Friday, April 24, 2009

Why newspapers are failing

Watched this presentation by Linda McQauig.

Starts with Mark Twain quote about those who don't read newspapers are uninformed, people who read newspapers are misinformed.

Some excellent points that should be repeated. Newspapers are complaining that they are failing because nobody reads the news anymore. But as McQuaig points out they aren't really reporting news, just broadcasting the narrative of the corporate elite. Corporations are blind to their own blindness. If they really want to sell newspapers they would report on newsworthy items. Like:

-Eqos study of Canadian opinion and the gap between what ordinary people want and what the corporate elite want. Elite want small government, less regulation and deeper economic and military integration with the US but 48% of Canadians want exactly the opposite. That's news but it hasn't been reported in corporate media.

-capitalism is collapsing but corporate elite still wants to blame workers for the collapse eg. the auto industry.

-half of all Canadians support an early withdrawal from Afghanistan. That is news that doesn't get reported. Doesn't fit a corporate agenda.

-the story of the Nato bombing mission that mistakenly killed a bunch of people at an Afghani wedding that killed 36 people and injuring the bride. Now that is a big news story with a large human interest element. Given the Canadian involvement with NATO there should be lots of interest. But the G and M buried it deep on page 21. If the newspaper agenda is to sell papers as they claim, that should have been splashed over front pages for days.

-Canadian Civil Assistance plan. Allows US troops to cross into Canada. Interesting to Canadians but it was never announced to Canadians. They would be under the ultimate control of the US Commander in Chief. Didn't hit the front pages because the corporate elites think that deeper economic and military integration with the US whereas most Canadians want the opposite.

So the idea that newspapers have a grievance because people don't want to read newspapers is disingenuous. They don't really want to sell papers by reporting actual news, but their version of the news that furthers the corporate political agenda.

No comments: