Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Industry minister rules out Bell-Astral merger role

Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis dealt what appears to be the final blow Tuesday to BCE Inc.'s faltering bid for Astral Media Inc., saying Ottawa doesn't "have any intention to intervene" in the proposed bid.
BCE Inc. has petitioned the federal cabinet to tell broadcast regulators to re-evaluate the controversial $3.38-billion offer, which the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission rejected on Oct. 18.
"At this point, there is an appeal possible according to the law, but we don't have any intention to intervene," the minister said following an address to an industry conference here.
The blunt comments appear to all but rule out a merger of Astral with Bell Media, the entertainment unit for BCE, the country's largest telecommunications and media company.

The Globe and Mail's paywall is here. Can it succeed? Does it deserve to?

The Trontoist's take on the Globe and Mail's paywall:
"As of now, anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the Globe is entitled to just 10 articles a month before the website prevents them from reading more, though articles accessed through links on social media are still free and unmetered. A digital subscription is $19.99 for a month, and free for existing print subscribers."
The whole story

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Newspaper Circulation: Wall Street Journal leads, but overall newspaper circulation flat

U.S. newspaper circulation was almost unchanged in the six months that ended in September as publications continued to make gains in digital editions, according to data from a media industry group.
Average daily circulation for print and digital editions combined fell 0.2 percent for the 613 newspapers included in the semiannual study by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Sunday circulation for the 528 newspapers in Tuesday's report increased 0.6 percent.
The Wall Street Journal kept its position as the No. 1 newspaper. Its average circulation grew 9.4 percent to 2.3 million, largely because more readers are paying to read content on its website and mobile devices. Digital circulation grew about 257,000 from a year ago, more than making up for a loss of nearly 60,000 in print.
USA Today was second at 1.7 million, down 3.9 percent.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Penguin, Random House merge to create world’s largest consumer book publisher

Pearson PLC will merge its Penguin Books division with Random House, which is owned by German media company Bertelsmann, in an all-share deal that will create the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.
The planned joint venture brings together classic and bestselling names. As well as publishing books from authors such as John Grisham, Random House scored a major hit this year with “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Penguin has a strong backlist, including George Orwell, Jack Kerouac and John Le Carre.
The two companies said Monday that Bertelsmann would own a controlling 53% share of the joint venture, which will be known as Penguin Random House.
Bertelsmann would keep full control of Verlagsgruppe Random House, its trade publishing business in Germany, and Pearson would retain the right to use the Penguin brand in education.

Toronto Star to launch digital subscription

"In a significant transition for our newspaper and our popular website, the Toronto Star will launch a paid-subscription program in 2013 for full access to all the stories and features on our website," Star publisher John Cruikshank announced. "This move will provide a new source of revenue for the Star that will help support our ability to provide readers of both our print and online editions with the best and most comprehensive package of news and information in Canada," he said in the newspaper. "Under the plan, most print subscribers to the Toronto Star will receive free full access to’s content, wherever and however they want. "Complete details of the program, including how to register and how much we will charge, will be released in the coming months."

Greek journalist to appear in court for publishing millionaire list

A journalist arrested in Greece for publishing the names of more than 2,000 Greeks with large Swiss bank accounts will appear in court on Monday on charges of violating privacy laws.
Costas Vaxevanis was arrested on Sunday after publishing the infamous "Lagarde List," named after International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, in his magazine Hot Doc in its Saturday edition.
In her role as France's finance minister before joining the IMF, Lagarde in 2010 reportedly gave her Greek counterpart a CD with the names of Greek citizens with large deposits in an HSBC branch in Geneva.
Last week two former finance ministers were pressed to explain to a parliamentary committee why the government appeared to have taken no action to investigate whether those individuals were tax evaders.
Vaxevanis says his arrest is unfair.
In an act of support, the top selling Ta Nea newspaper also published the "Lagarde List" on Monday.
The list does not indicate the exact amount that each of the 2,059 individuals have in Switzerland.
It reveals the identity of each deposit and the individual's profession. The newspaper article said some accounts contained as much as 500-million-euros (US$645 million).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

N.Y. Times reaches tentative deal with Newspaper Guild

The New York Times said Sunday night that it had reached a tentative agreement with the Newspaper Guild, setting the stage for a new labor contract after more than 18 months of negotiations. In a message to the staff, the executive editor, Jill Abramson, said the paper and the union had agreed “in concept” on a new five-year contract. She said that at the request of the mediator, Martin Scheinman, no further details would be forthcoming because the agreement still needs to be put in writing.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Record-low television ratings for Game 2 of World Series

The Giants' shutout of the Detroit Tigers drew a record-low television rating for Game 2 of the World Series. San Francisco's 2-0 win Thursday night on Fox earned a 7.8 fast national rating and 12 share, down 12 per cent from last year's St. Louis Cardinals-Texas Rangers matchup. The previous low was an 8.1 for the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays series. Fox said Friday the rating was up 3 per cent from the Giants' rout in Game 1 on Wednesday. The "Thursday Night Football" Buccaneers-Vikings game on NFL Network went up against the World Series for the first time and had 5.2 million viewers, not including fans in the Tampa and Minneapolis areas who watched simulcasts on local channels. That's down from a season average of 7.1 million. The World Series was watched by 12.3 million people on Fox, which is available in about 60 per cent more homes than NFL Network. Ratings represent the percentage of all American homes with televisions tuned to a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time. The Giants' shutout of the Detroit Tigers drew a record-low television rating for Game 2 of the World Series. San Francisco's 2-0 win Thursday night on Fox earned a 7.8 fast national rating and 12 share, down 12 per cent from last year's St. Louis Cardinals-Texas Rangers matchup. The previous low was an 8.1 for the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays series. Fox said Friday the rating was up 3 per cent from the Giants' rout in Game 1 on Wednesday. The "Thursday Night Football" Buccaneers-Vikings game on NFL Network went up against the World Series for the first time and had 5.2 million viewers, not including fans in the Tampa and Minneapolis areas who watched simulcasts on local channels. That's down from a season average of 7.1 million. The World Series was watched by 12.3 million people on Fox, which is available in about 60 per cent more homes than NFL Network. Ratings represent the percentage of all American homes with televisions tuned to a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shaw, Corus downplay merger speculation amid BCE-Astral trouble

Shaw Communications Inc. and affiliated media company Corus Entertainment Inc. downplayed Thursday speculation that the two firms would seek to merge — an idea likely pushed off the table for the moment as a result of BCE Inc.’s faltering bid for Astral Media Inc. “We realize there’s some value and synergies [with Corus],” Brad Shaw, chief executive for the Western Canadian cable giant said on an earnings call Thursday, but added: “Shaw’s pretty focused on what we need to do. Overall we’re really pleased with how [Shaw’s own] media division has performed.” Alongside voting control of the cable company, the Shaw family controls Toronto-based Corus, which operates TV channels such as Movie Central and radio stations that were spun off more than a decade ago.Alongside voting control of the cable company, the Shaw family controls Toronto-based Corus, which operates TV channels such as Movie Central and radio stations that were spun off more than a decade ago  More

Conrad Black never gives up; brushes off fraud conviction on BBC news satire

A calm but not-altogether convincing Conrad Black brushed off his fraud conviction Thursday night as a guest on Britain’s top-rated satirical news show, but audience members said it was tense when Mr. Black was shown videotape of himself shifting boxes of documents from Hollinger offices in Toronto in 2005. The BBC program caps Mr. Black’s week-long London blitz to sell his new book and rehabilitate his reputation among Britain’s elite who elevated Mr. Black to the House of Lords. Mr. Black indicated he has every intention of retaking his seat in the Lords. More

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Clark Kent quits Planet to become a blogger

Even Clark Kent can see through the writing on the wall when it comes to the newspaper industry. In the next issue of DC comics’ “Superman,” due out on Wednesday, the superhero’s alter ego will eschew being a mild-mannered reporter, presumably to become a snarky blogger, when he quits his post at the Daily Planet. “This is really what happens when a 27-year-old guy is behind a desk and he has to take instruction from a larger conglomerate with concerns that aren’t really his own,” Superman writer Scott Lobdell said to USA Today. “Superman is arguably the most powerful person on the planet, but how long can he sit at his desk with someone breathing down his neck and treating him like the least important person in the world?” Lobdell said. In the comic’s current story line, the Daily Planet's editor-in-chief has soured on Kent because he is not getting enough front page scoops on his beat of covering all things Superman. To make matters worse, head honcho Morgan Edge has been giving Kent a hard time, which causes him to go from mild-to-wild-mannered, quitting on the spot in the middle of the newsroom before launching into a diatribe about the state of journalism. “This is not the first time in DC Comics history that Clark Kent has left the Planet, and this time the resignation reflects present-day issues – the balance of journalism vs. entertainment, the role of new media, the rise of the citizen journalist, etc.," DC Comics said in a written statement to "Over the next several issues, readers will enjoy the many surprises in store for Clark, as the 'H'el on Earth' storyline unfolds." Fox News

Douglas & MacIntyre publishers in bankruptcy

Globe and Mail

Professor accused of "self-plagiarizing"

What's self-plagiarism?  Is like re-cycling or re-purposing?  How seriously should anyone take it?  If the case of University of Toronto researcher Stephen Mathews is to be believed, it's a "severe abuse of the scientific publishing system." Stephens and a couple of colleagues are accused of re-using stuff they wrote in 2005 documents as part of current published work. The scientific journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews has published a prominent retraction of certain of Stephens work. Vancouver Sun

Monday, October 22, 2012

Press Freedom: What's happening in Turkey?

A media advocacy group is accusing Turkey of waging the "world's biggest crackdown" on media freedoms. New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a report released Monday that 76 journalists are in prison in Turkey and at least 61 of them are held because for "their published work or newsgathering activities."  Vancouver Sun

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Media sector feels the fallout of CRTC ruling

Story by Michael Lewis starts by quoting unknowns as saying the BCE denial may "curtail growth" in media horse trading and then moves on to speculate about all the moves that may follow now. Okay. Curtailment will work itself out in about a day and a half we're guessing. Really. George Cope cowed into hiding in his office? What are the odds? Toronto Star

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Veteran journalist William (Bill) Stevenson publishes memoir

Veteran journalist and author William (Bill) Stevenson. has published a memoir Past to Present: A Reporter’s Story of War, Spies, People, and Politics.  Stevenson, now in his 80s, worked for the Toronto Star and CBC and is the author of a number of books, including the very successful 90 Minutes at Entebbe, an account of the spectacular Israeli raid to rescue hostages held aboard an airliner at the airport in Entebbe, Uganda., Stevenson is married to Monika Jensen, a former producer at 60 Minutes and at CTV's W5.
 The Toronto Star's Oakland Ross,  a globetrotting newsman himself, has written a review.

Murdoch looks at buying the LA Times

Murdoch looks at buying the Los Angelese Times. Telegraph UK

Friday, October 19, 2012

Election night 1968 -- how they used to do it

The passing of the legendary Lincoln Alexander (Progressive Conservative) this week has brought up memory reels and this one is a pip. It records Mr. Alexander's upstart win in Hamilton West against the Liberal candidate Thomas Beckett by a slim margin. Fun to watch. Penetrating questions.  

CRTC pulls the plug on BCE’s national strategy

The federal broadcast regulator is forcing BCE Inc. to go back to the drawing board on its media strategy in Quebec.
Astral Media Inc. was considered the linchpin in BCE’s battle for the province against rival Quebecor Inc. and the remaining leg in its larger ambition to create a telecom and media powerhouse of truly national scope.
After betting on a series of blockbuster acquisitions in recent years, including broadcaster CTV and sports giant Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., cracking the French-language market was considered the next natural step in BCE’s quest to provide a pan-Canadian platform for its bounty of content and give advertisers the ability to buy nationally.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Long-Time CTV host Jack McGaw has died

Industry sources report that Jack McGaw, long-time CTV personality, has died. McGaw has been retired for some years. One his last projects was developing and hosting "Live it Up," a popular light-hearted consumer show. Jack's photo on the right is from the Michener Awards page which he won in 1973 for "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil," an hour long television program that dealt with the invasion of privacy through the use of 'bugging' devices and the attempts by Parliament to control them.
More details will be posted when they become available.

Newsweek gone digital, The Guardian on edge‏

Better run out and buy that iPad if you want to continue reading the "printed" press!

After 80 years, Newsweek goes digital

And The Guardian is "seriously" thinking about it.

The story

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lloyd Robertson memoir recounts painful youth, CBC clashes, rise through TV news

A poignant interview with Lloyd Robertson by Cassandra Szklarski of The Canadian Press. The photo is by Michelle Siu.

Excerpt from the story about Lloyd's memoir: "A blow-by-blow of career highlights form a loose framework for 'The Kind of Life It's Been,' which devotes much of its ink to repeated clashes with CBC bosses and union rules that culminated in Robertson's bitter exit to CTV in 1976."
The whole story

Rupert Murdoch survives new bid to oust him from News Corp

Rupert Murdoch survived yet another attempt to oust him as chairman of his News Corp media empire, the second straight year he has defeated critics who say his family wields too much control over the company.
Shareholders re-elected Murdoch, his two sons, Lachlan and James, and the rest of the company's returning board members during a 75-minute meeting in Los Angeles. They also voted against proposals that would have separated the chairman and CEO roles held by Murdoch and eliminated News Corp's dual class stock structure, which gives the Murdoch family voting control of the company.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crime reporter Jim Junkin joins City-TV

Long -time CFTO (now CTV Toronto) crime reporter Jim Junkin has taken a part-time gig at City TV.
Junkin retired from the CTV Toronto station in 2010 but friends say he missed the action too much. He will  be back on the air three days a week.
 CityTV is owned by Rogers. Junkin will join some former  CTV hands at City like Gord Martineau and Tom Hayes. 

Star story on Globe and Mail's paid online service; reader response hostile to paying

Citing the need to increase revenue, the Globe will start charging $20 a month for full access to the website, beginning Oct. 22. Online access will be free for weekly print subscribers. Weekend subscribers will be able to get the service for an additional $5 a month.
Globe publisher Philip Crawley said the growth in popularity of mobile devices has created a sustainable market for online content. People now like to read their paper at home in the morning and have access to it all day long on their smartphones or tablets.
The Globe has tried charging for online content online in the past. Several years ago it launched the Globe Insider, putting premium content, including columns by high-profile writers, behind a paywall. The effort was dropped because it suppressed traffic to the website, said Crawley.
This time is different. Mobile devices have created a different consumer culture, Crawley said.
The storysays that The Star is also considering a oaywall.
Full story

The move does not site well with readers. Here are excerpts from some of the posts on The Star website:
--Memo to Toronto Star- charge & I'm gone. No ifs, ands, or buts. Household does have 7day paper subscription so I probably wouldn't even know if you did... I am the only one who visits the website.

--If we had to pay the Star for anti ford news i would not pay and just read the alternative leftist rags available free every week

 --most people throw out half of the Saturday Star as soon as they get it --- so would you pay online for half that you do not read? -

-- Let me get this straight... 50% of my monthly internet bill to access one website?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Globe and Mail's John Doyle's advice for the CBC president on his new five-year term

Avoid self-immolation. The CBC, a big, unwieldy organization with multiple platforms, an army of enemies and an internal army of malcontents, doesn’t need any more embarrassments. Like, for instance, threatening legal action against CTV for promoting “Big Bang Night in Canada.” This actually happened the other day. With no Hockey Night in Canada to transfix the nation, CTV has gamely packaged four old episodes of Big Bang Theory (the most-watched show in Canada, week to week, with around four million viewers) for Saturdays. Succumbing to a fit of nitwit outrage, someone at CBC issued a legal “cease” notice to CTV pointing out “confusion” between Big Bang Night in Canada and Hockey Night in Canada. CBC requested CTV cease all promotion and publicity for it. No, seriously, they did. Then they retracted it.

The Globe to roll out metered paywall

The Globe and Mail will roll out its digital subscription package on Oct. 22, providing free online access to most print subscribers and allowing casual readers access to 10 articles a month on its website.
The newspaper announced plans in May to build a metered paywall system, citing the need to boost revenue as the advertising market fluctuates.
The Globe’s plan provides unlimited access to both the paper’s website and apps to anyone with a five- or six-day subscription to the printed newspaper. Weekend-only subscribers will be asked to pay $4.99 a month for unlimited access, while those without a subscription will be charged $19.99 a month after a one-month, 99-cent trial.
Some components of The Globe’s site will continue to be free to everyone.

Former CTV Ottawa anchor Max Keeping diagnosed with colorectal cancer

Nine years after he was hit with prostate cancer, Max Keeping has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. He undergoes surgery next Monday, an eight-hour operation that will seriously alter the busy retired anchor’s lifestyle.
Keeping has already been told by doctors that he’ll be out of commission for a minimum of six months, but he hopes to be out in the community doing his regular charity events and fundraisers in just four. The extensive surgery will mean he’ll be carrying a second ostomy bag, but he’s determined that the after-effects from the disease will not slow him down.
“I’ve always looked at life as living today for today. That hasn’t changed,” Keeping, 70, said in an interview Monday at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation office.
An upbeat Keeping said he was going public with his diagnosis to increase awareness of colorectal cancer, which according to statistics kills 176 Canadians every week.
In fact, Ottawa has one of the highest rates of colorectal cancer in Ontario.
Canada-wide, an estimated 23,300 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year; 9,200 will die from it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

BBC announces inquiry into sex abuse allegations against children's TV host

The BBC is struggling to contain a crisis sparked by allegations of serial sexual abuse against the late Jimmy Savile, a longtime children’s television host.
Dozens of women have come forward to say that Savile, who died in October 2011 at age 84, sexually assaulted them when they were as young as 13. London’s Metropolitan Police, which is leading a national investigation, says it has identified 40 potential victims.
The publicly funded national broadcaster is facing questions about its failure to stop Savile’s predatory behaviour, which was an open secret in showbiz circles during his heyday several decades ago.
BBC Director-General George Entwistle announced late Friday that the broadcaster would hold an inquiry into the “culture and practices of the BBC during the years Jimmy Savile worked here.”

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Television is a winner in US presidential election

Almost 70 million people watched the first Obama v Romney face-off, the overwhelming majority of them on a television set, or at least a television channel. Meanwhile both sides are engaged in record levels of television advertising, much of it localised.
Television companies will benefit most from absorbing the $1 billion the campaigns combined are expected to spend on the presidential race alone. They are already talking in the key swing states of advertising fatigue and the possibility that saturation is dulling the impact.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Toronto, Rogers TV launch new City Insider TV show

The City of Toronto and Rogers TV will launch a new bi-weekly television show called City Insider later this month, featuring city programs and events.
The new show will begin airing 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 on Rogers TV, cable 10/63 in Toronto and Scarborough.
It will provide a mix of information modeled after the city’s Our Toronto newsletter, which is delivered three times a year to households. City Insider will have on-camera interviews with staff, as well as with residents who involved in city programs. It will also have in-depth features about the city’s rich history using the Toronto Archives.

Show biz mag Variety's new owner impresses employees

New Variety owner Jay Penske won kudos from his new employees at Variety by promising to take down the paper's online paywall, continue the industry trade's presence in print and invest in its newsroom.
In his first address to Variety's approximately 120 employees late Wednesday afternoon, the head of Penske Media Corp., which acquired the venerable Hollywood trade paper on Tuesday for about $25 million, made a largely positive impression on the staff, according to people who attended but requested anonymity because the meeting was private.
Many Variety reporters and editors have been frustrated that their content is less read online than that of competitors such as the Hollywood Reporter and Penske-owned Deadline, in part because it is only available to paying subscribers.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

CBC Music losing millions as content costs surpass revenue

The CBC. will lose millions of dollars a year on its free music service for the foreseeable future, as the high cost of content surpasses the advertising revenue the service earns.
CBC Music was launched in February just as the broadcaster was bracing for deep budget cuts that would lead to the loss of 650 jobs and prompt the CBC to request permission to sell advertising on its Radio 2 service.
Private companies who charge for digital music services have complained about the CBC’s encroachment, arguing the public broadcaster uses taxpayer money to run a service that will put them out of business.
The stakes are high: Canadians spend about $500-million a year on music and digital sales account for about 34 per cent of the market.

CRTC asks for opinions on wireless service code

Montreal Gazette

Carol Goar honoured by human rights group

Toornto Star: Veteran Star columnist Carol Goar has been honoured with the Ashok Chandwani Media Award for raising public awareness of human rights issues through her writing and reporting. Goar, a journalist for more than 35 years, has been the paper’s national affairs columnist, Washington bureau chief and editorial page editor. She writes three times a week on social justice issues faced by racial minorities, the poor, homeless, young people, and individuals with disabilities. Before joining the Star, she worked at the Ottawa Citizen, The Canadian Press, FP News Service and Maclean’s magazine. Toronto Star

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NYT and Guild Agree to Hire a Mediator

New York Times is heading into mediation with the Newspaper Guild.  New York Observor

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What a KISS! She lies about rape to win $10,000

Rogers Media station KISS 92.5 has this program in which three people compete for a $10,000. Each tells  tell a story which is designed to compel the other two to give over the dough. Does the concept worry you?  In today's radio market the producer survey would surely say:  "Hell no! Let 'er rip"  Toronto Star

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Legal counsel to CBC, Roman Melnyk dead


Blogger calls iconic WW II photo ‘sexual assault’

It has very little to do with the media except perhaps that it is an excellent way to draw attention to oneself. A blogger known as the Leopard (a pronounced  feminist and presumably also a woman) has written  that Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photograph V-J Day in Times Square depicts a sexual assault. The Leopard has another good line to describe the appreciation of the picture. It was, she says  ‘The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture.’ If memory serves "the victim" in this cas, Edith Shaine, was interviewed a few times and never mentioned anything like that. But, of course, she was a product her time. Shain died in 2010 at age 91. Globe and Mail

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bam, kapow, wham. Media gives Romney TKO

Media just can't say enough about the previously poorly thought of Mitt Romey.  Kelly McParland

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Moderator Jim Lehrer the big loser after last night’s presidential debate

Jim Lehrer may be regretting his decision to come out of semi-retirement and moderate his 12th presidential debate.
The veteran PBS anchor drew caustic social media reviews for his performance on Wednesday, with critics saying he failed to keep control of the campaign’s first direct exchange between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. The candidates talked over Lehrer’s attempts to keep them to time limitations, and his open-ended questions frequently lacked sharpness.
The tough assessments crossed party lines: Republican commentator Laura Ingraham wrote on Twitter that Lehrer seemed “a bit overwhelmed.” Comic and Democratic activist Bill Maher bluntly tweeted that “Lehrer sucked.”


TV anchor blasts viewer who criticizes her weight, calling him a bully on-air

Milwaukee TV anchor Jennifer Livingston has always rebuffed personal attacks, so when the Wisconsin television anchorwoman got an email from a viewer criticizing her weight, she thought nothing of it. But then she thought of her daughters and other children who may not have the same emotional shield.
Livingston took to the airwaves Tuesday to respond to the email during a four-minute segment on WKBT-TV in La Crosse, Wis., calling the writer a bully. She urged young viewers not to allow such people to define their self-worth.
She didn’t identify the man, who wrote that he was surprised to see her physical condition hadn’t improved for years. He told her that he hopes she doesn’t consider herself a suitable example for young people, especially girls.
The man who wrote the email, Kenneth Krause, told The Associated Press in an interview that his emails had nothing to do with bullying.
Livingston, who has worked in broadcast journalism since 1997, said at least 1,000 people have posted supportive messages on her Facebook page and even more sent her emails. She said many wrote that they wished someone had stood up for them, including some who said they were bullied years ago “and it still haunts them today.”

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

OpenFile suspends publication to prepare for upcoming changes

With one year left in his three years of initial start-up funds, OpenFile’s founder Wilf Dinnick has announced that he’s temporarily suspending publication in order to make changes to the online news start-up, leaving many with questions about what’s happening. While this ‘pause’ surprised readers and the Canadian journalism industry, regular contributors saw signs weeks ago that changes were coming. Dinnick, CEO said he had “no idea” how long the hiatus would last. He’s been thinking about making changes “for some time,” he said.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The $50,000 Giller Prize short list announced

The short list for the $50,000 Giller prize:
Will Ferguson’s  novel 419 was praised as a global novel, “at home in the poverty of Lagos and in the day-to-day of North America…[that] tells us the ways in which we are now bound together and reminds us of the things that will always keep us apart.”
Alix Ohlin’s novel Inside begins when a woman mistakes a man for a log. It was described by the jury as a novel about people, “that jumps between decades, locations and characters with a precision that makes Ohlin’s hard work seem effortless.
The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler  revolves around the mystery of Lily Azerov. The novel “shifts through Lily’s past and her daughter, Ruth’s present, interwoven with the perceptions of her whole extended family, as they adjust to the comforts of Montreal” after the horrors of the Holocaust.
Kim Thúy’s novel Ru, translated by Sheila Fischman, is the story of a journey from Viet Nam to Quebec. The jury said “Thúy is a born storytelle, but she rewrites the traditional immigrant narrative in a completely new way.”
Whirl Away, a short story collection by Newfoundland author and journalist Russell Wangersky, was praised as a collection in which “each story stand starkly and wonderfully alone. 
The jurors were Irish author and screenwriter Roddy Doyle; Canadian publisher, writer, and essayist Anna Porter; and American author and satirist Gary Shteyngart. The prize was founded by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994 in memory of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. The winner will be announced at a gala on October 30.

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