The election and media reform

Back in February, media watcher Robert Hackett argued media reform
should be a top priority
in the impending (even back then) federal
election. Hackett saw a disturbing constellation forming: an industry push for
deregulation, a new market-friendly CRTC head, and a government bent on
pursuing a majority.

But between collapsing markets and pooping puffins,
only a few carried the flag for media reform. The Campaign for Democratic Media posted this
for candidates on their web site. While there may not be
enough time left to quiz your local hopefuls, the list doubles as a handy
point-form summary of the issues, from CBC funding to U.S. ownership. On a
national level, the Campaign received answers from all but one party. The results are
contained in this
. Amid mildly interesting responses, the silence of Harper’s
Conservatives perhaps speaks the loudest.  

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The Facebook election

By  •  Politics

If the election in the riding of Peterborough was decided by Facebook friends, the small Ontario city would likely send a Green Party MP to Ottawa on Oct. 14. Social media sites like Facebook are this federal election’s newest – if still minor – battleground. An article in the Peterborough Examiner looks at how that’s playing out locally. 
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Globe election hub “admirable,” but doesn’t empower citizens

When this federal election campaign began, I criticized The Globe and Mail‘s election website. It seems only fair to come back and take a second look as the campaign closes.
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CTV’s ethics

By  •  Politics

The Toronto Star reports on the political score-keeping over CTV’s airing of an interview with Stéphane Dion. The Star’s front-page link to its daily poll asks readers…
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Quixotic journalism

By  •  Politics

Art meets journalism: CBC Radio’s The Current ran a documentary about Ontario independent candidate David Page, part of a series on “The Supercommitted” candidates. It’s called “A Quixotic Candidate” — no doubt because Page’s quest to be elected is Quixotic indeed. I happened to catch it and, weary of the frenzy and ideological spite of North American politics, was struck not merely by the well-crafted profile of Page, but by the depth of the ideas presented in the documentary.

The piece can be heard by clicking on “Listen to Part Three” at the Current’s web site for Oct. 9. Such programs are rare, virtually nonexistent on private radio, and remain a solid argument for public broadcasting.

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“The” issue versus “those” issues

In the final weeks of the campaign, the economy is settling
in as federal election 2008’s ballot box issue. But in our rush to define “the”
issue, what happens to those other issues? The week’s Big Issue offers a little
variety of voice on what matters:

trade talks nearly invisible
– A trade deal is brewing that rivals NAFTA,
but no one’s talking about it. Why?

Why education is
election issue number one
– Student Arati Sharma argues that Canada’s
future well-being depends on whether or not Canadians have access to higher learning.

Vote with media in
– Steve Anderson believes media issues should be front and centre. Deborah
Jones says ‘fat chance’ – and invites you to comment back if you disagree.

(Ian Britton photo)

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MSM wins! Long live the MSM

By  •  Politics

“The news tornado of September has been a boon to the downtrodden traditional media,” reported Ian Brown in a Globe and Mail piece about web sites of big mainstream media scoring record audiences…. 
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Canada-Europe trade talks nearly invisible

By  •  Politics

What’s the biggest social, political and economic issue in Canada right now? Social conservativism vs liberalism? Tax cuts? Bank regulations? Climate change? Plagiarism?

None of the above, not in my opinion. I think the biggest story is a Canada-Europe trade deal…
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