RabbleOp: How Canada’s Alternative Media Is Failing Us…

A lot of people complain that the Canadian media is held in too few hands. I’ve written about this myself- for example in Vancouver the city’s two major newspapers, the Vancouver Sun & Province (or, as I call them the SunVince) are held by the same company, Postmedia. To compound the problem, they also own the National Post, one of the country’s two major national newspapers. In most countries this would not be legal…

What people don’t talk about often is Canada’s lack of credible alternative on-line media. As it stands, there are only two major outlets, rabble.ca & mediacoop.ca. A big problem with these two is that they are anything but independent- both are supported through the unions, and both provide a very slanted left-wing point of view.

Rabble is often called the attack dog of the radical left. It was started by Judy Rebick, one of Canada’s most notorious Marxists, and is as almost as often used as a weapon against people who don’t respect the left as it is to convey news.  Media Co-Op is quite similar- but with a more anarchist slant. Both of these organizations give strong support to the Black Bloc vandals who brought us incidents like the violence at the G20 and the 2010 Olympics.

An avid RabbleOp fan in Montreal…

The Kevin Annett case is another example how these media outlets are failing us. RabbleOp (I’ll call them that for short) gave very enthusiastic coverage to Annett- both without questioning his outlandish claims. Krystalline Kraus at Rabble promoted Annett’s events, and Megan Kinch interviewed Annett while he was waving around what he claimed to be children’s bones and she didn’t even mention how in appropriate that was!

Why did they cover Annett so enthusiastically? My guess is because he fulfilled their desire to raise discontent within aboriginal communities. The only other explanation could be that both organizations are institutionally stupid- but, I’d put my money on the former.

And this is the key of the problem with Canada’s alternative media- alternative media does not equate to independent thought. RabbleOp is as ideologically bent than Pravda was back in the days of the Soviet Union. In fact, today, Pravda is more reliable than either of these publications.

It’s become apparent that Canada desperately needs an independent online media outlet. The big question is how can this be funded? As RabbleOp shows us, publications need to be careful of where they take their money from. Crowdsourcing funding is a possibility, but it is not necessarily reliable for long-term operations. Another option is to start a foundation, but it could only be successful if funding was provided with strict rules that content is not influenced by the donor’s wishes.

However it would be funded, I think the best way to ensure an independent publication without a political slant would be to write a strong mission statement and well-balanced editorial board. RabbleOp’s editorial is shoddy and imbalanced one could say they are polluted by too many lefties. A truly independent publication’s board would include people from left, right and centre.

The editorial policy could be influenced by successful tools like scientific method. It is better to find time-proven techniques than to try and rebuild the wheel. The key here is that it needs to be designed in a way that filters as much political slant as is humanly possible.

I’ll be thinking about this a lot in the next few weeks, and have recruited a few other people to help build a framework. If anyone would like to join in this task, or if you have some suggestions, please let me know. Either publish your thoughts on the comments in this article, or feel free to email me at: [email protected].

Perhaps, together, we can do something different and build a truly independent publication. Canada needs an alternative to the SunVince’s & RabbleOps we are currently trapped with…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2012/07/21/rabbleop-how-canadas-alternative-media-is-failing-us/


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    • Foxtrot on July 22, 2012 at 01:24
    • Reply

    ” A truly independent publication’s board would include people from left, right and centre.” Um, and how would this be alternative media exactly? The purpose of “alternative media” is to provide an alternative to mainstream media which is largely centre-right (ie PostMedia, SunMedia , Osprey which combined account for almost all the newspapers in English Canada) or centrist (Toronto Star). Those further right have no problem funding, what with corporations, right wing foundations and right wing millionaires willing to fund. What is lacking are left wing alternatives. If you want to exclude unions there really is no funding base since individuals are too poor and we don’t have many left wing millionaire philanthropists in Canada.

    1. Alternative doesn’t mean left wing. It means that it is different from the mainstream. This is RabbleOp’s problem.

      Mainstream media is not independent at all, it supports the corporations that fund it. And union money is no better.

      What we need is something outside of the left/right and corporate paradigms. A truly independent media…

  1. It reminds me of when David Climenhaga — Rabble contributor — referred to the Sun News Network as “Conservative Pravda.” Which I remarked was fairly ridiculous coming from someone who writes for… well, Pravda.

    1. Personally, I think that Pravda writers have more self-respect than Rabble…

    • Foxtrot on July 22, 2012 at 02:33
    • Reply

    The point is there is centrist and right wing media in this country but there isn’t much of a left-wing media. The closest we have are a few weekly papers and entities like rabble, the tyee and the straight goods. Grenouf, what you want is a media that you politically agree with – there’s no point in being mad at rabble and the media co-ops because they don’t represent your views. What I don’t understand is why you single them out and don’t criticize the far more influential mass media such as Sun, PostMedia et al

    1. If I agreed with every article in this new publication I’m proposing, I’d be highly disappointed with it.

      Perhaps Canada needs some lefty media, but more importantly, it needs HONEST media that asks honest questions. RabbleOp failed at this. Their coverage of Kevin Annett is the perfect example…

        • Foxtrot on July 22, 2012 at 17:09
        • Reply

        And the mainstream media has asked Kevin Annett tough questions? Annett duped a lot of people, just because Rabble and one or two socialist groups are among them doesn’t mean they’re colluding with him.

        1. The mainstream media saw through Annett’s BS a few years ago- and, yes, they did call him on it. RabbleOp was promoting Annett up until this year, and they have never called him on it.

        2. If Rabble had known Annett was a crackpot, they’d have concealed it. It’s just how they roll.

          1. I agree. I’ve yet to have seen RabbleOp do a proper retraction. They will erase inaccuracies when they are pointed out, but always so to omit admitting that they were wrong. I know they’ve done this twice now on stories about me…

    • James on July 22, 2012 at 09:43
    • Reply

    You are looking at it the from the wrong direction. It is not the producers fault, it is the consumers. One of the problems I have had with many in Occupy type groups, and their less moderate cousins is the “all MSM is bad and must be discarded, and, by extension, anything that is the opposite of MSM must be gospel to be believed without question” ideology.
    A truly intelligent person learns to listen to multiple sources and use critical thinking skills to see where is the truth in each source. To just believe one source based on the “an enemy of my enemy must be my friend” concept is dangerous, unintelligent and intellectually immature.

    1. So true. This is why, when I am studying a news story, I read left right & centre. Somewhere in-between you can see the truth…

    • TD on July 23, 2012 at 01:39
    • Reply

    I do have to agree here with Greg’s idea of creating a media that has people in it from all sides…or at (my suggestion) a neutral media site. I am left on most things, so I get defensive cause we smacked on so much, however what Greg is proposing isn’t a bad idea at all. look at all the various alternative media sites in the US and around the world… comparatively we have very little alternative media. I think it is a great idea to start expanding that in Canada. I’m not sure if it is possible to present truly neutrally on news (humans tend to be feel the need to communicate ideas etc from all sides) but even just more from each side would be more that people could read and work with and think about. I have been hard pressed to find as much coverage about issues outside the mainstream media in Canada but have found alot more alternative media in the US. Why is there more concern there about what happens in their country than here? Sad. For all our bickering, there still isn’t much here for us to read/watch from. Online and offline would be good too.. Online would probably be easier to start I hink. Either way, go for it, Greg!! And anyone else out there that feels they can, maybe set up other sites too. Not to fight each other, but to inform and report on what’s going on in our country and the world. The more media there is, the more information people will have access to and then the public will be much more informed about issues we face…

    • brotherwolf1 on July 24, 2012 at 10:49
    • Reply

    My take on the reasons as to why alternative media is failing is because alt media is for the most part directly connected to the very groups they report on or about. Media Co-op as an example, is really the media or publicity arm of the anarchist / black bloc movement. Rabble is just another media arm of the ultra left wing fringe groups. These media organizations are nothing but rubber stamps for these groups and are only looking to justify their actions .

    1. This explains why Krystalline Kraus is such a Krap reporter… lol

  2. I agree: the truth is the primary imperative from the perspective of the common (but no longer served) interest.

    It’s a mandate, isn’t it?

    Fraud, liable, and volumes on consumer protections like complete disclosure and definitions and pentalties for, but not limited to a range of deceptive practices, all applicable to journalistic material, but largely ignored.

    Oh sure, they went after Greg Palast, but he was telling the truth.

    Then there’s what Ollie North said during the Iran/Contra inquiry:
    “It’s not so much what we say that’s a lie: it’s what we don’t tell you”.

    Having said that, I subscribe to theREALnews.com to get a more balanced take on what’s happening, globally. Paul Jay, a disgruntled CBC producer interviews the likes of Bill Black, a former market regulater turned Prof. of both Law and Economics. I like him because he’s not afraid to say criminal fraud, and I do find that refreshing.

    I also subscribe to Brasscheck.tv, who are not afraid to go a little deeper down the rabbit hole. I prefer their take on 9-11 coverage, particularly their dissemination of, surprisingly enough, the PBS broadcast of the documentary produced by the organization of Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth…

    I particularly identified with the psychologists interviews in the final segment. Everybody needs to watch this cognant, comprehensive critique.

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