Future of Journalism: monopoly vs indie

What’s does the future of Journalism look like? 2016 will be a year of many changes.

The Canadian media industry is facing an uncertain future. There have been many journalism jobs lost. Traditional media is facing increased competition from digital alternatives. Plus, soon people will have more control over which channels are included in their TV packages which will mean even less Canadian news.

Just recently, Toronto Star announced it intends to close its main printing plant in the Greater Toronto Area. Apparently, The Star is planning on attracting more tablet readers by the end of 2016.

Shaw Communications just announced it is selling its media division which includes Global TV and Shaw TV outlets to Corus Entertainment for $2.65 billion.

Guerilla Journalism

Young journalists entering the field will have to find a new way to survive. Here is an intervew conducted by a Mohawk College journalism student with indie journalist Joey Coleman. Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Coleman has found his niche covering city hall politics for his blog “The Public Record”.  He talks about the four different types of news media models.

Canadian Press Clubs

The National NewsMedia Council is now up and running. The new council is the union of the Ontario Press Council, the Atlantic Press Council and the British Columbia Press Council and was constituted officially on September 1, 2015.

Absolute ban on unregistered expression

A new law has been passed in BC which could shut the door on bloggers.

BC is the only province in Canada that requires a person or group to register with authorities in order to discuss election issues – even if they spend little or no money.

If you neglect to register with Elections B.C. before engaging in these acts of so-called “political advertising”, you could be looking at a year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. (Other forms of “political advertising” targeted by this law include public facebook posts and  handwritten political signs).

FIPA (BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association) is in the process of challenging this new law in the Supreme Court of Canada to argue that this absolute ban on unregistered expression is unconstitutional, as it applies to communications with a value of zero.

Ma Murray – BC Journalist

“Ma” Murray was a pioneer in BC journalism when print news was king.  Margaret “Ma” Murray was born in 1888 and died in Lillooet in 1982 at the age of 94.  Ma and her journalist/ politician husband started the Bridge River-Lillooet News in March 1, 1934 and later the Alaska Highway News in Fort St. John. Both of these newspapers are now owned by Glacier Media which operates more than 50 community newspapers across Western Canada.

Ma Murray was critical of the Premier of British Columbia for continuing a coalition with the provincial Tories. She ran as a Social Credit candidate in Peace River in the 1945 provincial election, where she was editor of the Alaska Highway News.

Ma Murry political cartoon 1967
Ma Murry political cartoon 1967

“Ma” Murray wrote in 1967:

“The press of Canada by and large in our opinion have let the people of Canada down …The Canadian Press ought to take a readin’ on itself. What good is it if it isn’t keeping watch for the people who read it…”

The cartoon shows “Ma” Murray going after “Wacky” Bennett who was premier of British Columbia history for almost 20 years and won elections in 1952, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1963, 1966, and 1969. His son Bill Bennett was premier from 1975 to 1986.  Between the father and son they ran BC for over 30 years.