Thursday, September 9, 2021

Greatly Exaggerated in Canada: Diverging Data and Media Bailouts

The following article was published today in the Canadian Journal of Communication 


Background: The Canadian government allocated $595 million in subsidies over five years to news media in 2019, but the bailout was based on questionable data. Financial losses were exaggerated; a think tank report was criticized for using data selectively; data from a university research project differed sharply from annual industry counts; and job loss figures were disputed. 

Analysis: Hard data can diverge markedly from soft data accepted in pursuit of policy outcomes. 

Conclusions and implications: A second campaign under way on behalf of entertainment industries could yield a bailout several times larger than the first. Closer scrutiny should be exercised of media narratives and offered data. An independent media research centre should collect and verify data for policy purposes.

Keywords: Mass media; Media economics; Media policy 


Increased consolidation of Canadian news media in 2016 brought renewed calls for ownership reform, but a campaign by industry stakeholders—including publishers, unions, consultants, and lobby groups—instead resulted in a $595 million federal bailout announced in 2018. The campaign was based in large part, however, on data that bore little resemblance to statistics kept by government agencies, financial reports filed with stock market regulators, and even the annual newspaper count conducted by the publishers’ own industry association, which mysteriously ceased for a year. Some data offered by the Public Policy Forum (PPF) think tank seemed to have been conjured out of thin air. Other data were gathered by academics using questionable research methods and diverged markedly from industry statistics. Individual datasets—circulation, financial, and employment—have been challenged separately by scholars. This article seeks to consolidate available data in order to test claims of yet another “crisis” in Canadian media. It takes a political economy approach to critically examine the use of data in persuading the federal government to ignore any need for ownership reform and instead provide financial assistance to news media outlets, a large proportion of which are foreign-owned. It utilizes financial analysis placed in historical and institutional context, in addition to the simple comparison of data sets. It finds considerable discrepancies between the data used to promote government assistance to media and more regularly collected data.

Literature review

Newspaper publishers have a long history of misrepresenting their fortunes in order to gain regulatory advantage. Ben Bagdikian (1973) first identified what he called the “myth of newspaper poverty” (p. 19) from his inside knowledge as a former senior editor at the Washington Post. “American publishers have always felt obligated to pretend that they are an auxiliary of the Little Sisters of the Poor,” Bagdikian (1973) quipped. “This was always amusing, but now that so many papers are owned by publicly traded companies which have to disclose their finances it is taking on the air of slapstick” (p. 20).  Newspaper chains grew in the sixties by raising capital on stock markets, but selling shares to the public required them to regularly report their earnings. Those willing to comb through the quarterly and annual reports, noted Bagdikian (1973), found that a typical metropolitan daily made a profit of 23.5 percent in 1970 and 23.2 percent in 1971, even during a recession. Bagdikian (1983) expanded on his thesis in his classic book The Media Monopoly, in which he described profitability as the “best kept secret in American newspapering” (p. 11). Publishers relied on the poverty myth, he noted, in successfully lobbying for an anti-trust exemption in the 1970 Newspaper Preservation Act, which legalized local duopolies (Bagdikian, 1983).

Bagdikian’s suspicions had been aroused a few years earlier when a senate committee in Canada (1970) forced media companies to open their books and described what it discovered as “astonishing” (p. 47). Canadian newspapers, the senators found, made profits ranging from 23–30 percent, which was “almost twice as profitable as owning a paper-box factory or a department store” (Canada, 1970, p. 47). Their report noted the irony. “An industry that is supposed to abhor secrets is sitting on one of the best-kept, least-discussed secrets, one of the hottest scoops, in the entire field of Canadian business – their own balance sheets” (Canada, 1970, p. 63). Hugh Martin (1998) similarly examined the financial statements of publicly traded U.S. newspaper companies from 1984–1994 and found they averaged 15–17 percent profit margins prior to the recession of the early nineties before dropping for a few years and then recovering to their previous levels. Despite the recession, he noted, all but one company earned profit margins greater than 9 percent. Martin (1998) noted that newspaper companies “earned excess profits throughout most of the study period. … Critics who accuse newspapers of protesting too much about their financial situation may have a point” (p. 512). A 2012 study found that U.S. newspaper coverage of their own industry during the 2008–2009 recession exaggerated the scale of any crisis and relied “too heavily on the views of newspaper publishers and too little on empirical data,” thus “creating a false impression that the whole industry is ‘dying’’’ (Chyi, Lewis, & Zheng, 2012, p. 316). The study found that coverage contained “over-amped drama” and even “tabloidization,” with more than a quarter of stories containing death imagery. “Newspaper journalists often fail to contextualize their reports with a comprehensive understanding of the economics of their industry” (Chyi, Lewis, & Zheng, 2012, p. 316).

The recession of 2008–2009 also brought claims of a crisis in Canadian media, but critical scholars pointed to data that showed otherwise. CTVglobemedia, the short-lived “convergence” partnership between the CTV network and the Globe and Mail national newspaper, cut jobs and threatened to close stations, claiming it had lost $100 million the previous year. Kelly Toughill (2009), however, uncovered financial statements that showed the privately owned company instead made a profit margin of 9.7 percent in 2008. Dwayne Winseck (2010) examined financial statements of the country’s eight largest media companies from 1995–2009 and found all remained profitable. Economic data, he added, showed that the media economy in Canada was actually expanding. Marc Edge (2011) analyzed the annual reports of several major Canadian media companies from 2006–2009 and found that they recorded profit margins of 16–33 percent. Edge (2014) studied the financial statements of all 16 publicly traded newspaper companies in Canada and the U.S. from 2006–2013 and found that none suffered an annual loss on an operating basis, despite an historic drop in their revenues. Most recorded double-digit profit margins throughout, or more than twice the historical average for Fortune 500 companies of 4.7 percent (Tully, 2010). Some approached 20 percent despite revenue drops of about a third in the U.S. and a quarter in Canada. While newspapers were no longer as lucrative as they once were, they proved able to cut costs almost as rapidly as their revenues fell and were thus unlikely to go out of business (Edge, 2014). The public perception was that newspapers were dying, however, because more than a dozen chains went into bankruptcy and some declared annual losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Ironically, however, the chains that went bankrupt were among the most profitable but had simply taken on unsustainable levels of debt in order to make acquisitions. They were usually reorganized under new ownership by their debt holders, but all continued publishing. The enormous losses that some newspaper companies reported were only on paper, as accounting rules allowed them to deduct the reduced value of their businesses from their annual earnings as a “write-down” on asset value (Edge, 2014). 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Why should digital platforms be required to share their revenue with news media?

A submission to the Department of Canadian Heritage

by Marc Edge, Ph.D.

I have been researching the business side of Canadian news media for more than 20 years and written several books on the subject. I was a newspaper journalist before that for more than 20 years, during which I held senior positions as both a reporter and editor on major metropolitan dailies in Western Canada. For more on my background, please see the attached biography. I am currently writing a book on the 2019 news media bailout and the one now being sought for entertainment media. Tentatively titled The Great Canadian Media Swindle, it will be based on the attached article “Greatly Exaggerated in Canada,” which is forthcoming this month was just published in the Canadian Journal of Communication. I wish as a result to make the following submission.

1. I fear that the outcome of your deliberations has been predetermined by the title of your Call for Submissions on “fair revenue sharing between digital platforms and news media.” This presupposes that it would be fair to force digital platforms to share their revenue with Canadian news media. I submit that this would be not only unfair, but regressive and tantamount to forcing Ford and General Motors to share their revenues with farriers and buggy whip makers a century ago. Google and Facebook have simply built a better mousetrap for advertisers to reach potential customers, and as a result they are making billions of dollars. Most of that money used to go to Old Media, and they want it back. They are using their considerable power in a worldwide campaign to coerce governments to force digital platforms to share with them the fruits of their innovation. This is hardly fair. I believe there is a much more equitable solution to the problem of funding journalism in Canada. 

2. It is incorrect to suggest that Canadians lack access to news and information. We are instead awash in more information than ever thanks to the Internet. A good example of this has been the health information posted online during the pandemic. Canadians have been well-informed throughout the crisis. There are more sources of news now than ever thanks to the Internet. Canadians now need not simply accept the news as printed in a monopoly newspaper or broadcast on the nightly network news. There are many alternative sources of news available online, and more importantly a myriad of perspectives on the news and what it means. It is a matter of dispute whether there are now fewer journalists as a result of the Internet. According to a recent study, there are more journalists now “than at most points in the past 30 years.” 

3. Google and Facebook do not earn significant revenues from sharing links to news stories. They make most of their money from selling targeted advertising. In the case of Google, these ads run on many of the websites we view, ironically including those of many news media. Their sophisticated algorithms and massive investments in digital infrastructure have allowed Google and Facebook to compile enormous databases of information on their users and members. They literally know what we’re shopping for and what we’re interested in because they follow us around online. It sounds scary, but the analogue analogy I use is that of a mall employee who follows us around from store to store and then mails to our home address, perhaps obtained from a free offer or contest entry, a personalized flyer based on our shopping habits. Philadelphia department store owner Joseph Wannamaker once quipped: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” Target marketing began to solve that problem when broadcasters started selling ads based on the demographics of their audiences as determined by Nielsen. The digital platforms have perfected it by tailoring ads to our exact wants and interests. Newspapers once enjoyed a monopoly on advertising, and they charged handsomely for it. Now they complain that the digital platforms (each of which has competitors) are a monopoly because of their success and demand that they share their profits with them. This is utter hypocrisy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The election issue our media won't report – their own bailout

Now that I’m retired to Vancouver Island – somewhat prematurely thanks to the pandemic and my greedy waterlord – you’d think that I’d get off this hobby horse of Canadian media corruption. Well, that isn’t going to happen any time soon. In fact, I’ve just got more time now to churn out my book on the subject (along with several others), and to keep you all updated on its progress with this blog. The ongoing election campaign is providing even more fodder, as if more were needed. The Conservatives were well prepared with their platform when the cynical snap election call came less than two years after Canadians last went to the polls. The Tories opposed the $595 million news media bailout when it was announced in 2018, and new leader Erin O’Toole included in his manifesto a promise to repeal it should his party win power. But just try finding any mention of the issue in Canada’s paid-for news media. You could be searching for a while. 

Go ahead. Google the search term “O’Toole bailout” and see what you come up with. Make sure you click on the News tab to get the latest media coverage. You won’t find much. The only recent story is on the website of the Alberta-based Western Standard, which might as well be the official publication of the Conservative Party. It didn’t do any original reporting, instead citing Ottawa-based subscription news service Blacklock's Reporter, which has been all over the malodorous bailout from the beginning. The Western Standard licenses Blacklock's content, as do some other Canadian media outlets including Postmedia, but you won’t find any mention of Blacklock's bailout coverage in Canada’s largest newspaper chain, which is mostly owned by New Jersey hedge funds. That might be because they were one of the biggest bailout backers, pushing for it behind the scenes through newspaper industry association News Media Canada. 

NMC’s bailout bid was fronted by its former chair Bob Cox, who is publisher of the almost-independent Winnipeg Free Press. I say almost because the Freeps is owned by FP newspapers, which is controlled by Vancouver lawyer Ron Stern, and its only other newspapers are the Brandon Sun and a few free weeklies. But as Canada’s largest newspaper chain, Postmedia owns 15 of Canada’s 21 largest dailies and is by far NMC’s biggest member. Having its reviled former CEO Paul Godfrey front NMC would not have been a good look during the 2016-18 bailout bid, however. Instead Cox was selected to sing the blues on behalf of Canadian newspapers. (He has since been replaced as NMC chair by Jamie Irving of New Brunswick’s monolithic media monopoly, just as Godfrey has been replaced as Postmedia CEO by Andrew MacLeod. After all, their work is done.)

Blacklock's has performed yeoman’s work in shining a light on the news media bailout, which was announced with great promises of transparency but has since disappeared behind a blackout curtain. Founded in 2012 by a half dozen Ottawa Press Gallery reporters and named after long-time Parliament Hill correspondent Tom Blacklock, the scrappy news service has done a great job of illuminating Ottawa’s corridors of power. Its publisher, the irrepressible Holly Doan, has made it her personal mission to stay on top of the bailout’s hypocrisies and conflicts of interest, in which Blacklock’s has refused to participate. Other media outlets made similar promises, Blacklock’s pointed out in April, but some then gave in to the lure of lucre. 

Cox personally signed off on federal aid for his own newspaper, Blacklock's reported last year. As chair of the “independent” judging panel of experts from the news media industry, Cox approved federal aid for his Free Press to hire two reporters under the $50 million Local Journalism Initiative included in the 2018 budget to boost coverage in under-served communities. Of course, the LJI was nowhere near enough to placate the newspaper lobby. It howled for a full bailout until one was provided in the next year’s budget to the tune of $595 million. Cox again bellied up to the trough as chair of the independent panel advising Ottawa on how to divvy up the loot, this time of experts in Journalism and Written Media. There is yet a third gummint panel of journalism experts, this one made up of academics tasked with advising the CRA on which media outlets should qualify for non-profit status. Jobs for journalists might be going away, but jobs for journalism experts are going way up!

Monday, March 15, 2021

You could call it the Curse of Rogers Island

The problem is what to do with all of the loot. The Rogers clan of Toronto lucked into Canada’s biggest money-maker in the 1960s – cable television. It was even more lucrative than the “licence to print your own money” fellow Torontonian Roy Thomson famously quipped he owned in Scotland’s first TV broadcaster. It was more like a money pipeline. Cable viewers could suddenly receive dozens of far-away channels clearly without having to erect huge antennae and still settle for snowy pictures. The cash poured in from grateful customers. Then along came pay TV and the 500-channel universe thanks to satellites, and the cable business got even better. Best of all, the CRTC deregulated cable TV prices in the 1990s after Bell started offering home satellite service. That provided competition for cable, it reasoned, so there was no need for it to keep an eye on what they were charging you every month, which of course only kept going up and up. 

Nowadays many are of course cutting the cord in rebellion and watching video online, but it’s all the same to Rogers since it also dominates in lucrative Internet service provision thanks to government-sanctioned local monopolies. Best of all, it has somehow escaped paying the 5 percent levy on its cable ISP revenues that the CRTC makes it pay on its cable TV revenues in order to fund Canadian content. It made a 49-percent profit margin on its almost $4 billion in cable revenues last year. And don’t get me started on its cell phone services, which come in many disguises. In addition to its main Rogers Wireless division, the company also offers the Fido and Chatr brands. Together they pulled in more than $8.5 billion in revenues, and made a profit margin of 47.7 percent. This is because, thanks to government policies, Canadians pay some the world’s highest rates for telecommunications services such as cable and cellular. Altogether, including its Media division, Rogers made $5.85 billion in profit (EBITDA) last year on revenues of $13.9 billion, for a profit margin of 42.1 percent. Its profits fell 5.7 percent last year, no doubt due to the pandemic, although they rose slightly in its Cable segment. Apparently people still need to pour money into the pipeline even if they are stuck at home. Especially if they are stuck at home. Its profits would thus still exceed the economic output of some small countries.

But the problem is figuring out what to do with all of that money. After all, if you don’t, the government is going to want to tax you on it. Just like the pirates who buried their loot on Oak Island in Nova Scotia, which treasure hunters are currently digging for on television, company founder Ted Rogers found a very good way to keep his growing profits out of the government’s hands. Unfortunately for most other Canadians, it means Rogers keeps growing bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until . . . well, who knows what will happen first. Will Rogers take over the entire country, or will it explode first? It announced the $26-billion acquisition today of Shaw Communications, which dominates telecoms in Western Canada the same way Rogers dominates it in the east. Adding Shaw’s $5.4 billion in 2020 revenues to its own $13.9 billion would bring the combined company’s total to $19.3 billion, right behind the $22.9 billion raked in last year by leader Bell Canada. The question is whether the government will allow it. More importantly, should it?

The Rogers strategy, after all, has led to nothing less than media gigantism in Canada, with the attendant usurious results. Ted Rogers (1933-2008) was more canny businessman than communications pioneer. Caroline Van Hasselt’s compendious 2008 book High Wire Act: Ted Rogers and the Empire that Debt Built explains how the persuasive, tenacious and driven Rogers was, by all accounts, genetically wired as an entrepreneur. His strategy from the beginning was growth financed by debt. The beauty of that, as all business majors know, is that in a growing industry your revenues will always more than cover your debt payments. Best of all, the interest on debt is tax deductible, so your growth is essentially being subsidized by other tax-paying Canadians. Whatever profits you do have to declare, after deducting interest expense, could usually be kept from the taxman by plowing them back into acquisitions, hence the growth strategy. 

Rogers Cable TV (est. 1967) grew and grew first by acquiring other cable companies, most notably Premier Cablevision in 1980, which made it the largest cableco in Canada. In 1986, the company was renamed Rogers Communications and got into the burgeoning cellular telephone business. In 1988, it acquired numerous radio and TV stations from Selkirk Communications. In 1994, Mr. Rogers took over media conglomerate Maclean Hunter for $3.1 billion, which was more than five times the size of the previous largest media takeover in Canada. In addition to Maclean’s magazine and the Sun newspaper chain, which were later sold, Maclean Hunter owned 35 Ontario cablecos serving 9 percent of the national market, along with 21 radio stations in Ontario and the Maritimes. Adding those cablecos to the 24 percent Rogers already owned gave it one in every three Canadian cable subscribers. In 1994, it began swapping cablecos with Shaw, effectively carving up the country between them from east to west. As the profits piled up, so did the acquisitions. In 2001, Rogers acquired CTV Sportsnet and renamed it Rogers Sportsnet. Later that year it added The FAN 590 sports radio station and 14 Northern Ontario radio stations. In 2007, it acquired the Citytv network. In 2012, it acquired Score Media for $167 million and folded The Score Television Network into Sportsnet. In 2011, it formed a partnership with Bell to pay $1.32 billion for a controlling interest in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, and Toronto FC of the MLS. The federal Competition Bureau looked askance at that deal, but as usual decided not to do anything about it.

Meanwhile in Alberta, J.R. Shaw pursued a similar growth strategy, in 1966 founding Capital Cable Television in Edmonton. It changed its name to Shaw Cablesystems in 1983 and grew by acquiring cablecos including Classicomm in the Toronto area, Access Communications in Nova Scotia, Fundy Cable in New Brunswick, Trillium Cable in Ontario, Telecable in Saskatchewan, and Greater Winnipeg Cablevision. In 1998, Shaw spun off its acquired TV stations into the separate company Corus Communications, which similarly expanded by acquiring radio and television stations across Canada. In 2010, Corus acquired the Global Television network from bankrupt Canwest Global Communications. In 2016, Shaw bought Wind Mobile for $1.6 billion and renamed it Freedom Mobile. Shaw sold its Corus shares in 2019, and that company is now controlled by the Shaw Family Living Trust. It is not included in the proposed sale to Rogers, which in addition to cash would see about 60 per cent of Shaw shares exchanged for Rogers shares. 

Rogers says it expects to achieve $1 billion of synergies from the merger, mostly from cost savings, yet paradoxically pledged to create up to 3,000 net new jobs, including a Western regional headquarters in Calgary. As consumer outrage grew, even the staunchly capitalist Financial Post spoofed the deal as “all do-gooding, all the time.”

Thus its takeover of Shaw will: create 3,000 new jobs; enable a new $1-billion fund “dedicated to connecting rural, remote and Indigenous communities to high-speed internet across the four Western provinces;” involve $2.5 billion of new spending … to build a 5G network in Western Canada, “driving economic growth and strengthening innovation;” “grow” more local jobs across Western Canada; produce $1 billion a year of those time-honoured but always mysterious benefits of mergers, namely, “synergies;” and, finally, not raise Shaw’s Freedom Mobile wireless rates “for at least three years following the close of the transaction.” 

It's enough to make your head spin, but it can’t obscure the truth that the last thing we need in Canada is for Big Media to get any bigger. The Competition Bureau has promised to review the proposed merger, but its investigations take forever and always result in it simply rubber-stamping the deal, as we learned recently in the dodgy Torstar-Postmedia doings. “We feel confident this transaction will be approved,” Rogers CEO Joe Natale told a conference call. He should, at least when it comes to the Competition Bureau. The CRTC might be another matter. After all, the minority Liberal government ordered Canada’s top three wireless operators, which together control 89.2 percent of the market, to cut prices on their mid-range service plans by 25 per cent within two years or face regulatory action. 

Stay tuned. This could get interesting.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

When $10 billion in profit is not enough

How profitable is Bell Canada? So profitable that its $10.1 billion (US$7.9 billion) in 2019 earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) would have ranked it 142nd in GDP among the 185 countries listed by the World Bank, behind Kosovo and ahead of Malawi. Those profits rose 6 percent from $9.5 billion in 2018. Bell’s 2020 results should be released on Thursday. Profits were $7.2 billion in its first three quarters, down 4.2 percent from the same period a year earlier. That’s understandable given the global pandemic which has been ongoing since last March. At the time, Bell Canada President and CEO Mirko Bibic touted the “significantly improved financial performance.” 

Even more startling than the magnitude of Bell’s profits is the rate at which it rakes them in. Its profit margin (return on revenue) for 2019 was 42.2 percent, up from 40.6 percent in 2018. That meant that for every dollar it took in as revenue in 2019, it kept 42.2 cents as profit. Its profit margin in the first three quarters of 2020 was even higher – 42.9 percent. It made a profit of $3.9 billion on its land line services at a rate of 44 percent. It made a profit of $2.76 billion on its cell phone services at a rate of 43.2 percent. It made a profit of $506 million from its Bell Media division, which includes the CTV network, at a rate of 21.6 percent. That profit margin pales by comparison with its phone business, but it is still lucrative when compared to the historical average of 4.7 percent for Fortune 500 companies. It was also down from 26 percent in 2019, which might explain the massive layoffs it began making this week.

Word leaked out yesterday that Bell was cutting “virtually all its reporting staff” at Montreal news radio station CJAD. It then emerged today that 210 employees are being laid off in the Toronto area. The cuts were “just the tip of the iceberg,” according to one report, with many more to be let go later this week. This all comes after Bell executives were grilled by MPs last week on the $122 million it has taken in Canada Emergency Wage Subsidies, a pandemic-related federal program that covers a portion of employees’ salaries in order to keep those workers from being laid off. The MPs were particularly curious about Bell boosting its dividend payouts to shareholders throughout the year. The bloodletting began last month, when Wade Oosterman took over as Bell Media's president, no doubt with a mandate to improve performance. He axed four senior executives almost immediately. Soon the blood will no doubt be washing from shore to shore, all in aid of keeping up corporate profits. It should make for an interesting earnings call on Thursday.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Media profits keep going up . . . so why the layoffs?

Canadians keep getting swindled by Big Media left, right and center . . . er, centre. They keep telling us they are dying and need government aid, so we keep giving it to them. Their profits go up as a result, and yet it’s still not enough, so they keep laying people off. Call me crazy, but I’ve got proof.

Postmedia just gave notice of 16 layoffs at its Vancouver Sun-Province newspaper(s). It’s about the only union operation among the 15 major dailies it owns across the country, which is why it has to give notice. The others shoes will no doubt drop soon. That’s on top of layoffs it made a couple of months ago. But here’s the thing. We just gave Postmedia more than $40 million in Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy funding (CEWS). Doesn’t that mean we are subsidizing their payroll? Plus they got $4.5 million in tax credits from Ottawa as part of the ongoing $595 million news media bailout. And they got another $700,000 in bailout money from Quebec. At least that’s the total up to Aug. 31, when Postmedia’s fiscal year ended. Here’s a summary from its annual report.

That made its profits the best they’ve been in years. Its operating earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) went up 37 percent from the year earlier to $67.7 million. Of course, that’s not the way its newspapers report the story. Other news media are occasionally more honest.  I try to read the financial reports required by stock market regulators. They can’t lie on those and get away with it. Here are last year’s results.

Then there's Rogers, which just axed its morning TV shows and laid off staff at its radio stations. Its profits rose 4% last year to $6.2 billion (with a b), which would place it 150th among world economies by GDP. It makes a 41.2% profit margin.

Its profits pale in comparison to those of Bell, however, which topped $10 billion in earnings last year. Its profit margin is now up to 42.2%. Yet some would have you believe that Big Media in Canada are dying and need more and more government assistance. The next media bailout is already in motion. It will be for entertainment media, and it could be worth billions. Bill C-10 is on the order paper. It will regulate the Internet for the first time in Canada and raise an estimated $800 million yearly by charging you tax on your Netflix or other foreign-owned streaming services. Next may be a so-called “link tax” that will pay publishers every time Facebook or Google posts a link to one of their news stories. 

I had an idea to fix Canada’s news media – stop sending bailout money south to New Jersey hedge funds. A petition to this effect was even started by Edmonton resident Margaret Ormrod, but the government’s reponse makes it pretty clear that ain’t going to happen.

Can anything stop Canada's media giants? Apparently not even the truth can.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Things are worse than I imagined

 This is obviously going to be a tougher nut to crack than I expected. I thought that if I exposed the facts surrounding Canadian media, people would realize what's been going on. 

Apparently not so.

Greatly Exaggerated in Canada: Diverging Data and Media Bailouts

The following article was published today in the Canadian Journal of Communication   ABSTRACT  Background : The Canadian government allocat...