A response to Lily Ryan’s publisher’s note in the Dec. 20, 2023 edition
I am grateful for your paper and others like it and for having access to Quebec news in my language. I believe we will rely on our local businesses and farmers more than ever in the future and would love to see a spotlight each week on a local business, farmer or producer.
I am fortunate enough to be able to pay for subscriptions to other news outlets which are not funded by the Canadian federal government, as I believe that the only way to access actual news is to read a variety of publications and Substacks each week, as well as listen to podcasts. There is so much going on in our world now that we don’t see in the mainstream news, consequently creating division and distrust among us.
In your note, you mention that Meta blocked “genuine” news on their platforms and this makes me curious as to what the definition of “genuine” is. In my opinion, mainstream media such as The Toronto Star, New York Times, Ottawa Citizen, CBC radio/tv or CTV have been putting out “news” which in many cases has appeared to be very biased, narrative based and at times fake. I don’t take any of them seriously anymore. We should not accept that some news is genuine while other news is “conspiracy” and therefore must be censored. People are not being given the opportunity to use their own discernment and judgment. This to me is an example of a threat to democracy and if you look at history, not a good sign.
The definition of democracy in the New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary says: “The modern concept of democracy assumes the political equality of all individuals, the right to private freedom, and to petition authority for redress of grievances”. Also, there is Abraham Lincoln’s quote “of the people, by the people, for the people”.
The arrest and subsequent release of David Menzies of Rebel News this week was the latest display of how the federal government does not respect conservative journalists or freedom of speech and how far they will go to stop them from asking politicians questions. Regardless of your personal feelings about Rebel News, they are one of the only outlets left with old school journalists that will not be pushed around by the government and their growing tyranny.
In order for local media to remain relevant, you will need to be willing to help us all through the coming years with transparency, compassion and courage to investigate the big issues affecting everyone.As you said, there is bad news everywhere about the future of democracy and journalism. I am prepared to fight for all of our rights to freedom of speech.