Friday, May 03, 2013

Journalists Are Hacks

So says this headline:

Sun News Network to CRTC: Give us revenue-producing mandatory carriage or we’ll close up shop

I think Mr. Mertl has a comprehension problem. There is no ultimatum given by the president or the vice-president of Sun News Network. Either the Sun News Network is successful in its bid for a five year mandatory cable carriage as the taxpayer-funded CBC is or it and any other fledgling network goes under. If any network is not given a chance at wider viewership, it simply does not survive. It certainly doesn't extort a response as Mr. Mertl's column definitely and hyperbolically states.

From Sun Vice-President Kory Teneyke's CRTC presentation:

The CBC News Network also receives a carriage fee of $0.63/subscriber -- more than six times that given to Sun News -- meaning Canadian cable and satellite subscribers get to pay twice for The National, The Nature of Things, Market Place and The Fifth Estate -- once on their cable bill and once on their tax return. 

And regardless if they like or agree with or watch the CBC, they pay. And payment is mandatory.

Some will say: the CBC is different. And that may be, but clearly giving one of three competitors a market and a billion dollars a year creates a massive distortion.

We believe Sun News would thrive in a true free market, but we don't have one. We have a market dominated by linear broadcasters and BDUs (broadcasting distribution undertaking) and a market in which "bundling" results in customers paying for a large number of services they don't watch. Like it or not, that is how the market operates today.

Thankfully, we have checks and balances built into the system. One is the Broadcasting Act itself, and another is the CRTC and the process in which we are currently engaged.
What part of that is an ultimatum? Did Mr. Teneyke deride the process that constrains programming or ask for public money (as the CBC receives)? He did neither of those things. He asked for an opportunity for the Canadian consumer to freely choose accessible programming from a private news source. If that is in any way emotional extortion, then Mr. Mertl needs to refer to a dictionary.

North Korea also has a state-funded singular news source and regards South Korean attempts at spreading information as propaganda.

Free Kenneth Bae.

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