NDP call to action on media concentration
NDP MP and heritage critic Charlie Angus (Timmins–James Bay) has called on the Canadian public to register its concerns for what he called the "disturbing concentration of media into fewer and fewer corporate hands".
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is presently holding proceedings on the level of diversity in Canada’s media as a result of a recent string of mergers and acquisitions in the industry, according to an NDP news release. The deadline for public submissions is July 18.
"The number of diverse voices in Canada’s media market has been shrinking to dangerously low levels in recent years," Angus stated in the release. "The CRTC is finally looking into the matter, but the window for the public to make their voice heard is closing fast."
On April 5, the Straight ran a cover story on media giants CTVglobemedia and CanWest’s ongoing pursuit to assimilate an ever-greater number of media outlets into their ranks.
In that story, UBC law professor Joel Bakan noted that the public owns the airwaves and, therefore, has a strong interest in how they are used. "This increasing concentration—increasing privatization, decreasing commitment to public broadcasting—is all pushing in the same direction," he said. "And that direction is homogeneity with the United States, less diversity, and fewer possibilities for Canadians to tell their own stories to themselves."
In the NDP’s release, Angus also publicly endorsed a campaign launched by Canadians for a Democratic Media aimed at increasing public input in support of media diversity into the CRTC hearings.