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Kelowna News

JONESIE: How Canadian news became victims in its own story

June 07, 2024 - 12:30 PM

OPINION

Have I ever got a story for you.

It’s about an international robbery, a hostile takeover, unintended consequences, Pollyanna syndrome, backstabbing, stubbornness and consequences. And it drips with irony.

Let’s begin with the consequences because, well, it’s us. We, as in this writer, as in iNFOnews.ca. As in independent locally-owned news outlets everywhere, perhaps all news outlets, period. We’re the victims in our own stories.

That’s because our ability to reach you with our stories is very difficult these days. Not long ago it was a little easier. We would post our stories to social media like Facebook and you could find them there. It worked really well for a while, but admittedly, it made us lazy and dependent on Facebook and its magic algorithm.

Marshall Jones, managing editor
Marshall Jones, managing editor

It also meant we had to play by Facebook’s rules. They didn’t like sharing stories about crime or cannabis or the overdose crisis, stories about jobs, or any other arbitrary, often thorny subjects which news is uniquely suited for.

Facebook (and Google) also gobbled up all the ad money. For a time, we didn’t even fully realize the vicious spiral we were in: Completely dependent on Facebook to find you, dear reader, while Facebook eats our lunch.

But when Facebook pulled news out of its newsfeeds entirely last year, the tailspin became immediately apparent.

Facebook and Instagram pulled news in Canada because it’s in a battle with the Canadian government, which seems to recognize the importance of news and journalism, even if it still doesn’t understand how it works.

The Trudeau Liberals star as Pollyanna, trying to simply make Facebook and Google give some of that money back to news, especially since news agencies were… are… falling like flies.
From our communications — not with Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge, but with the fart-catcher who responded for her — she stubbornly, foolishly thinks this is all going to work out for the best.

They have only made things far, far worse. 

Our own premier, David Eby, talked tough and tried to go to bat for us when people got really terrible and confusing information on Facebook in the wildfires last year. But that went away with a little handshake deal for better advertising rates for emergency communications. He’s the backstabber in this tale.

So, we’re not getting a lot of help. We’re very good at telling stories about other people, other industries, other issues and problems, other government mistakes and missteps and we’re excellent at pushing those pies into the faces of politicians who need to see the consequences of their decisions. It often produces positive results.

We’re not so good at helping ourselves. That’s the dripping irony.

Here’s the crux: Every week, we produce dozens of well-researched local news stories and features we think you ought to know or got to know. We want to arm you with information to navigate life and how to make it better. We know others have the same mission, but we try to find the stories they don’t have. We think we do it better. We’re completely independent. Our owner is a businesswoman from Vernon. We live and work and play in Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton.

If you think that’s worth a little of your time and attention, we invite you to join us.

Pop by our site every day, even a couple of times a week would be great. Here’s a handy link on how you can make us your homepage, or to create a weblink on the home screen of your phone.

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— Marshall Jones is the Managing Editor of iNFOnews.ca


We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor.

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