I like Fergus, Ontario. It is a charming little town in Ontario has a nifty little tea house.
But its local paper is another matter.
The publisher of the Wellington Advertiser is appropriately named -- in this sales pitch trying to convince people who aren't buying the newspaper to support having their tax dollars in supporting the newspaper they are not reading:
In a recent survey of Advertiser readers, 60 per cent of respondents answered no when asked whether or not government should subsidize newspapers.
The result of the survey was not really a surprise considering Wellington County has a fairly conservative readership that still believes in self-reliance rather than government handouts.
But now here is the sales pitch why people should pay for something that they do not want:
[J]ournalism is truly in a perilous position, as is democracy.
News this past week that tech giant Facebook has been used and manipulated to have an effect on elections comes as no real surprise. That people are catching on is good news, with recent polls suggesting over half of citizens don’t trust Facebook.
Readers of this advertorial are also being manipulated with this dreck. The self-entitledness shows loud and clear here:
The time is long overdue for the federal and provincial governments to institute polices that would insist on advertising in newspapers owned by Canadians. Currently millions are spent with Google and Facebook with no tax benefit to the government. Those millions were bled in part from the newspaper businesses currently under stress.
Nannying once again as restrictions would be placed on individuals an businesses to force them to advertise on platforms that give them lesser returns. This idea is an absolute outrage. It is not Facebook or Google's fault that Canada never created their own Facebook and Google.
As usual, legacy journalism is short-sighted: businesses have the right to advertise in whatever outlet brings them the biggest returns, and considering the Internet is global in scale, they are going to use global platforms to build their businesses. Yes, let's rig things to benefit traditional media because they believe they are owed.
But then the hilarity arrives:
The practice of stealing news online should also be halted. It is akin to shoplifting at a menswear store with the intent of getting inventory to start a new menswear store down the street.
The theft of news is not fair and original works should be subject to strict copyright laws to ensure the publisher and journalist involved get credit – and remuneration - for their work.
Theft of news? You mean cribbing news articles that crib from press releases? News is about information to be disseminated. With attribution of the original source, it is not theft, though journalists have been been known to plagiarize and steal ideas outright themselves.
It is yet another sales pitch in the Fear and Pity campaign. Never learning from past mistakes, or looking inward: it is someone else's fault: so people should just be forced to go back to the good old days where they had no power, and journalism had complete control over the information stream.
It's not happening. Change happened, and there is no going back...