The following originally appeared in The Conversation and was reprinted by National Newswatch, the National Post, the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Tyee, Friends.ca, J-source.ca and the WAN blog. That's a record!
As 2018 dawns, Canada’s
news media are in danger of lurching into the abyss unless Ottawa
takes action soon.
Enforcing our country’s anti-trust laws to stop the corporate consolidation
and cutbacks in local news coverage would help to stanch the bleeding in the
short term, but Canada’s
Competition Bureau has shown little interest
in taking such action.
More long-term measures, similar to those taken in other countries, are also
needed to strengthen media policy in Canada
to help protect news from the depredations of Darwinian capitalism and
encourage the growth of digital journalism as old media fade away.
Whether our government has the foresight needed for this kind of bold action
should become clear in 2018. More likely is continued inaction given Ottawa’s
demonstrable blind spot when it comes to journalism.
When the country’s two largest chains swapped 41 newspapers in Ontario
a few weeks ago and announced that almost all would be closed, they basically
thumbed their noses at Canada’s
Why wouldn’t they?