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Report to offer ‘ideas’ for stemming crisis in Canada’s media sector: author
Canada’s news industry finds itself at a mission-critical crossroads, and needs a helping hand if it is to resume its role as a guardian of democracy, says the author of a major study coming Thursday that is expected to offer a road map of sorts.
We’re totally screwed. Our advertisers have figured out we can’t tell our readers how to think, what to buy and who to vote for. Because we don’t have any more readers! Give us money!
The Public Policy Forum study, funded in part by the federal Heritage Department, explores the dramatic decline in the newspaper industry over the past two decades, and how massive layoffs and revenue declines in the professional news business are affecting democracy.
Ah, yes. The federal government commissioning a study into the newspaper industry. A dramatic decline, they say. The last two decades, they say. Gee, what could have happened in the past two decades? Could it be the internet? The ability for people to fact-check corporate media’s claims in a matter of seconds?
The report comes on the heels of what was just the latest in a series of layoffs by Postmedia, the country’s largest chain of daily-circulation newspapers.
Postmedia owns most of the big city newspapers in Canada, along with formee arch-rival and now corporate sister Sun Media. Both call themselves “conservative” editorially, just like the Toronto Globe and Mail. And, yes, they all want cash.
The company issued layoff notices Tuesday to employees at the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette and Windsor Star after the company failed to reach a 20 per cent salary reduction target it set for itself last fall.
What? The typists, the whorespondents and presstitutes wouldn’t take a 1/5 pay cut? The greedy bastards!
Other news giants, including the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, have also cut staffing levels as they struggle with declining print advertising revenue.
Nor are television and radio newsrooms immune: Canada’s national broadcast regulator warned last year that nearly half of the country’s local TV stations could be off the air by 2020 without a revenue boost to pay for local news programming.
Really? Gee. That’s a shame. So…uh, where’s that “revenue boost” going to come from? Oh, wait. Don’t tell us…more taxes on cable subscribers. At least those that still subscribe to cable television.
The report, authored by veteran Canadian journalist Edward Greenspon, is also expected to delve into the rise of “fake news” and offer suggestions for how government policies, as well as taxes and other laws, can be rewritten in response.
We were wondering when they would get around to “fake news.” Presumably, the typist Pedwell was not referring to claims of Torpedoes in the Gulf of Tonkin, the “accidental” attack of the U.S.S. Liberty by the government of israel, Kuwaiti babies being thrown out of incubators by Iraqi soldiers and the incubators themselves being stolen and relocated to Iraq, 19 brown guys living in caves causing the complete stand-down of NORAD and subsequently crashing airplanes into buildings, Saddam’s Nukular Bombs, Bashir al-Assad gassing his own Alewite supporters in full view of the U.N. chemical weapons inspectors on the very day of their scheduled visit…and those are just some of the lies that have gotten millions of people killed.
Heritage Minister Melanie Joly ordered the study as part of an overall review of Canada’s media landscape, looking in particular at how it’s being affected by a shift to the Internet. A Commons committee has also carried out its own study and is expected to report to Parliament by spring.
Gee…isn’t there some way we can…oh, I don’t know, censor the internet. Can’t we make Canadians look only at things we want them to look at on the internet? Can’t we force their internet viewing habits, just like we do with television and radio?
The findings indicate the industry is reaching a “crunch point,” if it isn’t already there, Greenspon said in a statement.
“This report is meant to offer insight into the state of news two decades into its existential crisis, as well as ideas for how to respond,” he said.
“We hope it will stimulate a necessary debate and necessary action, while understanding no story is ever at its end.”
“We hope they cut a check. Quick! The wolves are at my door! I don’t know how much longer I can hold off the repo man and the landlord!”
The report, entitled “The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age,” relied on a half-dozen roundtables, polling and focus group research in making findings about how Canadians perceive the relationship between the news industry and the country’s democratic institutions.
What would a good self-respecting official-sounding report be without two titles, separated by a colon?
The Canadian Press participated in the roundtables and research.
Of course. We need that cash ‘same as everyone else! Come on, government! We put our names and our reputations on the line in service to your lies. Now pay up!
In April, Joly launched a public consultation on media and Canadian content in a digital world that included town hall gatherings across the country.
Public consultations…that would involve going to the various newspapers – and their surrounding bars – and asking how much cash Ottawa can send their way?
Those forums heard a range of suggestions, including calls for new fees or taxes on foreign-owned digital media players as a means of helping to prop up the domestic news industry.
Yeah. More taxes. On the foreigners! And send the cash our way! That’s the ticket!
Others, however, have pre-emptively scolded the government for even considering any kind of taxpayer-funded support for media outlets, arguing that audiences will ultimately turn toward new digital platforms to stay informed.
Uh, yeah. We already know we’re being propagandized. It’s not like we don’t see it already on the State Broadcaster. So once the Postmedia papers take the federal cash, along with the Sun papers (remember, Sun News Network went off the air because it couldn’t get a cable subsidy; and they were spinning their lies on behalf of the then-ruling regime), the Torstar rags and the Toronto Globe and Mail, we’ll know we’re officially being bullshitted. by everyone. So of course we’ll go running to independent media outlets. Our Soviet friends knew they were being sold a sack of shit by the commies in 1989. The lies became more elaborate, more grandiose,, more illogical, they had no choice but to collapse in upon themselves.
Internet freedom advocacy group OpenMedia has petitioned against what it calls an Internet tax, but has asked federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau to consider applying sales taxes evenly across foreign online vendors operating in Canada.
Raise taxes. But do it quietly. And send it to us!
Martin O’Hanlon, president of media union CWA Canada, suggested one solution for Postmedia could see government regulations or incentives that allow for local non-profit corporations or foundations to run the newspapers, provided the company was willing to sell its media properties.
The Toronto Star hasn’t made a profit in years. The National Post has never made a profit. Does that count?
In a report on Canada’s entertainment and media sector issued last summer, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted steady growth in Internet advertising revenues, and an acceleration of the recent downturn in newspaper publishing.
That assumes of course, we’re willing to put up with corporate media web pages that take several minutes to load, and often literally never load due to coding error and endless loops caused by the various Google analytics, Facebook and Twitter extensions, the mouse-over ads, the expanding ads, the pop-up ads, the forced video players.
Media firms have complained that, while their focus turns increasingly to online publishing, digital advertising revenues have not come anywhere close to replacing those previously generated from print ads.
That’s because they don’t have a clue what they are doing (see above). They have never tried accessing their own web pages outside the confines of their bunkers.
Joly’s office has called the shifts in news revenue streams “significant,” and said the government hopes its Canadian content consultations can help it assess how to best support the production of local, credible and reliable news and information.
“Canadian content…” Uh, boy…
— Follow @tpedwell on Twitter
Good job, Terry.
Favour Canadian news publishers with tax changes and create digital journalism fund, new report urges Ottawa
A new report commissioned by the federal government is urging Ottawa to consider changing tax laws to favour Canadian news publishers in the digital advertising market over foreign competitors and use the new revenue stream to establish an independent, publicly-subsidized journalism fund.
Yeah, let’s tax all of our competitors, and make sure we get the cash. We’re Canadian!
The recommendation comes from the independent think tank Public Policy Forum, which says advertising with foreign-owned websites should no longer be deductible under the federal Income Tax Act. This is already standard for print newspaper and broadcast advertising.
Yeah, who wants to advertise on Google, or Facebook or Twitter anyway when you have, oh, I don’t know, Sympatico. I mean, it’s not as if companies are spending that advertising money to actually REACH anybody. They just like spending money.
Authored by former journalist Ed Greenspon, “The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age” issues a dire warning that the media industry in Canada is at a “crisis point” where a deficit of local reporting cause by falling revenues and cuts to newsroom threatens the country’s democracy.
Now aren’t you glad to have been a part of pushing all those lies for the past 30 years, Ed? You probably never thought we would have a way to fact-check you and call out your bullshit in a matter of seconds, did you? Ed?
The report recommends that, by extending a ten per cent witholding tax on advertising in foreign digital media, the government could create a new revenue stream of $300 to $400 million annually. It suggests Ottawa use that revenue stream to finance a new fund to support digital news innovation in Canada, which would provide direct funding to new organizations that are determined to provide a “civic function,” with a particular emphasis on local and indigenous content.
More taxes. Revenue streams. “Local and indigenous content.” Yeah, that’s what we’re looking for.
The new Future of Journalism and Democracy Fund, which would act as an independent agency, should be seeded with a start-up investment of $100 million and financed by the witholding tax on foreign advertising in the years to follow, according to the report. Part of its mandate should be to provide legal advice and assistance to support start-up news organizations “so they can pursue their journalism without fear of reprisal.”
“Fear of reprisal?” You mean journalists would be free to report on matters not favorable to israel, for example? And, did someone say “future?” What future?!
Would this Journalism and Democracy fund protect people like Ernst Zundel or Arthur Topham from Richard Warman, Harry Abrams, and other professional jews and the serially “offended?”
The new tax change, which would also include extending the GST to foreign online ads, could notably draw revenue from foreign tech giants Google and Facebook, which the report says “were seen as suitable sources of funding for public programs, voluntary or not.” Together, Google and Facebook earn about two thirds of the online advertising revenue in Canada.
Facebook’s and Google’s “metrics” are fraudulent. So, why not tax it? One can only wonder who it is that is paying the advertising bills for “pay-per-click” advertising when one inadvertently clicks on a clickbait ad, realizes his mistake and quickly exits the newly-opened browser. Are advertisers aware they are paying to support an army of millions of people around the world who are paid to do nothing but click on ads?
“I think what the report does is validates what I and many other people who run newspapers in Canada have been saying all along,” said Paul Godfrey, CEO and President of Postmedia, the country’s largest newspaper publisher and owner of the National Post. “There are no actual solutions here, but there are some good ideas.”
Don’t you love these neocons? Editorially, Postmedia newspapers despise government. And rightfully so. But if there is a way a new government program and a new taxation grid can start sending cash Paul’s way, he’s all for it. Hey, Paul…how about telling the truth once in a while? Maybe…start with 9/11 and work your way back – or forwards – from there.
Last year, the Trudeau government enlisted the Public Policy Forum to study the Canadian news media industry and the impact the digitization of the economy has had on the business.
The report, which was mostly funded by the federal government, contains 12 total recommendations, which also suggest the government establish of a research institute to combat the origins and distribution of fake news in Canada.
“Fake news,” of course, being all the lies reported by corporate media that have been exposed in a matter of minutes. Just this past week, the state news agency, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, was perpetuating the lie that Donald Trump’s inauguration was lightly-attended. They juxtaposed a picture taken from Barack Hussein Obama’s 2009 inauguration with one taken hours earlier before Donald Trump’s swearing-in.
And just a reminder, the fake news providers (i.e. the corporations that occupy our public airwaves, our cable dials and newspaper vending boxes are the ones who are still telling us about global warming. The people who swore Donald Trump’s candidacy for the Republican nomination was only a joke. He was going nowhere. He would drop out before the first debate. Trump will never get past Iowa or New Hampshire. He will never allowed to be installed in Cleveland. Trump will never be elected president. Trump might as well surrender to Hillary. Hillary will clean Trump’s clock. The electoral college will never certify Trump’s election. Trump will be impeached.
The “fake news” narrative has been turned on its head and is now associated with the likes of CNN. The dominant liberal media in the U.S., and the traditional neo-con media in Canada spent the past year-and-a-half shilling for Hillary Clinton. And it blew up in their faces.
In addition to tax law, the Public Policy Forum calls on the government to reform non-profit and charity rules to allow philanthropy-supported media organizations to operate in Canada. That would bring the country in line with other markets, such as the United States and Germany, where non-profit investigative newsrooms like Propublica and CORRECT!V have thrived by producing independent work and partnering with other outlets.
Oh, you mean have George Soros extend his empire to Canada? Well, it’s so simple! Why didn’t you say so in the first place?
With that change, and in order to address an increasing shortage in local news resources, the Public Policy Forum says the Canadian Press wire service — which is privately held by Torstar Corporation, The Globe and Mail and Gesca Limitée — should be given $8 to $10 million out of the new Journalism and Democracy fund to establish a second, non-profit news service to serve communities with coverage of courts, legislatures and city halls.
There was never any problem in providing local coverage in the past. People are more than willing to pay – or sit through ads – to find out what is going on down at their local city hall. There is nothing stopping television, radio stations and newspapers from dispatching reporters to local venues. Except they fired them all.
It also makes several key recommendations for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Among those, the Public Policy Forum says the CBC should cease selling digital ads, which would create a revenue gap of $25 million, and publish its news content under a Creative Commons licence, making it free for competing domestic news organizations to distribute.
That’s a great idea. Make the state news agency’s propaganda free for all to use. “Competing” newspapers wouldn’t even have to put on the pretense of providing their own product any longer. Just page after page of government press releases. It’s a shame nobody suggested another alternative for the state broadcaster / state news agency: dissolution. Fade to black. See the CKO radio network.
“There is little precedent for this kind of digital-age approach among public broadcasters,” reads the report. “CBC would be staking out a leadership position.”
“We’ve never had to compete to get our narrative out there. People are calling out our bullshit and we don’t have a clue what to do. Send us money!”
However, Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly said, following the release of the report, that it is “too early to speculate on possible policy outcomes.”
“Our government understands the importance of a vibrant, local and reliable news media ecosystem as it is a pillar of democracy,” Joly added in a statement provided to the Financial Post. “We also acknowledge that news media is facing industry-wide challenges as they adapt to changing technology, demographics, audience preferences and competition for advertising dollars.”
She doesn’t have a clue, either. She’s a Liberal M.P. From Quebec. Her answer is simple. Tax. And spend. And tax some more.
She said the Public Policy Forum’s report will be one among many resources the government reviews as it mulls ways to address upheaval in media economics.
In the coming weeks, a panel of MPs on the Standing Committee on Heritage are expected to release their own recommendations on Canadian news and local communities after spending the lion’s share of 2016 hearing testimony from executives across the industry.
Golly, gee. One can only wonder what a “standing committee” of Liberal members of parliament is going to recommend. We, here at LettersToTheBeast, wait with baited breath.
Speaking before the committee in November, Google voiced objection to the sort of levies proposed by the Public Policy Forum. “Our view is the way forward is through innovation,” Jason Kee, Google’s counsel for public policy, said. “Creating subsidies is not profitable in the long run. It doesn’t spur the innovation needed for sustainable models.”
If corporate media had its way, airlines would be paying subsidies to the railways. Automakers would pay the horse-and-carriage manufacturers. General Electric would be funding the kerosene lamp makers…
Joly and her department are also reviewing the submissions from a series of consultations held last year on Canadian content industries. These timelines mean it is unlikely any reforms or assistance for media companies will appear in next month’s federal budget.
Oh, come on now. Let’s be optimistic here! When Liberals want to find a way to spend money, they will find a way to spend money!
In a report last summer, professional services firm PwC said it expects internet advertising revenues in Canada to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8 per cent through to 2020, reaching a total of US$6.17 billion.
If a greater share of those revenues were redirected to domestic companies, that could help to stem the core obstacle for print media companies in Canada, which saw newspaper revenues fall 12.6 per cent to $1.4 billion in 2015, the most recent year for which annual figures have been published.
Of course, the print media companies could adapt their business model and put out a model that people will actually pay money to read: you know…like…the truth? No more analysis, no more “filtering.” No more israel-first nonsense. Just straight, hard-up facts, regardless of where they take you or what corporation or core constituency they offend? But no…the blacksmiths would still rather sit back and wait for their stipend from the airlines.
Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if Google and Facebook retaliated by embargoing the recipients of its forced taxation from its new aggregators?
It is unlikely the 2016 figures will look any better. Last year, the country’s two largest publicly traded newspaper companies — Postmedia Network Canada Corp. and Torstar Corp. — traded double digit losses to their print advertising revenues quarter after quarter.
You guys are totally screwed, aren’t you?
Both companies laid off hundreds of employees and the country’s largest privately owned newspaper, The Woodbridge Limited-held Globe and Mail, also laid off 40 staff in the fall citing poor performance of its print revenue streams.
Plenty more where that came from, presstitutes and whorespondents. Keep the bullshit flowing!
And just, one last friendly reminder, corporate bullshit media: For the past three decades – at least – you have not only propagated government lies that have gotten millions of people killed, but you have been promoting trade policies on behalf of those same governments that have gotten HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of your own consumers thrown out of work. Those are hundreds of millions of people who can’t afford to buy the products that appear in your ink and on your airtime. The global warming hoax is one of the lesser things you need to be apologizing for. Thanks. A lot.
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