Friday, March 13, 2009

News empires pursued ever bigger profits, not the public good.

Media ownership is more highly concentrated in Canada than almost anywhere else in the industrialized world. Since 2005, almost all private Canadian television stations have been owned by national media conglomerates. And, because of increasing cross-ownership, most of our newspapers are owned by the same corporations that own television and radio stations. Something to think about is how, just hours before CTVglobemedia announced its intention to take over CHUM, it laid off 281 people and canceled news broadcasts across the country. ...

Allowing just a few companies to own most of our media means journalism is likely to be less grounded in local communities and thus less relevant to audiences. A newspaper is not likely to provide engaging journalism if it is geared towards efficiently delivering eyeballs to advertisers while investing the least amount of money possible in journalism.

Combine this bottom-line mentality with an uncompetitive, concentrated traditional media market, and the erosion of ad revenue, and you'll find a race to the bottom for journalism in Canada. The news entity that can most effectively cut costs and exploit journalists wins!

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