Here Comes the Sun
So FOX News North and Kory Vision has a name - Sun News.
The new network is still in its infancy, so it may be premature for us to pass judgment on it. But I suspect they'll be prematurely passing judgment on a lot of individuals in the years to come, so let's jump in and judge away!
There's a lot of hysteria out there - Don Newman called it "the absolute last thing this country needs", and a lot of Liberals are sounding alarm bells. Personally, I have a hard time getting too worked up over this. This isn't some Machiavellian plan by Kory Teneycke and Stephen Harper to take control of the media. Pierre Karl Péladeau is investing 100 million in this venture - the goal is to make money, pure and simple.
And even though Sun News's format will be modelled after FOX News, I have a hard time believing the content will skew as hard right. Their first two hires - David Akin and Brian
I don't for a second doubt that a few loud mouth right wingers will wind up with evening talk shows, but these guys are trying to make money, and I don't think there's money to be made pandering exclusively to the conservative base.
And even if they do, where's the harm in that? Could it actually be any worse than giving Mike Duffy a nightly show? It's a free country, and it will give give me something to blog about, the same way Fox News provides The Daily Show with hours of content.
So, biases aside, what should we expect? Here's how the network describes itself:
All news specialty services play a vital role in keeping Canadians well informed on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis and ensuring that news coverage is both broad and deep. However, being well informed means more than being exposed to dry news.
Led by trusted journalists like David Akin and Brian Lilley, Sun News will offer Canadians “Hard News” by day: live reporting and real-time conversations with journalists covering breaking news. Headlines will be analysed, commented upon and discussed at length in an intelligent exchange to open further debate. Daytime news segments will cover a broad range of political, economic and lifestyle stories that matter to Canadians both rural and urban.
In the evenings, “Straight Talk” programs will feature hosts and guests that deliver strong opinions and analysis of stories that are important to Canadians that day. “Straight Talk” opinion journalism at night will be clear, intelligent and engaging – featuring a broader array of television personalities and signature hosts who will challenge viewers to think – and decide – for themselves.
Without a doubt, this is the FOX News format - give the viewers excitement!, opinions!, personality!, and entertainment! with their news. I know a lot of people expect the format to flop here, but I think it could work. FOX News has done so well for a reason, and I tend to think it's more because of format than content. If I'm flipping channels during the baseball game, I'd be more likely to flip over to an engaging political talk show (even an infuriating one) than the same news headlines I can read online.
So I guess my only wish is that they don't dumb it down too much. And that they're fair - I have no problem with a right wing perspective, but FOX News is so hypocritical that's hardly watchable. There's a way to make smart reporting and smart opinions interesting - if SunNews succeeds in doing that, then all the power to them, regardless of how far from the right they look at the news.