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CRTC preserves media concentration in Canada

The CRTC has blown a chance to address Canada’s highly concentrated media landscape. With its decision today on media ownership, the regulator is allowing Canada’s three dominant media companies to control an enormous amount of what Canadians see on TV, hear on the radio and read in their daily newspapers.

“The CRTC is preserving the current unacceptable levels of concentration and is not even adopting meaningful measures to stop it from getting worse,” says Lise Lareau, president of the Canadian Media Guild. “By their own admission, they are legalizing the status quo since they admit that their new rules are not being contravened anywhere in Canada.”

The Canadian Media Guild has raised the alarm on media concentration across the country and particularly in cities such as Vancouver and Victoria, where one company ? Canwest ? owns two regional TV stations and three daily newspapers. The CMG urged a ban on the same company owning both a daily newspaper and TV station in the same city/region. Click here to read the CMG submission.

Thousands of Canadians wrote to the CRTC in advance of the diversity of voices hearing to urge new rules that would change the existing landscape. They expressed concern about the existing quality of their local and national media.

“The inaction on media concentration follows closely the CRTC’s approval of the sale of Alliance Atlantis to CanWest and U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs,” Lareau adds. “There is a clear trend toward giving media companies and their shareholders what they want, regardless of the views of Canadian audiences. Canadians and federal politicians should not stop pressing for real measures to limit concentration of media ownership.”

For more information, contact communications co-ordinator Karen Wirsig at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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