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Gringo
Real Estate Talker
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:47 pm

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:52 pm

Thanks lotuslander, looks like I wasn't the only one following this scandal in the making. A hat tip to mold city over at the VancouverCondoInfo blog for pointing out this March 27th article which still has comments enabled and showing:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/columnists/story.html?id=5c432d4c-1903-4f79-b88f-3ab6d8791fd8

So it's becoming clear that the decision to delete comments was made very deliberately - and there are now other reports of critical comments not being posted.

This is looking very bad for the Vancouver Sun - and I have to believe there are more than a few good, ethical people on staff there who would disagree with this kind of censorship.

I would like to ask someone at the Vancouver Sun to come forward anonymously on this forum to blow the whistle on what's going on there.

It's possible it's a series of unfortunate mistakes but readers and subscribers like myself deserve an explanation.
 
Gringo
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Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:02 pm

More grist for the mill...punface over at VancouverCondoInfo has noted the following, as have I:

Comment by punface
2008-04-30 16:41:55
I haven’t seen a single letter to the editor published on the topic of 15REM (I am a Sun subscriber.) That is unusual - there are normally some responses published to every major story they print.


It really is difficult to believe that with all of the strong feedback the article received on the Web, that the Vancouver Sun didn't receive at least a few good letters to the editor. With what we now know, the onus is on the Vancouver Sun to prove otherwise.

Is it going to take the Communist Party of China coming and doing a story on censorship and protection of vested interests in Vancouver's media so we can get to the bottom of this?
 
dot com refugee
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Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:26 pm

There is a good discussion on the comments deletion going on here at vancouvercondo.info
 
yogurt
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Posts: 2534
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:14 am

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:33 pm

Gringo wrote:
I'm not talking about what they published, I'm talking about what they censored...

They didn't censor anything. Censorship means an outside authority such as the church or state is dictating what people can publish. It's their website and what they publish on it is entirely up to them.

I'm not saying I approve of it - but the comments section is part of their publication just as much as the rest of the web site or their print edition and it's their right to control what goes on it. The issue here, as with the original article, is trash journalism.

Censorship is a serious issue and the term ought not to be used where it is not appropriate, as that tends to trivialize the issue.
 
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freako
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 7:23 pm

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:07 pm

Censorship is a serious issue and the term ought not to be used where it is not appropriate, as that tends to trivialize the issue.

Well yogurt, FWIW wikipedia includes "corporate censorship" in its censorship entry. I think it describes what may have happened to a T.

Corporate censorship is the process by which editors in corporate media outlets intervene to halt the publishing of information that portrays their business or business partners in a negative light. Privately owned corporations in the business of reporting the news also sometimes refuse to distribute information due to the potential loss of advertiser revenue or shareholder value which adverse publicity may bring. See media bias.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship
 
Gringo
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Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:33 pm

Freako, "corporate censorship" sounds just about right.

yogurt wrote:
I'm not saying I approve of it - but the comments section is part of their publication just as much as the rest of the web site or their print edition and it's their right to control what goes on it. The issue here, as with the original article, is trash journalism.


It is widely recognized that the press has a major role in fostering public debate and holding individuals and institutions accountable -- both essential for making a democracy work. It trivializes the role of the press to view it simply as an ecoconomic relationship (i.e., they can publish what they want and I can choose to read it or not).

The press enjoys consitutional protections not so they can conduct their business however way they want, but so that citizens can inform themselves without be subjected to propaganda and censorship.

The press themselves have established professional and ethical standards. As per Wikipedia:
While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent reportage to the public.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism_ethics_and_standards

If the Vancouver Sun hadn't solicited, screened, posted and then deleted comments in the first place then this wouldn't be an issue other than the article itself. And I suspect part of this is due to their own clumsy attempts to come to terms with the Internet as new medium (how many years later?!)

But they did do this, and some media accountability* is in order.

* Media accountability is a phrase that refers to the general (especially western) belief that mass media has to be accountable in the public’s interest - that is, they are expected to behave in certain ways that contribute to the public good.
The concept is not clearly defined, and often collides with commercial interests of media owners; legal issues, such as the constitutional right to the freedom of the press in the U.S.; and governmental concerns about public security and order.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_accountability
 
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rentah
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Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:40 pm

I'd agree that this arguably constitutes a form of censorship.
It'll be fascinating to see if and how the Sun follows this all up.
If they do, I'd bet it'll be in a 'jolly' vein: "Our article really stirred up some spirited debate" etc.
 
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freako
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Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Thu May 01, 2008 6:12 am

My guess is that when things get ugly, they routinely wipe the comments. In this sense, I don't think this article received special treatment. In this instance perhaps it was felt that the there was an organized effort to attack this article. I don't think there was. I also don't think the decision to wipe the comments was made at a high level. It is probably a lowly employee in charge of the online comments who has been given authority to clean and cull for innocuous reasons. I highly doubt that more than a smidgeon of the target market for related advertising look at the comments. One question: Are the comments visible by default at the end of the article, or do you have to click on them to view? Finally, I don't know the ratio between online and print viewers, but my guess is that the latter dwarfs the former.
 
lotuslander
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Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Thu May 01, 2008 9:26 am

freako wrote:
I don't know the ratio between online and print viewers, but my guess is that the latter dwarfs the former.


I don't know either, but judging by the firestorm the article ignited, it looks like print viewers are still the bigger target for the MSM.

The Suns hit & run approach is cowardly and they should be told how we feel about it:
http://www.canada.com/share/soundoff
 
lotuslander
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Posts: 610
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:52 am

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Thu May 01, 2008 9:28 am

Or email the Sun editor

depenner@png.canwest.com
 
Gringo
Real Estate Talker
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:47 pm

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Thu May 01, 2008 10:26 pm

lotuslander wrote:
The Suns hit & run approach is cowardly and they should be told how we feel about it:
http://www.canada.com/share/soundoff


Well that page is no longer functional, see the message below. Isn't that convenient? And I'll post a follow-up with something else interesing.

from canada.com site...
"We are sorry, the page you requested cannot be displayed. We apologize for any inconvenience while we are rebuilding the canada.com network. We've revamped our site, to make it even better for you. For starters, there's a whole new look, designed to make getting around and finding what you need easier than ever.

The quality of our content has not changed, but there's more of it, including more news, more video, and more discussion groups. We've even added new features like city guides, event and restaurant listings, in-depth Body and Health information, and the ability to research and book your next vacation!

Please note that you'll need to update your bookmarks. Click here to continue immediately."
 
Gringo
Real Estate Talker
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:47 pm

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Thu May 01, 2008 10:37 pm

So in my last post, we see that the Sound Off page is not available because they're "rebuilding the canada.com network".

O.k., fair enough, I'll buy that...maybe it's all just a coincidence. So I found the link for the canada.com Sound Off home page:
http://www.canada.com/shareit/soundoff/index.html

What's this? All of the Sound Off sites for every other city are still active. Coincidentally, Vancouver is the only one showing no active Sound Off boards. Just in case they drop that page, I'll copy and paste the entire text contents below (I've bolded the lonely Vancouver heading):

======================================================================================

Home > Sound Off! Have an opinion on a story or topic? Comment on what you read here, and see what others have to say.
Victoria

Victoria Soundoff
Victoria Soundoff from canada.com

Saanich road closing causes traffic jam, enrages commutersLetter: Crowded buses discourage usersHells Angels Nanaimo clubhouse seizedPremier defends $388 million cost overrunTaxpayers hit for $600,000 in police severance deals

Vancouver

Edmonton


Edmonton Soundoff
Edmonton Soundoff from canada.com

Sound Off! on smoking rulesSound Off! on city surplusSound Off! on the role of community leaguesSound Off! on Henday noiseSound Off! on the new cabinet
Calgary


Calgary Soundoff
Calgary Soundoff from canada.com

Sound Off: Calgary tax hike?Sound Off: Do you support downtown security cameras?Sound Off: Flames fall againSound Off: Police on C-Train?Alberta unveils new climate change policy

Regina


Regina Soundoff
Regina Soundoff from canada.com

SFL president suggests Saskatchewan unions consider general strike to send message to governmentDo you think charges in the Yellow Quill deaths are warranted?How do you think the city handled the Arcola Avenue construction situation?How did the Riders do in the CFL draft?What is your favourite Leader-Post story from the past?

Saskatoon


Saskatoon Soundoff
Saskatoon Soundoff from canada.com

Sound off: What should the province spend its new-found wealth on?Sound off: Should fire pits be banned in the city?Sound off: Should pornographic channels be included in free promotions by cable providers?Sound off: Is the FSIN doing enough to mend relations with the Jewish community?Sound off: Can parenting and public life coexist?

Winnipeg


Winnipeg Soundoff
Winnipeg Soundoff from canada.com

How did Harper do in his first week?Are you watching the Olympics?Will you use new private MRI clinics?Ottawa in election modeFeds ante cash for residential schools abused

Windsor


Windsor Soundoff
Windsor Soundoff from canada.com

DCX seeks voluntary retirement of younger workers

Hamilton


Hamilton Soundoff
Hamilton Soundoff from canada.com

Canada mulls joint drug reviews with U.S. regulatorIs mixing love and business really bad for the bottom line?MPP wants forced organ donationsAlberta considers private hospitalsMcKenna refuses to run

Toronto


Toronto Soundoff
Toronto Soundoff from canada.com

'Visible minorities' term racist: UNCharest backs 'no hijab' ruling in soccerDual citizenship review worries some MPsIs this the conduct you expect from MPs?McKenna urges missile defence

Ottawa


Ottawa Soundoff
Ottawa Soundoff from canada.com

Soundoff: Are you concerned about an economic slowdown?Soundoff: Will you be buying an iPhone?Do you feel overwhelmed by your BlackBerry?Soundoff: Where would you locate the Ottawa arts council's pavilion of shipping containers?Soundoff on the 417 traffic mess

Montreal


Montreal Soundoff
Montreal Soundoff from canada.com

Canada shuts out HamasSCOC rules people can wear Sikh ceremonial daggersEqual access to cancer drugs a myth, report saysMcKenna steps down as ambassador to U.S.Quebec has no plans to change the laws

Halifax


Halifax Soundoff
Halifax Soundoff from canada.com

Atlantic premiers gather in AlbertaLord warns against demonizing PQ
 
Gringo
Real Estate Talker
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:47 pm

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Thu May 01, 2008 10:59 pm

So I started clicking around some of the other stories from that Sound Off home page. It's a mess. Some articles are no longer available, some appear only as a headline, some date back quite far (e.g. Victoria has a story about traffic disruption from Nov. 10, 2007 with the last comment posted March 10, 2008)

It certainly makes Freako's explanation plausible, and probably adds a healthy does of incompetence to the mixture.

And by the way, it's not like they've stopped taking comments on the Vancouver Sun site. Here's a link to a story and comments about an issue of prime importance to Vancouver citizenry, just posted today:
Nickelback's Chad Kroeger: "Everyone makes mistakes"
Singer will fight drink driving conviction, fine and suspension
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=81579fd2-6728-4514-87c2-e2cfa8462712&k=95083
 
lotuslander
Real Estate Talker
Posts: 610
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:52 am

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Fri May 02, 2008 12:21 pm

Here's a link to the story with no comments and yet they're still asking for comments at the bottom of the article:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=71a98563-db49-4cff-ba72-63710f343804

Looks like the link to the comments is open again.
Not sure about the censorship.....only one way to find out I guess.
 
Greenhorn

Re: Top 15 Real Estate Myths

Fri May 02, 2008 1:04 pm

lotuslander wrote:
Here's a link to the story with no comments and yet they're still asking for comments at the bottom of the article:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=71a98563-db49-4cff-ba72-63710f343804

Looks like the link to the comments is open again.
Not sure about the censorship.....only one way to find out I guess.


All the comments are back up, intact. Some are really hilarious to read. Mostly Bear banter. Actually, it is more like a Grizzly Bear mauling. I guess the Bull's don't read the paper or they don't feel compelled to post. I find it odd that the comments are so one sided. Hearing from Bulls is always worthwhile.

Silverman, Thompson and Polemic, why don't you post something to balance it out?
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