(Québec) The Solidarity Member and Ex-Blogger Journal of QuebecCatherine Dorion believes that there is a culture of "self-censorship" in the Quebecor media, where Pierre Karl Péladeau should not be criticized. According to her, other owners of the press are even "afraid of lawsuits" that the businessman could bring when one speaks negatively of his company.
"According to what I experienced, (there is a) culture of self-censorship (in Quebecor) that says: here is your sandbox, and if you leave it, we will call you and tell you that it is not is not there that you have to go, "she said Thursday, arriving at the penultimate day of the parliamentary commission on the future of news media.
"Even outside Quebecor, other journalists and columnists, bloggers, say: '' even if I work for another company (…), I will not speak against Quebecor. My boss is afraid of prosecution, "continued Mme Dorion.
The member challenged journalists to "really do their homework" and convince people "on condition of anonymity" to share their experiences.
Do not talk about "John Doe"
In committee, Wednesday, Mme Dorion confronted Pierre Karl Péladeau, who came to comment on the future of the media, asking him if he could "guarantee that there will be (it) not six more newspapers where it will be taboo of (the) criticize "if his company acquired the dailies of Groupe Capitales Médias, threatened with bankruptcy.
The Solidarity Member – who was a blogger at Journal of Quebec from 2006 to 2008 – quoted a recent blog post that the company reportedly took offline because it criticized Quebecor. When she was writing for the company, her immediate superior at the time also told her that she had better not criticize in her lyrics "John Doe", nickname used to refer to Pierre Karl Péladeau.
Mr. Péladeau refused to reply on Wednesday, saying the member was trying to "put on a show". In a scrum, he said he was "of course" possible to criticize in his media.
No money for "beggars"
During his visit to the National Assembly on Wednesday, the president of Quebecor invited the Legault government not to give money "begging the state", an expression he chose to designate its competitors.
"The publishers have not adapted and have now become beggars for the state. In this context, the independence of the newsrooms is seriously jeopardized, "said Péladeau.
This statement piqued the PQ Harold Lebel. The member said Thursday that it was expensive to do information in the regions and that the state had a role to play to ensure a diversity of the press.
"When we talk about media concentration, I want to make sure that if Quebecor buys The sun, (…) that the day when I will open The Sun and that I will open The Journal de Québecthat I will not read the same things, "he said.
"You have to have a real debate fund, (but) if we are called beggars from one side and the other … (…) It is true that it is expensive (a) big country (like Quebec) to cover. But do we choose to give tax credits to ensure that there is a good quality of the press? I think so. And that, we do not talk about "hunting", "continued Mr. Lebel.