Canada's New Right New Media - 2019-10-18
We examine the other media properties that, along with the Rebel, make up Canada's new right new mediasphere and set up a new space of digital political discourse.
In our previous post, we outlined the history and of Rebel Media before analyzing the ways in which they've used YouTube (and YouTube has used them) to become a major player within Canadian news media. The Rebel is, far more than any other news source, the go-to place for a daily dose of anti-Trudeau rhetoric, tirades about feminism, and fear-mongering about everything from a carbon tax to the invasion of immigrants from south of the border. Breitbart North, if you will. But just as Breitbart was at the centre of what Yochai Benkler calls a "right-wing media ecosystem" in the lead-up to the 2016 American presidential election, the Rebel, too, has fellow travellers on the road trip across the Trans-Canada Highway of the new right. Benkler's thesis is that in the face of an ideological and economic rebellion against traditional news outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post, websites that focused on low-quality yet ideologically-rich news articles like Breitbart and the Daily Caller created a pocket on the right-wing of American political media that was highly referential within itself and pushed itself as an "alternative" to these mainstream media sources. But while Benkler's "alternative media ecosystem" included major traditional players such as Fox News, there is no media company in Canada–especially on the right–with Murdoch money. This means that the new Canadian right has had to build itself from the bootstraps with online media such as websites and Youtube channels, creating what I've termed a sphere of "new right new media". In this blog post, we'll outline the three other major players that constitute the core of the Canadian "new right new media", and then in a follow-up post we'll work with some data to show how the four together have created a new right media ecosystem in Canada with the traffic, shared issues, and political ties to match.