Friday, August 29, 2014

War by social media: Islamic State’s propaganda is growing online

An excellent story by the Globe's Omar El Akkad about the Islamists' use of social media to spread their propaganda.

"It is a testament to the propaganda prowess of the world’s most infamous new terrorist organization that, in April of this year, the U.S. State Department created a Twitter account specifically to dissuade young men from running off to fight for the Islamic State (IS).
"The account, called 'Think Again Turn Away,' is nominally aimed at condemning all terrorist groups, but has focused its efforts almost exclusively at IS (previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL). However, with just 5,000 or so followers, the State Department’s account has only a tiny fraction of the following of IS-related accounts on Twitter. Indeed, almost every item the U.S. government account posts is usually inundated with antagonistic replies from IS supporters.
the whole story

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Susan Bonner new host of World at Six

Susan Bonner
CBC News has announced that veteran CBC News journalist Susan Bonner will be the new host of the World at Six, CBC News’ flagship nightly radio program. Susan takes over the anchor chair on Tuesday, September 2.
“Susan’s been at the front lines of major stories over the course of her career, and she’ll bring that depth of experience and innate curiosity to her role leading the World at Six,” said Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor in chief, CBC News.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Missing journalist Steve Pettibone found dead

Steve Pettibone
A body found in a field in eastern Ontario is that of a journalist who went missing earlier this week, police confirmed Wednesday.
Belleville, Ont., police Det. Jeremy Ashley said the body of Steve Pettibone, 39, was discovered not far from his abandoned vehicle, the Canadian Press reports.
Police do not suspect foul play in his death.
Pettibone's car was found in a rural area outside Brockville, Ont., on Tuesday night, prompting an extensive search involving ATVs, a canine unit and a police helicopter that led to the discovery of the body.
Ashley said Pettibone's family has been notified and that an autopsy will be conducted Thursday in Ottawa.
Pettibone was last seen at 7:30 a.m. on Monday when he left his home in Belleville to go to work at the Brockville Recorder and Times, where he was the sports editor.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mark Medley, NatPost books editor, jumps to Globe

Mark Medley
Mark Medley, a veteran of the National Post, has joined the Globe and Mail as books editor, various twitter feeds report. It appears to be part of a continuing shakeup under the Globe's new editor, David Walmsley.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hunt for identity of masked killer who beheaded journalist James Foley

James Foley
UK intelligence agencies are seeking the identity of the masked man with an English accent who was filmed beheading US journalist James Foley in Syria, the Irish Times and British media report.
British prime minister David Cameron yesterday abandoned his family holiday to return to Downing Street for talks with foreign secretary Philip Hammond and intelligence and military officers.
The apparent involvement of a British citizen follows his recent warnings that the UK must help to defeat Islamic State because of the security threat it poses to the UK.
US authorities yesterday confirmed the authenticity of the video, which shows Mr Foley in an orange jumpsuit, kneeling before his throat is cut. His severed head is shown dumped on his body before the killer warns another kidnapped journalist, Steven Sotloff, will be executed next.
The militant who appeared in video, who called himself John and is believed to be from London, was identified by one of his former hostages as the ringleader of three British jihadists thought to be the main guards of foreign nationals in Raqqa, a stronghold of Islamic State rebels

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

QMI agency sports editor missing

Steve Pettibone
Police in Belleville, Ont.,  have found a car matching the description of the one owned by a QMI Agency sports editor Steve Pettibone who vanished on his way to work in eastern Ontario.
Pettibone was last seen at his Belleville residence at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. He left home for his job at the Recorder and Times newspaper in Brockville, Ont., about 160 km east, but never arrived.
The night before he went missing, Pettibone had texted with a fellow reporter and tweeted about the Blue Jays. On Monday morning, he said goodbye to his partner Michelle and said he was on his way to work.

Seamus O’Regan seeks nomination to run for federal Liberals in Newfoundland

Former broadcast journalist Seamus O’Regan is seeking the federal Liberal nomination in the Newfoundland riding of St. John’s South-Mount Pearl.
O’Regan, originally from St. John’s, hosted CTV’s Canada AM for nearly 10 years and later was a national correspondent for the network.
Prior to his career in journalism, O’Regan was a senior policy adviser to then-premier Brian Tobin.
The 43-year-old O’Regan is executive vice-president for communications at the Stronach Group, a racetrack operator, and a media innovator in residence at Ryerson University.

The riding is currently held by NDP MP Ryan Cleary.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Stephen Meurice is editor of the Canadian Press

RELEASE -- The Canadian Press announced today that Stephen Meurice has been appointed Editor-in Chief of the national news agency, effective immediately. Mr. Meurice has enjoyed a distinguished career in Canadian news organizations, including serving as Editor-in-Chief of the National Post. The Canadian Press also announced today the appointment of Andrew Lundy to the role of Vice-President, Digital. This is a new executive management role, responsible for the overall leadership of the news agency’s digital strategy and operations, reporting to Malcolm Kirk, President of The Canadian Press.  Release 

Friday, August 15, 2014

CTV axes seven W5 producers, reduces number of episodes

CTV has made deep cuts to its flagship newsmagazine show W5, blaming falling advertising revenues and changing viewer habits. Bell Media, which runs CTV, said Friday that seven contract positions on the production team at W5 were not renewed. As a result, the network is trimming the number of episodes it will air this season to 14 from the usual 23. CTV News president Wendy Freeman said in a statement that the broadcast industry faces severe financial pressures due to a steep decline in advertising revenue. W5 was launched in 1966, making it the longest-running current affairs/documentary program in North America. It tackles investigations and digs into top stories in a newsmagazine format. The show’s hosts include Lloyd Robertson, Sandie Rinaldo, Lisa LaFlamme and Kevin Newman, who joined after his prime-time series Kevin Newman Live was axed after just seven months

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Harper's official photographer to use drone camera in Iqaluit

GoPro camera
Jason Ransom, the official photographer for the Prime Minister’s Office. plans to use a drone mounted camera during the prime minister's visit to Iqaluit August 24 to 26.
He received permission to do so from Transport Canada and Iqaluit City Council. He plans to mount a GoPro camera on a remote controlled airplane during Operation Nanook. the  annual Arctic military exercise that will see 800 military personnel in Frobisher Bay from August 21 to 31, simulating a cruise ship disaster.  Harper will make an appearance in Iqaluit at that time, as part of his annual summer visit to the North.

CBC cuts sportscasters

Veteran sportscasters Steve Armitage and Mark Lee are the latest high-profile casualties of budget cuts at the CBC.
Armitage, 70, lent his booming voice to CBC sports events for some 49 years — handling play-by-play on 29 seasons of “Hockey Night in Canada,” 27 Grey Cups and 15 Olympic Games. Lee is 58.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kevin O'Leary quits CBC, heads back to BNN

Not together again
Entrepreneurial television tough guy and Rosedale denizen Kevin O'Leary has jumped ship at the CBC to go back to CTV's Business News Network, the  National Post  reports. It leaves the CBC's Lang and O'Leary Exchange with only Amanda Lang still in place. The two made their earliest reputation in business news at BNN and then resigned to join the CBC. In 1999 Mr. Leary sold a software firm, The Learning Company, to Mattel in a $3.8 billion stock swap. TLC did not prosper and deal is often cited as an example of the tech boom folly of many large companies. Over the years, many people snickered at the Lang and O'Leary brand because frequently the program had neither Lang nor O'Leary at their on-air desks. CBC says the program will be re-branded somehow to feature Ms. Lang. She is the daughter of Otto Lang, a Liberal party MP and federal cabinet member during the 1960s and 1970s.  Her stepfather, Donald Stovel Macdonald, was also a federal Cabinet minister.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Chapman Pincher, Fleet St. scoop specialist, dies at 100

 Chapman Pincher
Great obit by the New York Times' Douglas Martin:
Chapman Pincher was ballyhooed by his own newspaper, The London Daily Express, as the world’s greatest reporter, and he introduced himself as such. He insinuated himself into the murky world of spy chiefs, generals, politicians and royalty by taking them to lunch at a fine French restaurant, say, or joining them for pheasant hunting and salmon fishing.
His reward was 40 years of scoops about double agents, secret weapons and the inner workings of governments. In 1966, not bothering to wait four more years, his paper called him its reporter of the decade. His best tributes came perhaps from his enemies.
“Can nothing be done to suppress or get rid of Pincher?” Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote to his defense minister in 1959.
Link to the full obit

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Jack Fleishmann to leave CTV

Jack Fleishmann
CTV announced today that Jack Fleischmann, Vice-President, CTV News Channel, and General Manager, BNN, “will be departing from Bell Media to pursue new opportunities.”
Fleishmann joined BNN at its start and in 2012 took on the role of Vice President, CTV News Channel.
An announcement from CTV News President Wendy Freeman said “succession plans will be shared soon.”

Monday, August 4, 2014

When lightning hits file stand-up from water

Journalism profs used to make shy students cry by ordering them to do man-on-the-street interviews. It sorted out who was going to make it and who wasn't. Another convention, this one created by television, is the flood-water standup. Here is Travis Dhanraj of CP24 in what may his first such immersion.   

CNN correspondent Arwa Damon bit two medics in violent, drunken rage at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad: lawsuit

Two employees of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad are suing CNN and one of its senior international correspondents, Arwa Damon, claiming that she was "seriously intoxicated" and "unruly and violent" on July 19 when she allegedly bit them both as they provided her medical aid.
Charles Simons and Tracy Lamar, EMTs working for a private contractor in Baghdad, claim CNN has continued to employ the Emmy-award winning journalist despite her “history of becoming intoxicated and then abusive.”
The 36-year-old was “totally out of control” the day of the incident, forcing embassy staff to call the medics to calm the correspondent.
N.Y. Daily New story

Former W.H. press secretary James Brady, wounded in Reagan assassination attempt, dead at 73

James Brady
James Brady, the former White House press secretary wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, has died at the age of 73.
According to a statement issued by his family, Brady died Monday morning "after a series of health issues."
Brady suffered a head wound on March 30, 1981 outside the Washington Hilton Hotel when a gunman fired six bullets at Reagan. One bullet bounced off Reagan's limousine and wounded the president in the chest. A Secret Service agent and D.C. police officer were also wounded and survived.
Brady's wound left him partially paralyzed and his job as Reagan's press secretary was cut short. He retained the title, however, throughout Reagan's presidency.
More from CBC

Alison Uncles to Maclean's

Alison Uncles, who had been associate editor weekends and features at the Toronto Star, is joining Maclean's magazine as deputy editor, various Twitter feeds report. Uncles masterminded the recent Star World War I features and special pages.


Jon Filson to lead launch of Toronto Star’s tablet edition

Jon Filson will lead the launch of Toronto Star’s tablet edition.
Filson, who is the sports editor of the Star, will start his new role as assistant managing editor–tablet launch, on Aug. 11, according to a memo sent by managing editor Jane Davenport. J-Source reports.
“In the year ahead, the launch of a tablet edition as a major platform for our journalism will be a top priority,” she said in the memo. “Jon will be taking a leading role, working directly with me, to get our newsroom ready to take this step—likely at this time next year.”
His replacement as sports editor has not been named.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Vancouver's Bill Good and Philip Till retire

Long-time hosts Bill Good and Philip Till are retiring after nearly three decades with Vancouver’s CKNW radio station, j-Source reports.
Good, who is leaving broadcasting after 50 years in the business and 26 at CKNW, aired his last show on Aug. 1. Previously, he also worked at CBC in Vancouver, where his duties included hosting Hockey Night in Canada, as well as CFAX in Victoria and BCTV and CTV in Vancouver.
Meanwhile, Till retired after 25 years on July 31. Till hosted the three-hour morning news show for nearly 10 years. Prior to joining CKNW, he was a foreign correspondent with NBC News.
Replacements have not been named yet for either host.

Lianne George named editorial director of Chatelaine

Lianne George is the new editorial director of Chatelaine.
George was editor of The Grid until its parent company, Torstar, decided to cease publication last month. She will join the Roger’s-owned magazine as its editorial director on Aug. 20 and report to editor-in-chief Karine Ewart.
George has previously worked for Maclean's, Elle Canada and National Post. She is a graduate of the journalism program at Western University.

The lights are on, but nobody's home at Google

The big news in the Google Ontario budget today (Saturday, August 2, 2014) was that terrible crash of a car into the doors of a Costco in London, Ontario. It hit six and had led to the death of at least two. But that top tale as posted by Google is a Canadian Press story in the Vancouver Sun dated today which is actually more than a week old.  It has happened before from time to time and no one seems to know exactly why. It is especially alarming that the story in the Sun is dated today. Strange News, strange Google, strange CP. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

John Honderich, Craig Oliver named to News Hall of Fame

John Honderich, a lifelong newspaperman who is chair of the board of Torstar Corp., has been named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame.
He will share the honour this year with CTV reporter Craig Oliver, a veteran newsman who started with a CBC radio station in Prince Rupert, B.C., in 1957 and moved to CTV in 1972, where he ultimately became Ottawa bureau chief.

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