Media Beat: June 22, 2020

Mainstream media have been tainted by political party stripes since the days of scriptures and newsheets.

Media Beat: June 22, 2020

By David Farrell

Mainstream media have been tainted by political party stripes since the days of scriptures and newsheets. Until the relatively recent rise of conglomerates, wealthy corporate sponsors were seen as either benign or meddlesome dictators, but the power these elites once wielded –– such as the Irvings, Thomsons, Murdochs –– has changed. Social media has become a powerful new voice communicating with global audiences. Sadly, these digital platforms are home to players intent on muddying, confusing and distorting so-called 'facts' that previously were tightly controlled by a small number of orgs that offered a degree of coherence in helping us understand the world around us. And then there are the 5th Columns, such as Breitbart News, that spew toxicity and divide us with partisan intent.


Modern times and the new Cold War are making truth, clarity and facts hot potatoes. Donald Trump’s weekend rally was humiliated by an army of youthful TikTok adherents who decided to embarrass him and hijack the news story he hoped to star in. But TikTok is a Chinese company and to believe that there weren’t more sinister forces behind this political act is naïve.

Today’s column focusses on a number of age-old political themes that are being freshly dusted off and re-examined. With the re-shaping of news coverage come uncomfortable truths and complicated controversies that make the simplest of stories vulnerable to endless controversy.

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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