Quebecor Media Inc. recently announced plans for a 24-hours news channel with a conservative political bent, and a web poll conducted by COMPAS Inc. shows Canadian business leaders are somewhat mixed on the concept.
Kory Teneycke, the former director of communications for the Prime Minister’s Office now spearheading Quebecor’s Sun TV News, has positioned the channel as a benefit to Canadians, since it would balance the political spectrum currently represented by mainstream television news. The respondents to the COMPAS poll were not entirely convinced, however.
About 45% of the respondents agreed that Sun TV News would benefit the country since it would allow Canadians to have more debate and discussion. A slightly larger number (52%) said the channel would most benefit social conservatives.
‘There is no real benefit from this,’ argued one respondent. ‘I prefer PBS-type discussions, not advocacy journalism or combative journalism.’
But others welcomed the news. ‘It’s time that the left-wing bias of the media has some balance applied to it,’ according to one respondent.
Sun TV News, though it has yet to launch, has already drawn comparisons to the Fox News Channel in the U.S. Roughly two-thirds of the respondents, however, believe Sun TV News will have less impact in Canada than Fox News has had in the U.S. ‘I’m as conservative as it gets in this country, but the Fox News network is designed for a constituency that is just not widespread in Canada.’
In their comments, many of the respondents nonetheless expressed support for the effort. ‘This is a long overdue venture,’ wrote one. Others echoed this sentiment: ‘We have often thought that Canada desperately needs a Fox News.’