Media / Media Bias
The Internet is "threatening"
by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
A recent Ipsos Reid survey compared the time that Canadians spend on the Internet with time spent watching television and listening to the radio.
The pollsters found that Canadians are spending an average of 12.7 hours per week online, a whopping 46 per cent more than three years ago. During this same time period, radio took the hardest hit, dropping from 16 hours a week in 2002 to 11 hours per week. Ipsos Reid found that if the present trend continues, it will only be a matter of time before the Internet surpasses television as the number one source of news for Canadians.
As reported on CTV by David Akin, an advertising group estimates that Internet advertising is expected to increase by 20 per cent per year over the next five years, compared with increases of five per cent per year in other areas of advertising.
There is no doubt that the Internet will eventually become the prime news source for not only Canadians but all of those in the developed world. People will be able to find their own news and not have to rely on the media elites to tell them what is important and what is not. No longer will consumers of news be subjected to being presented with the news through the lens of the major television networks and newspapers, most of who tilt to the liberal left. It is somewhat ironic that the mainstream media is declining because more and more people are being made aware of bias in the media through the Internet.
The effects of the Internets impact on the mainstream media are already being seen. When the 24 hour news networks came into being, the major networks turned more and more to infotainment. And now that the Internet is becoming more important in peoples lives, even the all news networks are undergoing changes. A prime example of this if the amount of time that the Fox News Channel is devoting to the disappearance of Natalie Holloway. Holloway went missing after going to a bar in Aruba at the end of May and her disappearance is hardly "news" any more. Yet some cable programs, most notably Greta van Susterens On the Record, are almost all-Natalie-all-the time. This is not likely to change since, as reported by Associated Press, van Susterens show topped the cable show with the highest ratings, The OReilly Factor, a total of eight times when her show was devoted to Holloway. Between infotainment and these "news-reality" shows, the real hard news will be left to the Internet where consumers have multiple sources from which to choose and not be at the mercy of a particular mainstream media outlets biases or narrow preferences.
Kudos to the layout guys at the National Post. Three quarters of page A11 in last Saturdays post contained an ad for Air Canada offering cheap one-way flights from Toronto to various destinations in Canada and abroad.
Other than a small blurb at the top of the page about how nicotine might help the recovery of stroke victims, the only other major item on the page was an article about the crash of Air France flight 358 on a Toronto runway. This particular article reported that there was evidence of a microburst near the runway where the jet landed and mentioned the fact that Toronto International Airport does not have any wind-shear detection equipment.
Perhaps it was no coincidence that the prices of the flights set out in the Air Canada ad were all for one way flights from Toronto.
Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Men's News Daily, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Arthur can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org