Senate Committee on mass media asks shunpiking to speak

THE SENATE Committee on the Mass Media has invited shunpiking magazine to present its views on the monopolization of the media.



HALIFAX (12 April 2005) -- THE SENATE Committee on the Mass Media has invited shunpiking magazine to present its views on the monopolization of the media.

The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, chaired by Senator Joan Fraser, commenced an investigation into the present state of the Canadian media in 2003, holding all its hearings in Ottawa. This year it has been holding hearings in Western Canada and will be visiting St. John's, Saint John, Moncton and Halifax.

The Senate Committee's website states that it is examining the "current state of Canadian media industries; emerging trends and developments in these industries; the media's role, rights, and responsibilities in Canadian society; and current and appropriate future policies relating thereto."

Tony Seed and other representatives from shunpiking are scheduled to address the Committee on Tuesday, April 19 at 1 pm in Halifax. We invite all our readers and those with concerns about the mass media to attend the hearing in the Thomas A&B Rooms at the Delta Barrington Hotel, 1875 Barrington Street, Halifax.

Also speaking that afternoon will be Bruce Wark, Associate Professor of Journalism, School of Journalism, University of King's College.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to speak to the Committee (same-day registration).

They will follow on the heels of presentations scheduled for the morning session from the Canadian Association of Journalists (Paul Schneidereit, National President and Murray Brewster, Nova Scotia Chapter Representative, National Board of Directors), the Atlantic Community Newspaper Association, and the Halifax Chronicle Herald (Sarah Dennis, Vice-President, Brand and Content).

On Wednesday, April 20 presentations are scheduled to be given by Michael Cobden, Maclean Hunter Professor of Journalism, School of Journalism, University of King's College; the Halifax Daily News (Jamie Thomson, Publisher and Kevin McIntosh, Editor-in-Chief), Tim Currie, School of Journalism, University of King's College and Le Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse (Denise Comeau Desautels, Director General).

Senate Clerk Till Heyde said that the invitation to shunpiking originated from committee member, Senator Jim Munson.

The Committee's interim report from April of 2004 can be found on its website at www.senate-senat.ca/media-e.asp

* * *

Letter to shunpiking

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 20:05:06 -0500
From: "Heyde, Till: SEN" heydet@SEN.PARL.GC.CA
Subject: Senate Media Study -- Invitation to Appear
To: shunpike@shunpiking.org

Dear Mr. Seed:

Further to our recent conversation, I would like to take this opportunity to invite representatives of Shunpiking to appear before the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications when it is in Halifax to hold public hearings as part of its study of the Canadian news media on Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20.

The Committee is examining whether public policy - including laws, regulatory policy, etc. - needs to be adjusted in light of the many changes that have affected the news media in recent years, including concentration of ownership, cross-ownership, technological changes, fragmentation of audiences, and globalization. Additional information on the study is available at www.senate-senat.ca/media-e.asp.Ê In particular, this site contains a link to the Committee's interim report from April of 2004.

The Committee would be interested in hearing about Shunpiking, its background and work, and your perspectives on evolutions occurring news media. In addition, there are a range of specific questions that the Committee is studying that you may wish to address, as appropriate (please see the attached document)*. An appearance usually involves a period of introductory remarks of at most 10 minutes, followed by a period of questions and discussion.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly, and would be pleased to respond to any questions that you may have. In the meantime please accept my thanks for your co-operation with the work of the Committee.

Yours sincerely,

Till Heyde

Committee Clerk/Greffier de comit/

The Senate/Le S/nat

Ottawa K1A 0A4

Tel./T/l.: (613) 991-3620 or/ou 1-800-267-7362

Fax/T/l/cop.: (613) 947-2104

Attachment converted: G3-1:Questions.doc (WDBN/MSWD) (00265EC5)

*KEY QUESTIONS

1. Do Canadians have appropriate amounts and quality of information about international, national, regional and local issues? (Where appropriate includes the notions of availability, relevance, lack of bias and inclusiveness.)

2. Older and younger Canadians access news and information in different ways. What are the implications of this trend and what is the current (or potential) role of media literacy studies in schools?

3. Are communities, minorities and remote centres appropriately served?

4. Do changes in concentration affect diversity in the news media or would further concentration be likely to do so?

5. Do changes in cross-ownership affect diversity in the news media or would increased cross-ownership be likely to do so?

6. Should existing foreign ownership restrictions be changed?

7. Have recent innovations in technology affected diversity in the news media?

8. How did the existing policy framework allow for such a concentration of broadcast media in Toronto and Montreal?

9. How can the Government of Canada develop a policy and regulatory framework that encourages an appropriate diversity of news and views without harming freedom of the press?

10. What should the role of the CRTC be in the regulation and supervision of the Canadian news media?

11. Should the Competition Bureau continue to focus solely on economic matters in dealing with transactions in the media sector?

12. What forms of self-regulation are appropriate?

13. Are there lessons to be learned from other countries about useful forms of media regulation and self-regulation?

14. In light of the many changes in Canadaís media landscape over the past 20 years (e.g., audience fragmentation, increased media concentration and cross-media ownership), what is the role of Canadaís public broadcasters?


Comments to : shunpike@shunpiking.org
Copyright Copyright New Media Publications. © 2005. The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of shunpiking magazine or New Media Publications. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. Copyright of written and photographic and art work remains with the creators.