Media cuts...crisis/opportunity???

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radiorahim radiorahim's picture
Media cuts...crisis/opportunity???

Was half-listening to "The House" on CBC Radio this morning where they interviewed one of the news anchors from Canwest Global's Hamilton TV station.

She was talking about a campaign to turn it into what it was when it went on the air in the 1950's as CHCH-TV ... a community-based independent television station.

Also, listened online to Howard Hampton's fairwell speech to the Ontario NDP Convention.   He plays hockey with the reporters from the Toronto Sun.   At the tail end of his speech, Hampton mentioned that one of the Toronto Sun staff spoke to him about turning the paper into a worker-owned cooperative!

I remember the campaigns by the labour movement to have Toronto Sun boxes removed from the front of workplaces because of their anti-union propaganda.    From right-wing anti-union rag to worker-owned cooperative?    Is this possible?

We do live in interesting times!


Barbara Yaffe wants a government bailout so she can keep her job at CanWest, but democray will thrive even better without our mass-media propaganda machines.

How will newspapers be saved?The industry is on life support and a national discussion is vital to help a business that's fundamental to democracy


Neat, and thanks for The House heads up radiorahim.  I just downloaded the podcast and I'll take a listen to it while cooking tonight.

SWOnt's media landscape is changing at a pace that is really quite astonishing.  CHCH going down in Hamilton, the London Free Press ended its Sunday edition, and is moving quickly towards a totally online paper, with video and blogs, columns, insta news.  A Channel dumped Windsor coverage and chopped a morning show along with a bunch of people. 

I suspect that fairly soon people from London-Hammertown will get sick of getting their news from Toronto, or not getting at all.  It makes sense to go back to a smaller, leaner, and very local broadcast media.

Here's a decent column from the Freeps:

I was chatting with a young dude who helps run a BIG farming\agriculture site the other day.  The gap between how ad revenue is generated and how media is generated is beginning to take shape.  But I'm not entirely sure where "news" and balanced journalism fit into the model. 

George Victor

From the Vancouver Sun link:

"Yet, arguably, the newspaper industry, or at least the news-gathering business, is just as fundamental to the North American way of life, to democracy and to government accountability.

Surely the time is ripe for a national discussion about how the news industry should be transitioning in view of falling ad revenues and the growing relevance of so-called new media. Because new media feed off old media, once newspapers are gone, their offerings -- from which the Internet feeds -- will also be gone. Blogging and twittering are poor substitutes for measured editorials and solid news reporting.

Quite simply, for society's own good, it's imperative a way be found to enable traditional news gathering to again become profitable, whether the resulting column inches ultimately are delivered on newsprint or the web."


These days, "thoughtful writers" are re-discovering (in the spirit of survival) the ideas that appeared with the liberal revolutions . The "liberal" part is certainly being challenged today, but democracy survives as a goal. To quote someone paraphrasing Tommy Jefferson:A press that is free to investigate and criticize the government is absolutely essential in a nation that practices self-government and is therefore dependent on an educated and enlightened citizenry.

The above quotation makes a pretty good case for the survival of employed news gatherers  . In the city of Cambridge, ON, the Cambridge Times, published three times a week, survives on inch-thick advertising inserts stuffed into its Thursday and Friday editions. It is one of the profitable offshoots of Torstar, and will survive as long as Canadian Tire remains a profitable entity.

The Times is the only "news"paper delivered to all houses. Out in the burbs, not more than 1 in 30 houses receives a Waterloo Region Record (another Torstar product) a Globe and Mail or a Toronto Star.

The Times is responsible for the re-election of conservatives, Gerry Martiniuk MPP since 1995, and more recently a chiropractor, Gary Goodyear, MP, former chair of the notorious ethics committee and now minister of technology.

The need for a new means of gathering and distributing the news is more obvious here in Cambridge, a place of disappearing industry, than perhaps anywhere else in the country. But where do we come by Jefferson's  "educated and enlightened citizenry", those who would demand (and pay for) something more meaningful to the democratic spirit of the riding than the Cambridge Times?


Windsor is the same. Canewst has one paper which proudly(use to) boast about it's 85% readership....real tough when we have not much for local radio, it's mostly directed to detroit including traffic for them and weather in fehrehnheit. CBC is pared to the bone and A channel is getting axed. We don't have any other canadian broadcaster, no global, ctv etc...we are to far from civilization(ie south of london) There are no other paperst that are delivered except one a week papers from small municipalities.They also offered me a free sub as they have lost a lot of customers and adverts....good buy pro conservative windsor star don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Wouldn't want a shit stain left on it.