Go West, Young Newspaper
"A knock at my door yesterday...I get up and answer it. Who is it? A nice kid selling subscriptions to the National Post. If I sign up he gets the money for school activities.
So I ask him, "don't you have a paper that approaches issues and ideas from the left/progressive side?" "No that's all I have to offer," he says. I tell him I'm sorry but I just don't feel it would be ethical to financially support such slanted journalism. He leaves and I feel like the biggest meanie, he seemed like a nice kid. Heck, I would love to have a subscription to a paper that fits with me. I guess there is no one else out there who wants such a thing or wouldn't there be a choice? Why are there no choices out there? Doesn't the number of Canadians in the centre or on the left of the spectrum mean there would be enough supporters for this kind of a paper? I have money...I could pay....."
And I'm thinking that I could pay too, I would pay, in fact (for an online version anyway - the dead trees are a pain and pile up continuously).
Of course it's a big enterprise starting a daily newspaper, you need expertise and financial resources and it helps to have some established content providers to partner with.
So here's my letter to the Toronto Star:
"Hi, I was just wondering if you had ever considered starting an affiliate paper in Western Canada, ideally in Vancouver. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person out here who would be interested in getting a local daily paper if only there was one that wasn't hopelessly right wing in orientation. Perhaps 'The Province' could be bought for a good price and rebranded? As it is, I subscribe to the Globe's online edition and read the Star online but neither of these really provides a Western perspective on events.
Something to think about."
Given the dearth of left-wing, liberal or even centrist reporting in Western Canada, I'm thinking that the Western Star or the Vancouver Star, or whatever you wanted to call it, could do quite well. Maybe Antonia can give us the scoop on whether there are any plans in the works and put in a good word with the accounting department for us deprived Westerners.
Update: Check out this breakdown of who owns which newspapers in Canada and note that the 4 largest cities in B.C. and Alberta (Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton) have 5 newspapers between them - all owned by the same company (CanWest). How's that Senate Committee on media concentration coming along, anyway?
I like the Tyee, but it's not the same as a daily newspaper, and even if it was, it's a bit too far left for my taste.