Monday, January 07, 2008

Adbusters' Battle . . . .

Admittedly, I am not up-to-snuff on all Canadian issues of importance, but this one looks to be one we all should have on our radar. It popped up on my Google Reader today and bears watching:

Compliments of Adbusters : The Magazine:

Fighting For Air
From Adbusters #75, JAN-FEB 2008

Long-time readers of Adbusters may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet
about our ongoing legal battle to break the corporate monopoly on Canada’s broadcast media. It hasn’t been for lack of activity – in fact, some recent and welcome developments suggest that the case is about to pop back up onto the radar.

For those of you not quite up to speed, here’s the gist: After over a decade of having our consumer-awareness TV spots rejected by just about every major commercial broadcaster in North America (often with little or no explanation from the network reps who issued the refusals), we resolved to take our fight to the courts. In 2004, we filed a lawsuit against the government of Canada and some of the country’s biggest media barons, arguing that the public has a constitutionally protected right to expression over the public airwaves.

Following a series of false starts and the inevitable legal complications, the suit was whittled down to two main defendants: the government and CanWest Global Communications, Canada’s largest international media corporation. The case is currently awaiting the resolution of two preliminary motions: one by Adbusters to add the CBC, Canada’s publicly funded national broadcaster, as an additional defendant; the other by CanWest to strike the case before it even proceeds to trial.


“We all watch television,” offers Dalziel, “and we (as the public) own the television airwaves. The question is, are the public airwaves the modern equivalent of the town square, in which all Canadians are free to express their views? Or can the government parcel the airwaves out to private companies who are free to exclude the rest of us from access, and keep us quiet?”

Having seen what the concentration of media outlets has done in the US, this looks like a case we all should be concerned about . . . .

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