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Media Convergence: Two new upstarts

In the world of mega mergers and convergence, there's growing concern about a monopoly of ideas. Reporters argue increased ownership will shake the very foundation democracy is founded upon. Owners say it's the only way Canadian newspapers can survive in the new global economy. Press ownership has been officially debated, studied and scrutinized in Canada since the 1969 Royal Commission on Newspapers. Is freedom of the press guaranteed only to those who own one? It's a debate that continues to percolate.

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Publisher Bill Peterson has just launched two new community papers in Regina and Saskatoon. The news comes six months after the two major Saskatchewan dailies, the Star Phoenix and the Regina Leader-Post, were taken over by Conrad Black's Hollinger Inc. In the increasing world of newspaper concentration, the local papers are hailed as much-needed additions.

The Saskatoon Free Press and Regina Free Press will be published twice weekly and feature completely local coverage. Supporters, including Tom Kent and former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow, say community papers are a good way of offsetting the journalistic chill effect brought on by the increasing concentration of media ownership. 
. Due to financial troubles, publisher Bill Peterson had to pull the plug on both the Saskatoon and Regina Free Press newspapers in February 1999.
. The two papers didn't go down without a fight. Hearing about their financial woes, 600 people agreed to pay for subscriptions and an eight-year-old paper carrier even offered to deliver his newspapers for free.
Medium: Radio
Program: The World At Six
Broadcast Date: Oct. 24, 1996
Guest(s): Tom Kent, Bill Peterson, Lyle Synchiewicz
Reporter: Eric Sorensen
Duration: 2:36

Last updated: March 6, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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