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Nobody's a Critic

Media analysis is an established beat in almost every nation with a free press, and it’s a given that journalists must scrutinize our own profession as diligently as we would any other. Canada is a strange exception. Although we have a few media reporters, our attempts at substantive criticism never last long. Antonia Zerbisias served as the Toronto Star’s media columnist from 2003 to 2007, but then she changed beats and the position was eliminated. Decades ago, CBC Radio tried out a show called Media File, which sought to provide an inside glimpse of the newsmaking process. Sunday Edition host Michael Enright, then a CBC executive, remembers the show failing because journalists refused to appear as subjects. “It didn’t last for more than a season,” he told me in an interview last year. “People in the media got nervous.” -Jesse Brown