While I’m also sad that the Kamloops Daily News is closing, I think Warren Kinsella is over-simplifying a few things [see below] with respect to how the media climate will be affected by the closing of this for-profit business, earning shareholder value by producing mass media content, while sometimes allowing its corporate revenue-generating employees to produce some adequate-to-good journalism.
Let’s explore all this:
“Idiot bloggers, and idiot politicians, will continue to be happy about this sort of thing. The former will say the disappearance of the so-called MSM means more audience for them.” [read the rest of his ideas below]
I’m not one of his idiot bloggers who revels in the end of another corporate media entity simply because all corporate media has to get out of my way. In fact, I disagree with his assessment that corporate media does all that much to hold politicians accountable: “media…are the only institutions left who can truly hold the powerful to account, on a daily basis.” There is a good deal of spin, distraction, advertising and pursuit of a corporate agendas veiled in some kind of noble story telling and investigation. So much is neglected by corporate media that bloggers and others have taken up a variety of investigative, journalistic, and editorialistic structures to fill in the gap, like here and here and hopefully at this website for the last 11+ years.
Within this corporate media climate, though, is some good journalism and editorialism. But that exists despite its context. And on the whole, corporate, for-profit media does a poor job of really addressing serious political issues, like the prime minister’s contempt for the population, soft fascist tendencies [G20 kettling anyone?] and contempt for democratic structures and processes [omnibus budget bills, proroguements?].
So while corporate, for-profit media would be better to evaporate, it’s not as Kinsella suggests, that it’s because I think I’ll get more readers with Global and PostMedia and the government-terrorized/whipped CBC gone. It’s because, quite simply, they have a massive conflict of interest, being corporate media owned by corporations, responsible first to shareholders [or in CBC’s case, self-censorship to avoid offending its menacing federal government funder], then to their corporate owners’ economic and political agenda, which is usually a very 1% kind of thing and not all that aligned with the needs/aspirations/desires of the general population, or a biodiverse world with a stable climate. The truth and service of democracy are not in the top priorities of corporate media. And if you think they are, I think you are deluded.
And not quoted below, but on Kinsella’s original blog, he adds, “But bloggers only comment on the hard work of actual reporters.” A mistake here is thinking that bloggers and commentators and editorialists think they are actually reporters. Some do, but many don’t. And for me, much of what I comment on from reporters’ work is the inadequacy of reporters’ work. If only their corporate masters would allow them to go all the way with a story. And sometimes we have ideas of our own.
Or I’ll comment on the horrible, overlooked hypocrisy of something like the Conservative government expressing concern over the integrity of Bangladesh’s recent election [which is of course a thing unto itself, which you likely didn’t hear about] WHEN THAT VERY POLITICAL PARTY IS GUILTY OF DOMESTIC ELECTORAL FRAUD. [Sorry for yelling, but you understand.] How that hypocrisy is not an actual journalism reporter media story is beyond me. Not here, or here, or here. But maybe it’s because corporate media is corrupt and riddled with conflict of interest, and just as often inclined to print news releases AS news, as in this link previously. Like I was saying above.
And I’ve seen no criticism/analysis of Baird’s statement that “Political instability has bred economic instability.” This is a typical Conservative Party frame of helping us all drink the Kool-Aid that politics exists to serve economics [corporate growth]. Wrong. Just, wrong. But that’s how the Conservative Party is framing CETA, pipelines, tankers and all sorts of other climate destroying juice.
So, the disappearance of corporate media isn’t much of a great loss if me, not a reporter at all, can read a Baird press statement like that one above and figure out two newsworthy stories about it. And I repeat. I’m not a reporter.
Toronto-based political pundit Warren Kinsella, who has contributed to the paper, blogged that he is “very sad” to hear of the looming closure.
“It’s sad because the loss of every newspaper means our democracy is diminished, in a real and measurable way. In an era where fewer and fewer citizens are voting, the media – as I have been reminded, as I have pinballed between newspapers and politics over the years – are the only institutions left who can truly hold the powerful to account, on a daily basis. Now, yet another media voice is gone,” Kinsella wrote.
“Idiot bloggers, and idiot politicians, will continue to be happy about this sort of thing. The former will say the disappearance of the so-called MSM means more audience for them. And the latter will believe that it means more opportunities to communicate to said audience “without a filter” (which really means without a pesky reporter getting in the way).”