Some thoughts on new technology

NM/MSM is better than MSM/NM. New is better than old. Technology will liberate. Technology is evil. These absolutist arguments don’t pass much intellectual scrutiny. Technology is morally neutral. Cavemen figured this out with fire. Fire is good (“mmm, cooked meat”), fire is bad (“CAVE ON FIRE! CAVE ON FIRE!”) settled this debate millenia ago, and cavemen figured out that use of technology determines its usefulness and any ethical value that may be put on it. So, a link to a couple of academics who look at the same argument through the lens of new technology in the nascent Iranian revolution.

Globe and Mail, July 3 2009

Globe, union reach tentative agreement

Both sides looked over the abyss and stepped back. Despite its “final offer” last week, a mediator found enough room for both sides to save some face. Ratification on Monday; don’t think it’ll be a problem. No details till then.

Reuters, July 3 2009

CanWest gets extension — again

The seemingly-endless saga of CanWest, its debtors and investors, drags on. Latest extension is to July 17 for agreement in principle, July 31 for final agreement. We should start a pool to see what the final date will really be.

Financial Post, June 31 2009

Shaw backs out of deal on small stations

As predicted in this space a few months ago, the Shaw move to buy for $1 each small CTV stations in Windsor, Wingham and Brandon has fallen through. I noted it was just a cheap stunt for the benefit of the CRTC to argue that CTV/Global over-the-air stations don’t need fee-for-carriage and can be profitable without it. I suspect the bean counters at Shaw finally argued economic sense to senior management, and convinced them that buying money losing stations in an ad depression is a guaranteed money-loser. Interesting that the story comes out on a holiday and that Shaw management, in the manner of titans of industry who screw up everywhere, are unavailable for comment. Keep after them boys, to explain what happened to this. Meanwhile, CanWest sold its smaller stations in Montreal and Hamilton to something called Channel Zero, which has a radical approach to profitability: change the format to something they can afford, to wit all news during the day and movies at night. This will be good for news in those communities.

Globe and Mail, July 1 2009

Top 50 magazines in Canada, 2008

Masthead lists the top 50 magazines in the country. This link is to J-source, which contains a correction from Masthead. The link to the full report is at the bottom of the J-source page. Interestingly, the top 50 show gains and losses in revenue. The results for 2009 will likely be grimmer, as the ad drought shows no sign of diminishing, at least till 2010.

J-source, June 25 2009

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