On Monday, the Toronto Star, a storied Canadian newspaper which once paid host to Ernest Hemingway, announced austerity measures. The corporation is unique, in that its corporate constitution mandates a certain fundamental civic responsibility codified in a numbered-list basic editorial policy.
The 5th of these reads “The Rights of Working People: The Star was born out of a strike in 1892 and Atkinson was committed to the rights of working people including freedom of association and the safety and dignity of the workplace.”
Over the past weekend, an anonymous source posted 4.6GB of .xml files detailing the exact compensation histories and ownership positions of the CEOs and Directors of the preponderance of listed corporations.
While the TorStar executive salary information is quite embarrassing (it can be found in document A2911 of the archive linked above) the truly remarkable picture that emerges from an analysis of the entire archive is the incredible number of indiscreet ownership links which enmeshes the TorStar corporation firmly in the middle of the corporate fiscal influence network.
A simple grep of the entire archive paints a revealing picture of the propaganda media model, which posits that newspapers and other media serve corporations as their primary customers, providing audiences as their primary product. Compensation links to TorStar are evident at the officer-level in 67,461 different corporate manifests. This is just under 10% of the entire cache of 680,906 documents.
TorStar was not the first corporation I grep’d for, but it was the first to pull up so many payback links that it crashed my computer. I’m sure other computer users with big iron and visualization programs can make much cooler info-graphics from the trove. Have at it, y’all! I’m currently limited to just an Atom-powered 1GB Ram pocketbook. Donations and solicitations always welcome.
This seems to be part of a trend towards zero for the value of reportage. TorStar mother corp engages in “anonymous” yellow journalism on Wikipedia to manipulate national identity, while the newspaper itself does the same to protect its subsidiary intellectual property operations.
Fair disclosure: Back before the turn of the millennium, I was a Toronto Star Radio Room Operator. I wish them the best of luck with their attempt to outsource their core competency as a civic institution for training journalists.
My own unsatisfying experience with TorStar corporate demagoguery was part of the inspiration leading to the creation of my own ISBN-issuing publishing company.