A talk with Dwayne Winseck, media ownership myth-buster (1)

Here’s part 1 of the interview we did with Dwayne last week. It’s in audio, but probably won’t be music to your ears… Dwayne has devoted a lot of scholarly time to finding hard evidence about Canadian trends in concentration of ownership, vertical integration and cross-ownership in both old and new media. He’s particularly well placed to speak to these issues as the Canadian lead on the International Media Concentration Research Project (see more on Dwayne and this project here).

One of the major contributions Dwayne has made to the debate over Bell’s Astral grab is to provide both international context and historical background. In this 17-minute introduction, Dwayne talks about Canada’s poor international standing in concentration rankings, in addition to the well-entrenched trends that have got us to this point. If the CRTC caves on Astral, we won’t become uncomfortably concentrated – because we already are. We also touch on the current government’s ideological attachment to market forces as the final word on telecom regulation. And a point I had always under-appreciated: how leveraged acquisitions have diverted Canada’s media resources away from investment in content and new technologies, in favor of financial concerns like debt servicing. Lloyd would be happy to collateralize your Cancon obligations in patriotic tranches…

Btw, the mention of “PIAC” refers of course to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa. See what they’re saying on their homepage about the parties joining forces against the acquisition, here. That includes our good friends at OpenMedia.ca, who have put their resources behind the Stop the Takeover campaign. Okay, time to press the old button… [haiku url=”post-dwayne-pt1-2012-08-29.mp3″]