01.26.2010 11:23 AM

Jan. 26 Bits and Pieces

• New Media, No Money? I spoke to a Globe reporter about this issue yesterday – and said that, while the New Media (aggregators, Facebookians, Twitterers, blogistes) are clearly a threat to the Old Media, can they actually capitalize on it? Can they make a buck doing what they do? Personally – and I speak from personal experience – I don’t really think so. Google AdSense revenue won’t keep the New Media lights on, much less pay for someone to hire a reporter or two. Until someone figures out how to do it differently, the likes of Huffington and the Daily Kos will remain the exception, not the rule.
• The Rogue Proroger: If nothing else, it is my fervent hope that the Reform-Conservatives’ prorogation-induced (and rapid) 15-point-drop in popularity will banish, forever, the punditocracy’s claim that Harper is a Master Strategist. He’s not. He never will be. Unrelated point: the two issues that have most inflamed voters in the past couple years – and which have been preceded by an online populist uprising – both relate to democracy: the coalition stuff, and now the prorogation stuff. As I told a fellow at our Haiti fundraiser on Saturday night, I don’t understand how (on the one hand) voter participation rates continue to slump, while (on the other hand) “pure democracy” issues like coalition and prorogation spur massive interest/anger/emotion. Anyone got a theory?
• The Dangerous Streets: Fourteen people killed on Toronto streets in a month – and the tragic deaths have not been caused by guns or knives. Why is this happening? Listening to media “streeters” over the past few days, you’ll note that pedestrians are tending to blame drivers, and drivers are tending to blame pedestrians. Being both, I’d venture a guess that both are, to some extent, to blame. Both, therefore, need to (a) be more watchful and (b) obey the law. Sounds axiomatic, but – in Toronto this year, at least – maybe not.
• Women and Pay Equity: Overlooked and important. Women continue to deserve much, much better in the workplace. Politicians, of all stripes, will have their rhetoric measured against their deeds, in this regard. And they should be – there’s no standing pat on this one.

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