Category Archives: media

This is more than worth $60 million


Media meltdown

Is it time to restructure the television broadcasters in Canada? Improving on the current arrangement is no great feat.

CTV is hemorrhaging millions of dollars, Global is on death’s door, and even CBC is short on cash.

What I ask now, I ask as a cultural nationalist: would it really be so bad to open the border to the American networks? Prime time is already mostly American imports. Small market TV stations are already neglected or closing.

Let ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC broadcast their own shows (which are already available on practically every Canadian TV) in the major markets with the same Canadian content rules as domestic networks. The average consumer probably wouldn’t notice. Then adequately fund the CBC to fill the gaps in places like London or Regina, which are not profitable but deserve a local station.

Cinematic mice

That historical asymmetry was exacerbated in Mexico’s case following its entry into NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) in 1994. Subsequently, and unlike Canada (another of three “partner” countries to enter into the agreement), Mexico became increasingly unable to protect its film industry from the onslaught of Hollywood, particularly in the areas of distribution and exhibition, and, between 1995 and 1997, film production slumped to an all-time low there since the 1930s.

Framework 49, No. 2, Fall 2008, pp. 86–105.

It’s interesting that Hollywood is producing Spanish-language films for foreign audiences. I suspect there wasn’t much of a domestic film industry, by the early nineties, to muscle out of English Canada, but what protects French Canada from cultural domination by Hollywood? Is it that there are so few francophones it would be unprofitable, or are there too few French-speaking people in Los Angeles (as compared to Spanish-speaking people or English Canadians) for the necessary cross-cultural pollination?

We’ll follow this adorable story throughout the day

CNN is treating Obama’s visit like a water-skiing squirrel.

Brock Press Offends, BUSU Interferes

I must have missed these issues of the paper.

Apparently a humour piece suggesting alternative items to hand out at Halloween instead of candy suggested stool samples and the Qur’an in the same breath.

Whoops. The paper probably should have seen the trouble a mile away. Anyway, the editor apologized the next week.

And then the Student’s Union, BUSU, apologized too. Apparently BUSU’s President had a chat with the editor to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The trouble here is that the Brock Press is supposed to be independent of BUSU.

“The Brock University Students’ Union acknowledges that the Brock Press is an editorially autonomous division of BUSU, however as the publisher of the Brock Press, BUSU feels that it has a responsibility to the students and the community to rectify any harm done through this article.”

I don’t think BUSU had any responsibility to intervene, even informally, in this mess. Apologizing for the content of the Brock Press implies control of the content, which there should not be.

This isn’t about religious tolerance or freedom of the press. I’m not defending or condemning the paper’s initial decision to print the tasteless joke or its subsequent apology. Those issues are between the Brock Press and its readers.

This is about BUSU’s interference in the operation of the only media outlet that pays attention to BUSU. The St Catharines Standard isn’t going print critical stories about BUSU; that job belongs to the Brock Press.

Local lols

I had a good laugh catching up with Doug Herod’s columns in the Standard.

Here is some local geekery (and I say that with all the respect in the world) that will only amuse people who have been paying attention. First, following the mayor’s $1000 bet that GO buses are on their way:

The bet: Where will the new hospital eventually go, west St. Catharines or at Highway 406 and Regional Road 20 in Thorold?

The stakes: The winner gets to annex the loser.

(For the record, I agree that GO buses are overrated. They are mostly just a means to an end – GO trains. There’s a respectability to trains you can’t get from wheels on a highway.)

Next, on the subject of NRP officers riding horses downtown:

Lewis said if the horses poop on the street, the police will leave it to Mother Nature to clean it up.

Inquiring minds now want to know: Does the city’s nuisance bylaw apply to horses?

Or is it a case where Johnny the Brock student gets hit with a $300 fine for defecating on King Street while five metres up the road Mr. Ed gets off scot-free?

Palin gets SNL’d

Tina Fey returns to SNL with an excellent impersonation of Sarah Palin. Watch it at

I think this might be one of those rare sketches that will have a considerable effect on the race. Even if it doesn’t directly change anyone’s opinion of Palin, it will change how the media reports on her, like the sketch about the Obama-media lovefest did during the primaries.

Key quote:

Clinton (Poehler): “In conclusion, I invite the media to grow a pair. And if you can’t, I will lend you mine.”