Ottawa Citizen publisher fired for criticizing Chrétien.
June 17, 2002 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Ottawa Citizen publisher fired for criticizing Chrétien.
CanWest Global keeps it real for the little guy once again by continuing to silence dissident voices. The Citizen's own coverage of the sacking is, unsurprisingly, scant on details.
posted by poorhaus (11 comments total)
I hope that this will finally cause all those nattering nabobs of negativism to realize that Mr Asper would never silence opposing points of view at his newspapers; and, further, any concerns that his long affiliation (and participation) in the Liberal Party of Canada in no way affects his newspaper's treatment of the p'tit gars de Shawinigan.

Thank you. That is all.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:54 PM on June 17, 2002


It's not like there isn't precedent for openly biased Canadian newspapers. Conrad Black of the initially blocked peerage and former owner of the National Post clearly had an anti-Chretian editorial policy in force.
posted by srboisvert at 3:05 PM on June 17, 2002

I don't know if you'd call it bias; I think it's expected the proprietor will have an opinion and will want that taken into consideration by his publishers. Why else would they buy ink by the barrel?

Where the Aspers cross the line, in my opinion, is forcing each of their papers to run editorials written by staff at Asper HQ in Winterpeg and then forbidding their papers from contradicting those so-called "core values." (Firing longtime publishers the day after he's given an honorary degree from the local uni doesn't necessarily prove to sceptical readers the proprietor isn't a thug, either.)

It also doesn't help Asper, Sr is a former leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party.

Come back, Connie, all is forgiven...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:11 PM on June 17, 2002

It's now abundantly clear that the Aspers are a bigger threat to media diversity than Conrad Black ever was.

Fortunately CanWest Global/Southam isn't the only source of news in Canada (yet). Their competitors — such as the CBC, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star (link to coverage of Mills's firing) — are always all too happy to cover the Aspers' controversial interference in their news operations. You can also check out the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, the home page of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and the satirical Frank magazine, which is usually chockablock with newsroom gossip and has been covering the escapades of the CanWest Global crowd from day one.

Also don't miss this Ryerson Review of Journalism profile of former Southam columnist Lawrence Martin, who was, in spite of his excellent work, dumped for ideological reasons.
posted by mcwetboy at 3:14 PM on June 17, 2002

Russ Mills is talking about it on CBC Radio's As it Happens as I write this (Eastern time; at 6:30 p.m. your time if you're west of me, on tape delay).
posted by mcwetboy at 3:32 PM on June 17, 2002

Doesn't half of Ottawa already call that paper the Sh*tizen anyway?
posted by clevershark at 7:39 PM on June 17, 2002

The Citizen isn't very well-liked by most of the people I've talked to (I only read its sports section for the local stuff), but next to The Ottawa Sun, the Citizen is a freaking miracle of modern journalism.
posted by Succa at 9:04 PM on June 17, 2002

Coverage in today's Globe and Mail includes opposition charges that the government had a hand in Mills's firing.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:33 AM on June 18, 2002

I live in Ottawa, but I get hardly any news from local media.

A couple of my friends work in goverment media monitoring and they're always freaking out over one bias or another in the canadian print media. Then I'm all like "Huh? They didn't mention any of this on CNN."

I don't know if that's a good thing, but it all feels like panicing over split milk when the farm is just next door.
posted by Leonard at 12:57 PM on June 18, 2002

An update. Ottawa Citizen reporters are withholding their bylines in protest over Mills's firing in spite of likely disciplinary action. As well, there was a rally of a few hundred people yesterday at the newspaper's offices, and about 500 people have cancelled their subscriptions so far.

From today's Globe and Mail, an editorial and a column by Jeffy Simpson, both denouncing the decision.

They use the phrase "Winnipeg-dictated," or words to that effect, a lot. (CanWest Global's head office is in Winnipeg.) The Aspers are making my home town look bad.
posted by mcwetboy at 2:03 PM on June 18, 2002

Mills comments on his firing in today's Globe and Mail.
posted by mcwetboy at 4:53 AM on June 19, 2002

« Older Matt Taibbi, co-founder   |   Ever dream of owning a Bookstore? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments