University Canada West media critic targets newspaper mergers

UCW News Team  |  May 25, 2016

 | Topic : Expert Opinion

Dr Marc Edge

Canadian news media are dwindling in diversity not because of financial woes that have forced them to converge, but because of federal regulatory negligence. Marc Edge, a Professor in University Canada West’s (UCW’s) Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication program, made that argument at a national conference May 28-31 in Calgary. The former newspaper reporter and editor for The Province and Calgary Herald newspapers is also a prolific critical scholar of news media.

Edge delivered a paper during a session on News Economics at the Canadian Communication Association’s (CCA’s) annual meeting.

Founded in 1980, the CCA is a national, bilingual organization that brings together teachers, researchers and professionals from the public and private sectors to present research on communication issues in Canada.

Edge presented his latest paper News as Hazardous Waste on Saturday, May 28 at the CCA meeting. The paper explains how Canada’s Competition Bureau was bound by a landmark Supreme Court ruling involving two hazardous waste companies in its sanctioning of Postmedia Network’s takeover of Sun Media newspapers last year.

“As a media critic, I hope to shine a light on increased concentration of media ownership,” says Edge.  He describes himself as one of the few journalism educators to speak out against increased media ownership concentration in Canada. 

“I hope to dispel some misconceptions about media, such as that they are losing money. They are not losing money. They are making healthy profits, just not as healthy as before. The increased levels of media ownership concentration in Canada are largely due to regulatory negligence on the part of the Competition Bureau and the CRTC, as a 2006 Senate report on news media pointed out.”

The author of four books, Edge has been studying the evolution and erosion of news media in Canada for almost 20 years. He has another book in the making on what he sees as developments that fall squarely within his area of research expertise.

“I hope to raise the level of awareness about the forces that have led to increased media ownership concentration, such as the merger of newsrooms in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Ottawa,” says Edge.  “I believe there should be a federal investigation into recent dealings and I hope the ongoing Heritage Ministry hearings into News and Local Communities will result in this.”

Edge can be contacted directly for interviews: 778.384.1952 (cell), medge@ucanwest.ca

 

 

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