Never before have I been witness to such slimy attacks on the press. From Donald Trump in the U.S. to Ezra Levant in Canada, mouth-holes with a pulpit are denouncing journalists and news outlets in such a vile way that it feels surreal.
Every time Trump bookends a tweet with "Fake News!" I cringe as sharply as I laugh quickly at such a label. Any bad press will send him cowering to his tweeting stoop so he can blast the very establishment that actually propelled him to the presidency. But that's another story.
Instead, I want to take a moment to encourage you all to pay for the journalism that matters to you. To us. The vital work being done by news outlet big and small. They are under attack by leaders and tyrants, and sadly there are followers who believe every acidic word spewing from their face.
Last week, I subscribed to two publications I've long admired - The Ryerson Review of Journalism and Wired. The Toronto-based Ryerson Review is essential reading for anyone interested in media trends affecting Canadians, and Wired features some of the best technology journalism on the planet. In the coming months, I also plan on subscribing to The Globe & Mail online.
I used to be like a lot of people I know: "Why pay for news articles when so much of it is free?" But I like to think my perspective has matured to conclude that great journalism is worth paying for, and online advertising is not growing enough to help struggling media outlets. Yes, newsrooms can be a heckuva lot more innovative, but if we're paying for our entertainment (Netflix, Spotify) and our technologies (cellphones, smart homes, etc) then why should we neglect the very pillar of information and analysis.
Public figures need to be held accountable. Who is going to debunk the many lies Trump and Levant are broadcasting? What will happen to investigative journalism if it isn't funded adequately?
This month, I implore you, dear Reader, to put aside $40 or so to invest in a media outlet you admire and respect. It could be the local paper or a new online outlet you've been checking out. You'll be helping fund writers and broadcasters who could use your help now more than ever.
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Media criticism. Poetry. Being a better creative. Toronto stories. Technology. Sports. Why X-Files rocks.