Surveillance capitalism is a large undertaking. A technical one. Sensors in our homes and on our bodies connect to towers and cables running to massive computer centres doing the data processing. A built world meant to collect, command and control our habits, and vested in a few companies.
Media, media analysis
In 2018, Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly proudly proclaimed that Canada successfully negotiated a cultural exemption in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a Harper-era multilateral trade deal rebranded “Comprehensive and Progressive" (CPTPP) by the Trudeau government. In 1987, Flora MacDonald, then Mulroney’s minister of communications, made the same claim at the conclusion of the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) negotiations. Neither minister was being entirely honest.
Illustration by Kathleen Fu
Illustration by Eagleclaw Bunnie
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Google (Alphabet), Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon. They are among the world's most valuable and most trusted companies, but increasingly the most scrutinized for their data-hoarding practices, monopolist tendencies, poor treatment of workers and willingness to bend or even break privacy laws in the pursuit of growth. More data gives these and other tech firms a more accurate picture of individual tastes and broader societal trends.
The news media play a strong role in shaping how many Canadians understand issues like climate change—and the tensions between the fossil fuel industry and those seeking to transition to a low-carbon economy. But are the media providing a clear view of the debate surrounding these issues? And are all stakeholders’ voices being heard? Short answer: There’s reason for concern.
Much of the argument advanced in support of expanding Canada’s fossil fuel production centres on job creation and economic benefits. Politicians, pundits and corporate spokespeople who support fossil fuel infrastructure projects—such as new oil and gas pipelines—often evoke this rhetoric when they appear in the media.
"Fossil fuel proponents often claim their support for the industry is connected to the needs and interests of energy workers—and our news media repeat and reinforce this claim, bringing it to the fore of public and political debates. But largely absent are the voices of actual workers and their unions; in the news media, their interests are subsumed into those of the fossil fuel industry." —Robert Hackett, lead author of Jobs vs the Environment?
VANCOUVER—A new study finds that BC’s news media frequently reinforce the assumption that there is an inevitable trade-off between environmental protection and job creation. Released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Corporate Mapping Project, Jobs vs the environment? Mainstream and alternative media coverage of pipeline controversies analyzes over 300 recent articles about Canadian pipeline projects.