Watchdogs • Advocates • Independent Media

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Canadian | International

Alberta Independent

Media Centre
"The Alberta Independent Media Centre is a non-commercial, democratic collective of Alberta independent media makers and media outlets, and serves as the local organizing unit of the global Indymedia network. ... There is a growing popular realization that the corporate mass media, because of its ownership by increasingly fewer and larger transnational corporations, is not adequately serving the interests of society. Instead, the corporate media is promoting the interests of transnational capital and the state institutions that support it. Dissatisfaction with this situation has led to a grassroots movement known as 'independent media'. Documenting the social and ecological issues in our communities that increasingly fall beyond the eye of the corporate media."

Independent Student Journal
Produced by students at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick.

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom
(Vancouver Chapter)
"The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom represents a common front of readers and viewers, those working in the media industries, and labour and community groups concerned about the increasing concentration of media ownership in Canada. We are active in promoting greater diversity of media ownership, enhancing the rights of media workers to report freely, and monitoring key developments in the news and information industries."

[A Canadian affiliate of — "the global network for democratic media." (see International listings). This site shows little sign of reader/viewer involvement. However, its online review, Free the Media, contains dated but still relevant information and analysis on Canadian media concentration and cross-ownership, plus an examination of media conglomerates' political power.]

Your Media Bookmarks:

NOVEMBER 2000 / Herschel Hardin / The big taboo VANCOUVER, B.C. — It's the issue the other parties dare not talk about! It's the media, silly — the growing concentration of mass-media ownership in just a few hands, almost all of the same narrow political stripe.
Conrad Black's gobbling up of newspapers in Canada, and moulding them to his own ideological bias, was bad enough — more extreme concentration than anywhere else in the western world. Now Black has sold most of his major dailies here to Izzy Asper and his company CanWest, the owner of BCTV, CHEK and the Global television network. This takes concentration to an even more destructive level: massive "cross-ownership." BCE, meanwhile, has bought the CTV television network and the Globe and Mail.
In the end it's these media owners who have the power, not the Liberals or any other political party. The media "set the frame" — the perspective through which issues are examined and the news is filtered — and this influences in turn how people vote and what political parties say, or don't say, as they try to be elected.

FALL 2000 / Scott Uzelman / Editing public debate: Conservative opinion dominates Canada's national newspapers In the fall of 1998 CBC TV and Maclean's magazine asked Canadians what they felt were Canada's most pressing problems. This year, NewsWatch Canada researchers compared the results of this poll to opinion pieces in Canada's two national newspapers, the National Post and the Globe and Mail, and also, for comparison, in the Toronto Star, because of the latter's large circulation and independent influence. The survey covered editorials and op-ed pieces in the eight months following the CBC-Maclean's poll (November 1998 to June 1999).
Our results suggest that the concerns of these newspapers do not coincide with those of Canadians and that the editorial voices of Canada's two national newspapers promote similar conservative viewpoints on at least three of the issues involved.

FALL 1999 / James MacKinnon / Media busters muffled Why did the Vancouver Province and the National Post spike stories about culture-jamming, direct-action media critics?

Canadian Association of Journalists
"The CAJ promotes excellence in journalism, encouraging investigative journalism. We serve as the national voice of Canadian journalists, and we uphold the public’s right to know."

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
"The CJFE is a Canadian non-governmental organization supported by Canadian journalists and advocates of free expression. The purpose of the organization is to defend the rights of journalists and contribute to the development of media freedom throughout the world. CJFE recognizes these rights are not confined to journalists and strongly supports and defends the broader objective of freedom of expression in Canada and around the world."

The Dominion
"The Dominion is a not for profit free newspaper covering topics of interest to Canadians. We aim to provide a progressive counterpoint to the mainstream papers, direct attention to quality work published on the internet, and create a venue where alternative forms of journalism can be practiced."

King's Journalism Review
"King's Journalism Review is an annual publication examining issues in Atlantic Canadian journalism. It is written by fourth-year students in the Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) programme at the University
of King's College School of Journalism in Halifax, Nova Scotia."

Your Media Bookmarks:

14 OCT 2003 / Ingrid Deon / Optipress wields the cookie-cutter Optipress, the company formed when the Robinson-Blackmore and Cameron chains of community newspapers merged, insists its editors are still independent, even though it's making all its papers look alike and expecting them to use stories from the Optipress news service.

14 OCT 2003 / Jacqueline Gough / Guild fears 'bimedialism' at the CBC Deb Woolway and Susan Mitton insist that convergence is not to save money but to improve broadcasting. Gerry Whelan sees it differently: "Just cutting out jobs. That's the name of the game."

21 OCT 2002 / Kim McKay / The new boss The president of Transcontinental Media, André Préfontaine, has sent a message to its newly acquired Halifax Daily News: don't count on an injection of cash to help you battle the Halifax Herald.

21 OCT 2000 / Jennifer Fox / The bogeyman Visit the Daily News and Global TV to find out what the Aspers' takeover of Conrad Black's newspaper empire will mean for Halifax.

21 OCT 2000 / Ann Shupe / Phooey to you, Izzy Asper The presses need replacing, the staff is weakened by buy-outs, the competition's becoming stronger and convergence is threatening, but the independent Halifax Herald seems unworried. After all, this is Nova Scotia.

Maritimes Independent Media Centre
"(Local) The Maritimes Independent Media Center is focussed on providing an ongoing resource for diverse sources of information and views on a variety of subjects (Arts and Politics initially), and to promote debate within a broad context. (Global) Indymedia is a loose affiliation of local media activist groups, dedicated in various ways to democratizing media coverage, and enabling underrepresented viewpoints."

Our Public Airwaves
"Our Public Airwaves is the initiative of concerned Canadians who believe a strong Public Broadcasting system is essential to provide a broad range of innovative programming in the public interest, independent of commercial considerations. We advocate revitalization of Public Broadcasting to expand public airspace in which Canadians can share their ideas, meet their neighbours and tell their stories."

PEN Canada
"PEN Canada works on behalf of writers, at home and abroad, who have been forced into silence for writing the truth as they see it. ... PEN Canada is for debate and against silence. We lobby governments in Canada and internationally, organize petitions, send letters , faxes, and postcards to lobby for the release of persecuted writers, and conduct public awareness campaigns about freedom of expression."

Periodical Writers Association of Canada
The Periodical Writers Association of Canada, established in 1976, represents/serves more than 500 freelance writers in Canada. Although its role is to develop and maintain professional and industry standards, provide information and professional development for writers, etc., it is also committed to lobbying for freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

" is ... built on the efforts of progressive journalists, writers, artists and activists across the country. ... fuses the hot energy of activism with the cool eye of journalism. We feature some of the best progressive writers in Canada. Some will be known to you; others are the new and emerging voices you've been straining to hear. In addition to original news stories, in-depth features, provocative interviews, commentaries and more, rabble publishes columns from some of the few progressive voices in mainstream media..."

Ryerson Review of Journalism
Ryerson University School of Journalism
"The Ryerson Review of Journalism examines Canadian media, offering insights into current trends and issues in print, broadcast and new media. For more than 20 years, the RROJ has reported on developments and trends in the world of journalism by examining day-to-day forces that affect press performance, as well as the political, economic, technological, social, and legal forces that are always guiding the press."

Thunderbird Media Review
University of British Columbia School of Journalism
"The Thunderbird is the student publication of the UBC Graduate School of Journalism. Our traditional mission has been to engage readers with original content focusing on Canadian media issues."


International | Canadian

Accuracy in Media
"Accuracy In Media is a (Washington-based) non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage."

American Journalism Review
Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland
"American Journalism Review is a national magazine that covers all aspects of print, television, radio and online media. The magazine, which is published 10 times a year, examines how the media cover specific stories and broader coverage trends. AJR analyzes ethical dilemmas in the field and monitors the impact of technology on how journalism is practiced and on the final product."

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
"FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information."

Free Press (a.k.a.
"Free Press is a national nonpartisan organization working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector."
From its FAQ:
"Free Press is about having the core governmental policies that create and shape our media system be the result of informed and widespread public participation. ... Free Press works for policies that will bring more diverse and local media ownership of our commercial media, and more competitive markets. ... Media should not be the exclusive province of billionaires and hundred-millionaires. Free Press believes that advertising and commercialism must be carefully regulated. ... strong democratic trade unions are an important and mandatory protection for the public against concentrated commercial media power. ... a healthy media system must have a very strong non-profit and non-commercial sector."

Independent Media Center
"Indymedia is a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth."
"Knight Ridder Watch is a project of the Knight Ridder Council, a coalition of union locals representing employees at Knight Ridder newspapers. Through information sharing, joint action and coordinated effort, the Council seeks to advance the interests of Knight Ridder employees and to advocate for quality in journalism and business practices."

"MediaChannel is a media issues supersite, featuring criticism, breaking news, and investigative reporting from hundreds of organizations worldwide. As the media watch the world, we watch the media."

Online Journalism Review
Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California
"As a journalism review based online, we are committed to covering the full range of journalistic issues in all media, but with a particular emphasis on the Internet. Since our March 1, 1998, launch, we have devoted most of our resources to evaluating the emerging field of online journalism, providing readers commentary, monthly features and Web resource databases. Our purpose is to be useful to journalists and anyone interested in where journalism is going in cyberspace."

Project Censored
"The Mission of Project Censored is to educate people about the role of independent journalism
in a democratic society and to tell The News That Didn't Make the News and why."

Regret The Error
"Regret The Error reports on corrections, retractions, clarifications and trends regarding accuracy and honesty in the media."

Your Media notes that CanWest (10 of its 11 daily newspapers) and its TV network, Global, make this web site's "listing of major English language North American broadcast networks and newspapers that do not have an online corrections page." P.S. CTV also makes the list.

Reporters Without Borders
"Reporters Without Borders, kept on constant alert via its network of over 100 correspondents, rigorously condemns any attack on press freedom world-wide ... The association defends journalists and other media contributors and professionals who have been imprisoned or persecuted for doing their work. It speaks out against the abusive treatment and torture that is still common practice in many countries."