Sue's Blog

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Canada's National Media - News or Propaganda?

I would like to scrum the national media. I would like to ask questions about their coverage of "news" and of their editorial decisions. I would like to grill the assignment editors and get reasons for their choices.

Yesterday I watched a Harper orchestrated media fest and watched our Prime Minister do what he does best - direct our national media outlets as he sees fit. The fact that our media complies is another issue and one that should concern all Canadians.

The federal election is in October and the Conservative Party Script is unfolding.

Yesterday morning many of us were alerted - on Twitter - that Peter MacKay was "resigning". This set the stage for the all-day puppy like behavior of our national "journalists".

Next we were told that the RCMP had released the remainder (18 seconds) of the video left by the deceased Parliament Hill shooter. This too began a Pavlovian like fear conditioning of the voting public. The timing of the release begs questions that were not forthcoming.

Today Canada's media stopped being journalistic and became part of the Conservative Party of Canada narrative.

The media - for a brief second - mused that the 18 second video release was not much more than what had already been released. Regardless of that assessment - the media then spent half the nation's daily media time to talk about ISIS, terror, war, and national defence.

With regard to the MacKay story - Canada's national media spent an entire day predicting, chasing, and musing on the announcement that the CPC co-founder and PC defector was not going to run again. This of course became frenzied once it was determined that the Prime Minister was going to attend the "announcement".

Oh good I thought - finally the media would trap the Prime Minister in Nova Scotia and scrum him. That hope was quickly dashed when I recognized the choreography unfolding. Harper spoke first - then MacKay - then a tea - and finally Peter MacKay gave a scrum. Prime Minister Harper - once again - used the media for free campaign advertising. You see the PM began and ended with CPC talking points on the government's "accomplishments" - without one second for the media to question him on those statements. That is not news. That is propaganda.

Peter MacKay is not running again because he "loves his family more". As a senior Cabinet Minister and long time MP a News Release was warranted and could be noted by the media. What we got however was a soap opera of the entire MacKay family - probably best kept for a thank-you party for his dedicated volunteers - in private.

We are without a fully functioning fourth estate - making the fifth estate more important now than ever before.

It is now suggested by noted academics that bloggers, social media, and non-mainstream forums are the fifth estate. READ MORE HERE

It is time that our national media refuse to cover photo-ops and prepared self-serving events of the Prime Minister until he opens himself up to proper media scrutiny. It is time that we challenged our mainstream national media. We have the social media tools and technology and we must use these to protect our democracy.

We must have the courage to challenge our media and hold them to account as we would our politicians. There is no doubt there are some in the mainstream media that can be as vindictive and petty as the worst of our hyper-partisan elected officials. Some spend more time attacking the general public on social media than they spend keeping our MP's honest. There are journalists in our country who maintain professional standards and understand the important role they play in our society. Ironically - many of them have turned to blogs and use of social media to free themselves of outside or inside (management/executive) influence.

Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs all enable the citizens of Canada to communicate with one another and share opinions, information, and ideas - with relative ease. We can now utilize more resources to get the news of the day and different spins of it.

With these relatively new communications tools - people are seeing the mainstream media in a new light. The national news broadcasters, national papers, and news magazines are seen as one source of news not the only source. Breaking news often comes from citizen reporter and often provides evidence in the case of criminal activity.

Political events have changed as live tweeting occurs during the affair. What a politician says one day can be replayed at a moments notice. Budget documents - legislation - the Hansard and talk shows - all easily accessible.

Some journalists have embraced this new communications era. They supplement and improve their own material with information from social media. Sadly others dismiss bloggers, tweeters and citizen reporters. They actually spend work time attempting to marginalize people - ironically the same people they want to support their work.

So yesterday was a banner day for mainstream media. Mackay's announcement that he was not going to seek election again was given coverage usually reserved for a second coming. Just to pump the CPC a little more - they threw in 18 seconds of video that added nothing substantial to what we citizens have already seen regarding the Parliament Hill shooting.

Yesterday was Stephen Harper's day - orchestrated and directed. We were subjected to hours of propaganda and free CPC advertising.

Paid political pundits and "journalists" going on about Peter MacKay and his love of family. I would hope that all our politicians have such love and that all politicians do not find it necessary to bail on public service when they have a family.

When my children were young - I spent a period of time working full-time - raising two wonderful children (now wonderful adults) and on the side spending 30-40 hours a week for 2 years trying to stop the privatization of hydro. I am not alone - there are parents out there doing the same thing everyday - some having to work three jobs to support their families. We have thousands of volunteers giving of themselves while raising children and earning income.

The media should know that a cardiologist putting in 80 hour weeks so others may live to be with their families - retire without a word - let alone a Prime Ministerial visit and speaking engagement.

As for Peter's body of work - well after they dispensed with his political pedigree (the history of Elmer) they spoke ad nauseam about his portfolios and importance in the political history of Canada. The fathers of Confederation had nothing on Steve and Pete. MacKay's body of work has for the most part been a failure. I cannot speak to the benefits received directly by his district - but looking at his national contribution he has been a failure.

1. The first order of his business was to be slimy - how did he win the PC leadership? What did he swear not to do?

2. Pesky helicopters.

3. Questionable comments about women - (judges, lawyers, past girlfriend).

4. Extreme right-wing "family" values. Marriage, Right to die, or how about a woman's right to choose which political party she'd like to support?

5. Complete dismissal or ignorance of our Constitution.

6.   “far-fetched hypothetical scenario” he says while condemning the Supreme Court of Canada (arrogant much?)

7. "life cycles" of F-35's fiasco.

8. Harper's lieutenant (wow) there's a plus

The mainstream media did a complete disservice to the public yesterday and once again showed how fearful or supportive they are of Harper. The Prime Minister who ducks debates, ducks scrums, ducks first Minister's conferences, and ducks real democracy - pulled the strings of our national media yet again.

1 comment:

Kathleen F. said...

I agree with you......MSM is a farce!