Editor’s Notes

Friday, November 14, 2008
True North Perspective
Vol. 3, No. 35 (149)

Space and time filled to the margins
but we still remain most uninformed

It’s nice to be back.

As I spent time in hospital, in convalescence, and in rehab through the weeks following my September 2 hip operation, I had time for radio, television, newspapers, and magazines. The experience reinforced my reason for launching True North Perspective three years ago this December. The print media pages are filled with print. Radio and television give us sound and images 24-hours-a-day. Because of all the noise, the uncritical mind is left with the sense that it has received all that there is to know about the world. The truth is that our minds are being occupied with stuff that may be compared with candyfloss at the circus.  On the surface it seems like a lot but when analytically consumed there is very little there.

We can’t blame the very competent journalists who provide the froth — they have to produce that which pleases their owners. And the number of owners continues to shrink. In Canada for example, there are three companies that own and control the news and views. And they deliver with all the bias that they think they can safely slip past the public. CTV for example, was determined to sink Dion in favour of Harper and struck some mighty blows to succeed while doing its best to present a false front of objectivity.

But readers are not stupid. When Conrad Black took over the Southam chain and pushed it from centre to centre right, ten thousand Ottawa Citizen readers cancelled their subscriptions in protest. The Ottawa Citizen is still bleeding. Recently it did what it had never done before in its entire history of more than 100 years. It provided Ottawans with six-week free delivery. It then followed this with a telephone campaign to recruit new subscribers. Reports so far say that the campaign is failing. Newspapers and magazines are in a desperate fight for survival. Not because of competition from any other media including the Internet but because they are not satisfying the intellectual needs of real and potential readers.

The Harry Potter books are a case in point. For years pundits in and out of education were tsk-tsking because children were losing interest in reading. But the critics were short on analysis. Children were losing interest in reading because what they were reading was boring. Along came Harry Potter and by the millions excited children throughout the world were lined up around the block.

It’s not the Internet that’s causing the public to turn away from the regular media it’s because the former are fed up with having their intelligence and good will insulted.

The Internet, and certainly publications like True North Perspective, is filling a void created by a smug, overconfident propaganda machine that is less and less rooted in reality. There are all kinds of publications in cyber space for entertainment and information. True North Perspective is dedicated to the high-end reader who wants to be both informed and entertained.

It’s hard work but, like raising children, it’s a labour of love. That’s why it’s nice to be back.

Looking forward

Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective