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Busting Media Myths

A series by Marc Edge

  • Postmedia shoots more hostages to keep debt payments flowing to New Jersey hedge fund

    New Jersey’s largest newspaper chain shot another dozen Canadian hostages last week as the end game of its northern extortion scheme grows ever closer. If the federal government doesn’t allow Postmedia Network and the rest of the country’s press to start taking money from the pockets of Google and Facebook soon, more of the country’s captive newspapers could get whacked.

  • Ruling in Rogers-Shaw deal shows reform of Competition Act is badly needed

    Does the Competition Bureau have a hope of stopping Rogers from swallowing Shaw and creating a nationwide cable monopoly? Probably not, but that’s just the point, and it’s a point the bureau itself has been trying to make for years. Its enabling Competition Act is not just unfit for purpose, it was seemingly designed to actually prevent competition.

  • The myth of Google and Facebook’s online advertising ‘monopoly’

    Now that newspapers are moving to online publication, they are crying foul because they are finally having to compete on a level playing field. They have even now prevailed upon Ottawa to pass Bill C-18, the Online News Act, which would force Google and Facebook to pay a portion of their revenues to newspapers. Something just doesn’t smell right here.

  • How to fund journalism in Canada if Google, Facebook won’t

    Canada has been described as “three telcos in a trenchcoat” for the inordinate power they wield. They control all of the private TV networks, as Bell owns CTV, Rogers owns City, and Global is owned by the Shaw Family Living Trust. Giving back some of their monopoly profits to benefit Canadians is the second-last idea they want to hear. The first? Free public wifi.

  • Could a UK-type system of ‘local democracy reporters’ help fill the news gap in Canada?

    It’s time to take a step back and re-think the patchwork quilt of newspaper bailouts we have been seeing for the past few years and instead come up with a long-term strategy for journalism in Canada. To that end, writes Marc Edge, it’s worth looking at what other countries are doing to promote local journalism and restore trust in news media.

  • Canada needs a long-term news strategy to stop undermining trust in journalism, says white paper

    Instead of plugging the holes in a sinking newspaper ship with successive bailouts, Ottawa should formulate a long-term national news media strategy that doesn’t undermine public trust in journalism, according to a former senior journalist and media regulator. Ottawa’s latest cash injection and its attempt to shake down the tech platforms will only make matters worse.

  • Telecom giants—not Google and Facebook—continue to dominate Canada’s media economy

    Those following the Senate and Parliamentary hearings into Bills C-11 and C-18 might think Canadian media are wasting away while foreign digital giants like Google, Facebook and Netflix are replacing them. But big telecom companies like Rogers and Bell continue to take the lion’s share from subscription revenues for cable, Internet access, and wireless services.

  • Meta witnesses get hostile reception from Liberal MPs

    Heritage committee hearings into the Online News Act turned hostile late last week after MPs were forced to work overtime to hear from Facebook parent Meta and other witnesses. Liberal MPs accused Meta of “threatening” Canadians with “modern-day robber baron tactics” when it warned recently that Facebook might stop running links to Canadian news stories if required to pay for doing so.

  • Could Google, Meta quit Canada over Bill C-18?

    The high-stakes game of chicken that is the Online News Act reached a new, dangerous level after the federal government closed the list of speakers on its pending Bill C-18 without inviting Meta. That prompted the owner of social network Facebook to issue a statement threatening to stop carrying links to news stories from Canada if Ottawa tries to force it to pay for doing so.

  • US hedge fund bet on Canadian newspapers may be about to pay off big

    Hedge funds specialize in buying up “distressed” companies and turning them around profitably, usually by cutting costs and selling off their assets. The bet they made on Canadian newspapers more than a decade ago has already paid off nicely, and it could pay even bigger and continuing dividends if things go their way in Ottawa.

  • Where have all the newspapers gone? Spoiler alert: They’re still here

    The fiction that newspapers are dying is demonstrably untrue. It is demonstrated by the fact that they are almost all still here, writes journalist researcher Marc Edge. Indeed, newspapers aren’t dying, but newspaper competition sure is. Ottawa wouldn’t step in to stop the carnage. Why should it now reward the chains for their treachery? There’s only one possible reason, and it is propaganda.

  • Going all Howard Beale on Canadian media

    The disquiet among Canadians is palpable. Disdain for their news media is unmistakable. It is the end result of ownership control so tight that it squeaks. So powerful have the media become in Canada that they extracted federal subsidies in 2018 worth $595 million over five years. Those will soon be running out, however, so they are now asking Ottawa to force Google and Facebook to pay them instead.

  • Cultural groups aren’t the only ones lobbying for Internet controls

    Bill C-11 is the first in a sequence of legislation designed to bring the Internet under Ottawa’s oversight. Next up will be Bill C-18, which would force Google and Facebook to pay Canadian news media for supposedly “stealing” their content. The objectives of most of this legislation are noble, but some of the measures it proposes risk infringing on fundamental freedoms.

  • Canada may be headed down a slippery slope of Internet regulation

    Like it or not, Ottawa seems determined to bring online communication in Canada under the thumb of federal bureaucrats. Its assault on the Internet began in earnest when the ruling Liberal-NDP coalition used its majority in Parliament to invoke closure and ram through the contentious Bill C-11, or Online Streaming Act.

  • Ottawa should reject the Murdoch plan

    Rupert Murdoch’s long-running campaign to force Google and Meta to share some of their vast revenues with his newspapers in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States depends on one domino in between: Canada. Should our country fall to his plan, which has been eagerly adopted by the largest newspaper chains here, there is a real chance it might work in the UK.

  • Government, media double down on ‘Big Lies’ to shake down tech firms

    The newly introduced Bill C-18 (otherwise known as the Online News Act), will force digital platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay publishers in Canada for posting links to their content. Yet, upon closer inspection, this legislation has been built on a carefully-crafted bed of deception which keeps getting bigger and bigger, writes journalism researcher and author Marc Edge.

  • The great Canadian media swindle

    It turns out that all those government reports issued decades ago were right when they warned that Big Media in Canada were getting too big and powerful. Now they are monetizing their power over public perceptions and laughing all the way to the bank as a result, at least from New Jersey.

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