Saturday, June 29, 2013

Alberta’s king of talk radio, Dave Rutherford, fired after criticizing station over flood coverage

Alberta’s  king of talk radio was unceremoniously booted from the airwaves Tuesday after criticizing his station’s inadequate coverage of the flood crisis in Southern Alberta, the National Post reports.
NewsTalk 770 was one of several Corus Entertainment radio stations evacuated from its downtown headquarters as the Bow River started to rise on Friday. In the meantime, the station broadcast an Edmonton news feed, while still putting Calgary music stations on the air, talk show host Dave Rutherford said.
The switch prompted a live, on-air rant from Mr. Rutherford: “It is with profound disappointment that I have to tell you that Corus in Calgary has decided to direct resources in places other than information radio,” he said. “I would completely understand if you went elsewhere for your information.”
The next day, he was told he was off the radio. However, the host said he was never told why.
“The manager said ‘you’re off the air.’ I obviously asked why and he said he can’t talk about it and that the legal department would be in contact with [me] and that was it,” Mr. Rutherford said Tuesday.
More from the National Post

Rising newspaper digital subscriptions are a small gain in a war of attrition: Guardian

The good news: things aren't going from bad to worse as quickly as expected. The Digital News Report 2013 from the Reuters Institute shows an increasing number of readers – including young readers – prepared to subscribe to newspapers that have built paywalls, and 9% of Britons, 10% of Germans, 12% of Americans and 13% of the French say they've paid up for digital news within the past year.
And the latest Newspaper Association of America review of the year shows press revenues dropped a mere 2%, the best result since 2006. Circulation money (including paywall subs) was up 5%. Money from sponsorship began to flow.
But if you want bad news, such surveys can instantly oblige. Print advertising was 6% down – and digital advertising, supposedly the wonder ingredient of newspaper salvation, only crawled up by 4%.
It's a long, hard war of attrition. And the central challenge, at root, may not be winning but losing more slowly while the trailblazers find other solutions.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Search warrants issued in RCMP's probe of Mike Duffy's expenses: CTV

Search warrants have been issued as part of the RCMP's criminal investigation of Sen. Mike Duffy, CTV News has learned.
Sources tell CTV the search warrants were recently filed in the Ottawa courthouse.
But the judge who granted the warrants also issued a sealing order. That means details of what the RCMP are looking for will be kept under wraps.
Sources say the search warrants would allow the Mounties to search Duffy's Ottawa-area home and his cottage in P.E.I.
The RCMP is also expected to get a production order to search Duffy's Senate office.
When asked if the RCMP had met with him Thursday, Duffy said: "It would be inappropriate for me to offer any comment."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CRTC approves Bell/Astral deal with conditions

The CRTC has approved BCE Inc.’s revised takeover bid for specialty broadcaster Astral Media Ltd., a $3.38 billion deal that will allow Bell to grow in Quebec and to bulk up to compete with emerging streaming services such as Netflix.
The Star reports that while analysts applauded the decision, saying it allows Bell an avenue for expansion in a country where opportunities are limited, consumer groups said it will mean less choice for Canadians and higher prices.
The ruling, which came after markets closed Thursday, also drew a rebuke from rival Rogers Communications Ltd., which had voiced concerns about Bell’s initial proposal last fall that was rejected by the watchdog on grounds it would unduly concentrate ownership.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bryan Cantley, key figure in Canada's National Newspaper Awards, dies at 66

Bryan Cantley, a former reporter and editor who oversaw the National Newspaper Awards for many years, has died. He was 66.
The awards organization says Cantley died Tuesday in hospital in Oakville, Ont., after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last month. He was executive secretary of the awards.
Cantley's decades-long journalism career included working as a reporter and editor at the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal and the Etobicoke Guardian before joining the Canadian Daily Newspaper Association, now Newspapers Canada.
He went on to launch in 1999 the Canadian Association of Newspapers, which replaced the Canadian Managing Editors Conference and broadened its scope to include editors of all levels.
After retirement, Cantley remained at the helm of the National Newspaper Awards, but was unable to attend this year's gala in early May.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CRTC will rule on Bell's acquisition of Astral Media on Thursday

The federal broadcast regulator will hand down its decision Thursday on Bell's proposed $3.8-billion acquisition of Astral Media. The CRTC says it will announce its decision at 4 p.m., after markets close.
The CRTC rejected the deal last fall, saying it wasn't in the interest of Canadians.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Toronto Sun shifts Sue-Anne Levy to Queen's Park, Mike Strobel to City Hall, Christina Blizzard takes on "broader duties"

Sue-Ann Levy, who has spent the past 15 years covering City Hall for the Sun, is moving to Queen’s Park "to write on provincial politics from Toronto’s perspective", the Sun has announced.
"She’ll join Queen’s Park columnist Christina Blizzard, who will take on broader duties as Senior Ontario Writer for the Toronto Sun and Sun Media," the announcement said.
Mike Strobel is setting up shop at City Hall as the paper's Toronto writer, the paper said.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fans threaten to turn off Food Network after celebrity cook dropped over racial slurs

Watching Paula Deen’s cooking show was a weekend ritual for Marilynne Wilson, who says she’s furious at the Food Network for dumping the comfort-food queen after she acknowledged using racial slurs in the past.
“I was shocked. I thought she’d get a fair trial,” Wilson, a nurse from Jacksonville, Fla., said Saturday after stopping to buy souvenirs at the gift shop Deen owns next to her Savannah restaurant. “I think the Food Network jumped the gun.”
A day after announcing that it’s dropping Deen from its roster of celebrity cooks, the cable network was served heaping portions of Southern fried outrage by her fans.
Angry messages piled up Saturday on the network’s Facebook page, with many Deen fans threating to change the channel for good. “So good-bye Food Network,” one viewer wrote. “I hope you fold like an accordion!!!”

Friday, June 21, 2013

Heather Scoffield new CP Ottawa bureau chief

Canadian Press announcement via Twitter:
"The Canadian Press is pleased to announce Heather Scoffield has been named as our new Ottawa Bureau Chief."
Scoffield replaces Rob Russo, who left to join the CBC as the network's Ottawa bureau chief.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Howard Kurtz jumps from CNN to Fox News

Howard Kurtz is leaving  CNN's "Reliable Sources" for 15 years to jump to Fox News Channel.  Kurtz will host another Sunday morning media criticism show to replace the current "Fox News Watch." He'll also appear as an on-air analyst across the network during the week and write a column for the network's website on social media news and industry trends. His jump comes less than two months after Kurtz was interviewed on his own show to apologize for and explain a series of mistakes he had made in a story about basketball player Jason Collins, who had announced he was gay. Kurtz said the incident did not play a role in his exit from CNN, that the timing of it and his contract renewal were coincidental. "The folks at CNN have been nothing but gracious to me during my 15 years of hosting 'Reliable Sources' but this is a chance to create a new franchise and play a larger role," he said. Michael Clemente, Fox's executive vice-president of news, called Kurtz "the most accomplished media reporter in the country" and said his addition would bring greater depth to the network. Kurtz, a longtime media reporter at The Washington Post, began as a panelist for the show when it started in 1992 with Bernard Kalb as host. Kurtz took over as host in 1998. CNN, in a statement, thanked Kurtz and wished him well. "Reliable Sources" will continue with a variety of hosts in the next few months, which is how TV networks often test possibilities before choosing a successor. It had been a rough stretch for Kurtz. He had written a column for The Daily Beast saying Collins had hidden a previous engagement to a woman, when in fact Collins had talked about it in a Sports Illustrated story and television interview. Kurtz acknowledged being too slow to correct the mistake and making an inappropriate comment about playing "both sides of the court" in a video story. The Daily Beast and Kurtz announced they were parting ways on the same day the mistake came to light

Fake e-mail from Star reporter examined at interesting libel trial

A Toronto Star journalist used a fake email account to contact a woman he had been searching for while reporting a story about a Filipina nanny employed illegally at a Georgina inn, he admitted in court Wednesday.
But Dale Brazao denied the suggestion he violated Star policy by using a pseudonym to contact a person who identified herself as Terra Holman in an email to the newspaper’s public editor.
“I was trying to find out if that email” — the address for Holman — “was active,” Brazao said on his second day of cross-examination in a libel trial.
Shirley Browne, owner of Whispering Pines bed and breakfast in Georgina, is suing Brazao and the Star over a front-page article published in 2008 that suggested she illegally employed Catherine Manuel — a woman from the Philippines who had come to Canada expecting to be a nanny to an 8-year-old boy — as an overworked, underpaid domestic servant.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fewer than one in four Americans confident in newspapers, TV news

The percentage of Americans saying they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in newspapers has been generally trending downward since 1979, when it reached a high of 51%. Newspapers rank near the bottom on a list of 16 societal institutions Gallup measured in a June 1-4 survey. Television news is tied with newspapers on the list, with 23% of Americans also expressing confidence in it. That is up slightly from the all-time low of 21% found last year. The only institutions television news and newspapers beat out this year are big business, organized labor, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), and Congress. Americans' confidence in television news was highest, at 46%, in 1993, when Gallup first asked about it. The question does not indicate the specific type of television news, meaning respondents could be thinking about anything ranging from cable news channels to local news when answering the survey.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Former Ford spokesman George Christopoulos joins builders' group

George Christopoulos, who resigned as Mayor Ford’s spokesman in the wake of the ongoing video scandal, has been hired by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) in the newly created position of vice-president of communications and media relations. “Before joining the mayor’s office, he was an integral part of the Toronto Police Service’s communications team for nearly a decade,” BILD, which has more than 1,400 members, said of Christopoulos. He starts July 2. Previously, Christopoulos was a Toronto Sun reporter.

Mayor Ford using security to keep press at bay: David Nickle

"Media told where it stands at city hall these days," writes David Nickle, veteran City Hall reporter and current president of the Press Gallery.
"Absent his press secretary and communications staff, Mayor Ford has taken to seconding city hall security staff to escort him between his parking garage and office doors. Security has meanwhile made a space to the rear of the mayor’s office, inside the councillors’ secure area, inaccessible to news media who are accredited to enter the space. There’s nothing illegal in doing this — indeed, the press gallery (and full disclosure — I’m serving as president of the gallery) had lost a battle in negotiating new council-approved security access rules, requiring reporters not to linger in the councillors’ common office area. "
Full story in the Scarborough Mirror

Monday, June 17, 2013

Atlanta radio hosts fired for mocking former Saints safety Steve Gleason, who has Lou Gehrig's disease

Three Atlanta sports radio hosts were fired over an on-air sketch that made fun of former NFL player Steve Gleason and his plight with Lou Gehrig's disease.
ESPN affiliate 790 The Zone gave the cast of "Mayhem in the AM" the boot hours after they mocked Gleason in an "interview" using a fake, robotic voice in place of the ex-New Orleans Saints safety. Gleason, who is confined to a wheelchair, lost the use of his voice due to ALS and speaks through a computerized speech device.
The tasteless bit was broadcast following Gleason's special appearence on Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback. Using a machine that tracks his eye movement to type, the 36-year old Gleason wrote a 4,500-word column touching on everything from his debilitating disease to his taste in music, even a possible link between ALS and pro football.
"Mayhem in the AM's" Steak Shapiro and Chris Dimino responded by taking a call from "Steve Gleason," who was played by co-host Nick Cellini. The cringeworthy segment included knock-knock jokes by a voice that at one point asked Shapiro and Dimino to "smother me, do me a favor."
The voice also said "I blame Gregg Williams," the former Saints defensive coordinator who was suspended all of last season for his role in the Bountygate scandal.

Why the CBC has outlived its usefulness: Colby Cosh in Maclean's

Colby Cosh writes:

"The CBC was created, as both monopolistic broadcaster and regulator, because what preceded it was all so untidy, unhealthy, unpredictable . . . unpalatable. And politically threatening to the establishment, as the radio-driven rise of Social Credit in Alberta would soon prove.

"No one thinks we would be better off now with total state control of broadcasting; Canadians manage to survive exposure to religious cranks, phony health advice, and even NBC. So when the CBC’s regulatory function was taken away in the ’50s, the broadcasting part of the corporation became an oasis of noncommercial values. You were no longer to be forced to watch or listen, but CBC was still there to amuse kids without sneaking in some hidden sales pitch for cereal. It was there for remote communities in need of news and economic information; there to cultivate the artistic pastimes of the elite in a pan-Canadian accent.

"In 2013, it hardly needs saying that the CBC has abandoned or grown incompetent at some of these functions, and that there is not much point to the others in a world of infinite bandwidth. (Let’s be honest: It’s not even all that left-wing anymore!) The frozen North is on a near-enough-equal footing with downtown Toronto when it comes to digital access, and children are no longer plunked down thoughtlessly in front of a cathode-ray tube for hours at a stretch. In this environment, the CBC is not proving to be much good at specifying exactly why it is needed. . . "

The whole column

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rupert Murdoch and Wendy Deng to quietly split

One of the most famous December-May marriages in recent times has apparently come to an end. The 14-year match-up of media magnate Rupert Murdoch and his elegant young wife Wendi Deng will be ended quietly in New York's no-fault divorce court with few details it seems from either side. For its prospects, Mr. Murdoch's third marriage has lasted longer than  most such unions and seemed to reveal a mature meeting of minds between the partners. Ms Deng's casual introduction to Murdoch on an aircraft has been the stuff of dreams for many women of her modest background. Whether they happened to sit together by design or accident it is said that Ms. Deng charmed her older seat mate sufficiently during the flight that he was genuinely hooked when the plane landed. For her part, Wendi Deng adapted well to the privileged life of her tycoon husband, giving him two daughters and conducting herself with loyalty and dutiful decorum. Chicago Tribune

TV news people a different breed from their newspaper cousins: Mark Bonokoski

The Sun's Mark Bonokoski piggybacks on the recent Margaret Wente column that called for no journalists in the Senate and says print people are OK.

"Senators who came from the trenches of newsprint, for example, have not only proven themselves worthy, but many of them have been policy groundbreakers, great defenders of ethical comportment, and therefore should be put outside of Wente’s generalization until proof to the contrary becomes known," he writes.

The whole column

(It's not always good to generalize. Ex-CTV TV guy Jim Munson is in the Senate and has not been tainted with any scandal. His appointment was a reward for keeping Jean Chretien in the Press Gallery's good books.)
Wente's column

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Global wins 4 RTNDA Edward R. Murrow awards

 Global Toronto has won four RTDNA Edward R. Murrow awards, including Best Newscast for coverage of the Danzig St. shooting, Best use of sound/video for a profile of tightrope walker Jay Cochrane that avoided using any narration and allowed Cochrane’s stunts tell their own story, and Best writing for Dave Gerry’s profile on Toronto-based artist “whistling” Eduardo Gaya. reporter Leslie Young and Global Toronto reporter Jackson Proskow also won an RTDNA Edward R. Murrow award for outstanding investigative journalism for their series ‘Gardiner Expressway – Trouble overhead.’ In December, a Global News investigation revealed thousands of documents detailing the state of the aging Gardiner Expressway and the significant safety concerns associated with the highway. Global News reporters Leslie Young and Jackson Proskow accepting the RTNDA award for their investigation into Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway.

Radio host fired after asking if Australian PM’s partner is gay

An Australian radio host was fired after quizzing Prime Minister Julia Gillard about her partner’s sexuality, prompting her to warn that such probing could discourage women from entering public life. Perth radio station 6PR dismissed host Howard Sattler, having earlier suspended him, after he repeatedly asked Gillard in an interview late Thursday whether Tim Mathieson’s profession as a hairdresser meant he was homosexual. “I want young girls and women to be able to feel like they can be included in public life and not have to face questioning like the questioning I faced,” Gillard told reporters Friday, echoing concerns raised by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Yorker, W magazines named in intern suits as tide turns on unpaid labour

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, two former interns who worked at W Magazine and The New Yorker sued parent company Conde Nast Publications for allegedly failing to pay them the minimum wage. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York, seeks class action status on behalf of other interns who worked in the fashion, accessories and fine jewellery departments at Conde Nast magazines.
The lawsuits came on the heels of a decision this week in New York federal court which found that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked on production of the 2010 movie Black Swan.
The decision may lead some American companies to rethink whether it’s worth the legal risk to hire interns to work without pay. For many young people struggling to find jobs in a tough economy, unpaid internships have become a rite of passage essential for padding resumes and gaining practical experience.
There are up to 1 million unpaid internships offered in the United States every year, said Ross Eisenbrey, vice-president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning think-tank. He said the number of internships has grown as the economy tumbled and he blamed them for exploiting young workers and driving down wages.
More of the AP story in the Globe and Mail

Mansbridge and Wallin, once co-anchors, reunited on the air in different roles

It wasn't much like old times, way back when Mansbridge and Wallin had a brief run as co-anchors of The National. Nor was there any mention of that relatively brief episode in their interview last night. It didn't work out for the CBC and she soon left the Corp. Opinions differ but it seemed at the time that Mansbridge did not want a co-anchor. Wallin never adapted to the CBC bureaucracy and went on to greater heights, including consul general in New York and, of course, the Senate.
There was no mention of past history in the interview in which she admitted to mistakes. Full public reaction is yet to come but The National's "At Issue" panel that followed was not impressed.

Video of the full interview

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Stroumboulopoulos show debuts to low ratings

The debut of Canadian TV host George Stroumboulopoulos CNN talk show, Stoumboulopoulos, wasn’t as popular as the Canadian TV host might have hoped. Stroumboulopoulos new talk show earned 192,000 viewers overall during its Sunday night debut, with 78,000 of those viewers falling into the 25-54 demographic. By comparison, last week, a show in the same time slot on CNN had 62% more total viewers, and 55% more viewers aged 25-54. In fact, Fox News’ Stossel, which aired at the same time as Stroumboulopoulos, earned 739,000 total viewers, 140,000 of whom were aged 25-54.

CBC journalists released from custody in Istanbul

The two CBC journalists covering the anti-government protests in Turkey have been released from detention in Istanbul, the CBC web page reports.
“We’re out,” Sasa Petricic tweeted just before 4 a.m. local time Thursday.
“My exclusive ‘tour’ of the Turkish justice system is over!” Derek Stoffel added.
Petricic and  Stoffel had been detained by police on Wednesday and held all day, prompting Ottawa to demand their immediate release.
CBC News editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire said the two journalists had met with Canadian consular officials in Istanbul and spoke to their lawyer before giving statements to police.
Their release was due, in part, to behind-the-scenes work by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Turkish ambassador to Canada, Tuncy Babali, the CBC reported.
“Pleased to hear @CBCNews journalists have been released in #Istanbul,” Mr. Baird tweeted. “Thanks to the Cdn Consul General and the Gov’t of Turkey, including Amb. Babali, for their co-operation in this matter.”
The two journalists had been tweeting photos and observations from Istanbul when the flow of information ended around 6 p.m. local time with a single tweet from Mr. Petricic’s account.
“Arrested,” he tweeted.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sasa Petricic and Derek Stoffel of CBC arrested in Turkey

Two CBC journalists covering violent anti-government protests in Turkey were detained by police in Istanbul Wednesday, prompting Ottawa to demand their immediate release.
Sasa Petricic and Derek Stoffel had been tweeting photos and observations from around Turkey’s largest city when the flow of information ended just before noon with a single tweet from Petricic’s account.
“Arrested,” he tweeted.
The CBC said Wednesday afternoon that it had been in contact with the two reporters.
“We can confirm both journalists have been detained but are in good condition,” said spokesman Chuck Thompson.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird tweeted that he had contacted the Turkish ambassador and expressed concern about the incident.
Diane Ablonczy, minister of state for consular affairs, said the government was monitoring the situation closely.

Robin Taylor has died

We have been informed by e-mail fro a reliable colleague that long-time fifth estate executive producer Robin Taylor has died. More information will be posted when it become available.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Greece closing state broadcaster to save money, calls it a ‘haven of waste’

The Associated Press reports that Greece is planning to close down all its state-run TV and radio stations with the loss of some 2,500 jobs as part of its cost-cutting drive demanded by the bailed-out country’s international creditors. The shock announcement Tuesday widened cracks in the year-old conservative-led governing coalition, with both minority partners condemning the suspension of Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, or ERT. Nonetheless, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou — a former state TV journalist — described ERT as a “haven of waste” and said its TV and radio signals would go dead early Wednesday. He said its 2,500 employees will be compensated and the company will reopen “as soon as possible” with a smaller workforce. More

Boris Spremo, Les Pyette to be inducted into News Hall of Fame

CNW Release:
A legendary Toronto Star photographer and an editor-publisher who helped The Sun shine across Canada have been named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame for 2013.
Boris Spremo and Les Pyette will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a gala banquet in Toronto in October.
Born in the former Yugoslavia, Spremo came to Canada in 1957, joined The Globe and Mail in 1962, moved to The Star in 1966 and retired in 2000.
He won 285 national and international awards as a photojournalist, including four National Newspaper Awards, and received the Order of Canada in 1997.
Over 37 years, his assignments took him around the globe covering wars, famine, politics and celebrities, photographing several Canadian prime ministers, US and European presidents, and such notables as Elizabeth Taylor to Oprah Winfrey, the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen, and Muhammed Ali to Elvis Stojko.
His books and photos helped capture the history of Toronto, Canada and the world. He lives in Toronto with his wife, and has four grown daughters and several grandchildren.
Les Pyette spent 41 years in the news business in Canada. Born in Sault Ste. Marie, he was a sports writer with the Sault Daily Star from 1963 to 1967, and later city editor of the Toronto Sun, founding editor-in-chief of the Calgary Sun, executive editor Toronto Sun, general manager Calgary Sun, publisher and CEO of the Calgary Sun, the London Free Press and the Toronto Sun, and vice- president of Sun Media before he retired in 2003.
He returned to the news business as publisher and CEO of the National Post in 2004-2005.
Pyette now lives in London, Ont.
The Canadian News Hall of Fame was founded by the Toronto Press Club in 1965 and honors more than 100 men and women who contributed significantly to journalism in Canada.

Radio-Canada retreats on rebranding company as ICI

Radio-Canada is reversing its decision to rebrand itself as ICI, and is instead putting "Radio-Canada" back in its marketing and branding.
Last week, Radio-Canada, CBC's French-language sister station, made public its rebranding plan, aimed at providing a common identifier across all its platforms.
The main radio news and information station will now be renamed "ICI Radio-Canada Première." Under the rebranding announced on June 5, it would have been called "Ici Première."
But the announcement was met with widespread criticism and ridicule, even inviting scrutiny from the New York Times.
Radio-Canada president Hubert Lacroix said Monday afternoon that he has listened to Canadians.
The Globe and Mail reports that the name "ICI" is already taken by a chanel licensed last year under the name "ICI - International Chanel."

The small channel intends to broadcast in 15 languages on Chanel 47 in Montreal, a key market for French-language broadcasters.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Rob Russo to CBC

The Twittersphere is abuzz with news that Rob Russo, who quit a few days ago as CP's Ottawa bureau chief, is the CBC's new managing editor in Ottawa. Don't see an official announcement.
We wonder whether he knows what he is getting into? :))
Rsso replaces Paul Hambleton who is moving to Toronto in a new CBC post.

U.K. 'Guardian' newspaper in spotlight on NSA leaks; explains why it covers U.S.

"Why are we in America?" the editor of Britain's Guardian News and Media group, which publishes the Guardian across its print and digital platforms, was asked in an interview with New York magazine last year. "We're in America because a third of our audience is in America," Alan Rusbridger shot back. Since last week, when the Guardian started publishing its exclusive on the secret National Security Agency spying programs, and, subsequently, the man said to be responsible for those leaks, Edward Snowden, another rationale for Rusbridger's left-leaning news operation's U.S. presence has been laid bare. "By setting up an office in the U.S. and doing the same in Australia recently it's quite clear what the ambition is," said Roy Greenslade, a professor of journalism at London's City University, who also regularly writes about the media for the Guardian. "It wants to become the international liberal journalistic outlet." Greenslade said that the Guardian has an explicit mandate to ensure that it publishes as a "liberal organ" and that every editor of the Guardian — there have been four since World War II — has had an "avowedly liberal voice." It is written into the contract, he said. He said that the Guardian is one of the few newspapers to allow its staff to select its editor in chief, for example. In Greenslade's view, the Snowden revelations ought to put the Guardian in line to be the first British newspaper to win a Pulitzer Prize. "No one likes to be beaten in their own backyard, and that is exactly what the Guardian has done," he said.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Journalists have no business in the Senate: Margaret Wente

Margaret Wente writes: "Stephen Harper has always been allergic to journalists. He doesn’t like them and he doesn’t trust them. He has always suspected that they have only one agenda, which is to destroy him. "But the two journalists who’ve done him the most damage were supposed to be the ones on his side. Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, appointed to the Senate for their celebrity status and devotion to the party, have wounded him far more gravely than squadrons of investigative reporters ever have. They have helped to demolish the Conservatives’ claim to integrity in government and respect for taxpayers. The whole column

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tories slam CBC for ‘shoddy journalism,’ call for retraction on secret fund story

The Conservative party called Friday for the retraction of a report saying the Prime Minister’s Office runs a secret partisan fund. the Canadian Press reported. The party called the report false and says it pays for all of the prime minister’s political expenses — and not out of a hidden bank account. “All Conservative party expenses are paid by one account, controlled by the Conservative party,” the party said in a statement. “All funds are properly reported to Elections Canada and audited annually.” The CBC alleged Thursday that a fund controlled by the prime minister’s chief of staff and operating outside oversight from Elections Canada, was being run by Stephen Harper’s office for partisan purposes. More

Iraeli soldiers will be unfriending Facebook in wake of racy postings

Some Israeli soldiers will soon be unfriending Facebook following a new crackdown on social media use, a move that will limit or ban outright use of the networks by soldiers in classified units. The move comes days after a group of female Israeli soldiers posing for photos wearing nothing but underwear and combat gear surfaced on Facebook, prompting widespread media coverage. It was the latest in a number of embarrassing social media incidents that the Israeli military has endured over the past few years. More

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Radio-Canada responds to backlash over name change

The French-language CBC is seeking to calm a backlash over its rebranding efforts following complaints from top to bottom within the organization. Radio-Canada issued a statement after fielding complaints from the federal cabinet and one of its workers’ unions. It insists its historic name will remain prominent in the future. The organization’s executive vice-president says he wants to correct “misperceptions” that the organization is changing its name. Louis Lalande says it’s not. He says the term “Ici” – French for, “Here” – will be part of the brand identity but the organization will still be called Radio-Canada

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

French-language Radio-Canada renamed 'ICI'

The French-language CBC has announced plans to change its name. It will be called "ICI" -- "here" in French, losing he words "radio" and "Canada." Founded in 1936, the institution said the brand change will allow for greater uniformity. Its different platforms currently carry a hodge-podge of names, according to its web page. Now its different platforms will all contain the word "ICI." The broadcaster said the name is also a nod to its past. Over the years it has commonly used the promotional slogan "Ici Radio-Canada," or, "Radio-Canada Here "ICI is rooted in our history and in people's memories, and is true to the personality of the public broadcaster," it said in a statement Wednesday. "This term fits naturally with our platforms and reflects the scope of the services we offer. More

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Toronto Star reporter arrested, ticketed after taking photos of injured GO transit officer

GO Transit officials are reviewing an incident in which a Toronto Star reporter was arrested, put in headlock, handcuffed and ticketed with trespassing for taking pictures of an injured officer at Union Station, The Star reports.
Two GO Transit officers were thrown onto the train tracks — one breaking his ankle — following a skirmish with a man trying to open the doors of a moving train early Sunday morning. The station was packed with people heading home from two major events at the Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre.
News photographers are not allowed to take photos without permission at Union Station, said Anne Marie Aikins, media relations manager with Metrolinx, which raises questions about the viability of stopping media, and onlookers, from recording news as it happens in an age of smart phones and social media.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Brussels daily Le Soir producing 5 p.m.tablet issue

It's been done in various ways elsewhere but Le Soir appears to be making some headway in grabbing a real readership at quitting time. Agence France Presse. 

CTV pulls epic anti-Duffy rant from TV host Don Martin after legal advice

CTV, the network largely responsible for the rise and fall of Senator Mike Duffy, pulled a segment from the air Friday after TV host Don Martin delivered a vicious critique of the former journalist, the National Post reports.

 On the Friday 5 p.m. broadcast of “Power Play with Don Martin,” the host delivered a two-and-a-half minute teardown on the now-Independent senator, calling Duffy “the all-Canadian poster boy for political fakery.” Martin’s rant was prefaced by him saying Duffy stopped being his friend after a contentious 2009 interview with the CBC in which the tuxedo-wearing senator pegged the well-liked NDP MP Peter Stoffer as a “faker.”

 The CTV host followed by calling Duffy a “political sorcerer” who has faked a number of things during his career including; being a neutral political journalist, being a Prince Edward Islander, being a genuine conservative and finally, being broke enough to require a bailout from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s now-former chief of staff, Nigel Wright. 

“The sole preoccupation behind Duffy’s conduct is to do what is best for Mike Duffy. That is behaviour he’ll never fake,” was how Martin ended the segment. While the rant was aired during the 5 p.m. show, it was yanked from a later rebroadcast of the show and was not posted on CTV’s website as it normally would. Sources at CTV News have told the National Post the rant made producers “nervous” and it was pulled after receiving legal advice. Martin’s comments could also be perceived as being embarrassing to CTV brass, as he said Duffy — who was a host on CTV programs from 1999 to 2008 — was openly shilling for the Conservatives on air.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Who Needs Reporters?

Sunday's New York Times commentator Frank Bruni notes the trend by politicians to make announcements without the presence of reporters. His column:
"FOR her big announcement last week, Michele Bachmann neither convened a news conference nor waited for some other moment when she was in public, reporters and television cameras nearby. She didn’t even pick a favorably inclined journalist for the kind of one-on-one interview in which politicians have often parceled out their revelations and answered a few tame questions.
"She went for something less extemporaneous than any of that, packaging the declaration that she wouldn’t seek a fifth Congressional term in a lacquered online video. It could easily have been mistaken for a campaign ad, with lighting that flattered her, music to her liking and a script that she could read in as many takes as she desired. There was no risk of stammer or flop sweat, no possibility of interruption from reporters itching to challenge her self-aggrandizing version of events. Weird, no?
Well, no.  . .More

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Globe buyouts include many heavyweight bylines!

J-Source published the whole list. Editorial people taking a buyout include Timothy Appleby, Kirk  Makin, John Barber, John Geiger, Michael Kesterton, Martin Levin, Jack Kirchoff, Martin Mittelstaedt, Michael Posner, Paul Taylor.
The list
One has to wonder where this is heading.

Chicago Sun-Times lays off its photo staff; will use free-lancers and reporters

The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward, the newspaper said.
A total of 28 full-time staffers received the news Thursday morning at a meeting held at the Sun-Times offices in Chicago, according to sources familiar with the situation. The layoffs are effective immediately.
The newspaper released a statement suggesting the move reflected the increasing importance of video in news reporting:
"The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements. The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network."
The company is also preparing to supplement its freelance staff with reporters to shoot more video and photos, according to sources.

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