out of Europe.

But Canadians need to remember, in the context of the present moment in history, that what the landings on June 6, 1944, by 156,000 Canadian, British, American and other Allied soldiers along the beaches of Normandy did was open a second (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Media Corruption Trifecta!

It’s a trifecta of moral corruption!

Rex Murphy shills for Big Oil and Gas. Postmedia consigns its editorial control to the Oil and Gas Lobby[TM]. Postmedia, naturally, fires one of the best energy/environment reporters in the nation.

Film at 11.

Ok, it’s 11. Let’s drill down.

Journalists should declare when they receive money to speak at events. Sooooo many of them don’t. They think it’s OK because, shut up. But it’s a compromise to their credibility and can fuel speculation about conflicts of interest and bias. Many journalists pretend they’re objective. It’s humanly impossible to be objective. We all have (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Spot a Good Journalist

It’s getting harder and harder, what with constant corporate media concentration, and corporatist convergence of messaging from right wing governments and their informal corporate media PR departments.

But everyone once in a while we see evidence that there is a growing number of journalists who exist with integrity and can demonstrate meaningful contribution to society:

Also, we as journalists should be doing a better job realizing press releases are ads & shouldn’t be reprinted/repeated.

— Carly Weeks (@carlyweeks) January 16, 2014


So let’s add Carly Weeks to the short list of good journalists in Canada.

The trick here, of (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Post-Corporate Media Look Like?

I know you’re wondering. But it’s hard to imagine. Kind of like a fish imagining life without water. We’ve known corporate media for generations. Since the advent of psychology and marketing, the influence/manipulation of corporate media is ubiquitous. And not in a good way.

But let’s take a few moments to imagine the features of post-corporate media, where increasing the audience [by a variety of questionable, sensationalist means, sometimes] to increase ad revenue isn’t the goal.

Let’s start here with this:

The CBC. Mothercorp. Publicly funded, at arms length from the taxpayer funder. It has access to national radio and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Real Reason We Need to Get Rid of Corporate Media


While I’m also sad that the Kamloops Daily News is closing, I think Warren Kinsella is over-simplifying a few things [see below] with respect to how the media climate will be affected by the closing of this for-profit business, earning shareholder value by producing mass media content, while sometimes allowing its corporate revenue-generating employees to produce some adequate-to-good journalism.

Let’s explore all this:

“Idiot bloggers, and idiot politicians, will continue to be happy about this sort of thing. The former will say the disappearance of the so-called MSM means more audience for them.” [read the rest of his (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: You Aren’t Sufficiently Critical of the #Media

You need to trust the media less.

Almost a year ago, and before the last US presidential election, Gallup determined that there has been a stunning decline in citizens’ mistrust of the media [see below].

It crossed over from mostly trust to not so much trust around 2004-2005. If you recall, the US imperialist invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the accompanying atrocities and war crimes were given a broad pass by the media. Thankfully, trust in media dropped by 10% then. Now there is a 20 point spread with mostly trusting plummeting to just 40%

That number (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: You Aren’t Sufficiently Critical of the #Media

Northern Insight: Fracking fraud

In Fissures appear in scientists’ assurances about safety of fracking, Globe and Mail writer Mark Hume describes how industry used the work of Charles Groat, of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas, to discount concerns about the safety of fracking.

“Now a review panel appointed by the University of Texas has taken a hard look at Dr. Groat’s report, and has concluded his study “fell short of contemporary standards for scientific work.

“Not only was the work suspect, reported the panel, but Dr. Groat himself was in a troubling conflict of interest….

“In British Columbia, where the

. . . → Read More: Northern Insight: Fracking fraud Why Banning Anonymous Comments is Bad for Postmedia and Bad for Society

Last night I discovered that my local newspaper – the Vancouver Sun – was going to require users log in with Facebook to comment. It turns out that this will be true of all Postmedia newspapers.

I’m stunned that a newspaper ownership would make such a move. Even more so that editors and journalists would support it. We should all be disappointed when the fourth estate is unable to recognize it is dis-empowering those who are most marginalized. Especially when there are better alternatives at ones disposal. (For those interested in this I also recommend reading Mathew Ingram’s post, Anonymity

. . . → Read More: Why Banning Anonymous Comments is Bad for Postmedia and Bad for Society

Leftist Jab: Calgary Herald’s Licia Corbella’s Courageous Position on the "Dismemberment Video" Teacher

It takes courage to go against the grain. When a conservative columnist feels the need to voice her unique insights regarding the Montreal teacher that showed the Luka Magnotta dismemberment video, you simply must take a step back from the right versus left divide and acknowledge the courage of her conviction.

Licia Corbella injected her own subtle perspicacity into her Calgary Herald column

Trashy's World: I have but one question…

… will the self-righteous, egotistic, fact-distorting, religiosity-spewing, gay-hating, liberal-bashing, blowhard, CPC toady – aka David Warren – lose his job? If so, I will happily re-subscribe to the 6 day per week edition.   Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

A. Picazo: On The Media, Journalism, And The Willingness To Support it

It has been a tough month for journalism. Reports of mass layoffs and (select) publication suspensions at Postmedia engulfed the twitterverse late Monday afternoon, the second such round of job cuts for Postmedia, who earlier this month opted to close their wire service, returning to the content produced by the Canadian Press. It was just … Continue reading →

Politics, Re-Spun: Re: Huffington Post & the Quebec Spring (Again!)

I had previously been under the impression that the Huffington Post was a generally a left-liberal sort of enterprise. However, it appears that one does not win a Pulitzer these days without some token “dissent.” After all, we know how difficult it is for right-wing perspectives to be heard in our current media environment.

Enter one J.J. McCullough, Huff Canada’s resident conservative iconoclast—or something. In a recent blog, McCullough weighed in on the question of the ongoing student protests in Quebec, providing a sort of “media survey” wherein he concludes, essentially, that the corporate media is not

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Re: Huffington Post & the Quebec Spring (Again!)

Northern Insight: A must-read piece

at The Gazetteer where one of RossK’s readers tells an interesting story about PostMedia. It includes this:

“…[In the robocall-fest] I would argue that the heavy lifting was still done by the blogosphere, including you and many of those in your own circle. But I think there is still a rescue-able body of journalists left should the MSM, or any portion of it, come under new ownership that actually understands it own product, readership and social contract — something that Postmedia fails entirely to do…”

Postmedia…Is Somethin’ Happenin’ There?

The Disaffected Lib: The Most Idiotic Journalist in Canada?

The ranks of journalism in Canada today sport no shortage of truly awful scribes.   There are plenty that are openly biased, the odd one that might resort to a little light racism from time to time.   Then we’ve got the loudmouths like Blatchford and shills like Fife.

But, for my money, the bottom of the barrel is PostMedia’s pseudo-military correspondent, Matthew Fisher.   If this joker has a specialty it has to be in setting up straw men and then knocking them down.

Matthew Fisher is a jumped up blowhard.   A couple of weeks back he wrote

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Most Idiotic Journalist in Canada?

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Toothless media accommodates political fraud

In 2006, Rafe Mair wrote News Media, Defanged for The Tyee. It included the headline:

“Politicians, not too long ago, feared the press.”

Of course misreants particularly feared Rafe Mair during his post-politician days. Rafe had been a successful lawyer and a capable cabinet minister in Bill Bennett’s coalition and service on both sides of the firing line gives Mair an unusual perspective. He remembered his government time:

“Let’s go back 30 years. Every morning we ran a gauntlet of reporters and broadcasters who analyzed everything we did and reported it or commented, usually adversely, on it. The day

. . . → Read More: Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Toothless media accommodates political fraud

Anyone else gobsmacked by Postmedia attention to Robogate?

I’ve been a taken a little by surprise at the attention paid by Postmedia to the Robo-call scandal. While the Globe & Mail and Sun Media rest on the sidelines, choosing to bolster Conservative claims of innocence and misdirection, and CBC continues its lame tact of false equivalence, the National Post has been on a tear.

Much to the chagrin of rightbloggers (like BC Blue), NatPo’s Robogate

Did the Ottawa Citizen screw up with its ‘expose’ of @vikileaks30?

@vikileaks30 is no more. Perhaps the heat generated by the Conservative organ Postmedia shut it down. Whatever. It appears that the Ottawa Citizen’s detective work was highly suspect. Proved nothing but got our lazy, incompetent media on the run for a news cycle or two.

@vikileaks30 fans, don’t despair. A mirror has been created, @VikiLeaksMirror. Judging from Anonymous’ threat of Operation

@vikileaks30 originating from House of Commons? Dipper? Paul Simon fan? Toews to investigate.

This is interesting. No doubt the enabler of quotes from Vic Toews’ personal divorce and spending history on Twitter will eventually be outed. The Ottawa Citizen did a little exploring and found the IP address used by the Tweet author originates in the House of Commons. Also, there is a reported history of pro-NDP linkage attached to this IP address. And plenty of Paul Simon.

IP addresses are

Postmedia’s conservative Jeff Lee fawns over 60′s wingnut mayor ‘Tom Terrific’ Campbell

Polarizing 60′s radical mayor Tom Campbell has died. Nobody has paid much attention. That’s because the Rob Ford inspiration was a raging right winger and hater of all things non-conservative. He was a disgusting wingnut who makes Rush Limbaugh and Pam Geller seem like puppy worshippers.

Leave it to the resident Conjob at The Vancouver Sun to paint him in the kind of terms that drip with

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Harper, the anti-democrat

Terry Glavin: Scrutinizing Canada’s pipeline to Beijing, Terry Glavin, National Post – one of the most powerful pieces in recent memory:

“Canada is at the brink of a radical shift in energy and foreign policy. But there has been no debate of any consequence about it — not in the House of Commons, not in the Senate, not in the proceedings of a Royal Commission. Certainly not in the news media…

“Are we going to sell the ownership of our natural resources to pay for consumer goods we can ill afford and thereby speed up the indebtedness of Canada

. . . → Read More: Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Harper, the anti-democrat

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: On CBC from outside the local milieu

National Post, January 25, 2012

“… For everyone’s sake, the CBC should offer Mr. Smart a better assignment.”