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Defamation from National Post reporter

Yesterday after a brief twitter exchange involving an unfunny joke from National Post reporter, Tristin Hopper, he jumped to defamation and called me jobless. Actually no, I'm a working journalist, but Hopper is part of the Canadian media establishment, which has blacklisted me for being an entrepreneur (I started my own newspaper, and other publications) and so to him, I imagine, libel is fair game.

In the Canadian press if you don't work for one of the intertwined four print media companies you are an outsider; if you in anyway challenge their markets, you are a threat, and subject to slander, phone hacking, being followed by private investigators, and any other technique they can devise to drag you through the mud.

Hopper, as a loyal peon to that establishment loves to jump in with the mud flinging as soon as the opportunity arises (as demonstrated yesterday). Ironically his career in journalism started at the Yukon News, which remained independent till 2013 before selling to Black Press (one of the aforementioned media corporations) and sadly we lost yet another of the few remaining independents.

But it is entrepreneurs like Ken Shortt, who launched Yukon News in 1960, that Hopper is instructed to slander and consider the enemy. Unaware (apparently) that independent business men built up hundreds of community newspapers across the country, and in turn gave many thousands of young journalists their first job.
I, unlike Hopper, have hired young reporters and mentored interns, who had asked to work with my publication because it was one of the few non-corporate publications (that plus we were a lot better than the pablum our competitors put out).

As part of the media establishment Hopper is given a short leash to write non-threatening articles that few people want to read, and therefore hasten the decline of print media into complete irrelevance. He is also (apparently) unaware, like so many of his colleagues that their smug satisfaction of having made it 'inside' the establishment is not nearly the achievement they think is. Journalism, despite what some people say, was never an honourable profession, it always attracted people with a certain broad moral compass, let us say. But they had personality, and their writing had personality, and more importantly they were fearless. Press barons in the golden age of the newspaper knew that hiring the best writing talent was a double edged sword, to retain the talent they accepted outspoken, boisterous men and women.

Today writers and reporters are barely tolerated (if they could put out flyers they would, but they need 30 percent editorial for tax purposes) experience and writing ability are very much secondary to docility. If one is a good boy or girl they might throw you an award, which are managed by members of the four dominant companies (so basically they're meaningless).

So Hopper plays the good boy and does his duty in defaming me as his corporate masters have instructed him. And, when the inevitable government bailout and nationalization of the newspaper industry happens in Canada, Hopper is, I suppose, hoping his obedience secures his continued employment. Maybe it will and maybe it won't, but certainly as press media continues its march to complete and full monopoly, Canadians will continue to be deprived of good journalism, critical information, and just the joy of a well written story.


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