Stop the Big Media Takeover! | Canadians for Democratic Media

Stop the Big Media Takeover! | Canadians for Democratic Media

If you’re reading this blog from Canada, please make sure you check out the Stop the Big Media Takeover campaign website. Here’s a clip from a promotional video they’re circulating.

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!

Tell the CRTC what you think.

Rules that truly curb media concentration in Canada are long overdue. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) – the body that regulates broadcast and telecommunications systems – is holding a hearing on how to ensure the diversity of media voices in September and the deadline for submissions is July 18, 2007. Unless current policy direction are challenged by the public, Canada could in the long run end up with a vastly more concentrated media and a relaxation of the foreign ownership rules leaving our media susceptible to takeovers by even bigger Foreign-owned media conglomerates. The airwaves belong to the public, and the CRTC needs to hear from you.

Unless the public speaks out, the debate will continue to be dominated by large media corporations. Please forward this message to encourage others to participate in this crucial campaign. Tell your family and friends about this important campaign

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The New Zealand link is, of course, CanWest, which has a number of media assets in Aotearoa and is a big player here too. CanWest Mediaworks New Zealand owns TV3, C4, and Radioworks.

2 Responses to Stop the Big Media Takeover! | Canadians for Democratic Media

  1. Steve Boriss says:

    In regards to the U.S. at least, diverse media ownership has had almost no relation to “democracy,” however that term is being used in this case. We have had diverse ownership but monolithic coverage — same stories, same angles — despite the fact that there are an infinite number of stories/angles available. A large part of the reason is that newspapers have operated as a cartel, with papers sharing their stories through the non-profit Associated Press network, which they own.

    I prefer to think of democracy in papers being a state where there are a multitude of voices competing in a marketplace of ideas. London’s newspapers are a reasonably good example of what that might look like, but I believe it can be a whole lot better than that. Ironically, it may take corporate takeovers to bust-up the U.S. institutions and restore a multitude of voices that we have not seen for over a century. (Steve Boriss, The Future of News)

  2. […] Corporations make easy whipping boys because, in fact, they ARE driven almost entirely by greed and the search for profits. But let’s also acknowledge that they can’t get those profits without offering news consumers diverse voices with which they can identify. We may not always like the result when media conglomerates gear their news to the masses or subgroups, but if this is not “democracy,” what is? (Hat tip: Marty Hirst) […]

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