Canada now has a Department of Propaganda. The Harper Government is creating a “fog of information” where the reader/viewer” has no idea whether they are reading/watching real news items or quasi-fictional government propaganda. Combine that with the 2011 robocall scandal. Electoral fraud that the Harper Government is in no hurry to investigate even if the evidence seems to show that the Conservative Party databases were used. Even though evidence seems to show that Conservative Party money was used to fund the operation.
The City of Thunder Bay uses the local media in exactly the same way. City Admin produces news releases…news releases published/broadcast by local media. Do you think the local media asks City Admin any questions? Previous posts here, here and here and…shit, there dozens of them….The entire $120 million plus multi-purpose arena project is a combined effort by City Admi, the local media and the city’s Big Money to manufacture consent for the project. A combined effort to marginalize opposition to the project. A combined effort to produce and broadcast/print pro-$120 million plus multi-purpose arena propaganda. Building a new $25 million Thunder Bay Art Gallery on the waterfront? The exact same media effort.
Question everything you see, hear and read including this. The truth is out there but you have to look for it.
Tory government using publicity agency to create, distribute news
The Conservative government has been using a publicity agency to create and distribute government-approved news items to community newspapers, television and radio stations
OTTAWA—The Conservative government has been using a publicity agency to create and distribute government-approved news items to community newspapers, television and radio stations.
The federal government has a standing offer — worth up to $1.25 million annually — with News Canada Ltd., which provides content free and without copyright to editors through its website.
The articles must be credited to News Canada, but there is usually nothing in the so-called news articles or television and radio scripts that would explicitly let readers or viewers know it is sponsored content.
The Star’s Alex Boutilier reported earlier this week the Conservative government has signed or amended nearly $500 million in advertising contracts over the past five years, but the federal public works department said in an emailed response to questions that this will not come from the advertising budget.
“These are editorial services, not paid advertising,” said the email from media relations at Public Works, where no one was available for an interview Friday.
An undated video about the Nutrition North program available for use on the News Canada website states as fact that it has increased access to fresh foods in remote areas, leading grocery retailers to pass on the subsidy to consumers by reducing prices.
A quick Internet search for any real news story about Nutrition North might turn up results about how the auditor general said the aboriginal affairs department does not actually know whether that is true.
A television script about specific land claims settlements suggests news anchors throw to the piece with: “How do you right a past wrong? Well the government of Canada has been working towards finding solutions to do just that.”
The narrator of the script concludes: “The future looks bright. More ‘win-win’ solutions are in the works to bring closure and justice for all,” before directing viewers to the Aboriginal Affairs website.
The federal government says it is about educating Canadians.
New democrat MP Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay), ethics critic for his party, sees it differently.
“We have a news service offering cash-strapped newspapers free content and it doesn’t tell the reader that this is from the Conservative propaganda machine,” Angus said in a telephone interview Friday.
“At least if it’s a press release, we know where it comes from, but there is a subversion of public trust when they go this route.”
News Canada Ltd., which is having its standing offer renewed after the current one expires next month, emailed a statement Friday noting editors are the ones deciding whether to publish its content.
“It is up to the media to decide if it is relevant and valuable to their audience and to choose if they would like to use it or not. When the media use us, they identify News Canada as a source, like they would do with other sources of content,” said the statement.
News Canada also noted the Star published one of its articles in a special section on small businesses in October 2013. It was not an article about the government.
Still, the language of the standing offer, which is “an agreement with a supplier to provide services for a negotiated price and under certain conditions”, suggests the government will be able to exert a large amount of control.
The content will be based on answers departments provide to a one-page questionnaire, and the government will provide a maximum of two interviews, either by telephone for radio scripts or in-person in Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto for television spots.
The federal government routinely denies journalists writing real news stories interviews with officials.
“Departments using the standing offer must ensure that all products conform to government policies and standards,” Public Works said in its statement when asked whether it would vet the finished product.
A non-government client of News Canada described the creation of their content as “a collaborative process” and noted it can be useful for both public and private enterprises in an age when it is getting tougher to get messages out to targeted audiences.
The News Canada website is advertising a contest to win a $500 voucher for travel on Via Rail to encourage greater pickup of its handouts, with editors and bloggers needing to prove they have published its sponsored content in order to enter.