Monday, June 30, 2014

No bylines in the Globe today!

The Globe notes on Page 2 that staff have chosen to withhold bylines today to support their demands during negotiations for a new collective agreement. No further details published.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pick-and-Pay cable would mean changes to local TV funding, say Bell, Rogers

Two of Canada's biggest telecommunications companies, Bell and Rogers, are clashing over the future of local television and who should pay for it.
In its submissions to the CRTC, Bell said it believes changes should be made by the regulator to allow local TV stations to be reclassified as "local specialty services."
The move, said Bell, which is owned by telecommunications giant BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE), would allow stations to charge broadcast distributors, such as cable companies and satellite TV firms, wholesale rates subject to existing must-carry rules.
The money generated would be combined with advertising revenues and go towards supporting local television, it said.
Full CBC story

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Arizona J-school takes over PBS station to teach joiurnalism

Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is about to take the concept of teaching journalism to the next level.
Starting next Tuesday, the J-school will own and operate Eight, Arizona PBS, the PBS outlet in Phoenix, the nation's 12th-largest media market. It will take over news and public affairs programming on the station's three TV channels and its website. And, more intriguing, the school will offer the station as a venue for professional news outlets to experiment as they try to reinvent journalism in the digital age.
"This has game-changing potential," says Christopher Callahan, the Cronkite School's dean and the university's vice provost. "The combination of a large PBS outlet and a university that prides itself on disruptive innovation is very powerful."
The whole story

CBC to cut back supper-hour news, in-house productions

The CBC is shifting its priorities from television and radio to digital and mobile services, a move that will reduce staff, and supper-hour news broadcasts and programs produced in-house, says CBC president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix.
“We used to lead with television and radio. Web came and then mobility came. We are reversing, we are inverting the priorities that we have,” Lacroix said, referring to the broadcaster’s 2020 strategy. “We’re going to lead now with mobility, we’re going to lead with whatever widget you use.
"You’re going to see an investment in mobility that’s going to rise as the investment in perhaps television ... is reduced.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Toronto Star donates more than one million archive photos to Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Star is donating more than one million vintage photographs — the contents of the Star’s entire photo archive — to the Toronto Public Library.
The images span the years 1900 to 1999, and offer a unique glimpse into how the city has changed and developed throughout the last century.
Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank says the Toronto Public Library is “an extraordinary city institution,” and will be a great place for the collection.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Veteran Ottawa journalist Arch MacKenzie dead at 88

Arch MacKenzie, a legendary journalist who oversaw the Ottawa bureau of The Canadian Press during some of the most tumultuous political events of the 1970s and 1980s, died Monday. He was 88.
During his time in Ottawa, MacKenzie was regarded as a model boss, and was a powerful influence on a generation of reporters.
He kept active in retirement, serving as a judge for the Michener awards for public service journalism, and as an executive member of the board of the Michener Awards Foundation.
MacKenzie was born in Regina on March 13, 1926. He joined The Canadian Press news agency in the early 1950s, but was fired during a failed effort to unionize the news service. He ended up working for Reuters in London, England. While in London, he was rehired by Gil Purcell, then head of CP and noted for his penny-pinching.
Full CP obit

Bell Media to lay off up to 120 staff at TV operations due to weak ad sales

Bell Media plans to lay off about 5% of its Toronto workforce due to “financial pressure” in its advertising and subscription TV services, the Financial Post reports.
The radio and television division of BCE Inc. said Monday that as many as 120 jobs will be cut this summer.
“This morning, Bell Media informed the Federal Minister of Labour that we will be required to eliminate up to 120 positions in our Toronto television operations,” Bell Media president Kevin Crull said in a memo to employees on Monday.
“This represents a reduction of approximately 5% of our Toronto area workforce and 1.8% of the national team. As you know, the television industry is subject to a competitive and fast-changing business
environment. “
Bell Media spokesman Scott Henderson declined to specify where the cuts would be made, but said the layoffs do not include jobs in radio.
Earlier Monday, the president of CTV News confirmed that its prime time current affairs show “Kevin Newman Live” had been pulled from the air, though Henderson said the announced job cuts were not related to the show’s cancellation.

Al-Jazeera journalists jailed for seven years in Egypt

An Egyptian court on Monday convicted three journalists from Al-Jazeera English, including an Egyptian-Canadian, and sentenced them to seven years in prison each on terrorism-related charges in a case that has brought an outcry from human rights groups.
The sentences were handed down against Egyptian-Canadian acting Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, Australian correspondent Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, who also received an extra three years in prison on separate charges. Fahmy,
Greste and Mohamed were arrested in December in a raid on the Cairo hotel room they were using as an office, as part of a sweeping crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.
They were accused of supporting Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which the authorities have declared a terrorist organization.
They also face charges of fabricating footage to undermine Egypt’s national security and make it appear the country was facing civil war. The prosecution has offered little evidence to back up the charges against them.

CBC personalities protest against planned documentary cuts

The Globe's Simon Houpt reports that some of the CBC’s most prominent on-air personalities are calling on the public broadcaster to overturn a contentious proposal to halt all in-house production of documentaries.
The plan would effectively close the department that has produced award-winning programming such as Canada: A People’s History, The Canadian Experience and the acclaimed aboriginal miniseries 8th Fire.
Peter Mansbridge, Adrienne Arsenault, David Suzuki, Anna Maria Tremonti and more than 30 other news and current affairs staff have signed a letter expressing alarm at the proposal, which comes amid what‎ they call “a precipitous decline of documentaries in the CBC-TV schedule.”
The broadcaster will hold a town hall on Thursday to reveal its new five-year strategic plan to employees.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Interesting column by New York Times public editor on digital and print

"Digital-only subscriptions, now at about 800,000, are credited with saving the day. But keeping them growing is difficult; relying on their continued dramatic growth is an unsustainable idea."

"In order to thrive, The Times needs radical change at an accelerated pace. At a company so heavily reliant on print for revenue and on digital for the future, that won’t be easy. But it’s crucial, because for readers what’s essential is Times journalism — not its form but its survival."
The whole column

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Globe editorial board endorsed Wynne Liberals, was overruled: Canadaland

A highly-placed source within the Globe and Mail has leaked the following item to CANADALAND:
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board unanimously agreed to endorse a minority Liberal government for the Ontario provincial election but was overruled at deadline by Editor-in-Chief David Walmsley. Walmsley held the section up at noon last Friday for over two hours, costing the budget-strapped and job-slashing Globe tens of thousands of dollars as Editorial Board editor Tony Keller gnashed his teeth and squeezed out a forced endorsement for Tim Hudak's Conservatives.
Link to Canadaland

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Toronto Star wins 2013 Michener Award for its coverage of Mayor Rob Ford

The Toronto Star has won the 2013 Michener Award for reporting on the antics of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that led to a police investigation — and Ford eventually being stripped of his mayoral powers.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston presented the Toronto Star with the prestigious award at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Wednesday evening.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

'Victims Can Lie as Much as Other People' - -The Atlantic magazine on press gullibility

Somaly Mam, the celebrated Cambodian anti-sex-trafficking activist  according to a recent Newsweek expose, fabricated parts of her story and those of some of the alleged victims she advocated for. The revelations have disillusioned many of Mam’s loyal supporters and left the press looking gullible. Just as importantly, they’ve highlighted the public’s seemingly insatiable desire for heroic narratives—and the willingness of many in the media to provide them. The New York Times public editor has asked columnist Nicholas Kristof for an explanation of his columns promoting her.
On May 28, a week after Newsweek’s story appeared, the New York-based Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF), as a result of its own independent, third-party investigation into allegations about Mam’s personal history, accepted its namesake’s resignation, “effective immediately.” Since its founding in 2007, SMF—whose Global Advisory Board includes actress Susan Sarandon, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and, until recently, Melanne Verveer, former chief of staff to Hillary Clinton—has, according to tax filings, raised millions for Mam’s Cambodian organization, AFESIP (Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Pr├ęcaire), which operates rehabilitation centers for victims of sexual slavery.
The whole story

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hartley Steward, former Sun publisher, dies

Hartley Steward, who served as publisher for the Toronto Sun from 1995 to 1997, before resigning from his post to write a twice-weekly column for the paper has died.  He was 72. The Sun says a memorial is in the works, to be held in Creemore, which was a “very special place” for him and his wife.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dramatic Taliban video of U.S. soldier release

The Taliban released a video of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s handover to U.S. special forces after five years in captivity. Bergdahl, 28, is believed to have slipped away from his platoon’s small outpost in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. In exchange for his release, the United States agreed to free five Taliban commanders from captivity.
The video, shot by the Taliban, shows how war coverage has changed.

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