Policy Options is pretentious sophistry that is heavy on arrogance, and empty with its facts. It is the place where incapable can think up ways to abuse the goodwill of the public while pretending to proffer solutions to their unending appetite for someone else's money.
The word "options" is ironic because the only option ever available is to somehow increase taxes, not allow those footing the bill to have any say over how much and how it will be used.
So when this propaganda article cam out with this article, I already had the answer:
How can the feds spend wisely on local journalism?
Simple: you don't. There is no wisely. You don't give a dead profession a penny, and you let the institution finally get buried.
Allowing the current players in journalism to stay in their positions is akin to allow Stan and Frank Koebel to stay in charge of Walkerton's water supply.
The system is antiquated. It never improved itself or changed in any way. It is supposed to chronicle reality, and if they were disconnected from that reality to the point that they never could figure out how to gain readers instead of losing them, that's on the industry.
Canadian media appears to have a single brain cell that can only function by rote learning of someone else's decree, and it's only thought is that it doesn't nothing wrong, but needs government nannying to function.
For journalism to get a penny from the government shows the extent of governmental immorality and archaic thought. Had Trudeau been truly future focussed and had a single new idea, he would have rebuffed the poverty pleas. The will of the people is not to use journalism; ergo, do not force taxpayers to fund something they have made the conscious decision not to patron.
And there are several reason why they did so: it didn't speak to them, it didn't give them what they wanted or needed, it insulted them, it harmed them, it lied to them and about them...and they have the Internet where they could finally ditch the gate-keepers.
That's democracy in action.
What Canada -- and the rest of the world -- needs is something that began when the Internet was already established and forever changed the world's thinking patterns and sensibilities, and that something is...
Is a new form of news-gathering. It needs an alternative to journalism that gets things right.
Journalism is patriarchal, came from racist, sexist, and homophobic origins, is rigged to favour celebrity, opinion, and partisanship over facts, is not empirical, and no longer has an ability to connect to people. You can't keep fixing a collapsed building.
You have to build a new one from scratch -- taking all of the problems of the old, studying them, and then improving it.
Not going back to garbage. Not going back to death.
And the article completely misses the mark:
The government could also direct some of the funds to helping journalism start-ups develop new business platforms. The goal should be to get regular people — consumers — to finance journalism. The Tyee, for example, gets a third of its revenue from its readers. Discourse Media is poised to launch a beta version of a new audience-supported platform that will allow us to employ dozens of journalists nationally. Core funding to assist us through the development phase would be a huge boost not just to us but to a shared end goal of developing viable business models for citizen-supported journalism all over the country.
The Tyee is partisan and entrenched in opinion, not facts. The Tyee does what journalism always did. There is nothing new. The authors of the piece want the government to socially engineer certain publications, and that's not the government's job. It should stay out of it.
And citizen journalism is not the answer. It makes all the same mistakes as the old guard -- only more so. It is not empirical, and that's what killed the profession.
The worst of the piece is a complete inability to understand that the Internet is not going to be the dominant platform for long. There is a fatigue, and it is an unstable medium. It was on our computers, then laptops, then tablets, then smartphones.
The Internet titans from the late 1990s aren't titans now. Myspace was supposed to define this generation, and it was a passing fad. Yet now people in journalism are treating digital as something that is here to stay, and it won't. It is an in-between medium at the most.
If journalists actually processed their reality and had thought of paying attention to facts, they'd know it. The future is not digital. It is something else.
You cannot create a business model around the medium, especially when journalism is always grossly behind the times. The federal government is also way behind the times, and its involvement will be so mired in conditions and bureaucracy that it will destroy the industry.
If you build it, they will come is a silly and classic line from an old 80s movie, but just like social media -- it was built, and people came in droves. No government needed to tell people to run and play in the Facebook pool.
The final paragraph of this arrogant article explains exactly why Policy Options is a useless publication:
If the government engages in a conversation with digital innovators, philanthropists and the communities that are suffering from an absence of good journalism, the government’s $50 million could turn into $150 million, or maybe a lot more than that. We don’t need any more reviews of what ails Canadian journalism. We need the collaboration of likely suspects who will treat $50 million as a lot of money and find ways to make it go a lot further.
Yes, let us defer to the elites because we cannot create anything ourselves.
And, yes, we do need more reviews of what ails journalism because it is a dead profession and we should not allow the bunglers to continue infecting the information stream. That is not your call to make. Journalism never admitted their own hand in their demise: it is all about pretending they are the hapless superhero victims who weren't their own villains.
Do not try to shut down debate the way you use to do it when you were the sole gate-keepers. The reason for the transparent authoritative decree is simple: journalism now wants money and they are sticking to their narrative pretending they know the answers, and they are going for their old bag of manipulative stunts to do it.
If you had a clue about how to properly do your jobs, you wouldn't go begging for money. That is proof of your demise.
People need information. They do not need journalism to get it.
And they certainly don't need a useless publication such as Policy Options to do their thinking for them.
Nice try, but thinking people with morals and vision will never buy what you're selling.