Does the Asper media and all the other neo-liberal press, radio and TV deliberately set out to depress us with bad news? Probably not, but there is little doubt that this is an added benefit of the appallingly biassed news that Canadians rely on for knowledge of the world around them. How many of you have felt like going back to bed after listening to the first news cast of the morning – or hearing an interview of some right-wing commentator on the CBC with no effort to balance it or provide any context?
Since the late 1980s and early ’90s the media landscape has changed dramatically in Canada. This is not just the advent of extreme media concentration – thought that it is a critical dimension. It is the motivation behind the concentration. The private media has always been pro-business and no friend of social democracy. But what we have now is media ownership that has deliberately targeted social democracy and the nation-building function of the state. That was the explicit purpose of Conrad Black’s purchase of almost all of the significant dailies in the country: he wanted to turn back the clock to a time of unfettered capitalism.Whe Izzy Asper bought him out, he continued to pursue that objective.
When I launched my blog I included a Good News Network section which I intended as an antidote to the relentlessly bad news that we get no matter where we turn (except, of course, for the alternate media).
I invited people to send in the good news stories they came across with the intention of posting them – but none arrived. So the GNN has been on the back-burner ever since. Til now. Elaine Hughes, a dedicated activist from Saskatchewan, has been gathering these stories for the CCPA Monitor and both Elaine and Ed Finn, the Monitor’s editor, have been good enough to let me post the stories as well.
So please visit the GNN (accessible at the top of the page) and enjoy the feeling of hope and optimism that comes from reading the stories there.
But also, please send in your own examples – no matter how local or small – of stories about successful citizen actions. These don’t have to be about decisive victories – just examples of determined, imaginative, inspired actions that keep the flame alive. Send to mdobbin[at]telus.net with GNN in the subject line.
Filed under: politics |