Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stop the Big Media Takeover: Canadians for Democratic Media

Stop the Big Media Takeover Lately it seems a large media merger is in the news all the time. Recently we've seen the mergers of CTVGlobeMedia with Chum, Canwest with Alliance Atlantis, and Quebecor with Osprey. Generally media convergence means less media choice for all Canadians.

Media diversity is the cornerstone of democracy. But media ownership is more highly concentrated in Canada than almost anywhere else in the industrialized world. Almost all private Canadian television stations are owned by national media conglomerates and, because of increasing cross-ownership, most of the daily newspapers we read are owned by the same corporations that own television and radio stations.

This means a handful of Big Media Conglomerates control what Canadians can most readily see, hear and read. It means less local and regional content, more direct control over content by owners and less analysis of the events that shape our lives. It also means less media choice for Canadians and fewer jobs for Canadian media workers.

We must also be wary of the impacts mergers have on the diversity and neutrality of new on-line media. We need to reverse this trend before big media gets even bigger!<>

Right now until July 18th we can send our comments to CRTC about these issues. They are having a review of media concentration and if enough of us send in comments they could make stiffer rules for media companies.

Take just a few seconds to send a pre-formatted message

For more info, check out the new media reform campaign in Canada called Stop the Big Media Takeover

Please share this information with other freethinking Canadians.


The Mound of Sound said...

Jenny - count yourself lucky you don't live in BC where it's All CanWest All the Time. Asper owns both Vancouver dailies, Victoria's daily and just about every smaller paper here on Vancouver Island. Then there's the excessive CanWest electronic media presence. Media concentration is a powerful threat to democracy and absolutely needs to be beaten back.

Bill Longstaff said...

I believe the problem isn't so much a lack of voices as a lack of philosophies. Here in Calgary I can buy four daily papers: two local, two national ... all conservative. I'd settle for three: one socialist, one liberal, one conservative.

As ridiculous as it may seem, I buy the Globe and Mail every day because it's the most left-wing paper in town.

What we desperately need is a daily, left-wing national newspaper, but we won't get one because nobody on the left has the hundreds of millions of dollars it takes to set one up. As the American journalist A.J. Liebling said, "Freedom of the press belongs to those rich enough to own one."

I agree with "the mound of sound" about the threat. Plutocracy is the greatest challenge to democracy in this century and nowhere is that more the case than with plutocratic control of the mass media.

A good start on a democratic media would be a press version of the CBC.

Suzanne said...

I'm sympathetic to the idea of media diversity, but I don't think regulation is the answer. I think initiative and making a good product is the answer. The left has had plenty of influence through multiple small-circulation periodicals and grassroots initiatives. Create the audience base rather than limiting business.

TomCat said...

I think Bill said it right. Nevertheless, the more centralized media become, the less credible it is. In the US it's so bad that blogs are the most reliable information souses.