Many are concerned about Big Tech’s increasing censorship, manipulation and left-wing bias – sometimes openly admitted. But that doesn’t mean Facebook, Google et al are always wrong, nor that their enemies are necessarily our friends. In this instance, Canada’s legacy newspapers, which are waging an increasingly unctuous campaign for legislated subsidies both from government and the unwilling tech giants. Peter Menzies believes Canada’s media companies are dead wrong. The former newspaper publisher and media regulator regards their demands as unfair extortion by a dying sector – “palliative care for zombies.” Even worse, signal an increasing dependency upon and subjugation to the censorship-happy, control-obsessed Justin Trudeau government.
Democracy, Churchill once famously said, is the worst form of government – except for all the rest. Objectivity may have a similar relationship to journalism. It’s hard to achieve, bothersome, limiting, at-times disingenuous and often plain boring – but what are the alternatives? We are now seeing what happens when a discipline dominated by practitioners who reject the very idea of objective truth discard journalism’s formerly animating idea. Newspaper publishing veteran Peter Menzies links the traditional news media’s advanced state of decay to its willful abandonment of objectivity. Yet Menzies also finds glimmerings of a renewed commitment to objectivity in some unlikely places.
The digital era upended industries and ideas, including the belief that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Information was suddenly instant, infinite and without cost. Or seemingly so. As legacy news media declined or foundered altogether, the replacements struggled to create viable business models. Perhaps it was only a matter of time until agenda-driven organizations and governments stepped in to “lend a helping hand.” But what happens to “independence” when media are financially dependent on large organizations and journalists become wards of the state? Lifelong newspaperman, publisher and communications expert Peter Menzies explores the issue.
Criticism of Bill C-10, the Liberals’ controversial update of federal broadcasting legislation, has so far focused on the threat it may pose to your right to post cat videos on YouTube. As troubling as that may sound, the truth is much, much worse. Former CRTC vice-chair Peter Menzies looks back at the bill’s three-year long gestation and finds a government regulator with an antique worldview determined to enforce its will on a future of infinite possibilities. There’s far more at stake here than your adorable kitten’s latest pratfall.