Today is Media Democracy Day in Canada, a day that is close to our hearts at This Magazine. As a small publisher of an independent magazine of current affairs, opinion, arts, and culture, we value our independence and the freedom it gives us to tell the truth as we see it. Lots of editors out there don’t enjoy the same degree of freedom that I do at This; their magazines rely on large corporate advertisers whose messages sometimes conflict with their own goal of sharing important information. Often, the more important the story, the less flattering it is to entrenched interests in industry or government, and that can put a chilling effect on newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio. As more and more media outlets come under the ownership of fewer — and larger — private companies, the ecosystem of public information seizes up, preventing the publication and dissemination of necessary public knowledge.
But people are fighting back against this entrenchment, and Media Democracy Day is an important part of the fight. There are lots of things going on today in Montreal, in Ottawa, in Kingston, inToronto, and in Vancouver.
To mark Media Democracy Day in style, our good friends at Rabble.ca have launched their redesigned site and are looking for your feedback. Supporting independent media, like Rabble and This Magazine (you can subscribe, or donate, or both!) is one good way of helping. But there are plenty of others. This 12-Step program for rejuvenating the media landscape was originally published in The Nation in 2002, but sadly, it’s not out of date. Yet.