Cheers for Roy Greenslade’s superb job in covering the recent mergers of major Canadian newspaper corporations in “Big Deals for Canadian Newspaper Publishers.” By acquiring the failing Victoria Times Colonist, two daily newspapers, and twenty publications within the Potsdam Network, Glacier Media and Torstar Corp will hopefully ensure the continuation of news coverage for a broad spectrum of readers with varying political perspectives.
In the age of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and the like, traditional media coverage provided by skilled reporters and overseen by qualified editors has been pushed out of the scene in favor of the ever-growing appetite for instant information, regardless of merit. The snippet and the sound bite have superseded the rich fields of investigative journalism and the editorial process.
It is not entirely comforting, however, that some media institutions like Glacier Media and Torstar Corp have pressured other companies by absorbing them, thereby placing them at the whim of media oligopolies. Their monopolistic control, while enabling the print media to survive, needs to be closely monitored. Unless media conglomerates are held accountable for maintaining objectivity and editorial oversight, the credibility and quality of printed news will become as ephemeral as the nontraditional media sources that have come to dominate the contemporary scene. The ideological importance of the acquisitions is far more consequential than the any financial gain and should be upheld to preserve the integrity of the “Fourth Estate.”
Zachary Deibel, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs