Sunday, 24 January 2010

Typo in the Toronto Star?

Thousands protest the prorogue -
In Toronto, the estimated 3,000-strong turnout briefly forced the closing of Yonge St.
Yesterday, police estimated that there were about 7,000 people at the Toronto rally. Orgnizers estimated about 15,000. Other professionals estimated closer to 9,000 to 10,000.
The crowd in Ottawa was estimated about 3,000-4,5000.
Did the Star say 3,000 for Toronto by mistake? Or, are they lowering the numbers to make the rally look less than it was?

I was at the rally. I would say it was much much bigger than 3,000. I've been to many large assemblies and concerts in my life and estimate it was about 10,000.

For more details on the rallies, with more accurate reporting on the numbers, see:
Anti-Prorogue Rallies across Canada - Jan, 2010

Any responsible media organization would find out how many people showed up by talking to at least one professional source. For most things like this, the source is the police who are at the event. They estimated 7,000. One of the organizers made a good point that the total must have been 10,000 to 12,000 as he said that they only close off all of ... See MoreBay St if the crowd is over 10,000. So, by the time of the march, the crowd had grown larger (than the 7,000 the police initially estimated). We were there. We know that the march filled the street for many blocks - segments of the route on Yonge, Queen, Bay and Gerrard were all totally closed to traffic as we filled the streets for many blocks, spilling onto the sidewalks.

So, this begs the question - the Star must have got the number of at least 7,000 for the Toronto rally, so - why did they report much less? Either they got it mixed up with the Ottawa number, which was about 3,000, or, they want to downplay the rallies. Or, maybe it was both these reasons. Regardless, if they do publish a correction, it will be buried and un-noticed by most readers.

Reason for downplaying the rallies? They, like the other large media companies, are large corporations. And Harper gave large corporations many billions of dollars in tax decreases over the past few years. (So much so that we will now see a great reduction in services as a result). The Star does not want to bite the hand that feeds it.


Skinny Dipper said...

Here is a comment I left on Scott diaTribe's blog:

I don’t think the actual numbers of Facebook members alone or anti-prorogation rally participants matter so much as how these are used and intertwined with other media and non-media elements of Canadian society. I will guess that within a couple of months, Harper will ask for an election from the governor-general and get it. He will be going to towns and cities across our country. He might even appear in Toronto. If he does and only 200 people show up out of 2,000,000 show up to hear him, that won’t mean that his event in Toronto will be deemed a failure. The audience might (will probably likely) be pre-selected. The media will be present to record his speech. The television will likely replay his speech several times during the day. Harper might consider the event a positive experience.

We should not use the rallies themselves to measure if the anti-prorogationists were successful or not. The Facebook membership increase, the ability to organize multiple events across the country, plus the participation of a good number of people–all indicate that these had an effect on the Conservative Party’s declining popularity.

We pro-democracy supporters must not stop our activism. We must consider our next steps and think of creative ways to reach the Canadian population. It’s an on-going process.

Thor said...

Skinny Dipper:
I agree for the most part. What pisses me off is how the MSM, including the Star are mis-reporting what happened by quite a lot.

I agree that the fact that Canadians seem to be finally waking up and realizing that Harper is destroying Canada is a very very good thing. The FB group CAPP, the rallies, and the continually growing grassroots movement to fight for democracy and for our Canada will, I think, play a much bigger role in the upcoming election than the MSM or the Harperites can imagine.
More and more people, especially young voters it seems, are becoming more educated about what is happening and about the issues. I think we will see the Conservatives be just squeezed out in the next election, or dumped by a landslide, (like after Canadians figured out about Mulroney and he bolted and left Kim Campbell holding the bag).