PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Already a poster child for the corporate monopolist vision of information dissemination for the 21st century, one-paper Victoria, British Columbia seems now destined to become a one T.V. station town too. Bell Globalmedia Inc. has successfully gobbled up CHUM Ltd., and today the axe first fell on more than a dozen media workers at A-Channel, the city's second television station.
Victoria Models Future Media
C. L. Cook
Jully 13, 2006d
As Israel declares war on the Muslim world, in green and pleasant Victoria another "war" has killed the current careers of at least 17 citizens. Yesterday's media buyout of CHUM by Canadian communications industry megalith, Bell Mediaglobal Inc., (yet to be approved by the flaccid Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission) resulted in CHUM organ, A-Channel Victoria lopping their morning program and 17 paid positions.
Or so reports media "rival," Canwest Global.
Victorian's local media choices have become paradoxically slimmer as the mutlti-channeled, broadband world expands. A one daily newspaper town, save media-mogul to be, David Black's "community" weekly newspaper chain's recent foray into a daily reposting of wire stories, the Times Colonist is itself affiliated with one of the town's two T.V. stations; radio stations; and, assorted web assets. Victoria is the living image of Big Media's future vision for Everytown, Everywhere.
Canadians, and Victorians particularly, are the most narrowly informed peoples of the western world. Yes, "we" know more about America than most Americans, and more too about many other nations than those own nation's citizens, but how much, smarty-pants Canuck, do you know about Canada?
Do you know the names of Canada's [sic] interlocked billionaire families, and the goings on of their interests in business and politics? Does "your" media go out of their interlocked, club-cultured way to inform you?
Bell Globalmedia Inc. has already said Victoria's A-Channel is toast. But are they surrendering a promising small C-city market? Not exactly. Both leviathan communication entities, Canwest and Bell have been wheeling-dealing, cutting up turf together; in effect acting as a cartel, possessing the nation's information management infrastructure.
And it's a natural culmination of a shared philosophy that disregards human values, as tradition would have it, favouring instead the steely bottom-line mentality the Chicago School of Economics, and other Friedmanian economic schools, espousing a single mantra motto:
Profit is all, and end all!
For me, I could give a s*it! I don't believe any of the crap coming from CH, or it's "competitor" A-Channel. The CBC, American Networks, and Cable outlets too have earned my studied neglect.
Following months of bombardment of Palestinian infrastructure, for example, those twits tonight, (yeah, I peeked in) would have me wring my hands at poor Israel's suffering as a few score Kassam "rockets," glorified pipe-bombs, landed amidst they the privileged Israelis. Equating those attacks to the wholesale barrage of Gaza, the West Bank, and now Lebanon too, all ostensibly to save kidnapped soldiers, the news fit to broadcast is no better on any of the corporate organs than Israel "Izzy" Asper's infamous promise to never on any Canwest global platform, criticize the actions of the criminal Israeli government.
So, what's news?
That thousands of children, women, and men, guilty of nothing more than being Palestinian within a rifle butt's reach of the long arm of Fascisto-racist Israel hardly merits mention. This, despite the painfully explicit missives sent the media by reputed groups connected to the abductions, which state their aims as freeing those women and children held in Israel's gulags. But true to the coarse nature of Victoria's 'Asper family' controlled, Canwest Global, these same that rule more than 70% of this country's "major" media, their "competitors" ring the same bell, barely bothering to change the wording.
So, as the wars "escalate" Victorians can expect to learn less, the more they watch, read, and listen to local media. It's a model the rest of the "free world" should find instructive, and better get used to.
Chris Cook is a contributing editor to PEJ News, and host Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program, broad/webcst from CFUV at the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.
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