Press Freedom In Canada

To be 16th On the World Press Freedom Index (1)
was quite a shock to me. After all, Canada is the
one of the G8 countries. However, I never knew
this (2) :

“Canada is one of the most concentrated media
markets in the world. Only four corporations distribute
70 percent or our dailies, three control most of the
tv news market and one company owns the
majority of all our radio stations. So what does this
mean? A 2006 Senate committee said it best when
they stated the “concentration of [media] ownership
has reached levels that few countries would consider
acceptable.” A recent CRTC hearing on media
diversity has recognized that our media market is so
concentrated that it is seriously damaging Canadian’s
access to more than one opinion. “

This is really shocking!! That’s way too much power
in the hands of a few. And I have always wondered
why no newspaper in Canada has really grabbed
a hold of my imagination (only Globe And Mail has,
to an extent). And the reason maybe because of
such lacklustre and weak opinion pieces and editorials
which don’t really have much impact on my thinking.
But why? I mean, this is Canada. What I most
expect from Canadian journalism and editors are
hard hitting reports

And the reason for that maybe in hidden in this report
by COMPAS (3) :

“Journalists see press freedom as thriving in
Canada. They give press freedom an extraordinary
81 score on a 100 point freedom scale. Furthermore,
press freedom is not perceived as declining. The
level of freedom is the same as 10 years ago,
those polled say. Journalists do nonetheless see
threats to their own freedom.”

“When respondents comment on the performance
limitations of their profession, they offer a
diversity of thoughts. Several journalists attributed
the limitations of their profession to declining
resources in the newsroom. “There is a distinct
shortage of investigative journalism in Canada,”
said one respondent. “I attribute this to the
large number of editors and managers who
don’t actually know what investigative journalism
is for, and why it adds value to news
organizations.””

And there you have it.

All the executives and managers do not know
what journalism is!! Well, of course they don’t.
They are after the mighty dollar. They don’t
care how advertisement space is sold as long
as it is sold and of the cost cutting. And if an
editorial piece hits too close to home, it must be
squashed.

And I found it quite interesting in the report that
the journalists were blaming of apathy from readers.
From the report :

“When journalists comment on audience threats
to press freedom, they tend to think in terms of
two themes-apathy and lack of interest on the
one hand, or intimidation by a small audience
segment on the other. One respondent said that
the press freedom benefits from too little support
among the public, which does not understand
“how vital it is in a democracy.” The media need
to do a better job of “explaining what it is and.
defending its importance.””

How convenient!! You don’t know how to sell a
product, so you blame your customers. That is a
really head-up-the-ass attitude.

<Links>
(1)
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=19388
(2) http://blog.thismagazine.ca/archives/2007/10/canada_takes_wo.html
(3) http://www.compas.ca/data/060226-FreedomOfThePressPrt2-PC.pdf

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