Wonderful news about Postmedia

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NorthReport
Wonderful news about Postmedia

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NorthReport

The wonderful news is that they lost 153.8 million dollars last year, and are now being forced to sell their assets. Hopefully they will soon be gone. I wonder what the shareholders have to say about what appears to be very stupid business decisions.

Postmedia could sell more buildings to keep newspaper chain afloat

http://www.straight.com/news/517601/postmedia-could-sell-more-buildings-...

DaveW

I have a friend who used to work in TO newspapers, and every couple of years he would say: Post going under, bleeding money ... but never happened.

On the other hand, I never cheer for the death/decline of media, friendly or hostile. Lots of editorial jobs involved.

But I should add that CEO Paul Godfrey is a skunk, and I do cheer his misfortunes after the stuff he has done in various roles.

 

 

 

NorthReport

The Vancouver Siun does more harm than good, and is basically a propaganda tool used against the interests of most people in BC

Anyway, newspapers are kinda passe aren't they. Most people now say they get their news off Facebook I think.

Mórríghain

NorthReport wrote:

The wonderful news is that they lost 153.8 million dollars last year, and are now being forced to sell their assets. Hopefully they will soon be gone.

Increasing the homogeneity of the news media, or any media, is not wonderful, tis problematic.

 

NorthReport

Canada's mainstream press is more and more like Fox News every waking day, where news is basically manufactured

They spew up right-wing garbage 24/7 so it is no wonder we keep electing right-wing governments which are obviously unhealthy for the vast majority of Canadians.

 

DaveW

well, that is another debate; if people get their news off Facebook mostly, we are really in trouble!,

 real reporting costs money, and all FB does is host links to those sites;

 they do not do any  reporting, the NY Times or whoever does, and they just link to it;

 on the bigger picture, I believe in paper and its death is greatly overstated; as McLuhan noted, each new media adds to and complements older media, without displacing the former (theatre/cinema, videos/cinema etc.); same for paper products vs electronic

6079_Smith_W

I'm with DaveW. Less media - even centre-right media - is a bad thing.

I may not agree with everything written in those papers, but they are a legitimate part of the media.

And newspapers are done, and will be replaced by the internet? I don't see how that changes anything about the politics - it just means there won't be nearly as much funding for journalism, and given how many people fell for this in recent days:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/easter.asp

I'm not sure it's really a substitute.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The best case scenario is that Postmedia collapses and the workers form a coop and buy the assets at firesale prices. Then we might get some real news.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The best case scenario is that Postmedia collapses and the workers form a coop and buy the assets at firesale prices. Then we might get some real news.

That's not exactly a guarantee of anything. I'm just thinking of the rise of the various newspapers that are now SunMedia. A number of them were born after the death of existing larger papers. And while there are good alternative small newspapers, it is also true that they are far more vulnerable, especially with papers like metro trying to scoop up ads on the cheap:

http://metronews.ca/

Interesting to see Paul Sullivan writing for them. He was the first editor of the Winnipeg Sun after the demise of the Tribune.

Independent papers - big and small -  get sucked up, changed and shut down, and built again from the ground up all the time.

 

DaveW

and speaking of paper vs electronic media, see attached NY Times magazine feature, the most interactive such magazine report I have ever "read" :

http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/27/south-china-sea/

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So since when are there any guarantees in this life.  Maybe if the left in this country tried thinking outside of the corporate box we might get positive change.  The question for me  is how do we get media that is independent of corporate interests and keeping the status quo is certainly never going to get us there.

6079_Smith_W

What I mean is that a paper being owned by the workers is no guarantee of quality, and the only thing that is certain is that any paper is going to have a political slant that is going to displease most people at least some of the time.

And there is no status quo, really. That is to say, we have had in one sense increasing media concentration for about the past 100 years, and people have been compaining about people not supporting media that is in their interest for a hell of a lot longer than that. On the other hand, in the last 30 years we have technology that actually makes it possible to get back to a viable independent newspaper model. But beyond that it has always been in flux.

I think those of us who have dailies and (more likely) weeklies and bi-weeklies that do a decent job are fortunate. But there is no substitute for the resources that a large newspaper has for investigative reporting, access to informaiton, and international news. So that concentration is a two-edged sword.

And no, I don't think newsprint is going away anytime soon. So long as there are still people willing to buy print ads, there will be paper to print them on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

 Your right 6079 there is no hope for any change. Sorry for presenting alternative views that are naive given that nothing can ever be guaranteed.

NorthReport

99% of Canada's media represents the very rich, the elites, and the business interests and are on a 24/7 propoganda mission to promote their very right-wing agenda and it obviously is working very well for them. And what news they can't find honestly they will fabricate. We can easily do without, and would be much better off, without them. I sincerely hope Postmedia goes out of business, and the sooner the better.

6079_Smith_W

Ha ha...

Why don't you say 100% NR? It would probably be a more accurate reflection of your position, if not reality. That 1% is a pretty see-through veil.

You think if a newspaper goes down the people who lap that shit up are going to become any less stupid and gullible? Or that the defender of the people's cause will magically pop up in its place? Of course not. They'll just turn to TV and the internet, which partially responsible for this in the first place.

The trend that is harming the centre-right papers cuts across ALL print media, and if someone else buys the paper all it means is they are the ones who will get to take a bath when the market squeezes them out.

Less money and stability in print means fewer writers, fewer resources, fewer points of view, less of a chance of putting standards above the bottom line, and more likelihood that the whole field will be given over to hacks and propagandists - from both ends of the political spectrum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aristotleded24

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And newspapers are done, and will be replaced by the internet? I don't see how that changes anything about the politics - it just means there won't be nearly as much funding for journalism, and given how many people fell for this in recent days:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/easter.asp

I'm not sure it's really a substitute.

The claim that the Internet killed off newspapers is simply not correct. What really did the newspapers in was declining standards, and the fact that they are mainly advertiser funded, which means they will not report in the best interests of the public. Here in Winnipeg, it is so blatant that it's not uncommon to see the front page of the paper as an ad for something, and after you open that "front" page do you see an actual newspaper. Of course, the foundation for this was laid right before Internet news took off.

Besides, with all the hype over Internet news, for most people, the most comprehensive source of local news remains...the local newspaper.

6079_Smith_W

Though I wouldn't make the argument that the internet is killing newspapers (after all, as I said above I think a main factor in their survival is that that there is a need for SOME , if not as much print advertising), I do think the internet has had an effect - a bad effect on print, but a good and bad effect on the state of journalism.

On the whole, I'd say you're right in that a good part of newspapers' demise is owners trying to treat them like money-making machines, and I'd add that the concentration of ownership has done it too. We used to have a local sunday paper owned by the daily which provided good community news. They replaced it this spring with an ad rag. I expect this happened in a number of other cities at the same time because I'm sure it was in part a decision by Postmedia.

Another interesting aspect to this is the number of small community newspapers owned by SunMedia - far more than Postmedia.

http://www.interlaketoday.ca/newspapers

http://www.680news.com/2013/07/16/sun-media-cutting-360-jobs-closing-8-p...

I don't know about the situation in the rest of Canada, but I do know that east of WInnipeg they shut down two weeklies in a market where two independent papers have managed to survive. More importantly though is the effect of having SunMedia as a dominant news source in many rural areas.

And I probably don't have to mention what happened to Uptown.

 

NorthReport

I don't know about the rest of the papers in this country, but today's Vancouver Sun front page: not one word about the hottest and most current news in Canada, the biggest scandal to ever hit Harper's government. Seriously, Canadians would be much better off without such pseudo-journalism. The sooner they go out of business the better most Canadians will be.

But Postmedia is not alone, as of course you have the CBC doing a pablum interview with Trudeau this morning, so CBC News needs to be shut down as well due to their lack of impartiality. I mean where was their interview with Canada's Official Opposition Leader!

cco

Montréal lost Hour, the Mirror, and Ici within the space of about a year. The poisonous Gazette, OTOH, is still kicking along.

6079_Smith_W

NorthReport wrote:

CBC News needs to be shut down as well due to their lack of impartiality. I mean where was their interview with Canada's Official Opposition Leader!

Wot... they''ve never interviewed Tom Mulcair before, or you're just ticked off because they happened to run something you don't like this morning. Spoken like a true freethinker.

Jacob Two-Two

News media is in a state of rapid and fundamental change. Nobody knows how it will end up, but I feel that we'll work it out and construct some new paradigm that works for the new century. In the meantime, I see no virtue in giving crutches to dinosaurs. Let these outlets die so we can sweep up the bones and make a little space.

DaveW

... their employees thank you for that gesture ......

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I thought our dog eat dog capitalism meant that a failing business is supposed to go bankrupt.   These employees have been cogs in the neocon propoganda machine so what should happen, a government bailout? 

Jacob Two-Two

Yes, and milkmen were angry when they invented refrigeration. It was a shame for the milkmen, but it didn't change anything. The old news model is no longer doing its job. It serves nobody but the people who own it. I'm all for cushioning the impact on practitioners of outmoded occupations when society leaves them behind, but not at all for trying to prop up those industries past their best before date. That does no good for anyone ultimately.

The upside is that, unlike milkmen, journalists aren't actually going to die out. They just need to figure what the new model for financing and delivering news is going to look like, and get ahead of it. Not an easy task, but that's why you don't want to live in interesting times. So yes, it's a tough slog for journalists these days, but the sooner we go through the chaos and come out the other side, the better. The longer we cling to a system that just isn't working, the longer we take to get to a new, better model. It only prolongs the suffering.

6079_Smith_W

Are you talking about online and broadcast killing print, or are you talking about concentrated corporate control, presumably leading to more managed news? Because the two are not the same thing, and if all the presses went silent tomorrow I don't think it would change the second problem. 

Though one look at the magazine racks in any bookshop, the number of free papers on the street, or in my mailbox makes me doubt that print is going to die anytime soon. It is just the big newspaper model that is threatened. And frankly I do think that is a problem, for the reasons I mentioned above - not so much that it will put journalists out of work (though it will do that) but that with a few exceptions smaller independent  media simply do not have the same investigative resources. 

Besides. It's not a zero sum game. Closing newspapers doesn't guarantee anything will rise up to replace them. And we have heard these rumours of death about newspapers before, same as books, records, movies, theatre, live music, and many other kinds of media, when something new comes along and changes things.

 

 

 

 

 

NorthReport

Journalsits have been enabling the mainstream press for a long time. Now they are getting their just due.

Mórríghain

NorthReport wrote:

Journalsits have been enabling the mainstream press for a long time. Now they are getting their just due.

 

Yes indeed. Much better that we get our news from disgruntled keyboard warriors who have smart phones and blogs, or failing that there's always facebook. Wink

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Though one look at the magazine racks in any bookshop, the number of free papers on the street, or in my mailbox makes me doubt that print is going to die anytime soon. It is just the big newspaper model that is threatened.


Well, over here, it's the free papers that are dropping like flies while the big newspapers seem to be doing fine.

6079_Smith_W

Interesting.

Here's another article. A year old, but it seems to say Postmedia made its own bed here, as it made deep cuts well before print advertising fell.

http://dwmw.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/newspaper-killers-and-the-death-of-...

Quote:

You might be surprised, but Postmedia is a profitable company.  It operating profits in 2011 were 7.6%, just below the average for all industries in Canada (8.7%). In fact, over the past twenty years, the company has been very profitable, except for one year (2010), and well above the average for industry as a whole.

The company was still turning a profit at the beginning of 2013. Gut your newspapers and it is hardly surprising that advertising and subscriptions will fall.

And another take. I suppose journalists paying for their crimes sounds like divine justice, but apparently it's primarily google that is to blame:

http://beaconnews.ca/blog/2013/08/what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-canadian-n...

And here's another fellow who wants those jorunalists to shut up too:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2013/10/nsa-chief-stop-rep...

 

 

Mórríghain

I recommend those of you who are predicting the demise of print media in the near future watch, if you can, "Page One: Inside The New York Times". I think anyone interested in print journalism could get something out of this film.

NorthReport

There is no such thing, no matter what any journalist will scream to the high heavens about, as unbiased news reporting. It does not exist. So do I want people whose only mission in life is to suck as much money out of our system be able able to promote their cause in our faces 24/7? I don't think so. Journalists are basically just pimping for whoever signs their pay cheques. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The newspaper options are now exclusively neocon outlets.  There are no other choices. Personally reading propoganda does nothing for me.

Mórríghain

So kropotkin, would you rather have no print media? What do (or did) you look for in a newspaper: straight factual reporting (easy, a machine could do it), commentary (the world gets grey here), or a combination of both? Citizen journalists won't really be any better than mainstream journalists, they just won't make much money at it.

If and when you've a desire for news what do you do, or have you turned your back on all forms of news media?

Mórríghain

NorthReport wrote:

There is no such thing, no matter what any journalist will scream to the high heavens about, as unbiased news reporting. It does not exist. So do I want people whose only mission in life is to suck as much money out of our system be able able to promote their cause in our faces 24/7? I don't think so. Journalists are basically just pimping for whoever signs their pay cheques.

So negative. What would you rather have: no media of any kind, only prog news, only con media, what? How would you learn about the events going on in your world if it were stripped of the big bad biased news media?

Just learn to recognize the biases and you'll be fine.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I look for journalism that is not boxed in by the restraints of the corporate boardroom and the advertisers.  I get most of my news online and have for many years. I would like to have an independent press and I said so up thread.  One less neocon paper is one less neocon paper. The question is how can we build papers that can provide good journalism and not just propoganda.  I say lets give syndicalism a go and see how that works out. You can stay inside the box if you want but please don't presume there is nothing outside of the box.

6079_Smith_W

NorthReport wrote:

There is no such thing, no matter what any journalist will scream to the high heavens about, as unbiased news reporting.

Is anyone here making that argument?

Fact is, I WANT to have that range of opinion, including and especially voices I don't agree with. There's a difference between writing from a conservative perspective and writing lies. And if you don't there is any outright lies and propaganda coming from the left of the spectrum you might want to read with a more critical eye.

Of course, if all you want is to be told things that support what you believe and ignore the rest, carry on.

(edit)

And can we separate the political argument from the techological one, please. They are, for the most part, two separate things. After all, one of the worst offenders - FOX News, isn't print at all.

 

 

Jacob Two-Two

I agree that what the media needs is diversity. I disagree that by preventing the few media conglomerations that are still running from collapsing under their own weight that we are promoting that diversity. All these outlets have one perspective: corporate. They are all corporate entities that promote corporate values. I welcome any media that doesn't use this model, even if I may disagree with their focus, just for being something different. Those that continue to adhere to this old, failing model I couldn't give a shit about.

6079_Smith_W

There is nothing you or I CAN do to prevent it, short of buying a few million subscriptions. I'm not arguing for that or any kind of bailout. And while some of this is changing times, it is also the result of greed.

But I do think it is a shame when any of these papers shuts down, and I don't say that out of any sympathy for the owners. I can't think of a case here in Canada in which a closure has made things better in any way.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I also of course look at Postmedia's labour relations. They have reduced the journalists to a skeleton crew and now they want to get rid of their unionized pressmen.

Quote:

Pacific Newspaper Group has given Local 2000 notice under Section 54 of the B.C. Labour Code that the Kennedy Heights plant will be shut down sometime in early 2015. The company has also said it has a Nov. 18, 2013 deadline to reach agreement with Local 2000 over terms of an agreement to operate a replacement plant. If no agreement can be reached the company has said the work will be contracted out.

The company has told Local 2000 that the new press is a 2008 manroland. In discussions three weeks ago, before a possible press was identified, company representatives said a new plant would require less than one-quarter of the current number of employees at Kennedy Heights.

http://www.mediaunion.ca/archives/2013/10/possible-new-png-press-identif...

lagatta

While I share everyone's dislike for corporate media, almost cheering for workers losing thier jobs really annoys me.

cco, yes, the deplorable Gazette, and the deplorable Journal de Montréal. I get the impression that both those reactionary pieces of crap are organizing their own demos for and against the proposed "Charter".

6079_Smith_W
Mórríghain

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Of course, if all you want is to be told things that support what you believe and ignore the rest, carry on.

I believe this is what many ideologues look for in news media; as long as everything coming out of a given press or broadcast matches the colour of your fave political banner tis all good. Left wing ideologues or right, it makes no difference; the critical message of one is often the flip of the other when the criticism is directed at the press.

If Postmedia dies many progs will be pleased, conversely if Torstar died many cons would be pleased. Postmedia is run by the conservative corporate boardroom and only represents the interests of the rich blah blah vs Torstar is run by unions and urban leftwing elitists and only represents the interests of rich ecoterrorists blah blah...

lagatta

"Left-wing ideologues" in the bourgeois press? Are you serious? Because the Star isn't quite as reactionary as the Post or the Sun-Québécor?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

True or not, that IS how some people, right and left, portray the media they don't like.

I wouldn't say the Star is hard left, but then, the National Post isn't hard right in all things either, despite what some say. Plus, one columnist doesn't make a paper; it isn't even the best indicator of the political slant, though it might seem so.

As you say, bourgeois press; both are pretty centrist really, because that's where stability lies.

And that's the biggest reason why having this all fall to the internet is even more of a problem. Some newspapers may be giant dinosaurs, but at least they have some grounding in the real world because they have to - to some degree, anyway - have broad appeal.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The things one learns on babble these days. The National Post is not a right wing paper.  Who would have known. I guess their sops to the centre every once and awhile impress some people. 

Mórríghain

6079_Smith_W wrote:

True or not, that IS how some people, right and left, portray the media they don't like. ... Some newspapers may be giant dinosaurs, but at least they have some grounding in the real world because they have to - to some degree, anyway - have broad appeal.

Exactly.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

In BC the National Post has no subscription base and the only time people see it and maybe read it is when they are staying in a hotel and they find it outside the door in the morning.

6079_Smith_W

#45

Case in point....

And what are you saying there, k? There are no conservatives in B.C.?

Fact is, they re-run half the copy in the Sun and the Province. To the degree that what you say is true, this is the result of their hack and slash.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And what are you saying there, k? There are no conservatives in B.C.?

Gee where did you get that from anything I wrote. Jesus Mary and Joesph

What I was saying is the National Post does not sell in this province because people don't read the Toronto papers. The NP and to a great extent the Globe as well has to give away their product or they would not be able to tell advertisers they have a readership in this province.  The fact that the content of most of the big papers in Canada is just recycled verbage highlights the fact that none of them are into real journalism.

lagatta

It is ludicrous to say those papers are grounded in the "real world". They have little to say about most people's real problems, any more than Hollywood movies or slick TV comedies do.

They have whole sections devoted to "cars" and real estate; obviously only showcases for ads. Never critical reporting about the violence and environmental destruction caused by motor vehicles, or why owning or renting even a tiny flat, to say nothing about a dwelling adequate for a family, is out of reach for so many, even if they have some kind of job.

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