You cannot have a government-funded newspaper industry, and expect to get honest reportage. I was reminded today of the UK newspaper editor's code of practice with regards to accuracy: that they not "publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information."
When you are beholden to a government to bail you out, you cannot do anything but report with a slant favourable to the regime who funds you, as you ignore information that is unfavourable to them.
We needed a strong independent press that was not beholden to any government. Now that the federal government threw $50 million to the newspaper industry (absolute chump change) -- that has strings attached, what we have is an industry that collapsed, and had its loyalty purchased at a bargain basement rate.
This is an absolute disgrace and also humiliation. What business reporter in Canada can have any credibility? What do they know what makes good or sound business judgement when they work for someone whose own incompetence and myopia forced them to be on the government dole? Who are they to open their big mouths?
That's the very definition of Hell.
And that happens only when you make a deal with the devil, making -- not the editor, publisher, or owner the boss -- but the devil.
The devil, in this case, decided their new boss was going to be a dandy who does not take well to criticism.
Look at what happened to the English-language Indian magazine Outlook, that isn't getting funded by the Canadian government, but wrote critically about the Canadian Prime Minister.
Barring a media outlet is the surest sign that a regime cannot take the heat and is a meddling micromanager.
If a foreign press not beholden to a government is thrown petty obstacles, you can be certain the homegrown ones who have let the world know how desperate they are for their financial survival is not going to have their autonomy.
There will be the usual spin and denials, but when you find yourself in the middle of hell, the best course of action is to figure out a way to rebuild your fortunes without making any deals with anyone.