VANCOUVER – Gretchen Jones knew boycotting Canada’s largest newspaper company wouldn’t be easy given its monopolistic hold on Canada’s print media, but she didn’t realize how difficult it would truly be until she found out she herself was a wholly owned subsidiary of Postmedia.
“I believe journalism should put truth and the public good ahead of politics, so with that in mind and in the spirit of anti-media consolidation, I decided to boycott the ubiquitous and increasingly right wing Postmedia. Boy was I disappointed when I realized I was apparently scooped up during that consolidation,” Jones said.
Unbeknownst to Jones, when Postmedia was created by American hedge funds acquiring the CanWest media empire in 2010, a 40% share in Gretchen Jones was somehow included among the large number of newspapers purchased. Then when regulators allowed Postmedia to buy Sun Media in 2014 despite that creating a monolithic newspaper environment in many Canadian cities, the colossal media company obtained the remaining 60% of Jones’s existence.
“I thought the hardest part of this boycott would be finding a paper in Vancouver that isn’t controlled by Postmedia, seeing as how they own the two largest English-language papers and a dozen smaller community papers,” Jones said. “I didn’t even consider that they probably owned me too.”
“Looking back, I guess there were some signs. I have been questioning the irrefutable science behind global warming a lot lately. And I keep referring to the idea of taxation as ‘theft.’ Then there’s the fact that I’m weirdly into Andrew Scheer. I assumed it was a brain tumor, but it turns out I’m just a part of the Postmedia family.”
Jones is hoping that increasing volatility and decreasing profits in the newspaper industry will lead Postmedia to offload her in their next round of asset sales, ideally to a company with a slightly less sinister public profile, like Amazon or Halliburton.