Part I: The Long, Slow Demise of PostMedia
A lot of people are bemoaning the slow, painful death of PostMedia.
For a decade, people with this right-wing chain of second-rate papers made a decision every day that they walked into their offices: do I help the American owners of PostMedia destroy what Canada was or do I do everything in my power to help spread a message of hope and ambition for this country?
A few years back, they tried to implement ‘pay walls’ to prevent common folk who didn’t pay for their content from seeing it.
They started a trend of eliminating feedback and comments on their sites, mainly because a growing number of users were pointing out the fallacies of their empty arguments.
In the last election and in the run-up to all elections for the last decade, the newspapers that are part of or that became part of the PostMedia chain overwhelmingly endorsed Stephen Harper, despite the emptiness of his economic plan and cynical management of the Canadian political scene.
There are so many other reasons why PostMedia and its subsidiaries are a blight on the face of Canadian journalism.
Their failure does not necessarily point to the failure of print media or corporate media in general.
It’s their failure.
Now, Stephen Harper has disappeared. It’s time for PostMedia to disappear too.
Part II: Filling The Void
The idea seems overwhelming: how do we fill the vacuum in Canadian media?
For some reason, we continue to let ourselves believe that the only source for most of our daily habits – news, food, gas, entertainment – have to come from ‘consolidators’.
All of these corporate entities perpetuate these myths because the main purpose of their effort is to continue to find ways to extract outrageous margins at the expense of what they offer.
We can do better.
Canadians have more tools than ever to replace their daily content with news and information that is unbiased and relevant. More than ever, we should return to properly funding our public media infrastructure, but we can’t do that until we purge the ranks of the CBC and other organizations from Harper cronies who will obfuscate every attempt to make new public again.
And we also need a better strategy with collecting and organizing news and information. Individual journalists have become vulnerable to editorial offices. We need to ‘crowd swarm’ these offices with opinion pieces from the public instead of private organizations like Canadian Press.
Platforms like Progressive Bloggers are a great start, but they don’t go far enough. There are opportunities to monetize traffic, reinvest in reliable reporting and reinvest again in technology change that will drive the media machine further away from the clutches of the likes of Paul Godfrey.
Because know this: PostMedia’s consolidation of editorial functions mean only one thing: the message from the corporate right will become more concentrated, more vile and more unpleasant. Their attacks on Justin Trudeau and Canada will become more frequent and deliberate.
The time is certainly ripe for this kind of change.
We must stop them before their thoughts of being in control actually translates to control once again.