The Real Reason We Need to Get Rid of Corporate Media

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Kamloops Daily News

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).”

Glacier Media to shut down Kamloops Daily News | Georgia Straight, Vancouver’s News & Entertainment Weekly.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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2 thoughts on “The Real Reason We Need to Get Rid of Corporate Media”

  1. A critical component to this discussion is that we all have to wake up to the idea that there really aren’t ‘investigative’ reporters anymore the way there used to be. Most outlets simply have narrators rather than reporters.

    Most news and information comes from marketing departments and PR machines, manufacturing content for public consumption and manipulation according a specific agendas.

    Case in point: the CBC now gets most of their Canadian Press, a privately-owned churner of spin from its corporate owners. There’s no objectivity here. No investigation. Just spin.

    There’s also a complete lack of respect or real knowledge of local issues.

    So, when another private outlet dies, it’s good news because when a private, corporate-owned voice stops talking, the odds are pretty good that someone at the local level who wants to know the real story will do the talking for them.

    Belittling bloggers is patronizing and moronic because it shows a clear lack of vision, sense of innovation and ability to embrace a dialogue (the future) as opposed to a monologue (traditional).

    Once we slough off the shell of corporate media, we’ll all have an opportunity to actually understand what ails the world and begin a proper conversation about how to move forward in a positive way, not just for shareholders but for all stakeholders.

  2. Stephen, I find it advisable to ignore that self-promoting hustler. Anyone who had the misfortune to reside in North Van back when Kinsella was running there for the Liberals knows what I mean.

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