Liberal Party wins in Canada, newspaper endorsements lose; CBC News app gets quick update
Morning Brief: Comments editor at the National Post resigns post after not being allowed to publish a dissenting column, The Globe and Mail’s rather odd endorsement
Canadians ignored the recommendations of their newspaper chains, and voted for change, electing Liberal Party candidates for Parliament. The Liberal Party won 184 seats to easily exceed the 170 necessary to have a majority (the Conservatives dropped to 99 seats from 159). As a result, Justin Trudeau will succeed Stephen Harper of the Conservatives as Prime Minister.
At issue here at TNM is the continued decline in the influence of the media is such elections. Postmedia, which owns 14 daily metro papers, plus the national newspaper, the National Post, had endorsed the Conservatives and controversially allowed the party to run a cover wrap ad just two days before the voting.
One casualty, though not really, was Andrew Coyne, editor of the editorial page at the National Post. He very publicly, through Twitter, resigned that post after he was not allowed to publish a dissenting column. Postmedia’s CEO Paul Godfrey had dictated that all the papers in the chain would endorse the Conservatives.
“So anyway… I have resigned as editor of Editorials and Comment for the National Post, effective immediately. I will remain a columnist,” wrote Coyne in the first in a series of Tweets.
“Postmedia executives and I had a professional disagreement. Their view was that the publication of a column by the editorial page editor… dissenting from the Post’s endorsement of the Conservatives would have confused readers and embarrassed the paper.”
Coyne, if allowed to publish his column, would have urged voters to vote for the NDP, who ended up finishing a distant third.
“The stain of this shameful moment in Canadian journalism will never wash completely clean from The Globe and Mail and Postmedia,” wrote Sandy Garossino in The National Observer. “Not only did they tolerate the ugliest political episode in Canada’s post-war era, they signed their names to it.”
The Globe and Mail, possibly the most well-known paper to those south of the border, split hairs by endorsing the Conservatives, but calling on Harper to be replaced as PM – an absurd endorsement, and a way, one supposes, the paper felt it could get away with endorsing the Tories despite the unpopularity of the Prime Minister.
“This editorial reflects not just a corporate media management and ownership out of step with the mood and feelings of ordinary Canadians, but also the magical thinking of suits who are either completely unserious observers or have a tenuous grasp on reality,” wrote Derrick O’Keefe for ricochet media.
Canada’s election was long by Canadian standards, 74 days. It will be remembered up north for a turn to the ugly as the Conservatives began fear-mongering in order to press their case that Harper should remain as Prime Minister. But in the end, it may have been a weakened economy, the result of lower energy prices that did in the PM. The incoming PM has said he will recommend economic stimulus to turn around the lagging economy.
For once, the center of attention in this election was not on Quebec. Quebec’s newspapers split their endorsements, with Le Devoir endorsing the Bloc Québécois, and The Montreal Gazette, a Postmedia paper, endorsing Harper.
La Presse, which had refrained from endorsements in Federal elections since 2006, endorsed the Liberals under Justin Trudeau.
La Presse recently announced that due to the success of its digital editions, it would stop printing a daily newspaper beginning in the new year. According to the paper’s last Publisher’s Statement, the paper has been distributing just over 100K print newspapers during the week, while having over 165K in digital readership. The paper will continue to print a weekend paper on Saturday.
The CBC rushed out an update for its CBC News app yesterday, just in time for the elections. The broadcaster had issued an update for the election over the weekend, but needed to fix an issue involving regional alerts.
The developers thanked a reader who posted a review in iTunes for pointing out the bug:
Fixed an issue where regional alerts were delayed in appearing in the menu. Thanks for the quick review from Voices&Co pointing this out.
The app may be fixed, but I found that it was slow to load Top Stories, though that may simply be because the CBC’s servers are so stressed following election night.
There were a few other media app updates released in the last 24 hours:
Twitter updated its iOS app as usual – it is on an every two week cycle.
WATCH ABC was updated its app to fix a bug that led to crashes whenever the cellular pop-up alert was activated.
And Spotify updated its app, though it does not mention any changes (which always drives me crazy).