The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

It just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger...

Media merger mania may have just begun. Big media groups have continued to grow as the Federal Communications Commission and the courts roll back rules that once kept such companies from merging. This is a report and transcript from PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Reported by Terence Smith.

Although this report is specific to the American situation, the continued urge to merge internationally will continue to be felt here in Canada. Concentrated media ownership in Canada is already a major issue, as the consumer may have more choices in the types of media that they consume, but the number of providers is decreasing. Consequently, the same voices are now being repeated and translated across many different media. While this may be efficient for the providers, it is unlikely that this state of affairs is preferable for consumers.

Perhaps, in order to provide greater choice for Canadians, it may be time for the federal government to relax restrictions on foreign ownership of media outlets. Although some might see this as a threat to Canadian culture, I don't think that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, a company without a country nowadays, ownership of the Sky satellite TV service in Europe has hurt their countries' cultures any. It's most likely that foreign media companies would purposely tailor their content to Canadians, and they may, in fact, improve it.

Our current Canadian media juggernaut, CanWest Global, has contemplated ideas like only having one movie critic, or food critic, or automotive writer, for all its papers, and running their work nationwide. Might foreign companies budget for more locally produced material? After all, newspaper chains like Tribune, Knight-Ridder, and Gannett have local writers for some special features, witrh other areas being covered by syndicated fare. Can it really be any worse than the pages of the Vancouver Sun these days?

I crave original writing, and I'm sure not getting it from my local paper. At least the Globe and Mail runs mostly original material.
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