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Posts Tagged ‘news’

“This kind of financial adventurism has got to stop”

In Learnings on May 25, 2010 at 9:49 AM

The Tyee is my alternative source of news. CBC gives me a base, but because it is so encumbered by its duty to the federal government, I like to have a devil’s advocate in my ear too.

Today, Mike Bocking wrote about the effects of a US hedge fund group buying a large bushel of Canadian newspapers. The likely future of these newspapers (the Vancouver Sun being one of them) is to continue pushing the bottom line and hacking away educated, experienced, talented journalists.

With this sacrifice comes an even further loss in relevant content. Relevant is the key word here: though I may look and spend similarly to an American, I do indeed live in a different country with a different social system and a different set of cultural forces at work. So I want to hear about Canadian issues, and BC issues – not to mention issues related to youth (18-35).

Bocking questions whether this sale will offer any benefits to the Canadian news audience. He points out the vitality of newspapers to our cultural knowledge base, and how shallow the news has become since its creators have been streamlined and sacked. So in an ideal world, what does Bocking suggest should be done?

Reinvest in readers, reflect their values, reign in the pirates

In other words:

1. Investing in reader = investing in content = investing in content makers, i.e., real journalists!

2. Take a look at the audience and write to their values. One can’t deny there exists some right-wing libertarians in BC, but there is an overwhelming amount of middle- to left-leaning thinkers. Write for them too.

3. The “pirates” Bocking refers to are media moguls who built empires on the backs of fired staff and the raiding of their once-paid wages. The moguls also “flipped” the papers into debt, requiring more cutbacks and cost-savings. Bocking is concerned that this new buyer [said US-hedge fund group] will be just concerned about satisfying Canadian readers’ news needs.

Without relevant content, you won’t have the readers. And without the readers, any amount of online feeds or interactive websites will fall flat. Return to the sustainable essence of news media – quality and relevant content to the local audience – and the money will follow.