Thursday, August 02, 2018

Ontario News Now

There's a new news channel on the block. It's called Ontario News Now. It is owned and operated by the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party -- and funded by Ontario taxpayers. Amara McLaughlin writes:

The Progressive Conservative government's production of a TV-news-style video under the banner of "Ontario News Now" is a "pure example of fake news" that aims to undercut the pillars of democracy and muzzle media, political policy experts say.
"Having a separate news channel kind of corrodes the function of the democratic media, because it assumes that the media isn't able to fulfil the function that is assigned to them," said Jonathan Rose, a political science professor at Queen's University.
The partisan channel launched on Monday via social media with a minute-long video that served as a highlight reel of Ontario Premier Doug Ford's photo ops during his first month in power and chronicled his alleged campaign successes.

It's an extension of one of Ford's chief campaign tools, Ford Nation Live, which featured Lyndsey Vanstone -- Ford's former executive assistant -- posing as a reporter:

McLaughlin reports that, "in just three days, the sole Ontario News Now video racked up thousands of views and generated considerable engagement online — something which shocked news and policy experts."

Chris Waddell -- a professor of journalism at Carleton -- says, "The underlying message in doing this is clearly that the Conservatives think the public is stupid. The Conservatives are relying on the assumption that the public is too stupid to differentiate between information, advertising and propaganda."

It's a sign of our times that those who yell and scream loudest about fake news are the biggest purveyors of it.

Image: Vox


Rural said...

I have long avoided subscribing to 'social media (Facebook, Twitter etc etc) and will continue to do so, unfortunately traditional (more reliable) sources of news are increasingly hidden behind a 'paywall'. I fear that more and more folks will be getting their information from such unreliable sources such as Fords "news" site, but I see no easy solution Owen!

the salamander said...

.. invoking Marshall McLuhan here.. On entering a strip club with 10 banking execs plus Tom Wolfe for a lunch escape from an economic conference, one of the astonished bankers cried - 'my God, these women are naked!! As Wolfe tells it, instantly McLuhan said 'no, they're wearing us'

Thus We the Ontario taxpayers are the owners, operators and funders of Doug Ford's Ontario News Today - Thus Ford and his faux but fluffy fakey 'news' with Lindsey Vanstone et al 'are wearing us' and getting us to pay for it. We know nothing of the planning, management, budget re scripting, production and post production..

Just as we are 'wearing' Trans Mountain Pipeline and Expansion via fwinning. Justin Trudeau as our realty agent & Big Energy consultant grabbed a foreign owned 4.4 billion dollar, 65 year old leaky pipeline, with no notice and expects us to pay some 7-10 billion for the twinning.

All we got was the rainbow unicorn news that this was the key to reducing greenhouse gas.. plus unlock the wealth of Asian exports unto us.. Ms Notley waxes even more over the rainbow optimistic as if that is possible & Jason Kenney screetches it aint happening fast enough. Remediation ? Endangered Species ? Habitat, Our inland or coastal waters ? Who cares.. lay the pipe and The Loaves & Fishes or Water into Wine Parables will come true.. and 'unfairly discounted Alberta Oil' (Dilbit) will miraculously become Brent Benchmark or West Texas sweet light oil

Welcome to how our 'public servants' operate ..

Lorne said...

I love your choice of opening graphics, Owen. Clearly, Ontario News Now joins a fine journalistic tradition.

Owen Gray said...

There are very few easy solutions these days, Rural. But we keep looking for them. That's why we're in trouble.

Owen Gray said...

My father loved to repeat that old saw, sal: "Bullshit Baffles Brains." It was true then, and it's true now.

Owen Gray said...

Everything today -- with the exception of a few sources -- is tabloid news, Lorne. And people like Ford and Trump know how to use and abuse that format.