The Vancouver Province has, belatedly to be sure, attacked the BC Energy policy and called it “folly”. I felt it might be appropriate, then, to offer an op-ed article to the Vancouver Sun, which I did on March 1 and which I followed up on March 6 by emails to Fazil Milhar, the Vancouver Sun editor in charge of their editorial page. Having not even received the courtesy of a reply I sent another email Friday last saying that if I didn’t receive a reply by the 14th I would feel at liberty to make all this known.
My letters have been polite and respectful and merely asked for the opportunity his pages give to the BC Fish Farmers, for example.
Mr. Milhar was policy analyst for the Fraser Institute for several years. There’s nothing wrong with that except to say that putting a person with such deep right wing biases in charge of what opinions will be printed on the op-ed page of the Vancouver Sun seems unfair.
In fact, it is unfair. Surely the op-ed page is to allow all sides if the issue to have their say and refusing us is patently unfair and, in the absence some other explanation we must conclude that Mr. Milhar’s right wing beliefs are taken out against beliefs he doesn’t agree with.
Unlike Mr. Milhar, we at The Common Sense Canadian would be pleased to have him contribute his views to our website.
What ever happened to the tough reporter, the fearless columnist, the editor and publisher who held authority to account?
Why is it the fourth estate has become part of the “establishment”?
Did it start in Canada with the Meech Lake/Charlottetown Accords when Brian Mulroney declared that to oppose these plans would be almost treasonous?
In the Charlottetown Accord debate one of the large Central Canadian media companies, MacLean/Hunter actually signed on to the “Yes” side; so much for its journalistic integrity!
Here were two efforts to change the country dramatically and no newspaper, TV outlet or radio station would even question the issues with a faintly jaundiced eye – I must except radio station CKNW where I broadcasted. Even then, though my program kept the 50-50 balance CKNW put on a well known pro-Charlottetown person to counteract my forthcoming editorial. So even they were onside Mulroney’s packages.
I don’t believe that a free society with this kind of media can remain free; an unquestioning media that persists in the US and to an increasing degree in UK “journalism” erodes democracy.
Is the Internet the answer?
The trouble is that the Internet is so messy with blogs by the gazillion on every manner of question.
The hope is that more solid Internet outlets, like TheTyee.ca and, of course our home at TheCanadian.org, both for which I write, will become better and better known. The Internet’s problem is that major advertisers are leery that the free speech associated with the Internet will hurt them. That will change for as the mainstream media declines, so will advertisers’ interest in it.
The big advantage of a website is that its stories are archived. While today’s newspaper is quickly put on the bottom of the birdcage, we’re there for a long time.
My sense of it is that main street “journalism” will continue its slow but steady downward slide to the profit of free papers like Metro, 24 hrs, and websites like The Tyee and The Common Sense Canadian.
It’s ironic, having gone through all that pain of new printing technology, that now, as technology increases, the newspapers decline.
For us at The Common Sense Canadian we know that we can and do make the Internet work when people who support us pass our columns and documentaries to others asking them to do the same.
With the refusal of Mr. Milhar to even deal with my request we must continue and expand our efforts to be our own media.