Monday, July 1, 2013

Why Blog?

Last Fall I interviewed Dr. Warren Farrell, who was giving a talk sponsored by the Canadian Association For Equality (CAFE) at the University of Toronto, as part of a short documentary on the lives of two men after divorce called “Broken.”

We were really surprised to find a dramatic protest underway when we arrived for Dr. Farrell's lecture later that evening. Feminist protesters blocked the entrances and exits to the lecture hall, so I grabbed my camera and filmed the event.

After the documentary was finished, I put a separate video together about the protest and posted it on my newly registered YouTube channel, StudioBrule. It went viral almost immediately.

The strange thing is, there was no coverage of the protest in the mainstream media. City TV News had a cameraman present and filming throughout the protest, but they did not report on it. When asked, City News apparently said they didn't report on the event because they could not find a narrative for the story. I found this odd since the protest provided so much material. This got me thinking. Why would a News station decline to do a story about a protest that was sufficiently violent as to require police intervention?

For starters, mainstream media companies attract huge ad budgets from large corporations which are extremely sensitive to their public image. These media companies will avoid, or remain politically correct in their treatment of sensitive topics in order to protect those dollars.

That is good for business, but not so good for journalism, or for society. I don't know whether this motive was at play for City News at the Warren Farrell protest but it opened my eyes to the important role that independent journalists, bloggers, and social medial users play in society, not just in the middle east, as we saw during the Arab Spring of 2011, but even here in Canada and the USA.

The advantage of YouTube, and blogging in general, is that AdSense becomes the intermediary between advertiser and content producer. This third party relationship eliminates the conflict of interest, and allows the independent blogger to earn a living while covering important issues that are too hot or too risky for mainstream. This doesn't mean that bloggers and YouTubers are more objective, there's no shortage of evidence that they are not, only that they may have less motive to hide or repress News stories and their opinions about events.

The feminists protested subsequent CAFE sponsored events at the University of Toronto. They disrupted professor Janice Fiamengo's lecture entitled “What's wrong with Women's Studies” using the fire alarm to clear the building, and also hurled abuses at attendees of a talk by Dr.'s Nathanson and Young in April.

City TV's Avery Haines sought me out while I was filming the April protest. She had watched the Warren Farrell protest video on YouTube and wanted to use a clip in her story about the University of Toronto Student Union's efforts to have CAFE banned from campus. As a small-time YouTuber, it felt good to have made a small impact upon the mainstream media.

So Canada Day 2013 seems like a good day to launch the Studio Brulé blog, and I hope to provide an alternative perspective when political correctness distorts the truth on issues that are too hot for mainstream, and on topics that they will not cover.