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Why Media Democracy?


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That the North American media is dominated by corporate monopolies serving capitalist interests and squeezing out critical voices is to state the obvious. The state media in Canada – nationally the CBC and provincially organizations like TV-Ontario (TVO) – provide only the slightest respite from pro-business reportage; the CBC has been equally a key ideological support for neoliberalism, particularly in its news coverage of public policy and economics. Media concentration in Canada is now the highest for the major capitalist countries. The same corporations who control TV and radio also own the major newspapers, but they have also bought up the smaller local media scattered across the country as well. The digital media technologies have added a huge number of new outlets and sites, but they have not broken the media monopoly at all. The various social media platforms arguably have even compounded the problem.

The need for a vibrant, radical media democracy movement has never been more imperative in Canada. The main forces here – represented largely by the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Media Guild, Unifor, and the various campaigns for a democratic media – are a beginning. But these forces all remain isolated from rebuilding the socialist movement in Canada – the only realistic foundation for a democratic media.

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