First off …
Today marks a day of rotating strike action by ETFO members in the following districts:
- Kawartha Pine Ridge
- Near North
- Ottawa Carleton
- Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
- Penetanguishene Protestant Separate School Board
- Rainy River
- Simcoe County
- Upper Canada
Over the weekend and continuing into this week, there has been a huge uproar about some newspaper advertising that appeared on the weekend in some of Ontario’s biggest newspapers.
I didn’t see the advertising; I can’t recall the last time that I bought a paper newspaper, opting for the online editions. But reading the article reveals all of the details.
The discussion continues on Twitter…
Note the differences in spelling of the two searches. The Twitter account for the group is spelled @VaughnWorking.
We seem to be on a tear around this blog these days about media literacy. In this particular case, it’s about how anyone can purchase advertising and then include the type of information that it does. The problem is that nobody seems to be able to verify that the community group with this name exists. Does this mean that anyone can purchase advertising to get their message across?
This opinion piece from the Toronto Sun seems to think so.
People aren’t about to let the issue die. Trustee Norm Di Pasquale asked the Ad Standards Canada to step in. The update in the story indicates that they won’t because they don’t get into political matters.
My MPP, Taras Natyshak, is likewise demanding an investigation into this.
I agree with both Trustee Di Pasquale and MPP Natyshak that this incident needs to be looked into and resolved. It opens a huge door if we allow anyone to advertise their opinion publically provided they have enough money. The article featuring Natyshak indicates that the cost for the advertising could run as high as $100 000.
I hope that the advertising departments of the newspapers involved are sitting down to look at their practice as a result of this. Yes, advertising is a large source of revenue but is accepting the money without regard to content worth the reputation of the newspaper as a fair reporting source?
In the meantime, this sort of action continues to poison any chances that the public will honestly understand the issues and makes negotiations even more difficult.