It looks like Postmedia, the largest newspaper chain in the country, is up for sale — and it can be yours! That is, if you’re willing to be saddled with a mountain of debt and a lack of credibility as the relevance of mainstream newspapers erode.
At the time of Postmedia’s acquisition of Quebecor, media pundits and op-ed columnists were quick to point out the dangers this may pose in journalistic plurality in Canada given that Postmedia and Sun Media newspapers were poised to become one in the same.
Layoffs, buyouts, and downright abandonment by seasoned journalists was just one of the results of an inescapable manifestation of Canada’s media consolidation problem.
A problem that has been scrutinized and was deemed just as alarming in the 1980s when a royal commission was tasked to assess Canada’s newspaper landscape.
But, let us consider the possibility that the death of Postmedia may be a good thing.
Let us consider the possibility of Postmedia under atrophy, slinking further and further away from the country’s public consciousness.
No longer Conrad Black’s pen and pad, his excuse to use words like ‘stentorian’ in an attempt to sound lucid as a moral voice. When was the last time anyone, anywhere wanted to know what Conrad Black thought about the state of the nation?
Let us consider the death of one of Canada’s national newspapers and its local dailies across the country.
It is not too cynical to assess that many stakeholders would profit greatly from this, while others would mourn over the death of Canadian journalism. Of course, rumours of its death are greatly exaggerated.
There would be an empty void, certainly. And an opportunity for citizen journalists to create and be their own media.
The Leveller is stubborn, a hyper-local print newspaper that attempts to reconcile the people of New Canada with an old medium. Its existence defies many of the trends present in Canadian media and even Canadian politics today.
While we may experiment with digital and online ventures in an attempt to reach more people and learn from more perspectives, we believe in the power of the printed word as it immortalizes people, experiences, stories and struggles.
Postmedia could fall to its timely end. The porous nature of journalism, public relations and Canadian politics means that many writers could try to find a place for their own post-National Post.
Or, they could create something themselves and really try to change things.
The Leveller believes in the flourishment of voices and news coverage, we would like to see a strong and robust public broadcast, and a national newspaper that is committed to telling stories from underrepresented viewpoints.
But that’s not Postmedia right now. So, let this editorial be the flaming arrow to kindle a premature viking funeral. Feed the fire with whatever Postmedia is, was and could be, let it drift out to sea; there are brighter horizons more deserving of our attention.