Who Owns the News? 2 Differing Views on CRTC vs. CTV

There’s still some fallout from yesterday’s dueling news releases coming from the CRTC and Bell Media/CTV. Was Kevin Crull justified in telling his news staff to shift their focus off the CRTC on the day of its big announcement of new cable regs? Was the CRTC justified in voicing horror on hearing this, or is it just as bad in its own way?

Terence Corcoran, writing in the Financial Post, thinks it’s funny to find the CRTC complaining about someone else interfering in the free flow of news — something he says it’s been doing itself for decades. There’s something else he says Jean-Pierre Blais doesn’t seem to understand: “Freedom of the press in our society belongs to the owners, not to some regulator, or the press councils, or government enforcers or even to individual journalists working for a TV station or any news organization.” Read his full article here.

On the other hand, the CBC’s Don Pittis says, “The trouble with businesses owning news organizations is that in many ways the basic principles of business are in direct conflict with those of the media. Business is purely self-interested, with the financial bottom line and shareholder value coming first . . . But ham-handed manipulation by corporate managers is actually bad for business.” Why? Because it feeds into conspiracy theories, which, as Pittis points out, you can see in the comments boxes of most news sites. Read the rest of his article here.

If nothing else, we can be glad that a perceived interference with the news is news itself.

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