Tag Archives: mainstream

Canadian Progressive Media Alternatives

Posted on by 4 comments

I’m not so sure that the landing of the Huffington Post in Canada is the remedy we ‘progressives’ in this country need.  Last year, Arianna sold out to AOL, making it part of the mainstream.

I’m sure the Canadian version will be equally tame and ‘available’ to the priests of conservatism in this country.  Ultimately, who ever buys ads on the media, owns the media and Stephen Harper has the deepest pockets right now.

Progressives really MUST think in terms of media and the influence that the right has on everyday citizens.  We have to build an effective alternative media network that is financially viable, influential and that ultimately blocks the Conservatives out of the daily reading of all Canadians.

There’s the growing concept of ‘citizen media’, but we need an alternative to the alternative, something that is grass-roots based and respects the opinions of everyone and not just another site or aggregator of broadcasters that could care less about the ideas of … everyone.

We must also avoid linking to and creating content for mainstream media.  It’s essential that we shut them off.  We’re their power base.  Without US, they’re useless.  As a reminder, ‘they’ are Bell, Rogers, Quebecor, Shaw, Cogeco, Canwest in Canada and AOL, Fox, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS etc in the US.  Online versions of ‘them’ are Google, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, Twitter,

But I’m soap-boxing.  Once I get my act together, what I’ll do is start a stump on Wikipedia that provides the same list.

Anyways, until this kind of open media network is built and financially viable, we still have alternatives to the mainstream (albeit ones that are deep-seated in the traditions of talk-down editorial as opposed to speak-up from the masses):

And even more options in North America and the rest of the world:

Think tanks, advocacy groups and social institutions (mostly US):

And then there’s consumption.  What sites or companies, co-ops and other organizations do you shop from that make you feel good?  Are they local?  Fair-trade?  Organic?  All of the above?

So … it’s a good start, but many of you may agree that it’s not comprehensive.  What it all points to is that I’ve been feeling helpless following the election a few weeks ago, but there’s no need for that any more.  We own this country and we deserve to take it back, piece by piece if we have to.

I need some help with this because I think it’s the impetus we all need to gain control of the media landscape of this country.  Do you have links or stories related to progressive media in Canada?  Can you please share your thoughts on who else is doing innovative things here or elsewhere?

Do you have ideas about how we can aggregate all of the above into a truly progressive news feed and source for all Canadians and others who are interested in getting and sharing news without being blocked out or beat up by bossy editors?

Please … really, please … post your thought below.

Resources:

Mozilla Drumbeat:  https://drumbeat.org/en-US/challenges/unlocking-video/full

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_media#See_also

http://www.themediaconsortium.org/our-members/

http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/linkpage.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_activism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactical_media

http://www.adbusters.org/about/submissions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_press

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_press_%28U.S._political_left%29

http://community-media.ca/community-media-list

Mainstream Media is Dead (aka “My Print Days Are Over”)

Posted on by 4 comments

In the world of media (and me being someone who’s involved with the media world), today is a big day for me.

I officially (and personally) have come to the conclusion that traditional mainstream media is dead.

Of course, if it’s not dead, it’s dying because it’s something that lay-people like me simply can’t afford to buy any more.

TV died for me nearly 10 years ago.  I couldn’t handle paying nearly $100 per month on crap, so I canceled our cable subscription (and I recommend you terminate your cable subscription as well.  In fact, we should start ‘cut the cord’ parties around the country).  Since then, we get most of our entertainment via rentals, the web and other means.

I hung on to print for some reason.  I haven’t bought a copy of the Globe for years and I’ve never bought the Sun or other junk related to the Sun chain.

That said, every weekend, I used to buy the Saturday and Sunday editions of the Toronto Star.  This was a few years ago and it was part of my routine.   Then, the Star raised their Saturday price to $3.50 per copy and I stopped buying it, keeping my weekend reading to Sunday only.

This morning, I walked the dog over to my regular Sunday Star box and imagine my surprise when the price of the paper had increase 67% to $2.50 per copy from $1.50.  In absolute terms, it’s not much, but I didn’t have enough change, so I turned around empty handed and started this blog post.  Once I’m done, I’ll cruise through Progressive Bloggers and a few other sites to satiate my Sunday routine.

By there’s a bigger thing happening here, isn’t there.  Mainstream media is dead to me.

It’s now no longer possible for them to spoon-feed their BS agenda via their mouth-piece and I’m feeling all the better for it.  In fact, as I think things through, I remind myself that no trees had to die today on my account so that I could skim through the entertainment or op-ed pages.

And I’m 42.  What’s happening with the kids who are half my age?  Sure, some are getting MuchMusic via their parent’s cable subscription, but my bet is that they’re starting to disappear even more rapidly from the pulse of mainstream into the wild world of web-based media.

The people who are twice my age or even one generation older are scared.  They own all of this junk and they’re no longer getting the regular residual income that they used to.  Sun taking a dive into specialty TV clearly shows that the management knows nothing about the future of media in this country or elsewhere.  They’ll waste millions trying to shout at an empty audience and we’ll all be the better for it because it’ll bring the Sun down sooner than we ever could have hoped.

Unfortunately, as they fail, they’ll run to the government with their palms wide open begging for billions and not mere millions.  The waste will be phenomenal and we will have to obstruct it and oppose it at any juncture.

For progressives to have a stake in any of this future, we have to capitalize on the volumes of traffic that they’re getting with their sites.  We have to start thinking about how we’re at the top of a massive opportunity to start guiding the conversation – and the body politic – in a direction that makes sense for all people and even the planet.

Rants need to be researched, diatribes will have to become discourse, but we have a chance to make this happen.

Some outlets are already on their way:

Huffington Post

The Tyee

Rabble

Media Coop (The Dominion)

Progressive Bloggers

The Real News Network

What other sites or aggregators do you know of that I can post on this blog or in future articles about the future of progressive media?