Ricochet Media: Crowd Funded News Is On Its Way And Not A Moment Too Soon

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Even a cursory glance at Canada’s media landscape should be enough to tell you that we’re in big trouble when it comes to getting uncompromised reportage. Media concentration has been a reality here for years and it’s a serious problem. Meanwhile our national public broadcaster is facing its own problems, being gutted and mismanaged to the point where it’s hard to know what they’re trying to do anymore.

Ricochet Media is a web-based bilingual news outlet that isn’t up and live yet, but is expected to be by the Fall of this year – if they can raise the funds to get started. According to their website, the idea to form Ricochet was partly borne out of extreme frustration around the way national news outlets covered the 2012 student protests in Quebec – and a longstanding general disgust with how the practice of passing off partisan opinion pieces and advertorial content as “news” has become commonplace in Canada.

Ricochet isn’t the first time we’ve seen crowd funded news projects, but those tend to be on a smaller scale or more one-off project-based (by the way, have you considered supporting Prairie Dog? I’m sure we’d all really appreciate it). A Canadian national crowd funded outlet like this would be a first. And a very exciting development. You can visit Ricochet’s website (and watch their shockingly earnest promo video) here.

Author: Wanda Schmöckel

Wanda Schmockel is just trying to get by without shoving. You may follow her on twitter @vschmo

20 thoughts on “Ricochet Media: Crowd Funded News Is On Its Way And Not A Moment Too Soon”

  1. Interesting. Media is general have adopted a sort of “Bros-Before-Politicos” don’t-rock-the-boat, hockey-and-beer approach to reporting as of late, esp. around these parts. The Globe and Mail has become total shit in terms of reporting on social justice, and when it does have a story on say income inequality, it sounds like a “gee whiz” private school Grade 10 social studies report, followed by entire sections dedicated to living the good life.

    The New York Times gives the best bang for buck, tho even there, recently after several very good stories on the inaccessibility of college tuition, decline in the heartland, etc., had to run a story about the relative affordability of West Hampton beach houses ($2 million) versus East Hampton ($10 million). Keep trying tho! Good life, baby!! That’s what it’s all about.

  2. I wanted to contribute to Ricochet, but you can only do so online with indiegogo. I wish they had an option to mail checks for those of us who don’t have paypal or credit cards.

  3. p.s. thanks for sharing the canadaland podcast! Listening to the interview with Linden MacIntyre right now.

  4. Don’t rock the boat, chase the ‘good life’…that’s all you gotta know about modern journalism.

  5. There used to be an American adage that said the duty of journalism was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, but then the ‘comfortable’ became annoyed at being publicly afflicted, so they bought journalism and in some case, started their own (Fox, Sun) to actually reverse the adage to afflict the afflicted and to further comfort the comfortable. Finding that sexier, mainstream media got on board and assumed a philosophy of at least not rocking the boat while public journalism came under the control of a rightwing ideologue govt.

  6. The phrase ” comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” was coined by journalist Finley Peter Young, writing as “Mr. Dooley”, the satirical newspaper columnist he invented in the late 1800s. It was originally meant tongue in cheek, to skewer newspapers such as the Hearst chain, for the power they supposedly wielded in society, but it was taken seriously by others and seized upon as the goal of various organizations, including the Christian Church.

    It’s interesting to note that Dunne’s critique of the media still holds up well.

  7. If you haven’t read Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business”, you should. It was written in 1985, before the internet really got up and running, but it remains right on the money.

  8. Thanks Vanda, for the Linnden cue, great interview.

    Hi. Barb is that a library book? Or do you just want loan me your copy?

    I’ve got an awsome book from the ’70s to loan to you. I’ll say it would be similar.

    Get my email from Steve, or Tweet me. Paul’s got that.

  9. Sorry, Ron, I don’t have my own copy; it’d likely be available at the RPL through interlibrary loan.
    What’s the title of the book you recommend? I might have already read it.

  10. Hi. Barb. The title is ; Man’s Worldly Goods. Leo Huberman I said ’70s.. I just realized it’s from 1936. Things change a lot less than people realize.

  11. Dining has changed a lot since 1936, however. We’ve managed to eradicate any trace of dining pre-1971.

    This is good, too, tho I feel more American than what we see here, meaning more abrasive and less conducive to the Canadian credo of Peace, Order, and Good Banking:

    WE no longer have news. We have springboards for commentary. We have cues for Tweets…

    Grandstanding is booming as traditional news gathering struggles to survive: It’s more easily summoned, more cheaply produced. It doesn’t require opening bureaus around the country or picking up correspondents’ travel expenses or paying them for weeks on end just to dig. So it fills publications, websites and television airtime the way noodles stretch out a casserole, until we’re looking at a media meal that’s almost all Hamburger Helper and no beef.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/opinion/sunday/bruni-full-screed-ahead.html?_r=0

  12. He’s channeling, now.

    Thanks for the offer, Ron, but I think I’ll pass. Why would I read Leo Huberman when I can read/have already read Marx and Engels? Enjoy your Sunday.

  13. I’ve only read the book once,20? yrs ago…long before I did any web stuff. Googling Leo .
    You too Barb.

  14. I suppose that a certain amount of reading is required. Hi. Barb. I’ve never read those 2.

    A philosophy that does have 2 sides……. for better or worse…

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