When the bank pulled
the plug on Canwest’s newspaper division last week, faint hope flickered in
the land. A Town Hall
post asked: “Are we coming to the end of the decade-long train wreck of
But the history
of Canadian media ownership lends itself to more of the same, with hope for a post-monopoly
future growing dim in the cold light of day. Canada’s recent track record
includes a 2005 senate inquiry into media concentration that let big media off the
hook, followed by the CRTC’s ‘Diversity
Hearings,’ which went nowhere.
No surprise, then, that Canwest wants the newspapers sold
as a whole, a concept the creditors are unlikely to argue with. Bankers and moguls love chains; they offer
‘synergies’ and ‘efficiencies’ – although if one measures efficiency by local
news production, the claim is dubious.
ROB mag on the
downfall of Canwest – October 2009
Tyee’s Big Media Backgrounder – Links to stories and opinion.