Catching up: the Last Week on

December 4, 2021

#JournalismIs essential to democracy. The next few months of the legislative agenda in Ottawa promise an intense chapter in the history of Canadian media as three Heritage Bills are scheduled to hit the order table; a revised Broadcasting Act, a Platform pay-for-news-content Bill, and online harms legislation.

There’s a cross connection between the three Bills: both the Broadcasting Act and the Platform Bill respond to the declining financial viability of news journalism. Conversely much of the political fuel for the online harms legislation is about anti-journalism, meaning the misinformation and online intimidation that pollutes social media platforms.

A Nanos poll says almost 80% of Canadians have had enough of online toxicity and want something done about it. That will embolden the Liberals to bring forward what will inevitably be a controversial Bill.

Meanwhile the changing of the CEO guard at Twitter suggests that there is one social media giant that might take its curation responsibility more seriously than a guy named Mark.

Doctor Media, heal thyself. A nice muckraking piece by Jon Horler says that 1 out of 10 television news panelists is a lobbyist with undisclosed conflicts of interest, but presented by the host network as a “strategist” or some other banality.

I have to admit I’m enough of a journalism homey that I mostly see the integrity of the flip side 9-out-of-10. But kudos to Horler for challenging the networks to be transparent.

Kevin. Not a Pearl Jam song. But rather Kevin Chan the face of Facebook in Canada. Martin Patriquin has written a terrific feature that tees off like a typical is-he-really-a-corporate-bad-guy profile but ends with a bang. Great read.

Published by

Howard Law

I am retired staff of Unifor, the union representing 300,000 Canadians in twenty different sectors of the economy, including 10,000 journalists and media workers. As the former Director of the Media Sector and as an unapologetic cultural nationalist, I have an abiding passion for public policy in Canadian media.

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