Blog by John Miller

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Greed, Inc.

February 3rd, 2021

Carl Sagan, the scientist, once identified what he called “one of the saddest lessons of history.” I think it applies in spades today to one of Canada’s largest and greediest employers of journalists, Bell Media.

“It is this,” Sagan said. “If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle … It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we ...

Unfit to print

December 20th, 2020

The story was sensational. A 25-year-old Canadian confessed to being radicalized by ISIS and recruited into travelling to Syria and actually performing executions for the terrorist organization, which he described in graphic detail.

Mainstream media jumped on the story, none harder than the New York Times, which used Shehroze Chaudhry’s confession as the centrepiece of a 12-part audio podcas ...

Rex Mouthful

October 25th, 2020

It’s becoming harder and harder to decide if Rex Murphy is slipping off into delusional self-parody, or just happens to be an ill-informed idiot.

The National Post columnist likes to spout strong views, and frequently poses as an expert in fields he has no experience in. Like racism. As an elderly white man, he has had no personal experience with it, so it was natural for him to write recent ...

Whose head rolls?

August 28th, 2020

Bruce Arthur, the Toronto Star’s marquee sports columnist, signed it. So did veteran, award-winning reporters Peter Edwards, Jennifer Yang, Jesse McLean, Katie Daubs and Wendy Gillis. Scott Colby signed in his position of editor of the Star’s opinion pages. And so did what looks like a multi-cultural majority  of the paper’s younger journalists.

They included team editors, digital producers, ...

Fraudulent martyrs

July 10th, 2020

Protesters in Portland, Oregon, tore down a statue of George Washington the other day. One honoring John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, was taken down by a vote of Victoria city council.

A growing anti-racism movement is about to force its owners to rename the Washington Redskins and perhaps the same fate will befall the Edmonton Eskimos.

Professors and academic administrators ...

Let's get it right

June 16th, 2020

How can Canadian news organizations recognize and cure systemic racism?

It’s hard work. But it’s work that needs to be done.

Prompted by Black Lives Matter protests and fueled by years of empty promises to make themselves more representative of society, some news organizations and schools of journalism are wrestling with demands for change.

Some, like the CBC, are hemorrhaging in public, w ...

Call it racism

June 9th, 2020

I spent most of my academic career documenting the lack of racial diversity in Canadian newsrooms, and studying the stereotypical and inaccurate coverage it often helped to produce, particularly when the news involved Muslims, Blacks and Indigenous people.

I politely called it “blind spots” or being “out of touch with your community.”

It was really something much worse—institutional or syst ...

Under new owners

May 28th, 2020

Twenty years ago, when newspapers were still strong enough to go to war against each other, David Asper went out of his way to take a shot at the Toronto Star, which he said printed "irrational tirades" and was where "a dead owner is controlling the show."

The Asper family at the time owned Canwest Global, which had gobbled up Southam's chain of newspapers to join Izzy Asper's Global TV n ...

The paper killer

May 13th, 2020

That great showman, P.T. Barnum, once said: “He who is without a newspaper is cut off from his species.”

Welcome to the new normal in Canada: Since March 11, when the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic for COVID-19, tens of thousands of us have been cut off from our only sources of local news.

In a startling finding, the Local News Research Project at Ryerson’s School ...

Bad whitesplaining

February 18th, 2020

Call it the shameful ‘whitesplaining’ of the Wet’suwet’en protest.

As Canada’s crippling rail shutdown reaches into its third week, an overwhelming majority of voices in the country’s mainstream media have spoken: The Aboriginal demonstrators, who claim they are defending their lands from a natural gas pipeline they do not want, are lawless thugs or fringe activists and it’s time for actio ...

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