Why we need to make room for alternative lenders

Crackdowns fail to recognize that alternative lenders are the last hope for Canadians shut out of the traditional lending market

Why we need to make room for alternative lendersThe media often portray alternative lenders as slippery, unethical loan sharks who exploit the poor. When targeting the sector and not just a few bad apples, such stories are easy, cheap hit jobs. New Brunswick Sen. Pierrette Ringuette, for example, recently described alternative loans to CBC Marketplace as “an abusive financial process that needs to…

Stuck in a dangerous information echo chamber

When we limit our media consumption to one side of the political spectrum, we get a distorted picture of reality

Stuck in a dangerous information echo chamberEveryone likes positive affirmation. It’s nice knowing that while the rest of the world has gone crazy, your friends have your back. It feels even better when you have thousands of friends agreeing with everything you say. Frankly, that’s the power of social media, where positive affirmation is only a few clicks away. Social media…

Covid-19 news coverage based more on #fearporn than science

Journalists eager to echo doomsday alarms about pandemic case numbers while ignoring the social devastation of lockdown policies

Covid-19 news coverage based more on #fearporn than scienceIt has long been accepted both within and without the world of journalism that negative news trumps developments of a positive nature pretty much every time. Much may have changed in how news is delivered to people but the old cliches – “if it bleeds it leads” and “newspapers don’t report when airplanes land safely”…

CBC trying to shake free of its mandate as a public broadcaster

The RCI controversy shows CBC’s primary purpose is the acquisition – at the expense of private broadcasters – of audiences and money

CBC trying to shake free of its mandate as a public broadcasterAn uprising backed by former prime minister Joe Clark and actor Donald Sutherland is trying to force the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to hit pause on its plans to dismantle Radio Canada International (RCI). If successful, the move to save CBC’s once-vaunted service that took Canada to the world will throw a wrench into the CBC’s…

The media is actively promoting doctor assisted suicide

The use of euphemisms such as "assisted dying" rather than “euthanasia” or “assisted suicide” is putting our most vulnerable at risk

The media is actively promoting doctor assisted suicideBy Andre Schutten and Anna Nienhuis ARPA Canada Action inspires action. This is often positive, as people’s activities motivate others to engage in positive service too. But there are times when action inspires deadly action. As the Senate continues its review of Bill C-7’s dramatic expansion of medical assistance in dying (MAiD), possibly proposing amendments…

Truth, lies and the insidious rise of “misinformation”

In a world where disagreement is misinformation, can debate even exist?

Truth, lies and the insidious rise of “misinformation”Before 2016, ‘misinformation’ was just another word in the dictionary. As soon as it became clear that Donald Trump’s straight-shooting presidential campaign was serious, and that he would likely become the Republican nominee, ‘misinformation’ became a strategy. Anything that left Trump’s mouth that media pundits or Democrats considered distasteful, or even just phrased in a…

Strange weather and the words we use to describe it

Some arise from folklore, some carry historical inferences and others are the result of superstition

Strange weather and the words we use to describe itThe media has created some of its own climate words and sometimes uses superlatives somewhat carelessly – worst storm ever, highest rainfall ever, greatest flood ever. And what the heck is a polar vortex? A Washington Post readers’ poll coined the word snowmageddon but it has no meaning in meteorological terms. Yet it’s used by…

Time to combat the COVID-19 narrative of fear

What we need is well-informed, critical and rational thought, combined with a healthy skepticism of politicians and mainstream media

Time to combat the COVID-19 narrative of fearCoronaphobia may not have entered our official vocabulary but it deserves to. Virus fears have affected public policy and our daily lives. The condition is held by a great number of people. It’s understandable why the elderly and immunosuppressed are worried. What is less understandable, and more ironic, is how many coronaphobics are on the…

To protect democracy, we must protect local media

Our 21st-century reliance on tech giants to supply us with information has resulted in fake news, clickbait and polarized societies

To protect democracy, we must protect local mediaIt’s not news to say that our consumption of media has changed dramatically in the 21st century. Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look objectively at the impact of these changes and begin thinking about how our media can be improved. For most of the 20th century, the media was controlled by…

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkers

A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkersFact-checking takes us past the spin and straight to the truth. Or maybe not. A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved. Years ago, I went to Snopes.com whenever someone sent me an email thread I wasn’t sure about. I even recommended to others that…
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