By Matt Paul
December 9, 2018
“There is no media bias” – Mark Snow, Libertarian
I was skeptical when I was talking about CBC, Global and CTV this Saturday on Parliament Hill with Mr. Snow. As a policy and political veteran over the past many years Mr. Snow has done a lot of research into the subject of media and bias in his work with the Libertarian Party of Canada. The comment struck me as odd. I mean if you watch “The National”, read newspapers online or watch TV these days we are inundated with seemingly Left of Centre concepts and coverage skewed to provide a platform for issues that do not fit within conventional views. How could there not be a sense of bias, especially to those that hold traditional views?
According to Snow it has nothing to do with left or right wing politics and has everything to do with click bait, triggering people to click article links and attract the attention. Obviously the types of non-conventional headlines focus on violence and sensational elements of stories, the polarizing parts all fit within that new model. Journalism is now less about presenting the items in a way that shows the whole story for people to make a decision or form their opinion and more about enticing people in and creating an emotional response to trigger activity that rewards the network.
Looking in that context at the articles out there and the headlines, it is easy to see that is the game of being a reporter. Presenting facts in a way that leads to clicks, visits and translates into ad revenue is a responsibility of each reporter, editor and publisher to their stakeholders. All media is competing for that 10 to 15 seconds of attention from users. Even if in the case of the CBC it is the government of Canada or specifically the bureaucrats that are responsible for funding decisions the goal is to generate clicks.
The story that I arrived with JLT-TV.COM to investigate was the protest of the UN’s Migration pact signing on Parliament Hill. I saw both sides of the story, there are people and groups that disagree with the UN Migration Pact and Canada signing it and there are people and groups that feel it is part of Canada’s global commitment to sign this agreement. That is it. There was a brief clash between the global UN supporters and Parliament Police and then the event proceeded as normal.
As I just did sum up this event in a couple of lines, we decided to focus on a different aspect of the story – permission and permit to protest. We felt this was far more interesting. Essentially, if you apply legally to protest at Parliament Hill then the government will let you say and do whatever you want and if some group or even private citizens show up to counter your permitted protest they will be asked to leave and can be charged if they do not. Our story was both sides of the protest about the UN migration issue with the real learning to educate the public on the level of control and organization that the government has over traditionally non regulated free expression: ie “PROTESTS”. I mean to be free you need a permit and prior approval.
If you don’t have that and disagree with someone who has the necessary approval, you can be arrested for disturbing them. The Mainstream Media that reported on the Migration Protest missed that.