The CRTC’s “Diversity of Voices” hearings kick off this week to review Canada’s current media cross-ownership regulations. They arrive in the wake of CTVglobemedia and Rogers divvying up CHUM, while CanWest Global (along with Goldman Sachs) took over Alliance Atlantis.
The Tyee has a thoughtful analysis by mass communications prof Marc Edge, titled Big Media’s Big Showdown. He’s not optimistic, pointing out that the CRTC’s “broadcast only” jurisdiction limits its potential impact:
“There is only one way the CRTC can assist press freedom in Canada, and that is by disentangling it from television ownership. That may require a federal political will that is lacking these days, however. After all, Stephen Harper was personally endorsed in his 2006 bid for the prime minister’s job by CanWest Publications head David Asper.”
Any bets? Will the CRTC restore media diversity in Canada? Even if it rules against media cross-ownership, will it make a difference?