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
questionnaire 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
report. Amid mildly interesting responses, the silence of Harper’s
Conservatives perhaps speaks the loudest.
Why do newspapers endorse political parties during elections?
Continue Reading Why newspapers endorse political parties
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.
Continue Reading The Facebook election
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.
Continue Reading Globe election hub “admirable,” but doesn’t empower citizens
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.
Continue Reading Quixotic journalism
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
future well-being depends on whether or not Canadians have access to higher learning.
Vote with media in
mind – 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)
(Ian Britton photo)
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…
Continue Reading Canada-Europe trade talks nearly invisible
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Canadian Newspaper Association
and the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association issued a joint “Letter to Prime Minister Harper: Honour your access to information election promises.”
Continue Reading Letter to Harper cites failure to honour earlier access-to-information pledges