The Toronto Star has decided to misuse itself, and continues to lobbying both the government and the public to get money by doing the same things that alienated people in the first place. It is, of course, a serious conflict of interest. Politicians who misuse their position to raise money for their campaigns create a scandal.
When Donald Trump was elected president, the Star had this November 23, 2016 article about all the potential conflicts of interest he would have mixing business with his duty as president, and article began this way:
After Ivanka Trump appeared on CBS’s 60 Minuteswearing a $10,800 (U.S.) bracelet from her jewelry line, someone at her company sent photos from the interview to fashion writers to drum up free publicity. A firestorm of criticism erupted over the impropriety of profiting off the presidency, and the company apologized.
If only the bracelet brouhaha was the end of it.
What the Star is doing in 2018 is worse. The fear-mongering and the manipulation of the readers is truly shocking.
It is a constant siege, and this latest sink or swim article is just as bad:
Serious journalism is vital to health democracy and requires support
No, it doesn't. Your business model failed because your journalism model failed first. The people have spoken, and they spoke with their wallets and also their apathy.
So arrogant and ignorant is Robin V. Sears' column that it defies logic and morals:
Isn’t it curious that the same politicians who spend more than $1.5 billion on public broadcasting in Canada, and grant nearly a $1 billion to private program producers and broadcasters, and tens of millions more to magazines, are the same ones who sneer at the idea of supporting serious print journalism?
They flippantly dismiss “failing business models” when discussing Canada’s largest serious newspapers. They miss the irony, clearly, as they peck at their iPhones for the stolen headlines from those same newspapers.
The crumbs thrown to Canadian journalism in this federal budget are almost insulting — $10 million for local journalism. That could add perhaps two reporters at 100 local papers — or less than 2 per cent of the journalist jobs lost in the past decade.
The government can spend money any way they wish. They get elected for that reason.
And Mr. Sears, if that government is so hypocritical, why is the Star begging them for money?
You are a private business. Journalism was never a public service. The taxpayers do not owe you a penny.
Isn't it curious that your self-entitlement temper tantrum throwing diatribe makes the glorious assumption that journalism is perfect and therefore is owed a welfare check?
You are not even owed "crumbs."
And, by the way, how can the Star ever be trusted to report on any government ever again? Negative coverage when you do not get your own way could easily be a way to "punish" your potential sugar daddy for rejecting your wiles.
Positive coverage may just be a stratagem to butter up the next sugar daddy you have marked to pay your bills.
Shame on you.
Shame on you for not admitting that journalism collapsed because their model of journalism failed.
And to use a so-called newspaper to make a case to get pity cash is truly an act of pure self-interest.
We have homeless people on the street, Mr. Sears. We have dispossessed children with no place to go. We have women's shelters turning battered wives away.
They have been waiting in that line a lot longer than journalists who were too busy cribbing from press releases and drooling over celebrities to actually care.
Serious journalism is not vital to democratic health because it was always about pecking orders and narratives.
People went to social media because they were sick and tired of the monopoly your industry had once upon a time.
Do we need facts? Yes, we do, but journalism is not the only model available to do it.
It is more than a failing business model -- it was the perpetual unwillingness to improve the way journalism was done that lead to the slide -- and then your business model was unable to rebound.
That's why journalism should not be funded by taxpayers. If they find you useful, they will pay you. If they don't, they will dump you.
And you got dumped.
It is not the Internet's fault you were oblivious to your own shortcomings. It is not the government's fault you are drowning. It is not anyone's fault but journalism's. The end.
But Sears is on a rampage, and he just does not want to see either truth or reality:
The continuing neglect of this slow-moving collapse of one of the pillars of every democracy by our governments is not acceptable.
Journalists neglected their own profession. They own that, no one else. Journalism was never a pillar of democracy: it was an illusion propped up by its monopoly.
And those in the profession never once questioned that rig in the system, even though other people were harmed by the inaccurate and scorching coverage, the neglect of certain issues, and the patriarchal narratives that stifled innovative thought and debate.
Only when the rigs were changed and no longer favoured the gate-keepers did the profession actually bother to notice -- and only when it was way too late to do anything about it.
Journalism lost the war. It lost its credibility. It lost its stranglehold. It lost everything. When people like me -- who are attune to the environment -- were shouting form the top of our lungs that hello! there were problems, I was dismissed as being a hysterical female.
You never bothered covering hard news stories that were relevant to youth, or women, or minorities. This happy advertorial gushing isn't hard news. The profession still doesn't get it.
And it never will, but somehow, it wants the government to support them for doing the same thing that got them in this mess in the first place.
Enough. You made your case, and it fell flat on its face for a reason. Get over yourselves. Get over your egos. Stop making demands on other people.
They walked away in disgust for a reason.
And if you cannot face that reality, there is no reality you can actually cover as a journalist, either.