Rebel Yell: Danielle Smith lauds Rebel News for free speech

The UCP leadership candidate praised independent news outlets for their commitment to free speech while contrasting her time spent as a radio host for a mainstream media station.

Remove Ads

Independent media are gaining popularity because they’re free to report things the mainstream media can’t or won’t, says United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership candidate Danielle Smith.

“What has happened in the last while is there’s a new funding model that has emerged in the alternative media and it’s been pioneered, really, by Rebel Media,” Smith told Rebel News at an Edmonton campaign event she dubbed Rally for Alberta.

“I think they were the first to discover that if you had grassroots funding then you also had a lot more freedom,” she said.

“You could make sure that you could cover important stories without worrying that there was going to be some boycott campaign on advertisers or there was going to be some Broadcast Standards Council campaign that would get your licences pulled.

“So I think because of that, the alternative media has really grown as a credible news source and as a result people are now getting some news from mainstream but increasingly more news from those alternative sources and I think they feel there’s a more fulsome debate on all sides of the issue.”

The former Wildrose opposition leader hosted an Alberta radio talk show before returning to politics to run for the UCP leadership.

She said her takeaway from being a mainstream media radio host is that many people in the mainstream media — particularly broadcasters — are gun-shy.

“The overall impression I had was that in the mainstream media — especially radio and television broadcasting regulated by the CRTC — everybody’s terrified that they’ve got the federal government holds life and death decisions over their broadcast licences.”

The federal Liberal government this June rushed through Bill C-11 in the House of Commons, legislation many critics feel could soon impact online free speech, including independent media. It still must pass in the Senate.

Numerous people, organizations (including online giants like YouTube) and groups oppose the legislation.

Smith said she’s worried legislation will attempt to choke independent media:

So I’m watching with interest because it seems like they want to do the very same thing to the alternative media so that they can pull your broadcast licences if they don’t like what you say.

That is not a free media. That is not what the fourth estate is supposed to be.

The fourth estate is supposed to be about holding government to account, and our institutions to account. They’re supposed to be that protector of democracy.

Smith said if tough online rules make it through the Senate, independent media might find a work-around including broadcasting from outside Canada.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Alberta Prosperity Project

Building community for freedom and prosperity.

learn more

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads