A free press in a free market

Here’s the topic of discussion at a conference next week in Montreal:

If it bleeds, it leads.”

Yes, it’s a cliché. But it can often be an apt description of the way some media focus on the sensational. Intense coverage of celebrity adoptions or relationships, tawdry political scandals and graphic tragedy “sells,” and it sometimes overshadows the reporting of more pressing issues and events. While media institutions remain an essential instrument of democracy, they are also companies that sell content for profit. Are these two responsibilities contradictory?

It is being hosted by my old friends at CREUM. They’ve lined up a great list of particpants, including Darin Barney, Chris MacDonald (aka the Business Ethicist) and Daniel Weinstock. Here’s the programme. I’m giving a talk on the Saturday. The whole event is free and open to the public. Come on by.