Ira Wagman puts the Canwest – Shaw deal in context, noting that media concentration in Canada is a direct consequence of a broader media policy.
Making Sense of the Canwest – Shaw Deal
March 4, 2010
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That is an excellent overview and helps to show the danger we are facing. The next merger getting attention after Shaw + Global is Bell + TELUS which has in reality already started. Really what Bay Street is talking about right now is just making it official. Once Bellus has a nation wide lock on the phone side it will in all likely hood lead to a Shaw + Rogers merger on the cable side.
The concentration keeps getting scarier and scarier. Any news paper not owned by a media outlet will soon be gone. Add to that the fact that the bloggers can be shut down by the companies that own the pipes and it means the day of the one official voice is not far away. Mean while our fellow Canadians keep sleep walking through life.
However, this is just an expansion of the assimilation of the small media outlets into the larger ones that has been going on for some time. Previously, it was mostly similar media assimilating and to a lesser extent other forms of media. With the scarcity of new properties to acquire, the next logical step is the assimilation of alternate forms of delivery.
I am not sure that allowing foreign corporations to purchase Canadian media outlets is a good thing either; all this means is that there is more companies vying to purchase the properties, and assert their own editorial values on the reporting. My personal view is that less consolidation would be better for Canadian society rather than assimilation of Canadian media outlets into larger, possibly foreign owned, mega-corps.
With apologies to Gene Roddenbury, but drawing parallels with the Borg collective is, to me, apropos.