There’s a civic disaster brewing in Canada with its news industry. The public doesn’t understand it. Policy makers dare not speak its name.
Many close observers think it is quite likely Postmedia will go into bankruptcy, or some kind of bankruptcy protection, within the next year — if not sooner. In the meantime, the chain is stripping its newsrooms of reporters and editors.
This week, the Columbia Journalism Review remarked that the failure of Postmedia would be the equivalent of the top three U.S. newspaper chains going down at once. Outside of Toronto and Winnipeg, Postmedia controls all the paid daily newspapers in the ten largest English markets, and it controls scores of titles in smaller communities.
Yet in this week’s report on media from the House of Commons heritage committee, there was no direct reference to this looming crisis. Similarly, the recent ‘Shattered Mirror’ report by the Public Policy Forum, commissioned by the government in an effort to figure out what to do, made only oblique references to the dying elephant in the middle of the room.
It’s a problem.