Sunday, July 04, 2010

Don't ditch us, Canadian Press

Don't know quite what to make of this news but my first reaction is to hope that it's not going to affect the quality reporting we see from Canadian Press: "Media companies strike deal for Canadian Press."
The Canadian Press has struck a tentative deal to restructure its operations, ending its 93-year history as a not-for-profit industry co-operative and proposing to move forward under private ownership.

The owners of the three biggest members in the collective - CTVglobemedia, which owns The Globe and Mail; Toronto Star publisher Torstar Corp. (TS.B-T10.49-0.15-1.41%); and Gesca, which owns La Presse - would become equal partners in a new for-profit entity to be called Canadian Press Enterprises.

Until now, CP has operated as a co-operative, providing news coverage to its member organizations. However, financial difficulties at the wire service led to a need to look for investors to take a stake in the business.
In this era of Harper's Canada, where access to information is under siege, where even the census is being dialed back, where media has limited access in the first place to government, where media management is a primary goal of this government, where there are many willing receptacles for its messaging...the Canadian Press has been a constant, gritty source of reporting uncovering the facts which are helping to hold this government to account. At least, that's what this observer, who widely reads all Canadian media on a daily basis, has found.

More than ever we need independent, rigorous reporting in this country. As institutions of government are weakened, I hope that this arrangement is not going to affect CP for the worse.