Friday, May 06, 2011
Of 22 major media in Canada surveyed, 21 endorsed Stephen Harper in the May 2, 2011 federal election
BC Mary comment: One of my regular stops is the online news magazine, STRAIGHT GOODS, published in Ontario ... the same Ontario which lost its wits in the May 2, 2011 federal election and handed Stephen Harper a majority government. This morning's edition of STRAIGHT GOODS really caught my attention with their opening remarks which included this editorial comment:
... This week an interesting article crossed our screen from the blog Mediamorphosis in which the author surveyed major media in Canada. Out of 22 surveyed, 21 endorsed Stephen Harper in the federal election.
This is why we need independent media in Canada.
That's heavy. So I went searching for "Mediamorphosis" and found a smart, readable summary of what happened to Canada on May 2, 2011. And bear in mind that it was written before voting day.
Politics, the Press and Bad News for Democracy: Newspaper Endorsements Update on Last Day Before Election
May 1, 2011
Dwayne Winseck's Media Blog 11 comments
For the last three days we’ve been playing the politics and the press game, counting up the editorial endorsements for Prime Minister made by the major daily newspapers across the country.
I’ve been focusing on 61 daily newspapers that belong to one of the nine main newspaper ownership groups in Canada that account for roughly 95 percent of the newspaper industry revenues. Today I added another newspaper to the list, the Winnipeg Free Press.
This means that we now can speak of the 10 largest newspaper groups in Canada. Our “sample” in other words now accounts for roughly 97 percent of the newspaper business in Canada.
The basic idea behind the free press is that it is suppose to reflect a plurality of a society’s voices and political forces. If that is true, shouldn’t the range of editorial opinion in the press come at least somewhat close to matching up with public opinion?
The news that I’ve delivered so far has not been good. On day one, I showed that out of the four editorial endorsements made by that time — one by the Globe and Mail and three others by members of the Post Media Group (National Post, Times Colonist and the The Province) – all picked Harper as their man. By yesterday, the number of endorsements had grown to 13, with 12 plunking down foursquare behind Harper.
In other words, despite only having support of roughly a third of Canadian citizens, 92% of editorial opinion in the press in Canada were stumping for Harper. Something was definitely out of whack, but perhaps there was hope because conceivably the remaining papers could come along to save the day, singing the praises of Ignatieff, Layton, Duceppe, or May in some way that roughly corresponded with the distribution of votes and voices in Canada.
Sorry, that hasn’t happened. For those hoping that somehow the editorial pages might finally line up with popular sensibilities and the disparate political forces that make up the fabric and culture of democracy in Canada, the bad news is now really bad news.
By today, Sunday before the election, the number of endorsements has leapt to 31. If the ‘editorial voices’ of Canada’s main daily newspapers roughly corresponded to people’s views based on a mixture of current opinion polls and the last election, then we would expect something like, give or take a few, 10 to 12 endorsements for the CPC and Harper, just under a quarter to line up behind either Layton and the NDP or Ignatieff and the Liberals, and the remainder to be split across the Greens and Bloc.
So, where do things now stand? The table below shows the results (BC Mary says: sorry, please visit the site to see a good, clear chart).
Parent Group & Titles Mrkt. Share ($ 2009) Dailies / Group CPC Lib. NDP Just Vote/ Multiple Parties
Post Media 27% 12 10 1
Sun Media 25.9 18 6 3
Toronto Star 13.9 1 1
Globe & Mail 7.2 1 1
Power Corp/ Gesca 9.8 7 3
Winnipeg Free Press 1 3.5 1
Transcontl. Media 3.2 11 1 2
Glacial 2.9 6 1
Halifax Herald 2.2 1 1
Brunswick News 2.1 4 1
10 Groups Total Tally 62 Titles 97.5% Market Share 21 0 1 10
Layton luckily picked up an endorsement from the Toronto Star. He and the NDP also got some mixed blessings among the papers of the La Presse group — which stands out as the most representative among the papers across the country, with papers in its group such as La Presse, Le Soleil and Le Droit backing a mix of candidates from all of the parties.
Counting just the endorsements of specific candidates for PM (Harper, Layton, Ignatieff, Duceppe, May), we find a stunning 21 out of 22 backing Harper. In other words, 95 percent of editorial opinion has solidified behind Harper. This is almost three times his standing in the public mind, and the last election.
The newspapers aligned with the Sun Media Group (Quebecor Media Inc, or QMI) and the re-incarnated Post Media Group have engaged in ‘bloc endorsements’. That they have done so is an indictment of editors who have sold their souls, shilling for owners one by one right across the country rather than exercising any editorial autonomy and freedom of their own minds. Instead, they take their marching orders from Montreal and Toronto. Readers deserve better.
This is also an indictment of the heavily concentrated nature of the newspaper and media business in Canada, with just two entities — QMI and Post Media — accounting for over half of the newspaper industry.
To be sure, their grip is not iron clad, and within both groups a few smaller papers like QMI’s Barrie Examiner, The Brockville Recorder and Times and The St. Catharines Standard as well as the Post Media’s Regina Leader-Post, appear to have been not quite so willing to swallow their master’s line. Instead, each of these small town papers has chosen to write ‘get out and vote for somebody’, civic-duty editorials. More than half of the small city newspapers in places like Nanaimo, Sault St. Marie, Kenora, Dawson Creek, and so on offered no editorial endorsements at all.
The editorials of the small city papers listed above and others like them are so important because at least they express an independent local editorial voice, and are more varied than unison of voices that have been strung through most of the big city papers.
But make no mistake that these are minor papers in the QMI and Post Media stables. In Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto, Montreal (but not Halifax and much of the Maritimes) and other major cities right across the country where these groups have dailies, editors are stumping for Harper. Even single major newspapers such at the Globe and Mail and the Winnipeg Free Press have weighed in strongly on the CPC side of the scale in Canada’s biggest cities and nation-wide.
This is not a free press. This is bad for democracy. The fact that a shackled press now stands to an extraordinary degree singing their praises for Dear Leader S. Harper from the same hymn sheet should give us pause for thought and reflection.
Even though I think that this is a problem of the highest order, let me close with three caveats that I think might lead us to a somewhat happier place:
First, opinions pronounced from the bully pulpit of the editorial page on behalf of media owners comes across as much more of phalanx of congealed opinion than the rest of the pages of the press. In other words, the solidity of editorial opinion is not matched to the same degree by journalistic opinion which, while still constrained, is of a broader range ...
BC Mary comment: There's lots more to read HERE.
Dwayne Winseck is Professor of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. He writes for The Globe and Mail.
If thinking for yourself is too much trouble, then I guess it's a big help if 21 newspapers all tell you the same thing.
But a well-rounded citizen usually likes to hear all viewpoints before ... get this ... before making up his own mind.
You didn't read the article, did you.
Next thing you know, you'll be buying a newspaper and it will tell you 10% of what went on today and you'll never know the whole story. Should save you a lot of time.
But then, you apparently like the easy answers, whether they make sense or not.
Just for you (I'm sure), Gary Mason has written something for The Globe and Mail today:
There's more for you to enjoy, just in today's readings!
Don't miss this piece by Jody Paterson in Victoria Times Colonist:
I too believe, 21 out of 22 of the media endorsing Harper, is absolutely sickening and impossible to believe. The media with all the same results is, like price collusion at the gas pumps.
But, Wikileaks says, the N.A.U. is on it's way. Canada will be the largest state in the U.S.A. There is a method in Harper's madness, this was his evil agenda all along. Don't expect anyone will believe this, until it's far too late.
Canada, Mexico and the U.S. currency will be the Amero dollar. The three country's will be, the North American Union, the (N.A.U.) They will build aqua ducts, to funnel our clean drinking water, to the states. Canada already gives water to some of the states and Mexico.
It sort of sounds like, the globe will be in sections, and a Global Governance will be the top dog, who oversees, all of the sectioned off globe.
There is to be, the South American Union. The Asian Union. The European Union. And us, the North American Union.
I pray Wikileaks is telling a big lie, but, I'm scared stiff, that they aren't.
Just so you know: I always provide the link so you can copy-and-paste if you have any difficulty with the CLICK option.
It's working OK.
I haven't seen the latest Wikileaks yet. Thanks for the tip, it's bad news but better to know what's being planned than to be stumbling around like blind mice.
You'd think those 21 newsroom editors would be blushing PURPLE for their treachery.
1. colusion; and
2. a comprehensive systemativc purpose to control the meek.
I dont beleive it. I think its becuase the Media knows, as does most thinking candains, that Ignateuf was off point, and Layton spewed unrealistic strategies that just werent possible, let alone workable.
Could it be that BC MAry is the one who isnt "getting it?"
You, no doubt are a "thinking candain" yourself, determined to make up your own news with the help from the 21 docile newspapers.
I bet you didn't read the information provided, such as "Which newspaper endorsed Jack Layton?" Why is that? Scared?
And I'm darn sure you never read Toronto Star on the topic of Jack Layton strategies. Toronto Star is the one paper which didn't follow orders.
Why not open your mind a little? Find out more about the world you'll be living in.
Btw, don't trouble yourself putting words into my mouth which I never said, and would not say.
I've provided enough space on my blog for YOU to have at least made an effort to present a logical argument explaining why you believe Herr Harper is our Saviour ... but you didn't even try. That's interesting.
You'd rather squabble. You'd rather call people bad names. Well ...
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