Thursday 9 February 2012

A few winter photos for fun & CBC rant

I must admit to being somewhat discouraged with the media these days. Trying not to burden my gentle readers with my reflections, I used to separate rants with my Muskoka photos. Now, living in Lanark County, I find media coverage an interesting one. I feature some nature photos with my rant, for those disinclined for a read!
Can you count them?
You see, in Muskoka Lakes (NEVER call it THE Muskokas!), population 53,000 or so, we had some local coverage of issues. But most originated from Toronto, the apparent centre of Canada. There are several local Muskoka radio stations, for example. Even Lanark County has Lake 88.1

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio coverage originated from London, Ontario, with a population over 100,000. They spared us Toronto traffic reports, eschewed regional information. The early morning traffic watches were bizarre. I drove 62 km to work and didn't hit one traffic light, yet I heard about a downtown London, ON, incident. I gave up on that station!

Morning Talk Radio
What do you look for? I loathe the contests. I swear, another Valentine's Day horror-story contest and I will scream. For those not in a relationship it it ridiculous and a burden to bear. For those in a relationship, who wants to hear on respected CBC Ottawa radio about flatulence, tampons, and dates gone wrong? It is simply coarse and crude. If I wanted that I would turn to an a.m. channel. For the $1.1 billion taxpayers put into CBC I believe the Conservatives have it right. Let's save some money, put it into other coffers.

I beg an on-air personality to stop bullying a middle-aged sports announcer to get on Twitter, along with another listener, and I am blocked from her account. Ageism rears its ugly head. Disrespect for a well-respected John Hancock. Conflict exists in the news, we don't need it in the trite, friendly, chummy morning talk.

I want to hear the pros talking about news, weather, sports, not what they had for dinner, let alone tweeting about it!! She asks for listener feedback, but doesn't like what she hears.
Then, Canada Reads, the infamous Jian Ghomeshi on Q notable for his taunting of Billy Bob, who took his show to the US for a week (?), allows an offensive attack: Canada Reads controversy comes alive in Ottawa
By Peter Simpson, Ottawa Citizen February 9, 2012 6:56 AM One of the authors at the centre of a nasty fight over CBC's Canada Reads contest is now in Ottawa 

Heaven forbid, too, that we celebrate Canadian authors, we have to fight over them! Some are questioning CBC funding over this one. If we can't have the 'C' in CBC, let's let Canadian broadcasters take it over. I think that media is going the way of the small town businesses, Big Box Stores. Bang for the buck, and low-cost. The impact on rural Canada is extreme.

long-term care crafts!
The CBC TV coverage in Central Ontario didn't bother covering Muskoka weather, let alone big news. We relied on local Moose radio and the weather network. For those with dial-up in Muskoka, a tedious task. The same is true here in Lanark County, with many unable to afford high-test internet.
Ottawa CBC weather does feature us in Eastern Ontario, bless them, but often they are wrong! I think we have to be our own weather watchers!

Municipal, Provincial & Federal Politics
This area of news is hard to grasp. Local papers have a huge bias, and often reporters do not have the background. We know how badly journalists create horrible graphs that misrepresent information. The latest census data frightens me. Aside from the fact that the long-form Canadian census was deregulated (thanks Harper/Clement!), I'm going to go to the source for information, not media interpretations.
We have diluted local info, and sparse coverage. Clement says Old Age Security is unsustainable
PARRY SOUND-MUSOKA - MP Tony Clement has been getting calls from his constituents.

Specialist Journalists
The big media outlets have journos that specialise in health; education; local, regional, provincial, federal politics; the environment; and so on.
On my wetland walk: fisher, or weasel: 5 toes!
This is important. It's only in my 50s that I have a grasp of many of these issues, the history, the politics and the realities of life.

From 25 years writing about education, and being a teacher, I would often read educational news with a laugh. I know that the same is true for the other topics in the news. Accuracy isn't always a priority, take Andrew Coyne's article about Caterpillar, he was correcting myths perpetuated by press.

Websavvy Media
Metroland newspapers, across this province on Ontario, features local stories. There  are the National newspapers, IMHO, who lost out by going digital. No longer relying on subscriptions and delivery, they depend upon digital revenues. I subscribed digitally to the Globe, as I preferred their national coverage. When print media went to free digital access I was sad. You wend your way through obnoxious pop-ups, flashy long to download information that sends me to another website.
Ah, wetland sleeps
That or the obnoxious twitter accounts, tweets retweeted by 40-something twits who fancy themselves meeting the needs of readers, viewers, listeners, who surely must spend their lives on for-profit Twitter, like all journalists. I use it to find good stories to read. But I am retired and can afford to do it.

Any print media now features ubiquitous videos on-line that take time to download, feature an ad first, and simply do not get to the point of the story.

I fear the direction media is headed. They now aspire to being advocating for causes. Bleeding heart, left-wing CBC is the worst. A grieving mother who sits vigil annually, has a shrine to her murdered child, has given up. Does no one advise her to get counseling? There are many places to go. Bereaved Families of Ontario and hospice groups all offer it. Instead, we sob with a woman. No solution apparent. Focus on the day of death, not a life that was lived.
The sob stories that get press are amazing.

This osprey nest seems a bit tipsy!
The backstory
The horror stories that get coverage do not always get to the backstory.
For example, the horrific traffic incident in Hamstead, ON,
Van driver ran stop sign and was not properly licensed

where an unlicenced driver of a 15-person van, runs a red light and is T-boned by a truck. There were 11 deaths. It spread like wildfire on the 'net. Speculation, and twitter messages.

How horrible.
The press cannot agree if it is the lack of standards of 15-passenger vans, the lack of maintenance of said vehicles by owners, the lack or training of drivers, or the susceptibility of the vehicles to disaster.

I found loathsome the citizens that fancy themselves citizen journalists, and take out their cell phones to cover these deaths, rather than helping the dead and injured.

Is this where society is headed? The sexy cell phone photos trump their humanity? Wannabe YouTube viral video makers.

Maybe Occupy was a desperate way to get in the press, not really a statement demanding fairness for the poor and disadvantaged.
The Gen Y folks do not vote, but they do Occupy. Then complain about everything.
Sigh. Time for a walk.
1 -2 - 3, step!


Linda said...

Interesting rant this morning...I share a lot of the same views - different country, same stuff! Love the photos...enjoy your walk!

Red said...

I thought you were never going to quit Jenn. I can agree to some extent with what you say. Some of what you are talking about with the CBC I did not hear. I wasn't aware that the CBC is left leaning. In fact my criticism of them would be the other way. I can't stand talk radio. They really try to torque the story. I really like our local press as I think they present a fairly accurate picture. The problem is they are limited.

Cloudia said...

rant on sistah!

Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

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Megan said...


Jenn Jilks said...

I know, good to rant and get it all out!
I had quite the time. Felt good to put it into perspective for me.
Decided to give up CBC radio for now.

I believe that out your way they are right leaning, Red!
If you listen to Toronto radio it is so Toronto-centric.
In Ottawa, same deal. Yet they claim to be out there for remote rural areas that need CBC and media access.
I think not. I'm going with local radio, even if it is somewhat redneck!
'Back off government', and all!