what is in, i dont know

Flipping around the cbc website for write ups on the Throne Speech i came across the one about Harper’s new government run media center to be located in an old shoe store on Sparks Street.

And it’s purpose? To, “give the government control over which journalists attend news conferences. The government would also have the ability to do its own filming at the events, and could provide the footage to journalists, instead of letting them film the events themselves.”

Alright, so, essentially, this let’s the Tories decide what footage is used when, by whom, and which journalists can access it.

For some reason this strikes me as contradictory to free and unimpeded access to the media and press as stated by S.2b of the Charter of Rights.

This seems like a poor attempt to circumvent the National Press Theater where the PM SHOULD be conducting open and fair meetings with the press corps.

Yesterday the Toronto Star said that the PMO had decided not to go ahead with the media center, but the very fact that it was even considered should be cause for alarm.

It’s sort of a reflection of Britain under Thatcher when the Central Office of Information and the Government Information Service, both supposedly non partisan offices, were co-opted by government priorities and turned into little more than mouth pieces for a Tory government.

I think in this case you’re going to see anti-conservative camps accuse this of having propagandist roots while the Tory supporters, in their usual flippant manner, will declare it a victory against the MSM and a ‘liberal biased’ media. (btw, I hate that argument and I often question people who watch FOXNews as to why they don’t count that as mainstream seeing as how Rupert Murdoch pretty much owns the media in the US anyway…)

I’m going to have to agree with the propagandist model, and here’s why; Randal Marlin, an expert on the history, use and techniques of propaganda states that “the propagandist seeks in general to link the project, person, ideology, party, or whatever to some thing or things that are viewed favourably and unlike some thing or things that are viewed unfavourably.”

you can couple this with what Justin Lewis says: that media influence on public opinion is contingent upon how public opinion is defined. therefore, if you have a government run media center dictating access to what is said and seen, you define public opinion based on the narrow scope of party ideals.

Finally, Robert Hackett says that our knowledge of the world can be altered by the operation of knowledge-making institutions. so we can take this to mean that the operation of a government run media center alters our perception of knowledge of issues in a way that skews them to fit a framework that’s more in agreement with what’s being said by party officials and not subject to critical questions.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this plan weren’t at all shelved in its entirety by the Tories and instead kept as a fast action plan to set up a new media center. And then I’d time it to see how long it took for someone in Harper’s office to see if they could hire Tony Snow

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