Worried About the Future of Canadian Media? Join Our Discussion!

Thursday night’s Cinema Politica screening of Shadows of Liberty and the subsequent panel discussion were always going to be interesting but events this week just cranked that “interesting” level up to 11.

The 2013 documentary, which screens at 6:00PM at the McConnell Library in Sydney, is directed by Canada’s Jean-Philippe Tremblay and based largely on Ben Bagdikian’s 2004 book, The New Media Monopoly. It explores the impact of corporate ownership and concentration of ownership on US media.

Tremblay focuses on the stories of three reporters who found themselves at odds with their corporate bosses and while the material is not new – the most recent story involves media acceptance of the US government’s assertion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (what, I believe, we’d today call “fake news”) – the issues raised remain all too relevant.

That said, what happens after the movie may be even more relevant: the issues raised by the film will be related to the local media scene during a post-film panel discussion moderated by Ian MacNeil and featuring CBC Cape Breton Information Morning host Steve SutherlandInverness Oran editor Rankin MacDonaldVictoria Standard publisher/editor Andrew Brooks and yours truly.

In the wake of Monday’s announcement that two Canadian media giants — Torstar and Post Media — plan to swap ownership of a total of 41 community newspapers, then close 35 of them, that panel discussion just became extremely timely. Add the recent purchase of 28 Atlantic Canadian newspapers by Mark Lever and Sarah Dennis’ SaltWire Network and the community newspaper “trades and closures” that have been happening for years in British Columbia, and it’s clear that Canada is no stranger to issues of corporate media ownership and concentration of ownership.

Please join us for the film and discussion on Thursday.


Cinema Politica in Cape Breton

The Spectator is co-sponsoring Thursday’s event with the recently re-activated local chapter of Cinema Politica, a Montreal-based media arts, non-profit network of community and campus locals that screen independent political film and video by Canadian and international artists throughout Canada and abroad.

Organizer Madeline Yakimchuk says Cinema Politica plans to screen five films during its membership year, each of which will be selected in consultation with a local community group or agency which has agreed to cosponsor the event. Interested co-sponsors should contact Cinema Politica Cape Breton.






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