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Alberta Politics: AlbertaPolitics.ca is taking a short break, with possible interruptions, staring now

PHOTO: Don’t be fooled. The plan is for this blog to be closed for the virtual equivalent of overnight, not forever. AlbertaPolitics.ca will be back soon. There hasn’t been a dull moment in Alberta politics for about four years now. Which makes it … . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: AlbertaPolitics.ca is taking a short break, with possible interruptions, staring now

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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CLICK HERE, to subscribe to my blog. Thanks Nick

Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

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

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

Cowichan Conversations: Rabble Poll On NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s Leadership

This is the second loss for the NDP when leading out of the gate. In both cases the professional corporate spinners such as Hill and Knowlton’s Brad Lavigne and of course the Kool, Topp Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Rabble Poll On NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s Leadership

OpenMedia.ca: The future of the Internet is on the line

A version of this article by our Meghan Sali was originally published at Common Ground and Rabble.ca 

One of the big promises we were made about the Internet was its potential to revolutionize the way that we interact with the world around us. The Internet enables us to transcend our physical restrictions and travel . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: The future of the Internet is on the line

Alberta Diary: This is the last post on Alberta Diary, sort of: Welcome to AlbertaPolitics.ca

Your blogger with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice. Your blogger with another Alberta premier, whose name escapes him at the moment, and with a former Alberta opposition leader.

Maybe it’s evidence of the “seven year itch”? Leastways, it was seven years ago on Dec. 31, 2007, that I started this blog, promising . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: This is the last post on Alberta Diary, sort of: Welcome to AlbertaPolitics.ca

Politics and its Discontents: Andrea’s Dilemma: Whither Blowest The Wind?

Were I a gifted artist (or any kind of artist, for that matter) I would draw Andrea Horwath in a two-panel caricature. In the first panel, index finger raised, she would be turning to her left, and in the second, to her right, testing the prevailing winds. That would, I believe, adequately capture what . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Andrea’s Dilemma: Whither Blowest The Wind?

Alberta Diary: Happy New Year! Get ready for generational change in Canadian politics

Expect the new faces of Canadian politics to be young faces – like those of Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, 34, shown above with some clapped-out old geezer, and Manitoba MP and former NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton, 31, below.

“Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Happy New Year! Get ready for generational change in Canadian politics

Cowichan Conversations: PM Harper has set up a sophisticated program to read our email and monitor our online activities.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Good morning folks. I was looking to do some tidying up and editing posts on the left side under News & Opinion from Home and Abroad.

These are items from across the internet that I include because of their interest and relevance.

This story regarding surveillance caught my eye . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: PM Harper has set up a sophisticated program to read our email and monitor our online activities.

The Canadian Progressive: Canada Politics News Watch on Monday, February 11, 2013: Morning Picks

By Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 11, 2013: Senator Patrick Brazeau: Brazeau symbolic of Harper’s indifference to First Nations – Winnipeg Free Press Brazeau, Harper and Idle No More – The Tyee Let’s talk about punishing mentally ill – Winnipeg Free Press Brazeau Just Latest Thrown Under Bus by Harper – The Tyee . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Canada Politics News Watch on Monday, February 11, 2013: Morning Picks

Alberta Diary: It’s time for Ezra Levant to apologize or explain his hateful Roma commentary

Canadians struggle to cope with the offensive noise from the Sun News Network. Typical TV viewers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Commentator Ezra Levant.

It’s 2013, and it’s time for Sun News Network commentator Ezra Levant to either apologize for or explain his comments on Sept. 5, 2012, about the Roma.

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: It’s time for Ezra Levant to apologize or explain his hateful Roma commentary

Alberta Diary: Toews an ill-timed Johnny-on-the-spot justifying imposition of U.S.-style gun-show anarchy

Victor Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Insecurity and Zombification, rendered by Edmonton artist William Prettie. Below, a shifty looking Mr. Toews as he appears in the halls of Parliament. Pat Martin is a Great Canadian. ™

What a perfect way to throw a little red meat to your gun-nut money machine!

Prime Minister . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Toews an ill-timed Johnny-on-the-spot justifying imposition of U.S.-style gun-show anarchy

Alberta Diary: Who’s censoring Ezra now? Has Sun News Network seen the light?

A screen shot of the blank spot on Ezra Levant’s website: no link, the plug pulled, presumably by Sun News Network. Below: Mr. Levant in full rhetorical flight.

Where is Ezra Levant’s Sun News Network rant on Roma immigration to Canada, which has been depicted as ethnic stereotyping to foment hate?

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Who’s censoring Ezra now? Has Sun News Network seen the light?

CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Until Friday the 13th to become a rabble.ca member

I believe in independent and progressive Canadian journalism. The kind that’s free from corporate control and manipulation. I believe wholeheartedly. So do you. Let’s go Rabble then.

This just received from rabble.ca, via email:

“rabble’s annual membership campaign is coming to an end – extended to Friday this week. Sign up to support . . . → Read More: CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Until Friday the 13th to become a rabble.ca member

A Different Point of View....: ‘Dinner for two’ for first journalist who dares to explain Conservative ideology

Journalists in the mainstream Canadian media are being intimidated from fully describing the soulless ideology practised by the Harper Conservative government – at least this has been my impression for some time now. 

Wanting to find out what journalists are really writing about the Tories and neoliberalism, I spent some time this week searching the . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: ‘Dinner for two’ for first journalist who dares to explain Conservative ideology