BC Hydro

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Keep your eyes on 2010 Gold Rush – News and Views on Vancouver 2010 (And Beyond) From Bob Mackin. On Twitter, follow hashtag #LiquorLeaks as Bob reports on Liberal friends maneuvering to take over the province’s lucrative liquor distribution system.

Don’t expect corporate media to follow this story. They will duplicate non-attention paid to BC Rail and BC Hydro, ignoring early alarms and reporting only when evidence of malfeasance is too much to be ignored. What better example than Scott Simpson of The Vancouver Sun disclosing that BC Hydro turbines are idle because the utility:

is forced to buy from IPP operators, including big industrial ones such as Rio Tinto Alcan and Teck Resources, even as its own generation stations wait on standby.

Environmental groups and Independent commentators (all those with significant followings ) have been raising the underlying issues for years. BC Hydro had been turned into the handmaiden of financial pirates, at enormous future cost to consumers. Did Postmedia newspapers take any form of leadership during the looting of BC Hydro? Not at all. Their purpose is about serving Canada’s plutocracy and, when there is conflict, the public interest is ignored.

Coverage of BC Hydro (and BC Rail before) demonstrates the future of investigative reporting. Journalists will remain important but the delivery media they use is changing. Single investigative writers, people like Bob Mackin and Alex Tsakumis, will be the sources of information that makes wrongdoers uncomfortable. Organizations such as The Tyee will report words from people outside British Columbia’s social and financial establishments.

A terrible void though remains with objective national and international coverage. While new media grows in importance, being locally focused, it is ill equipped to address larger stories. Those of us using the Internet to comment on regional issues take pride in growing readership but I, for one, would happily trade that in for a vibrant, independent press that would aggressively cover news without pandering to partisan financial and political interests

The Reconstruction of American Journalism, Leonard Downie, Jr. and Michael Schudson, Columbia Journalism Review, Oct/2009:

Fewer journalists are reporting less news in fewer pages, and the hegemony that near-monopoly metropolitan newspapers enjoyed during the last third of the twentieth century, even as their primary audience eroded, is ending. Commercial television news, which was long the chief rival of printed newspapers, has also been losing its audience, its advertising revenue, and its reporting resources.

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