Bell’s latest layoffs and closures show Canada’s news media need a major revamp
The suits at Bell Canada have once again demonstrated that they have no concept of the social responsibility they owe Canadians for being allowed to profit so richly from communication in this country. As a result, 1,300 more workers will be cut loose from the payroll while a half dozen more local radio stations are shut down and CTV’s bureaus in London and Los Angeles shuttered.
Google and Facebook may be stealing, but not from news media
Tech giants Google and Facebook are stealing money, but they’re not taking it from newspapers—they have been stealing from their own customers. As Canadian Dimension media columnist Marc Edge writes, this constitutes a crime in progress that should be stopped immediately and punished severely to deter future offenders.
Old media may need Bill C-18, but new media need Google and Facebook
The future of newspapers in Canada is in jeopardy if the government doesn’t quickly pass Bill C-18, publishing executives told Senate hearings into the Online News Act this week. A second panel made up of digital entrepreneurs, however, said that online news media will be in jeopardy if Google and Facebook stop their free link distribution service, rather than pay to provide it under the bill.
Trust us? Whether it’s government or media, you have simply got to be kidding
The shifting sands of the ongoing communication revolution are still settling, but it is abundantly clear so far that digital communication gives government an advantage over journalists. Canadians are right to be increasingly skeptical of its media messages and should under no circumstances simply trust what the government tells them.
Is this the end of press freedom in Canada?
More seriously, Ottawa’s Internet offensive puts at risk the free speech rights of all Canadians, and most worryingly opens the door to online censorship. The possibility of Ottawa requiring all information posted online to be government-approved should be concerning to all citizens, as it would severely limit free expression and even press freedom.
Google argues for media fund to support Canadian journalism
Google would rather contribute to a fund supporting Canadian news, similar to one it set up recently in Taiwan, than be forced to negotiate deals with media outlets under Bill C-18, the Online News Act, according to head office executives called on Ottawa’s virtual carpet last week. Google claims the bill’s “undue preference” provision could “break” its search engine.
Rule #1: Canada’s media bosses always get what they want
The recent government approval of the Shaw purchase by Rogers confirms a seeming iron rule in this country: our media bosses always get their way, no matter how disastrous the consequences might be for Canadians. As a result, Canada’s “Three Telecoms in a Trenchcoat” are now two and can feast like never before on some of the world’s highest rates for cable, Internet, and cell phone service.
Financialization is the latest business model for Canada’s media
The age of media concentration, which turned so disastrously to convergence at the millennium, has now descended into the dystopian hellscape known as financialization, writes media analyst Marc Edge. Under this business model, the media endgame is played out by stripping assets and using to advantage whatever political influence publishers might have left.
Canada may be on a path to digital totalitarianism
Another breadcrumb has landed which suggests that Canadians may be on a path to digital authoritarianism, or even totalitarianism, if some politicians in Ottawa get their way. First the standing committee of Canadian Heritage began a legislative spree to regulate the Internet. Now the committee’s MPs want digital giants Google and Facebook to hand over their private communications with Canadians.
Google has made our online lives easier, but we may all be about to become a victim of its success
Publishers have complained that by posting links to their news stories, along with their headlines and a snippet of their content, Google is stealing from them. It sounds crazy to anyone who knows how the Internet works, but newspaper publishers have considerable power over public opinion, and they have framed their relationship with Google as that of victim and robber.
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