Sun News Network Briefing
I had read plenty about the news channel about to descend upon Canada’s television sets. Dubbed the Sun News Network, it aims to provide a “new” voice to the national media landscape. Many had decried the station before it came to air; there was even a Facebook petition to prevent the CRTC from allowing it to air. Critics of “Fox News North” instantly pointed toward the biased tendencies that the network was sure to exhibit. It would reinforce the same conservative rhetoric approved by the present Harper government, they say. Looking at the introductory teaser (see below) certainly justifies these complaints, and I can sense the preaching-to-the-choir bias that will surely rear its ugly head. However, that’s no reason to halt its broadcast.
I doubt I’ll be a fan of Sun News anytime soon. However, what the criticism of bias fails to address is this: there is bias in all media. Be it CBC, CTV, CNN or, yes, Sun News, leaning toward a certain ideology is the expectation, regardless of how slight the lean is. Of course, the slant is hard to make out once you’re in agreement.
The Issue of News Media Bias
This brings us to another issue of the discourse of politics. The brand new network could incite a different angle on various issues, even if that angle is meant to infuriate liberal-minded individuals like me. The act of frustration toward Sun News indicates the attention it seeks. And just as detractors can give it attention, they can also do the opposite. It’s been said often that if you do not like what is on the screen, just pick up the remote and change channels. Sounds simple, no?
My next point comes from a technological standpoint; as people move toward the online world, basic cable makes less sense. More people are turning to the Internet to obtain their information. In the same manner as print and music, media giants such as Sun News owner Quebecor must learn to repurpose television to keep up with current standards.
Therefore, I say to Quebecor: go ahead, put the Sun News Network on air. Just don’t expect me to be unhealthily immersed in it.