Though CANADALAND’s big Monday reveal was that CBC’s Amanda Lang appeases RBC executives both in the bedroom and in the sacred forum of business journalism, the weekly podcast itself, concerning Hamilton’s media market, was the real catch for me.
Hamilton, a city of decent size but smaller stature, has about the population of Winnipeg. However, they have only one full-time reporter at City Hall. He’s a freelancer. They have a freshly minted CBC presence, but it’s digital-only (CBC’s legacy in the digital realm can be summed up with one Twitter account). As the podcast discussion lays out, Hamilton, despite being a city of 700,000 people, has a local news market that’s actively improvising to stay alive, hanging on by a few threads.
Though, admittedly, Winnipeg is not within 60 miles of a media gargantuan (Grand Forks, despite a killer Super Target, doesn’t quite have the journalistic integrity of Toronto), there is a lot to be said for how damn lucky we are as a city to have a healthy local news market. There’s a lot we take for granted - would jokes at the expense of city council t-shirts or mayoral selfies come so quickly if nobody was there to report it?
As someone who bled away from news journalism out of fear and flip-flopping, I still hold respect for the people who grind daily to bring news in. When you look at the rest of Canada, Winnipeg, with multiples in paper dailies, television broadcasts and 24/7 radio, is getting a pretty fair shake.
If you’re a tuned-in Winnipegger, get a better idea of how good you have it and give the episode a listen.