media concentration sucks

This past summer, according to the BCLA site:

BCLA has written to the Secretary General of the CRTC (the regulator of Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications), in response to a call for submissions on the diversity of voices in the Canadian media. BCLA’s contribution asks the CRTC to establish a market domination cap and break up concentration and cross-ownership of media where it is already too high; to maintain Canadian ownership regulations; to enhance support for public broadcasting; and to enhance support for community-based, independent media particularly in areas that are underserved by existing media.

The CRTC does not regulate newspaper ownership. In Vancouver, CanWest owns most of the newspapers: The Vancouver Sun, The Province, as well as the freebie Metro and The Courier.

The issue of media concentration is something that was completely overlooked in the collection development class in library school. Sure, we spent 5 minutes on libraries outsourcing selection to jobbers, but we didn’t discuss the larger issue. If independent and alternative publishers are squeezed out of the market it homogenizes the pool of what we are selecting from.

Clamour magazine went under December 2006. Vancouver’s feminist bookstore Women in Print closed in September 2005. There was another women’s bookstore that I can’t remember the name of that also closed before that. Press Gang Publishers, a feminist printing collective, declared bankrupcy in 2002. Lee Maracle‘s Ravensong, Boys Like Her: Transfictions by Taste This (Ivan E. Coyote, Anna Camalleri, Lyndell Montgomery, Zoe Eakle) were published by Press Gang and are now out of print.

In Vancouver, the notable exception for bookstores is Spartacus Books. A   Well, there’s also the People’s Co-op Bookstore.A   And Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium.A   Okay, so it all doesn’t suck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *