Sunday, October 31, 2010

Waterloo newspaper veteran to take helm at Ontario Press Council

The new executive secretary of the Ontario Press Council is Don McCurdy, 60. He replaces Mel Sufrin, who has held the position for the past 23 years. The Ontario Press Council is funded by newspapers in the province to review complaints against them. McCurdy takes over on Jan. 1. He will continue to serve as president of the Ryerson Journalism Alumni Association and work with the Ontario Newspaper Awards and the National Newspaper Awards.

Attack on Ford sets new low for political commentary: Toronto Sun columnist

"The column’s headline, both in print and online was: 'Rob Ford’s not popular despite being fat, he’s popular because of it.'
"A reasonable person reading that might well conclude what was to follow would be a light-hearted look at how an increasingly overweight electorate viewed with sympathy a politician who had lost the battle of the bulge.
"Not exactly. What came next was a diatribe of such smug vitriol mocking Ford and his “postindustrial” supporters (don’t ask), it made Heather Mallick of the Toronto Star look like the president of the Rob Ford fan club." excerpt from Lorrie Goldstein's column in the Toronto Sun.

Click on the title to read the whole column.

U.S. politicians fighting mad at news media: NYT

This year will likely go down in the history books as the year of the angry voter. But 2010 will also be an election year notable for another kind of ire: when politicians let their contempt for the news media boil over. From New York to Alaska, the 2010 campaign season has been rife with hostile and downright bizarre encounters between candidates and the news media. Even before press-politician relations seemed to hit a nadir two weeks ago when security guards for Joe Miller, a Republican Senate candidate from Alaska, handcuffed a reporter, Charles B. Rangel, the famously cantankerous Democrat from Harlem, castigated an MSNBC reporter as television cameras rolled.

Click on the title to read the full story.

Stewart, Colbert rally to "restore sanity and/or fear"

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the founding fathers of fake news, drew throngs of exuberant supporters to Washington on Saturday for a joint rally that crowded streets, taxed the transit system and flooded the Mall.

Click on the title to view a video.

Canadian CNN anchor John Roberts, fiancee Kyra Phillips expecting twins

Canadian John Roberts and his CNN colleage Kyra Phillips (pictured) are expecting twins. The 53-year-old Roberts and Phillips, 42, got engaged in April. Roberts grew up in Mississauga, Ont., and is perhaps best known as one of the first MuchMusic VJs and for co-hosting the now-defunct TV series "The NewMusic" and "The Power Hour." He now co-anchors CNN's "American Morning," while Phillips is a weekday anchor on "CNN Newsroom."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ottawa Citizen reducing staff

At least 42 people have accepted buyout offers at the Ottawa Citizeb, and some are leaving the paper as early as Friday. The president of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild, Lois Kirkup, said 10 editorial staff are among the employees taking buyouts, including such veteran reporters as Bruce Ward, Bert Hill and Dave Rogers. Kirkup said another large area of the paper being trimmed is the advertising department. More than a dozen people in that division are taking buyouts, she said.

The naked face of Canadian unity: Erotic TV channel launches in Quebec

The first homegrown Canadian adult-oriented entertainment TV channel went on the air Thursday at 10 p.m. The Montreal-based cable network, called Vanessa, went live first with its French channel, with an English counterpart to follow next year. Its focus is not hardcore, but rather the softer and more erotic side of sex. The channel will only show triple-X films after 11 p.m. “There is nothing like this in Canada,” says Vanessa's content manager Pierre Thibeault. “It's the first time Canadians will be able to see themselves as much as they will.” This will be the case not only in the films they put on air, Thibeault says, but in programs that “talk about sex” — reality series, for instance, or sitcoms. Anne-Marie Losique, known as Quebec's “Queen of soft porn,” and also head of the production company Image Diffusion International, is the woman behind Vanessa. She promises that the new network will show at least 40 per cent homegrown content — double the amount than its carriage licence requires.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Conrad Black to be resentenced

Conrad Black may be headed back to prison following a U.S. Appeals Court ruling on Friday that upheld his convictions on one of three fraud counts and obstruction of justice. Judge Richard Posner of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the trial judge to re-sentence Black on the affirmed counts, but took what legal experts said was an extraordinary step by urging prosecutors to "wind up this protracted litigation" and not retry him.
"We are pleased that the Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions on fraud and obstruction counts and we will make our further intentions known to the District Court at the appropriate time after we have studied the opinion carefully," the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago said in a statement.

In web-centric world of 1,001 blogs, zines still making a scene

When blogging got its own dictionary entry and everyone with a keyboard started posting their life's minutiae online, Claire Heslop admits that she, too, boarded the web-train. Yet all the while she was uploading vegan recipes and travel essays, an inner voice kept nagging. In going digital, she had abandoned a cherished outlet of personal self-expression: making zines.
"(Blogging) didn't really work for me, I didn't get any enjoyment out of it, it didn't feel satisfying," the 29-year-old Vancouver woman said earlier this month, at an indoor zine fair devoted to self-published mini-magazines, poetry chapbooks and comics called Canzine West. "It's not the same as having a real, small, colourful and crazy interactive piece of something that somebody made by hand for you."
A few years in, Heslop quit the blogosphere and returned to the thrill she first found at age 16. Sporting spiky platinum hair, the UBC medical student was hawking her zine, "the sun shines on it twice," for $2 at the fair.

Click on the title to read the whole story.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CanWest becomes Shaw Media

From Canadian Content, linked:
The name CanWest will all but disappear from the Canadian media landscape as the shell of the former giant has been renamed 2737469 Canada Inc. and ceased business to commence bankruptcy proceedings.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A dark day for the Toronto Star

Mischievous fun at the National Post describing how Canada's largest newspaper tied itself up in knots trying to defeat Rob Ford.

CRTC holds hearings on rural broadband

Hearings into the future of broadband internet in rural and remote parts of Canada kicked off this week in Timmins, Ont., with the federal regulator looking at whether it should declare such access a basic service.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Closet Ford" people confused pollsters

Toronto Sun with analysis of what went wrong in the polls. It's sources note failure to check the thinking of older people and the cleverly named "closet Ford supporters." The Globe and Mail is covering similar ground and concludes as follows.

Even after Mr. Ford took a commanding early lead, many on the beat still struggled or refused to believe he could sustain his popularity, given his history as an outsider prone to gaffes. The apparent late-game rally from the veteran Mr. Smitherman made more sense.

It's a rather distressing idea. Reporters just didn't find it logical that Ford might be doing better. So they ignored the prospect completely. That of course does not explain how scientific polls were so wrong.

Rogers' profit dips 24% on cost of keeping clients

Monday, October 25, 2010

Toronto results system Media Star of the night

Newspapers and TV gave it their very best shot. The Star had "live" coverage on its website and the National Post had a reporter covering the coverage. There were interviews with voters, with candidates, with their families and with anyone else who would stand still. CP24 had an election party. Wow. The ghost of Moses Znaimer walked Queen St West. But the unquestionable star of Information Flow, if not journalism, was the City of Toronto's election result system. It had the capacity to yield automatically updated results either in gross, or narrowly focused, to homes anywhere in town. So, if you didn't want to watch the party, or do a slow burn through commercials, you could catch the results relevant to your home and move on.

NYT summarizes Toronto newspaper wars

Covers a lot of ground you will recognize but still interesting as the formidable Times walks among the Toronto Four.

Personalized election results from Toronto

As established media across the City geared up to report election results tonight, it appears that voters can opt for their own personalized results by going to the City of Toronto's site at The programming permits anyone to choose frequently refreshed results from his/her own ward, as well as results for mayor. Interestingly, ward by ward results indicating how the mayoral candidates did in different parts of the City will not be immediately available.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Randy Michaels out at Tribune Co.

Tagged as crass and out of control, the former disc jockey (left) risen to high places is now gone. A four member executive council of the board will run Tribune. Michaels was recruited by Chicago real estate millionaire Sam Zell (right) who controls the firm, in the hope that Michaels style would be good for the bankrupt Tribune. It appears that the board ultimately felt it could not ignore complaints and board members feared for their liability. A small example was that many members of Michaels' Clear Channel alumni insisted on posting goofy pictures, or no pictures at all, on the company's Web directory employees use to find each other. They also began issuing faux "press releases" to introduce the stream of new employees recruited from Clear Channel. Sometimes they offended; other times they just bewildered. One of the more infamous was the release announcing the hiring of Kim Johnson, who, it was said, was "a former waitress at 'Knockers -- The Place for Hot Racks and Cold Brews.'

SCOC bolsters protection of confidential sources

Opinion mixed on WikiLeaks’ latest revelations

"The material was given ahead of time to a handful of international media outlets, as well as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a British not-for-profit organization, which shared it with Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-headquartered cable news channel. By agreement, the organizations kept the contents of the documents secret until Friday, when they went public."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Erikson, Levant to Sun TV News

Below is the release announcing these appointments. That for Ms Erikson seems somewhat old. Levant is the firebrand founder of the Western Standard. RELEASE -- (unedited) Gemini-nominated journalist Krista Erickson, and columnist Ezra Levant are the latest additions to the growing SUN TV NEWS team. Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc. and Sun Media Corporation made the announcement today speaking to the Economic Club of Canada in Calgary. Krista Erickson joins the hard news team as a reporter and daytime news anchor. Ezra Levant will bring his outspoken nature to prime time as a straight talk host.

Shaw gets CRTC OK to buy Canwest TV

CRTC will cross its fingers and hope for the best as it gives green light to Shaw take over of CanWest. As the release suggersts, there is no doubt the decisioon will be good for CanWest. But as the Star notes in the final para of its story:
"The Shaw deal continues the consolidation of Canada’s private broadcasting sector, which has been swallowed up by a handful of big communications companies"

Jim Shaw steps down, brother Bradley takes over

Younger brother Bradley (left) will take over as CEO of Shaw Communications from the well known Jim (right). The change comes as a bit of a surprise although a brief transition period until January 31, 2011 is provided. Bradley has not been the focus of a lot of public attention as the rather poor picture suggests.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kirk LaPointe named CBC ombudsman

Veteran journalist Kirk LaPointe,(pictured) who has worked at some of Canada's top news organizations, has been appointed the CBC's new ombudsman, the public broadcaster announced on Thursday. LaPointe, most recently managing editor of the Vancouver Sun and an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, will succeed outgoing ombudsman Vince Carlin. Appointed for a five-year term, the CBC's ombudsman is an independent entity within the public broadcaster charged with investigating complaints and representing audience members concerned about the quality of CBC's journalism. The ombudsman reports directly to CBC's president.

International media drawn to Williams case

The eyes of the world have turned to unassuming Belleville, Ont., as the shocking details of Col. Russell Williams' sexual assaults, murders, and perversions generate headlines and discussion far beyond Canada's borders. International media, from the New York Times to the Sunday Times of South Africa, from Der Spiegel to La Figaro, have published articles on the lurid testimony and evidence offered this week. By one count, Williams has appeared in leading national newspapers or news websites in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, India, Mexico, and more. In both the New York Times and the London Daily Mirror, a full 1,100 words were devoted to the killer colonel's confession, while Italy's La Repubblica published a photo gallery of the pictures Williams took of himself wearing women's underwear and lingerie.
Meanwhile, the graphic images and testimony have sparked discussion over how many of the case's details need sharing.

Google to be focus of British parliament debate

Google is to be the focus of a debate in the British Parliament on privacy and the internet next week as the fallout over its collection of sensitive Wi-Fi data intensifies. The internet giant has stopped using its Street View mapping cars to collect information about Wi-Fi networks after sparking criminal and privacy investigations in a number of countries.
On Tuesday, Canada's privacy commissioner ruled that the company had committed a "serious violation" of the country's laws when it accidentally intercepted and stored "highly sensitive" personal information gathered through Wi-Fi networks. Now the broader issue of individual privacy and the internet will be debated in Westminster Hall, as parliamentarians believe there is a "significant problem" to address. The backbench business committee debate on the internet and privacy will take place on Thursday, 28 October.

Bob Guccione, Penthouse magazine founder, dies at 79

Bob Guccione, who founded Penthouse magazine and built an adult-entertainment empire, died yesterday in Plano, Texas. He was 79. Guccione died at Plano Specialty Hospital after combating cancer. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1930, Guccione started Penthouse in the mid-1960s. By the 1980s, he had created a $300 million media business and Penthouse had a circulation of 4.7 million.

NPR ends Williams' contract after Muslim remarks

NPR News has terminated the contract of longtime news analyst Juan Williams after remarks he made on the Fox News Channel about Muslims. Williams appeared Monday on The O'Reilly Factor, and host Bill O'Reilly asked him to comment on the idea that the U.S. is facing a dilemma with Muslims. O'Reilly has been looking for support for his own remarks on a recent episode of ABC's The View in which he directly blamed Muslims for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set in the middle of his appearance.
Williams responded: "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
Williams also warned O'Reilly against blaming all Muslims for "extremists," saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
But strong criticism followed Williams' comments.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

There is a life after media: Carole Taylor appointed chancellor of Simon Fraser U

Carole Taylor has been named the 10th chancellor of Simon Fraser University, B.C.'s second largest university announced. Taylor, a former broadcast journalist, CBC board chair, provincial finance minister and businesswoman, will assume her three-year term at spring convocation in June 2011, when incumbent Brandt Louie steps down.

G20 protester appeals ban on media, Internet communication bail condition

One of the alleged ringleaders of G20 protests in Toronto plans to file an application for a review of his bail conditions. Supporters say in a release that Alex Hundert (pictured) will submit the application today in Ontario Superior Court. Hundert was released on $100,000 bail following his arrest in June on three counts of conspiracy related to G20 activities. He was arrested again Sept. 17, after taking part in a panel discussion at Ryerson University, for allegedly violating his bail conditions. Hundert was released last week after agreeing to new bail conditions, which included a ban on him speaking to the media, no association with certain people or posting on the Internet. Groups including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of Journalists have said the bail conditions go too far.

AP creates group to help news industry make money from wireless devices

The Associated Press is spearheading the creation of an organization to help newspapers and broadcasters make money as more people get news from wireless devices.
The goal is to help long-established media try to reverse several years of decline brought on by their inability to capitalize on the Internet. The growing use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers could give traditional media a second chance. AP CEO Tom Curley announced plans for a digital rights clearinghouse in a speech in Texas on Monday. The AP and other news organizations would contribute stories, photos and video to the clearinghouse, which would enforce copyrights and negotiate licensing deals for the digital use of such content.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Williams coverage causes conflict in Canadian newsrooms

Disturbing evidence documenting the heinous crimes of Col. Russell Williams is giving rise to consternation and even conflict in newsrooms across Canada as journalists struggle to cover a sensational murder case without alienating the readers they serve. A barrage of graphic images released Monday by a court in Belleville, Ont., left newspapers, TV broadcasters and online news providers struggling with the best way to illustrate the sordid story of a once-rising star in the Canadian military and how his shocking sexual proclivities led to robbery, rape and murder. One of the most dramatic examples came courtesy of the Toronto Star newspaper, which splashed across its front page the two faces of Williams: one of a decorated Air Force man in full military dress, the other a closeted fetishist clad only in skimpy, stolen pink lingerie. Star editors could not reach a consensus in assembling Tuesday's front page, communications director Bob Hepburn admitted in an interview. Some felt the photo of Williams posing in garments stolen from a bedroom in 2007 to be inappropriate, he said. Others considered it vital for a proper understanding of the man, particularly when juxtaposed with an image of Williams as base commander at CFB Trenton, complete with a brisk salute.

Two TV personalities battle for Toronto council seat

Two television personalities, CTV reporter Karlene Nation (pictured) and former Sportsnet anchor Sean McCormick, are among the candidates running to replace Toronto mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone in Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina. Nation is on a two-month leave from her job as a CTV diversity producer/reporter. McCormick quit his job to run.

Some Twitter users find disturbing details of Williams' crimes too much to take

As sordid details of the crimes committed by Col. Russell Williams were read aloud in a Belleville, Ont., courtroom Monday, online readers were able to follow the graphic testimony almost instantaneously. Reporters raced to tweet and blog updates from inside the court, providing an uncensored account of the murders, sex assaults and break-ins Williams pleaded guilty to committing.
For some, it was too much to take.

Click on the title to read the Canadian Press story.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pick your paper in close mayor's race

Rob Ford and George Smitherman are in a dead heat for mayor with about 40% support each, the current polling tells us. This is reported with gusto today by the Toronto papers, all of which have had their own backroom cheering for their guy. Rob Ford is a pariah at the Star and Globe and Mail. The Sun loves him. The Post is also friendly sounding. The Sun spins the neck and neck into a plus for Ford -- "Rob Rides the Wave" -- it shouts today. An amusing misstep by the Globe and Mail is fully reported in the National Post (naturally). Apparently the Globe carried some ridicule of Ford on Friday which involved his weight. The blow back from those who thought this was tasteless and wrong has been enough to make the Globe run a series of letters excoriating them for doing such a thing. They pulled down the article from their website. George Smitherman has Toronto Star support. He is a liberal but some conservatives. who just can't stand Ford have come out in Smitherman's favour. What does it all mean? Smitherman has to hope that the voters are being honest with the pollsters. Some people who don't particularly like Ford still admire his tough stand on money. But they don't want to admit it. We're a week away from the election. Happy voting.

Germany's Axel Springer gives up publishing Russian edition of Newsweek

German publisher Axel Springer AG says it is ending publication of the Russian edition of Newsweek after failing to put the newsmagazine on a "firm economic base." Springer said Monday's edition of the Russian Newsweek will be the last. Editor-in-chief Mikhail Fishman will move to another job as a correspondent for Russia and other former Soviet countries for Springer's Die Welt group of newspapers.
The German company said it will continue to publish the Russian edition of Forbes magazine among other titles. Springer has published the Russian Newsweek under a license agreement with Newsweek Inc. since 2004.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ex-CSIS impersonated scribe in Edmonton mayor's race

A mayoral campaign volunteer — who happens to be a former CSIS mole — has admitted he posed as a journalist to interview those supporting the closure of a city airport.
This month, a freelance reporter from Seattle wrote about a scandal at the centre of Edmonton’s municipal election. It turns out the Seattle journalist, Darren Holmes, was as fake as the scandal he claimed to have uncovered: that Mayor Stephen Mandel was fighting to shut down Edmonton’s City Centre Airport so his friends in the development industry would profit from a massive redevelopment. Darren Holmes is actually Nathan Black, manager of the Envision Edmonton petition — a bid to force the city to hold a plebiscite on the planned closure of the city centre airport. Until Saturday morning, when this story first appeared in the Edmonton Journal, Black was also a volunteer with the David Dorward, mayoral campaign. Dorward’s campaign spokesman, David MacLean, said they’re devastated by the news of their volunteer’s actions.

Social media provide a wealth of data for marketers

Jonathan Spier, chief executive officer of NetBase Inc., a social media analytics company, had the chance to win multimillion-dollar contracts for his 25-person firm if he could answer one question: Why do men sport stubble? The query, posed by a consumer product company to more than 100 firms, had to be answered by mining millions of postings by men on social media sites. NetBase's software, which reads and analyzes 50,000 sentences a minute, helped it seal the deal.
“The technology reads and understands every sentence of every document that we touch from billions of Web sources,” said Spier, whose Mountain View, Calif.-based company now employs 50 and works with Coca-Cola Co., Kraft Foods Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co.
“It's all oriented around what businesses need and want from information. That's our selling point.”

Click on thje title to read the story in the Toronto Star.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

G20's "Officer Bubbles" sues YouTube over use of cartoons

A Toronto police constable whose scolding of a G20 protester for blowing bubbles went viral on YouTube has launched a $1.2 million defamation lawsuit against the website and 25 of its users.The lawsuit by Adam Josephs, infamously known as “Officer Bubbles,” isn’t targeting the original video but a collection of eight cartoons posted to the popular video website that show a policeman resembling Josephs who engages in abusive acts of power. The lawsuit aims to compel YouTube to reveal the identities of the person who created and posted the videos — who has to username ThePMOCanada — as well as the identities of 24 other users who made allegedly defamatory remarks. The cartoons have since vanished from the site and about half of the 25 users being sued have deleted their accounts.

Future of television is online and on-demand

"Forget schedules and channels, and don’t assume you’ll actually be watching television on a television set. It’s called on-demand, and it’s already redefining how Canadians watch their favourite shows and movies."

(Toronto Star takeout on how the Internet is reshaping television.

Click on the title to read.

Gannett shares tumble on dropping newspaper revenues

Gannett Co Inc, the largest newspaper chain in the United States, dashed hopes that newspaper advertising revenue would stop falling and that growth might even return. Shares of Gannett fell as much as 11 percent on Friday after the company reported a drop in third-quarter newspaper revenue. A bellwether of the newspaper industry, Gannett's results could point to more uncertainty in the sector. The New York Times Co, McClatchy Co and Media General are set to report earnings next week.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Telus chief says TV channels not "core competency" for his company

Telus Corp. chief executive Darren Entwistle (pictured) says TV and specialty-channel businesses are not a “core competency” for his company and could distract it from improving its main wireless, home-phone and Internet distribution operations. He spoke to reporters after an address to the Canadian Club of Toronto. Shaw, Telus’s biggest competitor is on the verge of acquiring Canwest for $2-billion, with regulators set to decide on the deal this month. BCE has followed the move by making a $3-billion offer for the television operations of CTVglobemedia Inc., the largest TV firm in the country.
Entwistle said the deals provide no certainty of exclusives on broadband and wireless platforms for either company.

Click on the title to read the full story.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Judge permits live text reports from Russell Williams sentencing

Journalists covering the guilty plea and sentencing of Colonel Russell Williams will be able to provide the public live text updates from within the courtroom, a judge has ordered. Following a closed-door session Thursday with lawyers representing victims, the crown, media and Williams, Justice Robert Scott replaced an earlier order banning all electronic devices from the hearing, which begins Monday. Saying it was “important that the press have a position” on the ban, Scott said journalists with credentials will be able to text bring phones, Blackberry devices and laptops into court to provide real-time text reporting. Members of the public are banned from bringing such devices into the hearing, which will include an agreed statement of facts, exhibits and victim impact statements.

AOL wants Yahoo for fight on "Evil"

New York Magazine on the rumour -- an attempt to muscle back some of the ad money going to Google, otherwise known as Evil.

Helen Thomas on being anti-Semitic: 'Baloney!'

She stands by her remarks and says you can't criticize Israel in the U.S. and survive.

CBSC decision on political ad

In Nova Scotia, use of the word illegal in a Conservative ad which was directed at the NDP is found to be outside the CBSC code.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fox demands more than cable will pay

In a battle reminiscent of that between Canada's broadcasters and the cable companies, Fox is battling it out with Cablevision Systems Corp over payment for programming. In the U.S. the issue seems to occur in skirmishes between individual companies and not (perhaps mercifully) as a national bullhorn match between the parties. From Reuters.

Mine rescue a world media event

The first of the Chilean miners began their escape to safety tonight, accompanied by an onslaught of inter-connected media attention which has seldom been seen. The wide range of material available came from Chilean TV, which has installed a complex camera and production facility at the mine site. It may be the first time in history, for example, that live television pictures from the underground prison have been flashed around the world while the miners were still trapped there. It is a gripping human drama. But the political and patriotic elements in Chile have also driven efforts to provide as much coverage as possible.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How will humble miners face global celebration?

Thoughtful piece from the Telegraph on what unknowns await the Chilean miners with ranks of world media waiting.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fox News Watch surveys "Islamophobia"

Fox News Watch participants express their views on the validiity of Islamophoboia issues related to ground-zerio mosque.

CNN courts Katie Couric

It's from the Murdoch-owned New York Post, which loves to run mischievous stories about CNN and CBS, but the paper says it has heard that CNN is pursing Couric. Linked above.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beck has symptoms, takes tests

He reports having lack of feeling in hands and feet.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Video with the power to shock

Video from a Palestinian source showing --- what? Is it two children being hit by a car as they tried to avoid it, or is it two kids hell-bent to attack the car and in the effort running right into its path. Look at the video. Decide. We know for sure there will be two versions of how this incident happened. Jerusalem Post linked.

Jetpack fiction hoaxes Fox News hosts

A story from a shaky source at the online service Weekly World News hoaxed the hosts of Fox and Friends morning show. The Star story linked gives extended description of the hosts discussion of a reported scheme to buy jetpacks for Los Angeles police officers. Not surprisingly, the story is untrue.

Toronto Sun says it's the fastest growing paper in Canada

The Toronto Sun is the fastest growing paid English language daily newspaper in Canada, new NADbank (Newspaper Audience Databank) figures reveal. Weekday readership of the Sun increased almost 9% year over year — and more dramatically, by 19.5% since the last full NADbank survey. The Sun clobbered the competition in this city — Star showed stagnant readership growth of -1.7% in the most recent survey and -1.1% over the past year while both the Globe & Mail and National Post lost readership over the same period.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Windsor Star becomes an issue in the city's campaign for mayor

Windsor's only daily newspaper has become a major issue in the Oct. 25 election amid charges from the main challenger for the city's top job that the Windsor Star has a conflict of interest. The wife of its editorial page editor is chief of staff to two-term Mayor Eddie Francis, the front-runner. That wasn't widely known in the border city until this week, when mayoral candidate Rick Limoges, a former city councillor and Liberal MP, levied the charge and vowed to make a formal complaint to the Ontario Press Council.

Bell moves to put CTV on more screens

Consumers can expect more TV content online and on mobile devices as telecom giant BCE integrates the newly acquired CTVglobemedia television assets and uses them to help boost its subscribers.
“The goal is to deliver great content to consumers anywhere and any time they want it,” said Kevin Crull, who will take over next year from longtime CTV executive Ivan Fecan.
Crull was in charge of Bell's Internet, TV services and residential phone services and recently launched its Internet-based TV service in Toronto and Montreal.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fired CNN host apologizes to Jon Stewart

Fired CNN host Rick Sanchez has apologized to Jon Stewart and anyone else he offended with what he calls "inartful comments" he made during a radio interview. Sanchez issued a blanket statement Wednesday, five days after he was fired from CNN for his remarks, including branding Stewart a bigot and questioning whether Jews should be considered a minority. In Sanchez's statement, he said he had had a "very good conversation" on Monday with Stewart, who anchors the satirical "Daily Show."
Sanchez also says he has highest regards for CNN, his employer for six years.
Comedy Central, where the program is broadcast south of the border, declined to confirm Wednesday whether Stewart and Sanchez have spoken since Sanchez's radio outbursts last week.

Quebec spammer ordered to pay Facebook $1-billion; declares bankruptcy

Courts in the United States and Canada have ordered him to pay Facebook Inc. more than $1-billion for hacking into its network, but a high-living Montreal spammer says the company will not see a cent because he has declared bankruptcy.
In a decision made public this week, Quebec Superior Court ruled that a 2008 U.S. judgment ordering Adam Guerbuez to pay $1-billion in damages is enforceable in Quebec. The penalty was the equivalent of US$200 for each of the more than four million spam messages he sent to Facebook users. Mr. Guerbuez did not contest the case brought against him in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. But his lawyer argued before Superior Court that the damages awarded were disproportionate to the alleged offence. Justice Lucie Fournier disagreed, ruling that it would be an affront to public order if Quebec were to shelter him from California justice.
In an interview with the National Post, Mr. Guerbuez, 34, boasted that he has remained a step ahead of Facebook by filing for personal bankruptcy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Howard Kurtz quits Washington Post; joins Tina Brown's Daily Beast

The Daily Beast has announced that Howard Kurtz (pictured) will join as Washington Bureau Chief. In this new role, Kurtz will oversee the two-year-old site’s coverage of Washington and will report and write regularly on politics, media, and the intersection of the two. Kurtz, who won renown as a media and investigative reporter for The Washington Post, writes a weekly media column and daily blog for the Post. He will continue to host the weekly CNN media program Reliable Sources — the longest-running media show on television. The Daily Beast is edited by Tina Brown.

Sun TV scales down licence application

Sun TV News now plans to launch in Canada without any special help from the federal broadcast regulator. The planned 24-hour all-news network was pitched by Quebecor Inc. as an alternative to channels such as CBC News Network and CTV News Channel, which the Montreal-based company characterized as too politically correct and “boring.” On Tuesday, after a speech in Ottawa, Quebecor chief executive officer Pierre Karl PĂ©ladeau said the company would withdraw its request to the CRTC for an exception to the rules of its licence that would have made Sun TV News available to more Canadians.

Rogers Communications to buy Atria Networks for $425M

Rogers Communications Inc. has agreed to buy Ontario-based Atria Networks LP from Birch Hill Equity Partners for about $425 million. Rogers said the purchase will boost its business solutions offering by enhancing its ability to deliver on-net data centric services within and adjacent to its cable footprint. Atria is a fiber-optic data-network operator.

CBC studies its news, finds it "balanced." The ultimate in navel gazing

From Jennifer McGuire on
"CBC News has now completed its comprehensive News Balance Study.
In June, we released the interim results and I explained then in some detail why we think it's important to evaluate the journalism we do and the way we do it. So what have we learned? First and foremost, that Canadians are sophisticated and critical consumers of news who are not satisfied getting information from any one source. Canadians' perceptions about journalism are changing. They believe journalism plays a vital role in society and is critical to the health of democracy. However, they think there is much less fact and more opinion in contemporary journalism, that over time the quality of journalism has been declining and that most journalism reflects the corporate point of view of owners and shareholders. . . "

/Click on the title to read the whole blurb.

New York Times to repay loan early

The New York Times Co. intends to pay back a $250 million loan from billionaire Carlos Slim in 2012, three years ahead of schedule, a company spokesman says. The company received the investment from Slim, the world's richest man, in 2009 by agreeing to pay an abnormally high interest rate of 14 percent in addition to giving him potentially valuable stock warrants. Company spokesman Robert Christie said the company will continue to evaluate the loan as it gets closer to 2012. Shares of the company slipped 10 cents to $7.75 Monday.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Long-time JAZZ.FM91 host Larry Green leaving the station

Larry Green has left Jazz 91.1. Green was the voice and personality of the 91.1 afternoon program which became known as "Drive Anywhere with Larry Green"> He filled the chair for eight years. A statement issued by the station says Green left to pursue other projects. It follows:
"Longtime host of our afternoon show and "Jazzology", Larry Green, has decided to leave JAZZ.FM91 to pursue other projects. Larry made the announcement at the end of his show on Monday, September 27th. Larry hosted the afternoon show for the last eight years. Prior to starting at the station he worked as a voice agent and in the record business. Larry’s love of jazz and his enthusiasm for developing the musicians of the future will be missed."

Nnewspaper ads in Vaughan, Ont. bring on libel suits

Vaughan’s hospital corporation has filed a libel notice over a newspaper ad placed by a mysterious group calling itself Time for Change Vaughan that implied condos would be built on a portion of the hospital lands.
“This sort of political attack suggests they have received public money pretending that it’s for the hospital’s benefit and they’re selling it (the land) off for condos,” said lawyer Julian Porter, acting for the Vaughan Health Campus of Care. “There’s nothing improper going on and there’s no intent whatsoever to put condos there.”
The ad outlines a series of pressing community issues its sponsors want to highlight, including gridlock, urban sprawl, lavish dinners attended by politicians and paid for by taxpayers and a 17 per cent property tax hike over four years.
Antony Niro, spokesperson for Time for Change Vaughan, which also has its own website, says he will review the contents of the ad. He said it was not the hospital the ad was aimed at, but rather the politicians.
Also named in the suit are the Vaughan Citizen, which carried the full page ad last month, Metroland Media Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corp., which also owns the Toronto Star, and several Metroland officials.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Algonquin College starts community funded journalism site

Here is how it describes the project:
"GoJournalism is a non-profit project that is funded, owned and operated by the Algonquin College Journalism program in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and administered by the college’s applied research department. We are an open source project to pioneer Ottawa-based community powered reporting. Through GoJournalism the public can commission and participate with journalists to do reporting on important and perhaps overlooked topics. And journalists can pitch stories they hope would be funded directly by the public or mainstream news organizations."

Click on the title to go to the site.

Newseum and HP announce new media exhibit (release)

HP and the Newseum, an interactive museum devoted to issues related to the news media and society, have announced they are collaborating on a new, hands-on media gallery that will allow Newseum visitors to explore technology's impact on the ever-evolving way that information is reported, distributed and accessed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

David Frum on Parliament's media critcism

DAVID FRUM WRITES: Well that was a real service to Canada. Parliament worried that Canadians could not make up their own minds about Maclean’s’ reporting on corruption in the province of Quebec. So Parliament helpfully undertook the job itself, unanimously expressing “profound sadness” at the Sept. 24 article that supposedly “denigrated the Quebec nation, its history and its institutions.”
As Maclean’s itself notes, this recent vote is not Parliament’s first entry into media criticism. In 2006, Parliament condemned another piece about Quebec, that one in The Globe and Mail by Jan Wong.
What’s helpful about these double precedents is the clarifying message they send when taken together. Parliament does not purport to assess every single article about every imaginable subject. That would obviously be impossibly time-consuming. It’s only articles about Quebec that require comment from the national authorities.

But there’s a real risk of unfairness here. Will Parliament only blame, but never praise?

Click on the title to read the whole column.

Friday, October 1, 2010

CNN fires daytime host Rick Sanchez for comments about John Stewart

Rick Sanchez, a daytime anchor at CNN, was fired on Friday, a day after telling a radio interviewer that Jon Stewart was a bigot and that “everybody that runs CNN is a lot like Stewart.”
The latter comment was made shortly after Mr. Stewart’s faith, Judaism, was invoked.
CNN said in a statement Friday evening, “Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.”
Mr. Sanchez’s comments came Thursday during a contentious conversation with the comedian Pete Dominick on satellite radio. By Friday afternoon, a recording of the conversation had circulated widely on the Internet.

Don Martin: Tories disagree with book too much to read it

The PMO is upset with the National Post's Don Martin's book but it appears that they have not actually read it.
Marin writes about the attacks on the book:

"What’s been missing in most of the commentary so far is anybody who’s actually READ the book. By reading it, I don’t mean a 45-minute, on-deadline skimming of the contents, although Mr. Martin, being wise to the scoop-starved ways of fellow journalists, issued a cheat sheet guiding media to the juicy bits.
Dimitris Soudas, the PMO director of communications, hasn’t received or read the book, but that small detail didn’t stop him from writing it off as a vendetta launched by a Liberal lapdog columnist, which will come as news to Jean Chretien, who wasn’t impressed with Mr. Martin’s two candid biographies on his Liberal political career."

To read his full column click on the title.

Globe launches "most significant redesign in its history"

The Globe and Mail today launched its new redesigned print edition and website. Editor-in-Chief John Stackhouse hailed it as "the most significant redesign" in the newspaper's history.
"We're also investing more in serious reporting and analysis. On most days of the week, you'll find a major spread in our front section devoted to the best story and issue of the day. In today's chaotic media world, it will rise above the noise to produce sophisticated and visually scintillating journalism. Consider it a Hollywood-free zone,"

Click on the title to link to the new Globe.

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