A 1969 Davey Special Committee Report on Mass Media concluded, This country should no longer tolerate a situation where the public interest, in so vital a field as information, is dependent on the greed or goodwill of an extremely privileged group of media-owner businessmen. Beware of media monopolies, was the unheeded warning to Canadians.
The 1981 Kent Commission Report on the concentration of newspaper ownership opens with the statement: Freedom of the press is not a property right of owners. It is the right of the people. It is part of their right to free expression, inseparable from the right to inform themselves.
Weve come a long way baby! Today, a handful of profit-motivated media moguls have a stranglehold on what Canadians watch, read and hear. Tabloid sensationalism, blood-and-gore crime, celebrity gossip, sports hype mostly imported have eliminated the media as a public forum for political and social issues.
Eliminating competition has transformed the media from disseminators of information to little more than advertising billboards and, often, political bullhorns.
Media monopolies are making the concept democracy redundant look at recent voter turnout.
It could get worse! CBCs mandate is now under review and its licence expiry has been extended one year, likely to give time for our nations manufacturers of public opinion, the media consortium, to launch a propaganda and lobbying campaign to brand the CBC as unfair competition and waste of taxpayer funding.
We need the CBC; they keep us from becoming Americans, who have been described as the most entertained but least informed people on the planet.
It could be your last chance to say something! Online public consultation on the CBC mandate closes midnight (EST) on July 18, 2011. Go to: www.cbc-consultation-src.ca/.