Thursday, 4 October 2012
|Image Source: The Hamiltonian|
For starters, the Winnipeg market is colossally smaller than the audience Mother Jones targets. The US has hundreds of millions of people. Even defining the market more narrowly, Mother Jones has tens of millions of potential viewers who'd be interested in their long form journalism and analysis. Winnipeg has less than seven hundred thousand. As commenter Wendy Sawatzky stated, Mother Jones relies on memberships and donations to stay afloat. To be fair, Hantiuk does note that they're a non-profit.
But that also goes to the heart of the matter. The WFP is a business with the clear objective to make money, not just "stay afloat" or produce "quality journalism". Perhaps one could make the argument that if newspaper businesses aren't profitable anymore, than the public still deserves a news service and so it makes sense to restructure newspapers into nonprofit organizations like The Media Co-Op. But it's important to keep in mind that big distinction between for-profit newspaper businesses versus nonprofit independent media outlets.
I don't know too much about the financing of "The Great Canadian Talk Show" (TGCTS), the only independent media outlet ran by someone full-time in Winnipeg that Graham mentions. TGCTS used to be affiliated with the Red River College campus station, which was somewhat sheltered from market forces. Nevertheless, Marty Gold's succeeded post-RRC in getting enough sponsors to at least survive doing what he does full-time. Beyond that, I don't know too much about his financing model, but I doubt it could keep a larger news organization afloat.
Lastly, it should be noted that investigative outlets in America like Mother Jones don't have to deal with the threat of Canada's political libel laws, which are a powerful tool for the rich to SLAPP dissent or bad press. That tends to stifle muckraking.
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