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Adam Radwanski

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Although a fun topic for conversation, it's not really possible to pass judgment on Kory-TV until it really takes shape. And even after that, it will probably take a while to develop its identity.

But for what it's worth, my instinctive reaction - which I'm sure Pierre Karl Péladeau has been losing sleep waiting for - is mixed.

On one hand, it's always nice when stories about media shrinkage and convergence are countered by a bold new venture. It's good for journalists to have more jobs, and - from an editorial perspective, at least - it's good for those of us at other outlets to have more competition. And in principle, it's good for consumers to have more choice.

But at the same time, the prospect that it really takes off drives home a nagging fear that I've had for years.

No, it's not that there's an imminent conservative cultural takeover. It's that we're going to wind up with more and more media silos that serve only to reinforce our biases, rather than to challenge us.

You can debate the extent to which that's already happened (though I consider myself lucky to work for a paper that offers a balanced mix of views). But as of now, you can still turn to most TV networks and get credible perspectives from across the ideological spectrum, along with news that's generally presented in a non-partisan and non-ideological way (and yes, I'm including the CBC).

It's possible that Kory-TV will provide that range too; like I said, we really don't know yet. That David Akin - a well-respected reporter with no discernible agenda - was among the very first hires seems an encouraging sign that the news will be delivered straight.

But if most of the airtime winds up being filled with conservative personalities, that could be bad for for viewers - and not just the ones watching the new channel.

In terms of serving its own customers, the worst thing Kory-TV could do would be to load up its roster with cartoon characters railing against the rest of the world (the Ezra Levant types).

Better would be to recruit thoughtful, unpredictable sorts in the Tom Flanagan mold. But the downside is that those people might no longer appear elsewhere. So the viewership of other networks, which presumably would include fewer conservatives than is the case now, wouldn't be challenged by as much intelligent right-of-centre content.

In other words, as many conservatives got their information from an outlet that preached to the choir, centre-left viewers would be able to have their own biases more easily reinforced as well.

Again, it's all totally hypothetical for now. But in general principle, I prefer the idea of different ideological perspectives competing in the same space, rather than occupying narrower spaces where they can claim easy wins.

Follow on Twitter: @aradwanski

 

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