A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Death of Newspapers & the Birth of a Wiki.

Its not so much the death of a newspaper as the death of news from a variety of sources in any given community be it in print or on line........
TorStar and Postmedia had quietly swapped papers and without warning shut down any competition in 34 markets across Ontario. As the Financial Post noted:
Postmedia Network Inc. and Torstar Corp. announced Monday they traded 41 publications and plan to close 36 papers in places where they compete. The shuttering of 34 papers in Southern Ontario, one in Winnipeg and one in Vancouver will eliminate 291 jobs and save each company between $5 million to $7 million annually.
The companies say they remain committed to local news and are only closing papers in regions served by multiple publications.
Barrie Today called it a ‘sad day’:
Sixteen employees at the Barrie Examiner lost their jobs and 11 more people at the Orillia Packet and Times are out of work in a mega-newspaper swap between Torstar Corp. and Postmedia Network Inc.
Employees were told at 9 a.m. Monday that the long-time daily publications in Barrie and Orillia, along with counterpart Northumberland Today were shutting down effective immediately.
Eight community newspapers are also closing including the Bradford Times, Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin and the Innisfil Examiner.
Paul Godfrey the CEO who's presiding over the Postmedia newspaper chain, crocodile tears over the closures have to be measured against his $1.7 million-a-year salary, his $900,000 retention bonus in 2016 (while he was refusing to grant employees a tiny cost-of-living wage increase) and his contract that guarantees him a job until at least 2020. You really think he gives a damn about the people whose lives he has disrupted?
Tip of the hat to Ian Chatwick for that one......

Sadly its no longer so much about presenting the news in an unbiased way but more about profit and manipulation of opinion, I gess it has been thus for some time but now there are even less choices available to the reader! There is one possible bright light on the horizon for online readers (how many of us actuary read printed newspapers nowadays anyway?) …...... read on!

The WikiTribune exists because of the disappointing state of news media right now (it’s worth noting the idea for the site came before Trump) and the hope is that WikiTribune can outsource news production to people like the way Wikipedia does.
Jimmy Wales founder of Wikipedia writes …...
The day I opened Wikipedia to the public, January 15, 2001, it was not an encyclopedia – yet. Therefore, that was not the launch of an encyclopedia. What was it, then? It was the launch of a project to build an encyclopedia.
What is this, then? This is the launch of a project to build a news service. An entirely new kind of news service in which the trusted users of the site – the community members – are treated as equal to the staff of the site. …..........
My goals are pretty easy to understand, but grand in scope (more fun that way, eh?): to build a global, multilingual, high quality, neutral news service. I want us to be in as many languages as possible as fast as possible. I want us to be more concerned with being right than being first. I want us to report objectively and factually and fairly on the news with no other agenda than this: The ultimate arbiters of the truth are the facts of reality. That’s agenda enough to keep us busy.

I like the concept of this 'community newspaper' in that it could lead to less biased place to seek our daily input of 'news', time will tell how effective it will be in filtering the BS and 'fake' news from its pages. Still I really feel the loss of truly local news, be it in print or online, where radio is still the mainstay of staying somewhat abreast of what is happening in your local community.

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Alan Goodhall said...

The concept of Wiki news is a good idea. But I'm not sure researching and reporting the facts of reality is something we can crowd source. That's why it's a profession after all. Whereas anyone can write an opinion piece.

But it won't hurt to try. Intriguing.

Rural said...

As you say Alan, the jurys out on this one. Good to hear from you again!