National Newswatch

Why Canadians are closer to losing their news than they think

Jun 22 2017 — Colin Horgan — The results of an Abacus poll published last week confirmed what most probably already suspected: if Canadian local newspapers were to disappear, few would care. When Abacus asked a cross-section of Canadians whether they’d still be able to get “the news you need” if their local paper were to go under, 86 per cent said […]

Is everything we thought about online political campaigns wrong?

Jun 14 2017 — Colin Horgan — On Saturday, Nick Timothy stepped down from his position as co-chief of staff to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, and made his resignation letter public. His contrite message maintained that, as he saw it, May remains the best leader to address the frustrations Britons have about austerity, Brexit and a lack of opportunities to get […]

Is our job market ready for AI?

Apr 14 2017 — Colin Horgan — There is no clear plan to deal with the fallout artificial intelligence could bring. A week before Toronto learned it will soon host an artificial intelligence institute, U.S. treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin told an audience in Washington, D.C., that “in terms of artificial intelligence taking over jobs, I think we’re so far away from that […]

The cost of journalism

Feb 2 2017 — Colin Horgan — Canadians still seek to be informed — although at the time of their choosing and with little or no cost to themselves.” It’s the final seven words in that sentence, taken from the Public Policy Forum’s major, government-sponsored, report on the state of Canadian media, that are likely still chilling to anyone in the business, no matter […]

What is the point of political journalism?

Dec 9 2016 — Colin Horgan — How to report on the post-truth era that big data created. A day after the presidential election, a reporter friend wondered aloud whether there was much point to political journalism anymore. The reasoning behind that existential dread is simple: If so-called ‘fake news’ — the torqued or false stories that circulated everywhere on the internet during the […]

The dark irony behind Facebook’s fake news problem

Nov 16 2016 — Colin Horgan — A weird, maybe predictable, thing appears to have happened when Mark Zuckerberg decided in 2006 to call the cascading list of updates on Facebook a “newsfeed”: he suggested that pretty much anything can be news, as long as it was posted to Facebook. Your friend’s kid had a birthday party? That’s news. Someone ranted about […]

The Reality of Donald Trump

Oct 15 2016 — Colin Horgan — Y Combinator is perhaps the most well known Silicon Valley startup incubator. Its president is a 31 year-old named Sam Altman, the subject of a lengthy New Yorker profile this week and who, along with Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, has developed a nonprofit called OpenAI, “whose goal is to prevent artificial intelligence from […]

America’s press is dead. Long live the billionaires.

Sep 17 2016 — Colin Horgan — Friday felt familiar. Four years ago, in the fall of 2012, billionaire real estate mogul, TV star, and gold-plating aficionado Donald Trump teased the media with the suggestion that he had a big announcement to make. He called it a “bombshell”. He called it an “October surprise”. When it finally happened—on October 24 of that […]

Is Donald Trump trying to lose?

Aug 11 2016 — Colin Horgan — Donald Trump says the kinds of things few modern politicians would ever consider saying, even in private, on a daily—sometimes hourly—basis. Trump’s supporters have so far greeted his statements, sometimes with apparent glee. His detractors, on the other hand, have gone through a range of reactions, from initially dismissing him entirely, to then speculating that […]

Reality TV created Donald Trump. Next, it will destroy him.

Aug 8 2016 — Colin Horgan — Trump can’t follow a crucial rule of the TV genre that made him popular and it will be his undoing – again. It may be that, looking back on this summer, the days immediately following the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will be those that we point to as marking a watershed in the 2016 […]