Tyee Poll: Is Nationalizing Journalism the Way to End Fake News?

Hedge-fund billionaires are wringing the last drops of profit out of Canadian media organizations (cough... Postmedia... cough) before sending them out to pasture entirely — according to Crawford Kilian in a recent op-ed for The Tyee.

Earlier this month, Postmedia announced that it was laying off 54 Sun and Province employees, including 29 people in the already shrunken newsroom. According to Kilian, “Postmedia’s owners have no interest in informing British Columbians (or other Canadians) — only in making themselves richer, and less taxed.”

Here enters the idea of a so-called “basic income” for public-interest media, a federally funded organization Kilian dubs the Canadian News Foundation — its governing board appointed apolitically. It wouldn’t be unlike the CBC — except for the crucial difference that it would be immune from funding cuts from governments feeling bruised by some damning report or another put out by the media organizations on the receiving end of funding.

Call it a new Crown corporation, but one that mandates fact-based news across the political spectrum. Community and regional papers could apply for funding, as could online news organizations. Stories generated with this funding would be publicly accessible to all.

Expensive? Yes. As Kilian writes, this “would be an expensive proposition, but some hedge-fund billionaires are prepared to spend far more to demolish democratic government and replace it with a plutocracy enforced by private armies.”

According to Kilian, this funding mechanism is the way to save public-interest journalism from going the way of woolly mammoths, milkmen and video rental stores — with the foundation of democratic function at stake.

This isn’t the first proposed solution to Canadian journalism’s dire situation published in The Tyee. Last month, we put together a list of “ten ways to build a new media ecosystem,” including lifting or loosening philanthropic restrictions and tax breaks for media support.

the above COPIED from www.thetyee.ca

Comments

zapdam's picture
zapdam 1 year 3 weeks ago
#1

"UPDATE: A former executive director of the Fraser Institute has confirmed to the Vancouver Observer that the think tank has been taking money from the Koch brothers for "years and years."

“I know the grant from the Koch Foundation is for our international work, but I can't tell you which of the projects ... it's funding,” Fraser Institute co-founder Michael Walker said. “Before the Koch Foundation, we used to get funding from Koch Industries, when they had extensive holdings in Canada."

Walker defended the Fraser Institute's use of foreign money, saying that any funds from the Kochs are being used to fund international work, for which "we do have to raise money offshore from different sources.”

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"When last in power, Canada’s governing Conservatives had launched a campaign to go after charitable groups that engage in politics, in a fairly transparent effort to fight back opposition to the expansion of Canada’s oil industry.

The Tories and their allies had made a meme out of complaining that Canada’s environmental groups were backed by foreign money, conveniently omitting that Canada’s oil sands have themselves been built with billions in foreign money.

But as the Tories went ahead with their campaign against politically active charities, they found themselves having to smack down some of their own preferred charitable organizations -- those that back the oil sands.

In a report released earlier this month, the left-leaning U.S. Center for American Progress reported that the Koch brothers, owners of Koch Industries and a favourite target of the American left, had donated $373,721 in total to the Fraser Institute, arguably Canada’s most prominent right-wing think tank and an official charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency."

Roland de Brabant's picture
Roland de Brabant 1 year 3 weeks ago
#2

So sorry Zap, Canada is now just another US satrapy.

Roland

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