13 August 2009

The Globe leads with an environmental story? What is the media coming to?

I reached for The Globe and Mail today in its usual place on the paper rack and immediately thought my news dealer had messed up. The paper I was reaching for had a lead story about an environmental crisis. Couldn't be the Globe, I thought, must be some ecology rag that got stuck in there by mistake. But I was wrong. Sure enough, the lead headline in the Globe today was "Salmon Run Disaster: 10.6 Million Sockeye Expected... Only 1.7 Million Came: Where Have All the Salmon Gone?" A long headline emphasized with half a page of very red fish.

Destruction of the environment isn't something the corporate press has shown a lot of interest in. Global warming, humanity's greatest threat, ought to be the number one media issue yet it struggles to get a mention. Preserving the environment might involve consuming less, and that's something the corporate press, whose prime function is selling stuff, really isn't eager to talk about.

Maybe the only reason the collapse of a fishery makes the front page is because it's worth a lot of money, but nonetheless I appreciate front-page attention to the biggest challenge facing us -- saving our planet from our own greed, stupidity and arrogance.

Will the Globe keep it up? My mind says not a chance. My heart says maybe. Hope springs eternal.

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