Vive Le Canada

Newsrooms Are Corporate Cultures
Date: Monday, October 24 2005

For a couple of years, I've been trying to find a way in which to lodge complaints against CanWest's virtual lock-down on British Columbia.

Hoping that the Public Policy Forum ( might offer some hope, I read every syllable. It didn't. But there were a few worthy gems.

One came from a Maritimes professor cataloguing the treatment given to Irving Refinery employees defeated after their 27-month strike and ordered to undergo "re-education" classes ... with all Irving media howling at their heels. It sounded a lot like "news" about the B.C. Teachers Federation and their "illegal" strike which incidentally was supported by thousands.

Edward Greenspon (Globe and Mail) did say a wondrous thing about corporate newspaper owners: "If you want to run a political party, run a political party, not a newspaper." Good one.

Neil MacDonald (CBC): "Newsrooms are corporate cultures. Does anyone seriously expect the news industry to begin behaving in a fashion that would cause it to lose money?"

Jim Travers (Toronto Star): "[Media] Concentration works well for the mainstream political parties and makes it so much easier for owners, who rely on government for broadcast licences, to exhibit their fidelity. In the last election, CanWest writers spoke about "go-easy" pressures from head office ... Stephen Harper was ferried from Toronto to Hamilton in a CanWest helicopter ... in mature places ... these things would surely be less likely ... and more immediately punished."

Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail) spoke of the absolute lack of anywhere in Canadian universities where media policy as it affects the public interest, could be either discussed or taught. He saw this as the first best step toward creating a fairer media.

The Public Policy Forum seemed to touch upon all the things I most hate about CanWest in British Columbia, including the way in which CanWest portrays the news entirely as god-given truths making its face to shine only upon their annointed premier. also said "News matters. Journalism matters. No real democracy can function without healthy and independent news media to inform people about the way their society works."

Amen to that.

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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