Friday, January 31, 2014

Conrad Black ousted from Order of Canada

Conrad Black has been stripped of his Order of Canada. Rideau Hall announced that Governor General David Johnston made the final decision in a statement issued Friday evening.
Johnson “has accepted the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada to terminate Mr. Conrad Black’s appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada,” the statement said. Black has also been removed from the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, the statement said. Both decisions take effect immediately.

Google revenue increases 17%, Motorola revenue falls

Google office near Los Angeles
The online search giant Google reported strong advertising results in the fourth quarter, with revenue up 17 percent to $16.86 billion for the quarter. Operating income rose to $3.92 billion from $3.39 billion in the same quarter of 2012.
“We ended 2013 with another great quarter of momentum and growth. Google’s standalone revenue was up 22% year on year, at $15.7 billion”, said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “We made great progress across a wide range of product improvements and business goals. I’m also very excited about improving people’s lives even more with continued hard work on our user experiences.”
But like Amazon, some analysts were expecting better results, though the stock is trading flat in after-hours trading.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Star journalist Susan Delacourt wins Hyman Solomon Award

Susan Delacourt
Susan Delacourt, a veteran writer for the Toronto Star’s Ottawa Bureau, has been awarded the prestigious Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism. The award is presented by the Public Policy Forum, a non-governmental organization that aims to improve government in Canada. First awarded in 1992, the Hyman Solomon honour is given to “extraordinary Canadians” who have contributed to public life, policy and governance in Canada.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ottawa Senators TV deal worth up to $400M

As first reported by the Ottawa Sun Wednesday, the Senators have signed a monumental 12-year agreement regional broadcast agreement for radio and TV with Bell Media that league sources confirmed could be worth up to $400 million when it expires in 2025-26.
Coupled with the $16 million the Senators will receive from the new national package that the NHL signed with Sportsnet in December, the club could get more than $40 million from broadcast revenues along next season.

ESPN's Internet rollout tests television cash cow

On a recent Saturday, technicians were busy streaming several dozen games, some at the same time as they were on television and others that weren't televised at all. Damon Phillips, in charge of the service, used a tablet computer to monitor how many people were watching online.
"I'm obsessed with this," he said, pointing to the usage tally, which he starts checking at 5:30 a.m. while on his exercise bike. "I look at it all day long."
The app, called WatchESPN, is part of an aggressive push by ESPN into online services as pay television matures. ESPN pioneered sports TV on that medium and for three decades rode a steady rise in U.S. cable and satellite TV subscriptions. These now have leveled off and appear to be contracting. ESPN is at the forefront of the TV industry's efforts to expand into Internet distribution.
The company, which generates about 40% of majority owner Walt Disney Co.'s operating profits, sees the app as a way to cash in on growing demand for online video.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Egyptian journalist killed, three wounded while covering uprising anniversary

An Egyptian photojournalist was killed, three were wounded with gunfire and six were arrested while covering the third anniversary of the start of the country’s uprising that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, their union said Tuesday.
The Associated Press reports that while many Egyptians marked the day with celebration, violence marred demonstrations held by supporters of the ousted Islamist president as security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition to break up crowds. Dozens of people were killed in clashes. Hossam Diab of the Egyptian Photojournalist Society told The Associated Press that freelancer Mohamed Helmy was shot dead while working for Qatar-based satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera.
Mohammed Fahmy, a photojournalist working for the centre-right Wafd party newspaper, was shot in the face and underwent surgery to rebuild his mouth, Diab added.
Shootings and arrests were also intense at small gatherings held by secular youth activists who had led the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising and are critical of both Islamists and the military, which assumed power and installed a civilian government after the coup against Mohammed Morsi. The day also witnessed a rise of mob attacks on journalists, especially foreign ones.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Stephen Glass, ex-journalist who fabricated stories, can't be lawyer

Stephen R. Glass
Stephen R. Glass, a former journalist who became infamous for fabricating magazine articles, may not practice law in California because he has failed to show sufficient rehabilitation, the state's high court decided Monday.
In a unanimous, unsigned ruling, the California Supreme Court said Glass had demonstrated a pattern for deceit for which he has not adequately atoned.
Glass has failed to "establish that he engaged in truly exemplary conduct over an extended period," the court said. "We conclude that on this record he has not sustained his heavy burden of demonstrating rehabilitation and fitness for the practice of law."
Glass, 41, was in his 20s when he fabricated 42 articles for the New Republic, Rolling Stone and other magazines before being caught in 1998.
Glass obtained a law degree from Georgetown Law School and passed the bar examinations in New York and California, but questions about his moral character have prevented him from being licensed. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ed Vaar, long-time CBC cameraman, dies

ED VAAR Passed away at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto January 18, 2014. He will be greatly missed by his wife Yvonne, his sister Oie, his niece Helen, his nephew Eric and his many friends. Born in Estonia, Ed came to Canada and as a teenager, published the first Estonian newspaper in North America. Later he worked as a cameraman for the CBC for over 50 years. A Celebration of his Life will be held at a later date. (Star death notice)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

‘I’m an alcoholic,’ ABC News reporter Elizabeth Vargas admits after return to air following treatment

ABC News reporter Elizabeth Vargas has publicly acknowledged that she’s an alcoholic, and said it took her years to admit it.
In an interview aired Friday on Good Morning America, Vargas said hiding her problem from others was exhausting.
“Even to admit it to myself was admitting, I thought, that I was a failure,” said Vargas, who noted that she had reported several 20/20 specials on drinking yet couldn’t acknowledge her own alcohol dependency.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pulitzer-winning photographer admits he altered Syria picture

The Associated Press has severed ties with a freelance photographer who it says violated its ethical standards by altering a photo he took while covering the war in Syria in 2013.
The news service said that Narciso Contreras recently told its editors that he manipulated a digital picture of a Syrian rebel fighter taken last September, using software to remove a colleague’s video camera from the lower left corner of the frame. That led AP to review all of the nearly 500 photos Contreras has filed since he began working for the news service in 2012.
No other instances of alteration were uncovered, said Santiago Lyon, the news service’s vice-president and director of photography.
In the original image, below, another journalist's video camera is visible in the left corner of the frame. It is removed in the altered image. Contreras was one of a team of photographers working for the AP who shared in a Pulitzer last year for images of the Syrian war. None of the images in that package was found to be compromised, according to the AP.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Journalist behind Washington Post's successful Wonkblog leaving paper to start new news organisation

Ezra Klein
Ezra Klein, the impresario behind the widely read policy blog Wonkblog, is leaving the Washington Post "to start his own news organization," the newspaper announced on Tuesday.
 In nearly five years at the Post, Klein built a readership hungry for detailed but accessible forays into dense policy issues, from the federal budget to healthcare to social security. Klein also wrote a widely circulated morning newsletter, Wonkbook. Details of Klein's new project were unknown.
Klein was taking with him at least one other Wonkblog writer, Dylan Matthews, as well as Post director of platforms Melissa Bell.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Harper’s bodyguards accused of assaulting Palestinian cameraman

Palestinian journalists accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper's bodyguards of assaulting them when they tried to cover his visit Monday to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The cameramen objected in anger when the videographer for the prime minister's office, who is filming his every move during his inaugural Middle East visit, was allowed into the church ahead of the rest of the media. The Palestinians believed the videographer was a Canadian reporter and complained bitterly. The Palestinian Union of Journalists said that one journalist was punched in the face and another was hit with a metal object and urged all Palestinian journalists to boycott Harper's visit to Palestine. It also called on Harper to apologize

Barry Wilson, veteran agricuture reporter, retires

By CP's Jennifer Ditchburn
"While his press gallery peers criss-crossed the country over the years in the bubble of leaders’ campaigns, Barry Wilson liked to fly under the mainstream radar with his own custom-made election tour.
"Wilson, who retires this month after 34 years as the Western Producer newspaper’s Ottawa correspondent, would drive across the country in rented cars writing about candidates and issues in rural ridings.
"In an era of leader-driven politics and breathless 24/7 tweeting on this or that gaffe, you might say Wilson is a bit of a subversive.
“'It was just talking to the candidates and others about issues like the Wheat Board, gun control, rural infrastructure, getting them on the record on things that mattered to my readers that wouldn’t typically get covered,' Wilson said in an interview.
"Wilson, 65, is one of the deans of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, having arrived on Parliament Hill in 1980. He’s originally from the Pontiac region of Quebec, north of Ottawa, where his family has owned a farm for five generations."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Have the Globe editors freaked out?

Anyone foolish enough to still subscribe to the Globe and Mail's print edition will today receive a newspaper that from the front to the last page deals with "The North" -- yes that vast expanse that makes up most of our country. If you're looking for news, better go to the online edition where the whole paper seems to have been relegated to a button that brings up "The Magnetic North."  The rest of the online edition actually contains news. One wonders what goes through the Globe editors' heads. Is it any wonder that the newspapers are in trouble? Just asking.
The North (for the cognoscenti only)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Globe offering bonuses for editors who draw-in online readers

Bonuses for 30 Globe editors will be pegged to online analytics in 2014. Executives at the paper are confident the new system is key to digital success, but few in the industry have followed the Globe’s lead, and both experts and competitors warn the system is deeply flawed and could destroy the brand.
“We want the subscription model to work,” said editor-in-chief John Stackhouse. “And editorial choices drive subscriptions. One way to do that is rewarding people for doing it even better.”
Editors were given individual targets in the fall, but it’s only in 2014 that the targets will be tied to annual bonuses, said Stackhouse. Targets include audience metrics such as page views per unique visitor, minutes on page per unique visitor, video views, mobile usage and the conversion rate of readers to subscribers.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reinventing CNN: A good thing or a bad thing? (John Doyle column in the Globe)

John Doyle writes: "If there had been big, breaking news in the United States the other night, CNN would have been faced with a huge talent challenge. Most of its famous on-air people were sipping drinks poolside in L.A.
"I was there too, briefly, and I can report with confidence that a CNN party is kind of like a Globe and Mail party. Or any news organization party. A bunch of big-shot editors and reporters stand around by the bar, talking shop and creating an impenetrable gang. . . ."
Link to the column

Shaw embracing Internet as cable business slows

Shaw Communications Inc. is embracing the Internet, as the cable business, where it found much of its success, begins to suffer from the erosive effects of competition and new technology.
The company reported first-quarter profit of $245-million or 51 cents a share on revenue of $1.36-billion for the three months ended Nov. 30. Profit climbed slightly from $235-million or 50 cents a year earlier. Both revenue and profit were largely in line with what many analysts had predicted.
But perhaps the most distressing numbers for the Calgary-based company came from its TV offerings: it lost almost 30,000 cable subscribers and more than 9,300 satellite customers in the quarter. The subscriber losses illustrate a challenging reality for the Western Canadian cable giant – not only are some customers deciding they can live without traditional TV services, the remaining customers are being courted aggressively by competitors, most significantly Telus Corp.
More from the Globe and Mail

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Russia denies visa to U.S. journalist critical of Putin

David Satter
Russia has barred a U.S. journalist critical of President Vladimir Putin from the country for five years, in a move that could upset relations with the United States and has echoes of the Cold War, Reuters reports.
Moscow's treatment of David Satter could fuel concern about freedom of speech before the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month, although Putin has tried to appease critics by freeing former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and members of the Pussy Riot protest group in the run-up to the Games.
"I was expelled from the country," Satter wrote on his personal website. "This is an ominous precedent for all journalists and for freedom of speech in Russia."
The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Satter, author of three books on Russia and the Soviet Union, had been prevented from returning to Russia last month after grossly violating visa regulations.
In Washington, the State Department said it was disappointed that Russia had denied Satter a visa and had raised the issue with the authorities in Moscow.
Satter said that he had flown to Kiev to receive a new letter of invitation but instead received only a statement read to him by a Russian diplomat there declaring him persona non grata.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Layoffs announced at Postmedia and The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail announced it will seek to eliminate 18 positions—nine of them editorial—while Postmedia Network has laid off the social media editor of the National Post, among others, j-source reports.
Sources at the Globe said the newspaper's photo department is being gutted. It has five staff photographers in Toronto and with three impending layoffs, the department will have only one photographer left in Toronto and one in B.C. According to a memo sent by Globe publisher Phillip Crawley, the newspaper is seeking to eliminate nine editorial positions, including three copy editors, three photographers, one assistant photo editor, one editorial assistant and one head editorial clerk. The other positions will be eliminated from advertising and circulation.
The Globe has undertaken a number of cost-saving initiatives recently, including unpaid days off, buyouts and a reduction of more than 100 staff since September 2012. It has also left some vacancies unfilled.
“While these measures have helped, they are not sufficiently offsetting print revenue declines. As mentioned at the town hall today, we need to further reduce costs through employee layoffs,” Crawley said in the memo.
Employees have until Jan. 31 to offer their resignations, after which layoff notices will be distributed on Feb. 5. Laid off staff will begin to leave March 31.

Link to j-source

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rogers may launch Netflix rival for $100M

Rogers is preparing to launch an online streaming service in the coming months that would compete with Netflix, according to a report in the online trade magazine
Industry sources suggest the service would more closely resemble Hulu Plus, which offers consumers in the U.S. digital access to new TV shows for a monthly fee, said editor-in-chief Greg O'Brien.
Rogers has spent more than $100 million on content deals to build a robust catalogue of TV shows and movies that subscribers would be able to stream on demand, said O'Brien, who added that his sources did not know how Rogers intends to price the product

Monday, January 6, 2014

Corus Radio cancels Dean Blundell show after controversial on-air remarks

After a controversy involving crude on-air comments about gays, Corus Radio has cancelled the Dean Blundell show.
The end of the popular Toronto shock-radio show was announced in a brief statement on the website of radio station 102.1 the Edge on Monday.
“With the start of the new year, Corus Radio will be taking 102.1 the Edge in a new direction in 2014. The station will return to a more music-based format showcasing the best in modern rock,” said Dave Farough, general manager of Corus Radio Toronto. “As a result, The Dean Blundell Show has been cancelled, effective January 6, 2014.”
The full Globe and Mail story

Kamloops Daily News to close

After more than 80 years of publishing in Kamloops, the newspaper will cease operations within the next 60 days, the paper announced.
On Monday, Jan. 6, Glacier Media, parent company of the Daily News, served notice under Section 54 of the BC Labour Code to Unifor, representing unionized staff at the newspaper.
In an interview, Daily News publisher Tim Shoults said that the reason for the colosure is economic.
“This was certainly not our first option by any stretch of the imagination,” Shoults said, noting efforts to save the paper from closure simply could not be realized.
Shoults said 43 full-time and 12 part-time employees will lose their jobs, in addition to a number of drivers and carriers.

Bloomberg appoints former Globe and Mail editor Ed Greenspon as Canada editor-at-large

Edward Greenspon has joined Bloomberg LP as editor-at-large of its Canadian news division, the New York-based company said Monday.
Greenspon, the former editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail, left a job with Torstar Corp.’s Star Media Group last month.
Bloomberg said in an emailed statement that the appointment is part of a Canadian expansion, noting that it has increased its headcount by 50% in the last two years.
The company said  Greenspon will focus on increasing investigative and explanatory journalism in Canada.
He will work along with Bloomberg’s existing managing editor for Canada, David Scanlan, in the Toronto office.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Guess what? CBC Hamilton is online local news

Simon Houpt write about the new CBC "Hamilton news station:" which appears to be a website carrying local Hamilton news. It does not appear to stream and although by big media standards its staff of seven is judged to be tiny, the personnel is more than adequate to create broad local coverage. Is it a success? Did Eve tempt Adam with an apple?  CBC Hamlton  Simon Houpt, Globe and Mail 

Rupert Murdoch gives up on China with Fox’s sale of TV stake

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has sold its minority stake in the broadcaster Star China TV to private equity after finally giving up on the emerging Chinese television market.
Having recently divorced his third wife Wendi Deng, for Mr Murdoch the disposal of Star China also marks a break-up with her country of birth.
His ambitions to expand his media empire there have been frustrated for two decades by restrictions on foreign investment and censorship.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Edward Snowden should be forgiven for NSA leaks, newspaper editorials say

The New York Times and Guardian newspapers have called for clemency for Edward Snowden, saying that the espionage worker-turned-privacy advocate should be praised rather than punished for his disclosures.
The papers — both of which have played a role in publishing Snowden’s intelligence trove — suggested late Wednesday that the former National Security Agency contractor’s revelations about the United States’ world-spanning espionage program were of such public importance that they outweighed any possible wrongdoing.
“Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight,” the Times said, calling either for a plea bargain, some form of clemency, or a “substantially reduced punishment.”

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

AP photog Dave Martin dies on the job

Dave Martin, a longtime Associated Press photographer based in Montgomery, Ala., died after collapsing on the Georgia Dome field after the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday night. Martin, 59, ran onto the field immediately following Texas A&M’s 52-48 win over Duke and took photos of Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin being doused with a water bucket by his players. Martin continued to take celebration shots before collapsing. Martin suffered an apparent heart attack and was administered CPR on the field. He was placed on a stretcher and taken to Emory Hospital Midtown where he died early Wednesday morning

Reporter disguised as a priest tried to sneak into hospital room where Michael Schumacher is lying in a coma

A reporter disguised as a priest tried to sneak into Michael Schumacher’s hospital room, the Formula One legend’s manager confirmed to German media.
Schumacher, who turns 45 on Friday, suffered critical head injuries when he fell and struck a rock Sunday while skiing on a family vacation in the French Alps. His manager confirmed that the accident cracked his helmet, which doctors credited for giving him a chance at survival.
The family asked for privacy but one news reporter has shown a blatant disregard for the family’s wishes and tried to sneak into the room where Schumacher is lying in a coma.
“Apparently, a journalist disguised as a priest has tried to get access to Michael’s room,” Kehm told German newspaper Die Welt.
“This is something I would not have thought possible. As soon as his disguise was recognized, he was expelled from the hospital.”

Blog Archive