Monday, October 6, 2014

Good News for Journalism

What a shocker! But a very pleasant one.

Postmedia’s purchase of Sun Media’s English language newspapers is the best news the Canadian news industry has had in the last two to three decades.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s the Canadian newspaper industry suffered the appearance of newspaper owners and operators who had no business being in the game. They were bad for the business, people who did not understand, or refused to accept, the traditional principles and practices of newspapering.

What followed were years of turmoil, downsizing and diminishment of good journalism. Editors, who for the most part were dedicated to doing a public good, were told what to do and how to do it by newcomers interested only in boosting profits.

Postmedia has emerged from the turmoil as a company with solid business sense, plus a dedication to building new platforms on which to deliver good journalism. Sun Media was a good idea when it was formed by a group of intrepid journalists. Then it was bought by Quebecor and since then has not done much to improve, or even sustain, good journalism.

Postmedia has a strong core of journalism leaders. Some of the best that I have ever known.

The company says it will operate the Sun papers in major markets where it has competing newspapers. There will be some public screaming about media monopolization, but ignore that. The bottom line is that the Postmedia deal creates the possibility of better journalism in an industry that has been struggling to find its way through the Information Revolution.


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