Tag Archives: Journalistic Integrity

Manipulating the message: Public relations consultants outnumber journalists 14 – 1 in Canada

Editor’s note: This story is of interest because of the light it shines on the modern media.

Emmanuel Nwaneri,  New Canadian Media, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

If you’ve noticed a shift in the news over the last two decades, it’s likely caused by two things: A massive drop in the number of Canadian reporters and a correspondingly huge surge in the number of spin doctors.

According to journalist-author Cecil Rosner, the number of active reporters in Canada by 2021 has shrunk to about 11,000 from about 13,000 in 1991. In this 20-year period, the number of public relations consultants has increased from about 24,000, to about 160,000 – a ratio of 14 – 1 vis-à-vis publicists and reporters, Rosner says.

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The Quadra Project: Social Media (P 2 of 4)

According to Jonathan Haidt, the fracturing rather than the integrating character of social media’s dynamic began to change in 2009 with the introduction of “Like” and “Sharing”, two similar options that transformed the exchange of person-to-person information into the mass distribution of opinions, rumours and judgments, without providing any substantial corroborating information. This process was abetted by the social media algorithms that favoured emotional rather than rational responses. Facts were boring. Extremism and lies generated more “sharing”, registered more “likes”, and earned more advertising revenue for the social media platforms.

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