Democracy and Independent Media - Emma Gilchrist

February 22, 2018

Emma Gilchrist
Democracy and Independent Media

Some newspapers dig.
Some newspapers are a constant embarrassment to the powerful.
Some manage to be entertaining, provocative and fair all at the same time.
There are few such newspapers in Canada.

That’s from a report written in 1970’s by the Special Senate Committee on Mass Media. Were they right then, are they right now?

Mainstream media tries to report all the news that’s fit to print, but the reality is it can only cover a handful of stories and its ability to dig deep has been hampered by shrinking budgets. Enter independent media outlets that are picking up the slack by taking on issues that fall outside the columns, airwaves and screens of traditional media.

In many cases, the journalists working for these outlets are some of the most tenacious diggers in the business. They take on specific issues and they do so from a particular point of view, peeling back the layers revealing what others have missed.

In the case of Site C, it was independent media outlet DeSmog Canada that uncovered facts about the controversial hydro project that everyone else missed. Once revealed, even the New York Times repeatedly cited the tiny online publication that is managed from a dining room table in Victoria.

We invited DeSmog Canada’s Editor-in-Chief, Emma Gilchrist to join us for a Conversation That Matters about the role of independent media in a democracy.

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.

Please become a subscriber and support the production of this program, www.conversationsthatmatter.tv

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Ep. 6, Democracy & The Media: Crowdfunded Journalism

February 22, 2018

Democracy & The Media: Crowdfunded Journalism

One of the challenges mainstream television faces is sameness. We’ve all scrolled through the listings and been presented with an endless array of programming that fits into advertiser supported shows.

Advertisers want to speak to as large and focused audience as possible. They have a product to sell and they want to place their product next to programming that appeals to a broad audience.

Therein lies the problem when it comes to the production of programming that challenges viewers to question their perspectives on big issues. Issues that lie at the heart of our society, globalization, human rights, equality, freedom of speech, freedom of faith, freedom to choose who they fall in love with, and free market economies.

In British Columbia, we’re fortunate to have a public broadcaster that operates free of influence from advertisers and bureaucrats, a truly independent voice offering a range of perspectives that challenge viewers to think and debate issues.

We invited Rudy Buttignol, Knowledge Networks President to join us for a Conversation That Matters about the role of independent television in a democracy.

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.

Please become a subscriber and support the production of this program, www.patreon.com/conversationsthatmattter

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Ep. 5, Democracy & The Media: Mainstream Media & Its Fight for Relevance

February 9, 2018

Mainstream media is under attack. While Donald Trump may be the loudest voice in the assault he is not the most effective. That honour goes to Google and Facebook and Twitter and, and, and . . .

The impact of social media and search engines on advertising revenues is gutting mainstream media. There are more news outlets today and fewer journalists. More press releases and less reporting. Consolidation, generic mastheads along with cut and paste, mean politicians and public figures are getting a free pass.

The role of the media as a watchdog, an early warning system, is in jeopardy as budgets shrink. But, journalists are innovative, finding new ways of keeping public figures and institutions accountable.

In the fifth instalment of our series on Democracy and The Media, we invited Harold Munro, the Editor-in-Chief of the Vancouver Sun, to join us for a Conversation That Matters about the role of mainstream media in a democracy.

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Ep. 4, Democracy & The Media: Does Diversity Strengthen or Diminish Democracy

February 3, 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likes to say, “Diversity is our Strength”

Is it? What does he mean when he says that and does diversity strengthen or diminish democracy? The answer is complicated, it starts with an open invitation to full participation in citizenship and a collective willingness to do the necessary work. Work that includes ongoing discussions about overarching values, ideals and goals such as human rights, justice, equality, individual freedom and access to opportunity.

Lost in the discussions pertaining to immigration and the acceptance of refugees is the responsibility of those of us who are already here to enlighten, inform and educate newcomers about what is expected of them as participants in society. 

Together, and from within individual communities, we, yes, the royal we, need to share what is expected of citizens and landed immigrants, what it means to participate in democracy, what it means to be an informed voter.

So how are we doing here? Canada grants full access to participation, this we do well. We say we believe in diversity but we can’t stop there. We need to do a better job of educating and demonstrating that for our democracy to strengthen - everyone must embrace one another’s rights. And we must defend each other’s rights. If I have the freedom to express my opinion then I have an obligation to defend your right to do the same and so on.

Martin Luther King, writing from his jail cell in Birmingham Alabama said, We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied up in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly, This is reciprocity.

The Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle, established a Diversity, Citizenship, and Global Education Consensus Panel. The Panel’s goal was to develop a set of design principles and concepts that develop or renew citizenship education programs that reflect both diversity and unity and that prepare people to become effective citizens in a global context.

We invited Zool Suleman, an immigration policy consultant and a powerful civil rights champion for immigrants and refugees to join us for a Conversation That Matters about Unity in Diversity.

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Ujjal Dosanjh: Is Canada Becoming More Racist?

January 25, 2018

Ep 175 Ujjal Dosanjh

Is Canada becoming more racist?

 

The discussion around race in the United States has turned nasty—build a wall, travel and immigration bans, deportations all aimed at keeping “others” outside of the country. Internally, tension between black Americans and police continues to escalate with deadly consequences. Latinos and Muslims are subject to one verbal or legal attack after another.

 

Then came the Charlotteville riots. The “Unite the Right” rally turned violent when a man rammed his car into counter-protester leaving one woman dead and dozens injured. A police helicopter monitoring the riot crashed, killing two police officers.

 

The President of the United States made matters worse when he refused to condemn the violence. The escalation of racial tension lead to white supremacist rallies across North America including one in Vancouver. It begs the question—are we following the United States and becoming more racist?

 

Former British Columbia Premier Ujjal Dosanjh says no, we are not. He points to the fact that, “racism has become Presidential in the U.S., but not Prime Ministerial in Canada.”  

 

We asked Dosanjh to  join us for a Conversation That Matters about racism in Canada.

 

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.

Please become a subscriber and support the production of this program, www.conversationsthatmatter.tv

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Adam Kahane: Collaborating with the Enemy

January 19, 2018

Ep 174 Adam Kahane
Collaborating With The Enemy
If living in a participatory democracy means getting involved, one of the first obstacles lying in wait is the other people, also wanting to participate, with different viewpoints that range from sympathetic to wildly controversial.

Dislike and distrust can run rampant. Arguments inevitably break out. Civil discourse turns into civil war with no solutions in sight. How then do you find the path toward solutions that benefit everyone? Traditionally it has been a top-down approach. Leaders go through the motions of listening to their constituents. Political agendas and special interest groups exert pressure to push ideologies, corporate needs, and profit margins. What we end up with is a complex system of legislation that takes a team of lawyers to understand. The average citizen is left frustrated and feeling like they cannot make a difference.

We also know it isn’t working well. Housing, jobs, homelessness, the opioid crisis, land claims and even traffic are being politicized. The solutions are messy, at times ineffective or worse, compound the problem.

What then? It's easy to point fingers and blame others, to find an enemy and fight against them. Adam Kahane, a conflict resolution specialist who has worked on seemingly intractable global crises such as the civil war in Columbia and the turmoil in Guatemala, points out we have to set aside the hierarchical approach and learn to accept that finding solutions requires a shift to collaborative thinking.

We asked Adam Kahane to join us for a Conversation That Matters about a model of collaboration with people whom we disagree which leads to outcomes that improve lives and meet the needs of the people who need solutions the most.
Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.
Please become a subscriber and support the production of this program, www.conversationsthatmatter.tv

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Valerie Lemmie: Is Democracy Under Attack?

January 12, 2018

Ep 173 Valerie Lemmie

Is Democracy Under Attack?

 

Is democracy under attack? Have we let the people we elect off the hook? Are you involved in the decision-making process or are you merely a compliant customer who is being managed?

There’s no doubt about it, we are polarized over the role of government in our lives. Is the role of government to create opportunities for markets to thrive or is it to create environments for people to thrive? The tug of war between the left and right rages on while the balance point between these two perspectives appears to have been lost.

Where you come in does not end at the ballot box. We all have a responsibility to speak up, get involved and work with the public officials we elect and employ to ensure they work on our behalf.

Valerie Lemmie of the Kettering Foundation, a Washington DC-based democracy watch organization says you and I are what democracy is all about. We asked her to join us for a Conversation That Matters about our role in governance.

 

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.

Please become a subscriber and support the production of this program, www.conversationsthatmatter.tv

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David Dodge: Can the Canadian Economy Keep Trading Above Its Weight?

January 9, 2018

Canada has a 570-billion-dollar infrastructure deficit. Yes, that's right, a whopping 570-billion dollars. So what? Who cares?

Well, that infrastructure is made up of roads, bridges, tunnels, terminals, power generation plants, hospitals, schools and more related to our ability to care for and educate people as well as move products. Without them, our ability to get our products to market diminishes and we restrict our ability to remain an active participant in the global economy.

Canada is, after all, a small economy trading well above its weight.

We’ve been able to maintain that position because we could get our products to market, a market that was just on the other side of the 49th parallel.

The world is changing, trade agreements are in flux or nixed before they start. The global market is rapidly swinging towards Southeast Asia. If we can’t get our products to that market we run the risk of a stagnant economy at best, a sinking one at worst.

What does that mean for the Canadian economy in 2018 and beyond? We asked former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge to join us for a Conversation That Matters about his positive short-term forecast, and his concerns over the long term.

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Pennefather - Etienne: Vancouver and France collaborate on Virtual Reality

December 28, 2017

Ep 171 Patrick Pennefather & Etienne Farreyre

Vancouver is virtually a VR Centre of Excellence

 

When you think of Virtual Reality, what comes to mind? Most likely it’s new tech, mostly to be used for the entertainment industry. But in reality, that’s only scratching the surface of the possibilities that VR, AR and MR present. The future of education, medicine, video games, communication, and a thousand and one other platforms, are changing and they’re adopting an augmented reality component.

Enter Etienne Farreyre and Patrick Pennefather. One is a representative from France, who has taken a deep interest in the Vancouver tech scene and our growing VR community. He has paired up with our guy from the Emily Carr Digital Media Centre here in Canada to instigate discussions around international relationships in this age of communication, technology, and Virtual Reality.

The possibilities are endless, with simulated surgeries for medical students, to spending time in the same virtual room with people around the globe. To talk about where we’re at in this rapidly ever-changing world, potential collaborations between France and Canada along with Vancouver’s place in the augmented reality development world, we sat down with Etienne Farreyre and Patrick Pennefather for real a Conversation that Matters on video about Virtual Reality.

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.

Please become a subscriber and support the production of this program, www.conversationsthatmatter.tv

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Colin Ross: Hydromorphone - A User’s Story

December 15, 2017

Colin Ross

Hydromorphone: A User’s Story

 

Heroin, Fentanyl, Carfentanil are all deadly drugs when the dose exceeds your body’s ability to metabolize them.

 

Anyone who uses these opioids knows the risks and they point out that won’t stop them from using. The need for the drug overrides caution. Withdrawal is painful and extremely hard to achieve if you are living on the streets, scrounging for food and trying to scrape together the 25 to 35 dollars a day you need to support your habit.

 

In BC Hydromorphone is available to a limited number of chronic heroin users. The SALOME and NAOMI trials provided evidence that treatment is effective in stabilizing users.

 

The BC Centre for Substance Use recently issued guidelines that are a continuum of care that include counselling, detox, withdrawal management services and the administration of injectable and oral treatment through medication.

 

Colin Ross is fortunate, he has been an addict for about 20 years, now he’s receiving hydromorphone two times a day. A treatment he says allows him to stabilize and consider the future. We sat down with Colin for a Conversation That Matters about the opioid crisis, the hydromorphone IV treatment program, mental health, housing and the potential he hopes to realize.

 

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.

Please become a subscriber and support the production of this program, www.conversationsthatmatter.tv

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