Think quitting a columnist's job with one of the biggest media conglomerates in Canada is a career-limiting move? Guess again. Stephen Kimber, author, journalist and director of the school of journalism at the University of King’s College, did precisely that back on Jan. 3, after the Halifax Daily News spiked a column he wrote criticizing the paper’s owner, CanWest Global Communications Corp.—controlled by the Asper family. Since then KimbeYs been in high demand.
He’s already flown to Ottawa to speak about the dangers of media concentration to the Canadian Association of Journalists. In February, he went to Washington to brief the staff at the Federal Communications Commission, who are considering loosening legislation barring crossmedia ownership of newspapers and TV stations in the same area. "If I’d known it would turn into a media circus and would give me all these frequent-flyer points,” Kimber jokes,
“I would have quit a long time ago.”
This week, he’s in Canberra testifying before an Australian Senate
Committee holding hearings on a bill which would make it easier for cross-media ownership and lift foreign-ownership restrictions. KimbeYs trip is being paid for by Friends of Fairfax, an Australian journalists’ group formed in the 1990s, when Conrad Black was gobbling up newspapers in that country. Sure to take a keen interest will be Network TEN, an Asper-controlled Australian TV chain, which is anxious to see restrictions taken off foreign press ownership Down Under. Halfway across the world, KimbeYs still causing CanWest headaches.
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