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What do cats, music videos and Stephen Harper have in common? They all can now be found on YouTube. On Jan. 9, Harper debuted a weekly web series called 24/7 which will recap the PM’s activities throughout the week.


In the view of Murray Mandryk, political columnist for the Regina Leader-Post, having news from a public official bypass the ‘media filter’ runs the risk of the story becoming propaganda.


While some might see a YouTube channel as a step towards openness for the famously close-mouthed prime minister, Mandryk disagrees. “It’s quite the opposite. They‘re basically only being open and transparent about what makes them look good. And that is propaganda… and propaganda always works,” he said.



Mandryk said he understands all parties have a right to promote themselves and admits “in terms of other ways they spend our money I’d sooner see them do it through YouTube.” But he warns viewers, “If this was your only source of information you’d lead a sad existence.”

Reactions on Twitter were mixed and soon after the release of the first webisode, a satirical parody of it was released by Truth Mashup, a comedy channel on YouTube.


With the election a little over a year away, a YouTube channel could be used to appeal to young voters, Mandryk said.


“It could be biased to make him look good but all parties do that,” said Remi Mitchell, a high school student from Francis, Sask. “Hammering Harper for this is dumb, as any other political party that thought up the idea would do the same thing, except that they wouldn’t get hammered because they are not in power.”


“Well it’s not as exciting as Gossip Girl that’s for sure,” said Maria Boucher, a University of Regina student. Although she commends the channel for attempting to inform people, “it would mainly focus on positive developments so I don’t think it would necessarily be a truthful recap,” she said.


This debut episode followed Harper to trade meetings in B.C., a photo op on the Tran Canada Trail and to a hockey game with his son. The episodes will be published on the Prime Minister’s own official channel, pmocpm, which had 1,820 subscribers as of Jan. 22.


Harper’s spokesperson Jason MacDonald told the Toronto Star the series will continue “as long as people find it interesting and useful.” Although reactions to the first webisode may have been mixed, the video now has over 9,000 views and counting.

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