A while ago I blogged about the attempts to introduce Fox News in Canada. Now there is an important development which doesn't bode well for the future of Canadian journalism. This is what Canukistani, the reader who alerted me to the news, wrote in his comment:
I’d like to make an update based on an article in the Toronto Star today. A piece by Stephen Scharper stated that the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission) “is seeking to relax restrictions concerning the broadcasting of specious information on radio and television.” Currently a Fox news or right wing American style radio shows cannot exist in Canada because the law stipulates that broadcasters “shall not broadcast any false or misleading news.” Last month the CRTC put a notice on its website that it wants to modify this law to “any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.”
Now, this is very important. For now, we, the citizens of Canada, are protected by the laws of our country from an advent of irresponsible propaganda-mongers ready and willing to spread lies without any concern for the truth. If you have had any sort of consistent exposure to Canadian newscasts, you couldn't have failed to notice that Canadian newschannels differ greatly from their American counterparts in that they actually transmit news. Not political spin. Just news. Today we are about to lose all that. The result will be sad for all of us:
So who decides which information is false and endangers the public or is false and just funny entertainment for the masses? - A triumvirate appointed by (guess who?) our Conservative government. Of course we have nothing to worry about based on their long and distinguished commitment to transparency and evidence based policy i.e. two prorogations of parliament in one year, eliminating the census, increasing spending on prisons due to an increase in unreported crime. I could continue but I think that you get the picture. I can see in the near future where this new news channel which starts broadcasting in March could call the Liberal party a communist front organization which wants to bring a Soviet style regime to Canada while the CBC, referred to by conservatives as the Communist Broadcasting Company could not offer an accurate rebuttal without the threat of having its licence removed.
It is not too late, though. We can still act and at least try to prevent this from happening. Let's not allow Fox News come into Canada and spread its lies and propaganda. We don't need to subvert our own laws to help this unfair and imbalanced mouthpiece of hysterical right-wingers everywhere move into our country. Let's act! We only have until February 9 to make our opinions known, though, so there isn't much time left:
At a time of increasing economic turmoil and insecurity for the majority of citizens in North America, we seem to have a developing anti-democratic impulse on the right. Is a Kristallnacht coming? The CRTC is accepting comments on its proposed ruling change until Feb. 9. For information on how to submit comments, follow this link.Thank you, Canukistani! I would have missed this without you for sure.