Canadian Journalists Threatened By Media Concentration

Robert Cribb, the president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, is calling for "a parliamentary inquiry into the effects of media concentration in this country," in response to efforts by the CanWest media empire to muzzle journalists who disagree with management views. "At issue is CanWest's decision to run 'national editorials' in its major dailies, limiting the diversity of viewpoints available to readers," Cribb writes. "CanWest has further decreed that on issues of 'overarching national importance,' local newspapers are forbidden from publishing local editorials that contradict the CanWest line. When journalists publicly complained at the Montreal Gazette (a CanWest newspaper) in December, a letter was circulated warning that public criticism of management was a potential firing offence."