Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Media people and the Order of Canada

TVO's Steve Paikin, National Post columnist George Jonas and fashion media personality Jeanne Bekker all joined the ranks of recipients of the Order of Canada. Many other media personalities, including the CBC's Don Newman and Joe Schlesinger are already sporting one on their lapels. The latter two are retired.
Maybe the question needs to be asked whether journalists should accept this honour while still active. Or, for that matter, whether they should be appointed to the Senate.
Whatever happened to the independent press in this country?
BTW: Mike Duffy never got one.

TIME splitting from Warner; abandoning "church and state" separation of news and ads

Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the United States, with properties like People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune, is preparing for one of the most pivotal periods in its 91-year history.
Within the next six months, its parent, the media conglomerate Time Warner, hopes to spin off Time Inc. into a separate public company. But if the plan succeeds, Time Inc. will become independent at a difficult moment. Not only do the magazine industry’s fortunes continue to sag, but Time Inc. has also shown signs of instability. It has churned through three chief executives in the last three years, and lost a star editor, its former editor in chief Martha Nelson.
To combat these negative forces, Time Inc. will abandon the traditional separation between its newsroom and business sides, a move that has caused angst among its journalists. Now, the newsroom staffs at Time Inc.’s magazines will report to the business executives. Such a structure, once verboten at journalistic institutions, is seen as necessary to create revenue opportunities and stem the tide of declining subscription and advertising sales. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

70 journalists killed in 2013, including 29 in Syria: Report

At least 70 journalists were killed on the job around the world in 2013, including 29 who died covering the civil war in Syria and 10 slain in Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The dead in Syria included a number of citizen journalists working to document combat in their home cities, broadcasters who worked with media outlets affiliated with either the government or the opposition, and a handful of correspondents for the foreign press, including an Al-Jazeera reporter, Mohamed al-Mesalma, who was shot by a sniper.
More from the Associated Press

Friday, December 27, 2013

Geoff Stirling, broadcast pioneer, dies at 92

Newfoundland and Labrador broadcasting and publishing pioneer Geoff Stirling died last Saturday at the age of 92 in his home in Torbay, Newfoundland. Stirling owned wide-ranging media outlets in Newfoundland, Ontario and Quebec. He founded the weekly newspaper The Sunday Herald in St. John's in 1946. Stirling started CJON, the second commercial radio station in Newfoundland and Labrador, and also launched CJON-TV, the first provincial television station, back in 1955. Stirling was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2001. .

Senate ethics – what about Press Gallery ethics? --Preston Manning

An excellent column by Preston Manning in today's Globe.

"A great deal of media attention has been paid these past few months to the ethics, or alleged lack thereof, of senators Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy. Much less attention has been paid to the likelihood that the ethics of both are at least partially rooted in their training and experience as prominent members of the media. . . .

"The Press Gallery’s constitution consists of 50 clauses, only one of which deals with ethics. Its focus, however, is quite relevant to the Duffy case.
Section 10 of that constitution provides for the expulsion of a member by a majority vote of the members for only one reason: '… that such member uses his membership or the facilities of the Gallery to obtain a benefit other than by journalism …'
"Accordingly, if a member were to use his position as a member of the gallery to lobby for a federal appointment – a benefit being sought 'other than by journalism' – he should have been subjected to an investigation by the gallery, a membership meeting to discuss and vote on the allegation, and expulsion on ethical grounds if the allegation had been substantiated.
"It is therefore appropriate to ask whether section 10 of the gallery’s constitution – the only one dealing with ethics – has ever been applied? If so, when and to whom? And if not, why not, especially in the case of Mr. Duffy, who (as is well known) had been lobbying for a federal appointment  . . ."

The whole column (subscription may be required)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Attack on reporter Tetyana Chornovil fires up Ukraine demonstrations

Protesters demanded Ukraine’s interior minister resign on Thursday after an opposition journalist known for documenting the extravagance of the country’s political elite was chased down in her car and savagely beaten in a midnight attack. Clutching pictures of Tetyana Chornovil’s badly bruised face, hundreds marched on the Interior Ministry in the capital, Kyiv. The attack on the 34-year-old restored passion to protests that have been losing steam more than a month after the government spurned a pact on closer ties with the European Union, turning instead to former Soviet master Moscow.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Star reporter Jennifer Quinn wins Amnesty International media award

Toronto Star reporter Jennifer Quinn is the winner of one of three Amnesty International Canada media awards for outstanding coverage of human rights issues.
Quinn traveled to Jamaica for the print feature “A dangerous place to be gay,” which ran in August. In it, personal stories illustrate the devastating discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans, including evictions, violence, substandard healthcare and police abuses. The story also details the ongoing legal battle waged by activists against Jamaica’s archaic laws.
The three Amnesty International Canada media awards were announced Thursday. The CBC radio show As It Happens won in the video/audio category for a broadcast documentary on Syria’s civil war, and Victoria Times Colonist reporter Katie DeRosa won in the local/alternative print category for a series of newspaper articles on human smuggling in Southeast Asia and Australia.

Sun News must be available to all cable and satellite customers, CRTC says

The CRTC says cable and satellite companies must give their customers the option of subscribing to any Canadian news service they want, either in bundles or a la carte, no later than next spring. Thursday’s announcement means upstart news services such as Sun News Network must be available to all cable and satellite subscribers by May 18, 2014. The move comes after the CRTC last summer rejected Sun News Network’s bid for mandatory-carriage status, which would have forced cable and satellite companies to carry it on all basic digital and analog services.

Rob Ford apologizes again, Daniel Dale drops lawsuit

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford issued a second apology late Wednesday, retracting in more detail statements he made earlier regarding Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale that had prompted legal action.
"I wholly retract my statements and apologize to Mr. Dale without reservation for what I said," Ford said in a statement. 
"There is absolutely no basis for the statement I made about Daniel Dale taking pictures of children or any insinuations I made," Ford added.
Ford went on to retract other statements, including that Dale had been found "lurking" or "leering" near his property.
Within minutes, Dale indicated via Twitter he was dropping his legal action against Ford. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Harper snubs CTV, Trudeau shuns Sun News in year-end interviews

Throughout this month, our federal party leaders will be doing the media rounds to talk about the year that was.
But don't expect to see Prime Minister Harper on Canada's largest private broadcaster.
According to the Ottawa Citizen's Glen McGregor, Harper will, for the second year in a row, snub CTV.
Pre-Harper, the PM on CTV was a holiday tradition. According to a 2008 press release, the network has hosted 'A conversation with the prime minister' since the days of Lester B. Pearson.
The cynics and conspiracy theorists among us might wonder if the network's breaking coverage of the Senate expense scandal had anything to do with the PMO's decision.
CTV's Robert Fife was the one who broke the story about Nigel Wright's $90,000 gift to Sen. Mike Duffy.
MacDonald denied that CTV's coverage had anything to do with their decision not to be interviewed.
Team Harper aren't the only ones doing the snubbing.
According to Liberal insider and Sun News personality Warren Kinsella, Justin Trudeau won't speak to them — the newspaper chain Kinsella calls "the biggest" in the country.
(Historical note: Pierre Trudeau used to give only one interview at Christmas -- to the late Bruce Phillips, CTV's Ottawa bureau chief. It often made news.)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rob Ford apologizes to Daniel Dale; Dale says apology "inadequate" and proceeding with lawsuit

Rob Ford has apologized to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale for insinuating that he is a pedophile. “I did not mean to insinuate anything,” Ford told City Council on Tuesday morning. Ford said he would apologize to Dale personally, if possible. The move came after Dale launched legal action last week against the mayor, as well as Vision TV, which broadcast an interview earlier this month in which Ford made the comment.
Link to full Star story and video

Despite the statement from the mayor, Dale says he finds the mayor's apology inadequate and plans to pursue the lawsuit.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Syrian rebels promise to work for journalists’ safety

The leaders of Syria’s main Western-backed moderate rebel faction said they would do everything in their power to protect journalists on assignment in the country and work to secure the release of those who have already been abducted.
The letter from the Supreme Military Council, the military wing of the Syrian National Coalition, came in response to an appeal from several major international news organizations calling for urgent action against rebel groups targeting journalists for kidnappings. Syria has become the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, and the number of abductions has soared to an unprecedented level over the past year.
Link to AP story

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Toronto Star reporter serves libel notice on Rob Ford after Conrad Black interview; asks for an apology

Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale has served Mayor Rob Ford with a libel notice over comments the mayor made during a televised interview earlier this week, the Globe and Mail reports.
Dale published a statement Thursday saying he served the notice against both the mayor and Vision TV – which aired the broadcast – as the first step of a defamation lawsuit. He’s asking the mayor to retract the “false insinuation that I am a pedophile,” the statement said.
During the Monday night interview with Conrad Black that aired on Vision TV, Ford described a May, 2012, incident where he confronted  Dale in a public space behind the mayor’s house.
“He’s taking photos of little kids,” Ford told  Black in the interview. “I don’t want to say that word, but you start thinking ‘What’s this guy all about?’ ” On Tuesday, when urged by councillors to apologize for the comments, Mayor Ford told reporters he stood by his remarks.
But  Dale called the mayor’s account of events “categorically false.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Former late-night CTV Ottawa anchor Leigh Chapple dies

CTV Ottawa's former late-night news anchor, Leigh Chapple, was found dead in her home Tuesday morning.
In an email to staff Tuesday, CTV Ottawa station manager Richard Gray said Chapple, 58, made many friends at the station during her 36 years there.
"Friend to so many in the building, Leigh was part of the CTV Ottawa/CJOH TV family for 36 years starting out as personal assistant to Max Keeping before moving on-air first as a reporter then later becoming an anchor," Gray wrote.
"Leigh retired May 4, 2012, to spend more time with her husband, another former colleague, Dean Holmes."
Chapple’s cause of death is not yet known.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rob Ford, Toronto Star battle hits incredible new low as paper says mayor called reporter a pedophile

Just when you thought it wasn’t possible for the relationship between the Toronto Star and Rob Ford to get worse, the mayor reached a new level of inflammatory rhetoric Monday night when he insinuated that he thought a Star reporter was a pedophile, the National Post reports.
“”I have little kids. When a guy’s taking pictures of little kids,” Ford said. “I don’t want to say that word but you start thinking, ‘What’s this guy all about?’”
Dale, who was in the park behind Ford’s house to research a story, has denied the mayor’s allegations, saying he was never on the his property and that the mayor threatened him in the encounter. Toronto police said last year there was “no evidence” Dale did anything wrong and did not press charges.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rogers merges Canadian Business and Profit

Canadian Business will absorb Profit next year for an "all-encompassing business magazine" with a projected readership of more than one million, Masthead magazine reports.
Duncan Hood retains his role as editor-in-chief. Ian Portsmouth, formerly publisher and editor of Profit, is now publisher ofCanadian Business.
The amalgamated Canadian Businesslaunches January 16. The title will publish monthly with two bonus Profit-themed issues targeting entrepreneurs, totalling 14 editions a year. Each regular edition will also include a 'Profit' section.
Canadian Business, founded in 1928, previously published bi-weekly with some combined, expanded or premium issues. Profit, launched in 1982 targeting entrepreneurs and executives at small to mid-sized companies, was published six times per year.
"The new frequency and enhanced content of the new Canadian Business allows us to do more of what we do best – provide intelligent analysis, context, and thoughtful features to the business community," said Hood in a Rogers release. "The Profit section within Canadian Business will continue to deliver the actionable information that entrepreneurs need, while offering a larger audience access to the latest thought-leaders in innovative thinking."

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The strange and changing world we live in

The Globe and Mail’s media reporter, Steve Ladurantaye, is joining Twitter Canada.
The announcement was tweeted by Kirstine Stewart, the managing director and head of Twitter Canada.
According to his Globe bio, Ladurantaye joined the newspaper in 2007. He has also reported for the Peterborough Examiner and Kingston Whig-Standard. He won a National Newspaper Award for explanatory journalism in 2006 and was nominated in the breaking news category in 2010.
Stewart, it will be remembered, left a top job at C BC to join Twitter.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sun Media to lay off 200, 50 from editorial ops

Sun Media has announced it is laying off 200 employees across its newspapers. About 50 will come from editorial operations. The company laid off about 500 employees almost one year ago. Sun Media CEO Julie Tremblay said the cuts were necessary to remain competitive. “It is very tough to announce job cuts,” she said. “But as distressing as they are for the employees involved, these restructuring initiatives are necessary to maintain our leading position and ensure the corporation’s sustainability. “We truly regret this decision’s impact on the professionals who are leaving our organization. We thank each and every one of them and we wish them every success.” 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Patrick Brazeau lands a gig as Parliament Hill reporter for Frank magazine!

Disgraced Senator Patrick Brazeau has found work as a freelance reporter for the Halifax edition of Frank Magazine, the Natioanl Post reports.
Despite having no prior journalism experience, Brazeau — who is also facing charges of assault and sexual assault stemming from an incident in February — is joining the Halifax edition of Frank Magazine as a free-lance reporter.
Brazeau openly solicited work on Twitter after he and fellow former Conservative caucus members Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin were suspended by the Senate in early November over their questionable expense claims.
Frank, the satire and gossip magazine — not to be confused with the entirely distinct Ottawa version of the same name — announced its newest hire Monday.

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