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Media criticism, news analysis and investigations with host Jesse Brown. The #1 Canadian podcast.

Customer Reviews

Progressive, Insightful, and Engaging

There is nothing like the inquisitive, interesting, and playful irreverence of Jesse Brown. From Search Engine to CANADALAND we have been missing Jesse Brown's unique take on technology and society.

Give it a spin. it will be different from everything else you listen to.

Love it!!!

I'm a 37 year old french canadian separatist from quebec which has never identified as a Canadian... still, your show sounds like a lot of fun. Cant wait for the next episode. Ô Canada!

Looking forward to #2

After putting the kibosh on ‘Search Engine’, Brown put out the word of a future project in the works. Months passed before – now married and a father – Brown launched the Canadaland podcast to showcase his unique and versatile brand of satire and insight, something he’s cultivated since his early creation of Punch Magazine and through numerous journalistic, cinematic and digital works.

In episode #1 his subject is none other than father figure Michael Enright who helps Brown undergo ontological self-analysis to reach a theme for the show. Bemoaning the refusal of the big players to support his planned program of critiquing the media under the guise that “nobody wants to know how the sausages get made”, Brown hints at a possible theme: the steady demise of traditional media both qualitatively and quantitatively, and its replacement by blogs, podcasts and newer digital formats.

Brown points out how scandals surrounding Canadian media figures such Margaret Wente are inadequately covered in traditional media, forwarding his wife’s point that the incestuousness of Canadian journalists stifles peer review. He laments Gawker breaking the Rob Ford crack scandal, claiming that he knew about the story well before it hit the mainstream news, and that it should have been the national media’s job to cover it earlier. Brown considers himself less a journalist and more a prankster-satirist, suitable to become the national equivalent of Ali G or John Stewart.

Enright, soaking wet, wears an old hoodie scavenged from the lost and found, drinks bourbon, swears when he spills hot water on himself, reveals that he considers ‘This American Life’ to be cultish, thinks the Globe and Mail is a lousy and mismanaged newspaper, and yet claims to be worried about what sort of trouble he’ll get into for being so frank. Is Enright really worried, or is this simply posturing on his part? He did hire Brown for the Sunday Edition and attend his wedding. Brown for his part acknowledges his indebtedness to Enright, all the while claiming to have been the final inductee to his vanishing radio-documentary cult.

He’s weary of podcam (sic) wielding citizen-journalists, which he compares to citizen dentists, possibly making reference to Burnaby’s much sought after bedroom dentist David Wu. I find any mention of dentists ironic, since the only time I read Saturday Night, Maclean’s or Toronto Life – all of which have employed Brown - is in the waiting room of my thankworthy dentist. Confirming Brown’s very point, I read nearly all of my news online.

Enright admits that someone like him wouldn’t get a job in this day and age. I‘ve always wondered how Christie Blatchford and Rosie DiManno got their starts, and if they would have been able to begin careers in the present economy of overeducated and underemployed young journalists. Enright himself is self-analytical, lamenting not being as well loved as Peter Gzowski, and leans on courtroom metaphors to describe Brown’s interview process. He chides Brown for comparing Canada to the U.S.: a fair point, though I believe Brown’s intention was to compare the failure of traditional media to the success of digital alternatives, and to suggest that the surviving remnants should adapt or die.

Brown and Enright trade numerous jabs: most quite hardnosed, some nearly brown-nosed. He explains to Enright that a podcast is like a radio show, except that people listen to it on purpose. He makes fun of Enright’s geriatric Old Boys’ Club power-breakfasts, and jokes that Enright was around during the time of Confederation. In return, Enright dresses down Brown for putting on weight, paints a picture suggesting that he’s wrestling with demons, and encourages him to go back to writing, which suggests that he’s better at than radio.

If the best stories are the ones that you can’t reveal – the conversations over drinks that you don’t want to put on the air – and if through this podcast Brown is prepared to risk vulnerability in order to expose these issues and the entropic decline of documentary radio journalism - then I look forward to listening to future stories from Canadaland. The addition of astute writer Alex Molotkow for the website video segment (full disclosure – I was in a class with her once at UofT) is an added bonus.

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