The Capitalist Model of Journalism is Failing
January 21, 2016
The news this week that Rogers will send 200 of its TV, radio and publication workers packing is just the latest in a series of corporate media contractions that are bringing the entire system to the brink of collapse and forcing hundreds of media workers out of jobs across the country.
Just five companies -- Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Quebecor, and TELUS -- control nearly 90 per cent of Canada's media landscape.
Every job cut, merger and acquisition by corporate media magnifies the need for non-profit, independent media alternatives:
rabble.ca's kind of media
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2016 is rabble's 15th anniversary. It all started with a committed group of activists including Judy Rebick, Margaret Atwood and David Suzuki. We've since grown to a half million readers a month, making rabble Canada's most visited progressive news site.
We've always believed the capitalist business model for journalism would fail. Wealthy corporations bought up already concentrated newspaper chains and squeezed out their last drops of profit, hacked and slashed jobs, and are now picking the carcasses clean while walking away with outrageous personal profit.
Right-wing newspapers take over media markets in four more cities
David Molenhuis - Rabble.caFirst, the Halifax Chronicle Herald management locked out its workers. Then we learned that Global News is being sold to a company that specializes in children's entertainment.
And now Postmedia, Canada's biggest news chain, has announced mass layoffs and a newsroom merger that puts Sun News editors at the helm of several respected local newspapers.
Layoffs, lockouts and the forced resignations of many respected reporters, editors and photojournalists in recent days should be alarming. But you won't hear, see or read much about it from mainstream news sources. Independent media needs your support more than ever.
Recent developments surrounding Postmedia's layoffs and restructuring are particularly unsettling. Postmedia, which is largely U.S. owned, prints both the National Post and the Toronto Sun separately. But in its restructured form, newspapers like the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun will have one editor with roots in the Sun news side.
Good newsrooms with balanced editorial policies will likely be replaced with right-wing automatons like Lorne Motley, the figure responsible for transforming the Calgary Herald into an attack dog for the oil and gas industry.
This same structure will be replicated across Postmedia-owned newspapers in Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver. The Province, the Citizen, the Herald, the Journal will now be in essence the Sun, Sun, Sun and Sun, respectively.
None of these corporate-backed media chains were ever known for their progressive views. But it's bad news for democracy when Canadian news ownership is even more concentrated than in 2012: when Canada ranked first place in the G8 for concentrated media ownership.
Fewer journalists, fewer editors and more monopolizing of Canada's news-gathering organizations mean independent media needs to step up our coverage -- and this is where your role is absolutely critical.
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