Friday, January 19, 2018

Red Fisher dead at 91

Red Fisher, the chronicler and the conscience of Montreal hockey whose career touched seven decades, died on Friday at age 91.
Fisher started on the Canadiens beat in 1955 in the era of train travel and finished it in 2012 when reporters tweeted the lines at morning skates. The man knew how to make an entrance: the first game he covered was the Richard Riot, that singular marriage of hockey, sociology and, ultimately, mythology that has marked Quebec for generations. Fisher was the link to the most glorious of the Canadiens teams and covered 17 of their record 24 Stanley Cups. Along the way, the journalist who was believed to be the longest-serving beat man covering the major North American leagues collected three National Newspaper Awards and thousands of tales, entertaining readers and often ennobling hockey.
National Post story

Municipalities struggele on how to get information to public as newspapers close

Interesting and timely story in J-Source by H.G. Watson
In some communities, internet access is so limited municipalities can’t rely on social media as a replacement for news.
By H.G. Watson
"In late 2017, Brantford Mayor Chris Friel put forward a motion to hire a new communications specialist for his city’s communications department. He felt he had to. Because on Nov. 27, 2017, it was announced the Brant News would be among the papers closed after a massive deal saw 41 newspapers swapped between Postmedia and Torstar.
"While the community still has a daily newspaper, there is no local television station and the local radio is headquartered outside of the county. “'We now (have to be) in a situation to get the news out and get information out in a way that used to traditionally be done by newspapers and the radio for us,' he said.
"The Postmedia-Torstar deal closed 35 Ontario papers in one fell swoop and created almost exclusive advertising zones in the province for each company. , , ,
"The hit has been felt by municipal governments in Ontario. Lynn Dollin, the president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the deputy mayor of Innisfil, called it a “constant battle” to get community information out to municipalities where the most accessible news is most often about the two T’s: Toronto and Trump. "
Full story

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fire and Fury: Trump exposé to become television series

The bestselling exposé Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by journalist Michael Wolff is about to hit the small screen.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Mr Wolff has sold television rights for seven figures.
President Trump has condemned the book, which depicts a chaotic administration and a president unfit for office, as full of made-up stories.
It is not yet known which network will screen the series.
The rights have been sold to Endeavor Content and Mr Wolff will executive produce the project alongside former Channel 4 and BBC executive Michael Jackson, who now runs Two Cities Television.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Researchers raise concerns as Twitter, Facebook seek role in Canadian election debates

Sabrina Nanji writes in The Star:
"Facebook and Twitter want a role in the election debate show, reigniting broader questions about social media’s function in the democratic process.
Ottawa is currently designing a policy to create an independent body to organize political party leaders’ debates in the 2019 federal election and beyond. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould will meet behind closed doors with academics, media and public interest groups in Toronto on Wednesday, as part of a cross-country consultation tour launched last week along with a website where the public can weigh in until Feb. 9.
"Meanwhile, more than two dozen experts have provided input to a parliamentary committee studying party leaders’ debates. Facebook and Twitter told MPs late last year that if they want to engage the most people, digital platforms must be embedded in the distribution model, echoing several other witnesses."
Full story

Here’s How We Can Reinvent Local News

Interesting piece by Mark Effron in Mediashift. Excerpt:
"Then, we’d start from scratch, asking ourselves (and researching) who are our target audiences? What platforms are best to reach these targets? What programming best works on each platform? What kind of skill sets do our journalists need to succeed?
"Other questions: What kinds of sales categories and formats (both digital and on-air) are not being served and what kind of products can we create to serve them? What can we learn from Vice Media (up-close, in-your-face passionate reporting) and cable news (up-close, in-your-face passionate discussion) that’s transferable to our new local entity? (Hint: Passion works.) What valuable beats (and advertisers) were lost when the local newspaper slimmed down?"
Link to full story

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