Media concentration

Some excerpts of recent stories about this week’s CRTC hearings:

Federal broadcast regulators revealed anxieties over delving into journalistic standards and independence as they heard complaints from unions on Wednesday about the negative consequences of cross-media ownership. Canadian Press story on

Canada’s broadcasters should be required to compete for their licences when they come up for renewal, which would make incumbent companies more accountable and ensure new players can break into the industry, regulators were told Wednesday. Grant Robertson, in the Globe and Mail, reports that a media union wants licence renewals opened to competition to bring more diversity in an era of consolidation.
In context, commercial networks argue that Canadian companies need to grow through mergers and takeovers to compete on a global stage being reshaped by the Internet. On the other side, media guilds, arts advocates and production industry groups argued that consolidation is dangerous to the diversity of broadcast voices in Canada.

The federal broadcasting regulator is learning quickly that if it wants to impose new rules to restrict market concentration, it will do so over the vehement opposition of the country’s big media companies.  The Canadian Press.

The debate over media consolidation in Canada is turning into a fight over who controls access to the millions of television sets across the country. Grant Robertson, the Globe and Mail.

Should the CRTC choose to limit the growth of Canadian media companies, domestic players will be at risk of being swept away by giants such as News Corp. and Google, Quebecor Media Inc. told the broadcast regulator on Tuesday. Paul Vieira, Financial Post