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Media Democracy Day addresses "monopoly ownership," "censorship"

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Section: Canadian News Geography: Canada Topics: media, corporate

October 20, 2004

Media Democracy Day addresses "monopoly ownership," "censorship"

Censorship, media monopoly, bias and deregulation came under fire during Media Democracy Day events in Toronto last weekend.

Events in Toronto and Montréal were sponsored by a variety of University groups and alternative media outlets. On Oct. 15, Amy Goodman, author and co-host of the television show, "Democracy Now," spoke on the theme of Independent Media in a Time of War and Election. On Saturday, documentary screenings, workshops and an alternative media fair took place at Ryerson University.

This was the largest roster of events ever scheduled for Media Democracy Day in Toronto. Most of the documentary coverage centred on the United States and the presidential election, although workshops allowed participants to bring the message closer to home.
Gender, aboriginal voices and the 2004 Canadian election were just some of the topics discussed during the day. Although criticism of American media was high, the Raging Grannies were on hand to remind participants that two companies claim 50 per cent of Canadian newspaper readership.

The day's documentary screenings wrapped up with a question and answer session with Barrie Zwicker, producer of "The Great Conspiracy, The 9/11 News Special You Never Saw" who titled his talk "How the Left Media Failed Us on 9/11." However, he spoke mainly about what is on everyone's mind in the run-up to the 2004 presidential election -- the enormous power of media and government to influence the outcome for the worse. Regardless of the outcome, Zwicker counseled the audience not to accept defeat.
"We shouldn't imagine that forces of death and destruction have more power than they do," he said.

Zwicker criticized the left media for ignoring the causes of 9/11. However, Canadians and people around the world are facing down a variety of threats to their freedom and democracy. In a competitive market, the alternative media's resources are stretched thin. A quick glance around media fair held simultaneously showed the enormous effort being made to bring a diversity of voices to Canadians.

» Media Democracy Day in Canada

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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