Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Swiss TV Station Replaces Cameras with iPhones and Selfie Sticks

iPhones may not be very good at photographing lunar eclipses, but apparently they’re just fine for television news broadcasts. A local TV news station in Switzerland has ditched standard TV cameras to go 100% iPhone, the website Petapixel reports.
Swiss newspaper Le Temps reports that the TV station Léman Bleu made the major switch this past summer when it outfitted each reporter on the field with an iPhone 6 kit for shooting pre-recorded stories and for shooting live shots.
“It’s a search for lightness and responsiveness, but also a way to reduce the costs of producing a newscast,” the station’s news director, Laurent Keller, tells Le Temps. The station may not even be the first to make this shift: Keller also notes that one Scandinavian news outlet has already gone with an all-iPhone camera roster.
Keller says the new use of iPhone cameras allows reporters to go live from anywhere, both on air and online. “It’s up to us to reinvent the grammar of the image, to learn to shoot differently,” Keller says. Since the station is only on air for a few hours each day, this move to iPhones will allow reporters to capture and share much more content for online channels.

"A day of outrage," reinstates Leafs broadcasters on the road: Toronto Sun

The Toronto Sun's Rob Longley writes:
"And after a day of outrage at the insult sent to long-time voice of the Leafs Bowen and his witty colour sidekick Ralph, the folks that run Rogers and Bell came to what was left of their senses late Monday.
"Yes, Ralph and Bowen will be on the road again for all 41 Leafs regular-season away games. And yes, they will be able to do their jobs as professionals."
The full story

Layoffs at The Daily News: The end of tabloids?

Alan Feuer of the New York Times writes:
"When it was over and the feature page was gone, dozens of reporters had been fired and the morning assignment editor was shown the door only minutes after handing out the morning’s first assignments, The Daily News — or what was left of it — was in a state of shock.
"For weeks the staff had known that layoffs might be coming, and when they did come, on Sept. 16, it was with the swiftness of a Soviet-era purge. Newsroom veterans were summoned into an office and told about a digitally driven corporate restructuring.
"Those outside the building were told their fates by phone — some while on vacation. One reporter was so left in the dark that when she got to work that day, there was already an intern in her seat."
The whole story

Monday, September 28, 2015

Maple Leafs kick radio crew off team charters to road games

Toronto Maple Leafs management won’t allow its radio broadcast crew to travel on team charters this season, a new development that will leave long-time play-by-play voice Joe Bowen calling road games off a television feed inside a Toronto studio, the Star's Sean Fitz-Gerald reports.
The team informed the broadcasters of its policy change as training camps opened this month. In Toronto, TSN Radio 1050 and Sportsnet 590 The Fan split the radio rights — with the parent companies, BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications, respectively, holding a majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
“We have a new team policy this year, in that team charters are going to be for the team,” Leafs spokesman Steve Keogh said Monday.
“They’re not on the plane, no.” He said the radio crew was allowed on the charter flights last year, and while he could not say how long that practice had been in place, he believed it had been “for some time.”
Bowen and Jim Ralph, the long-time colour analyst, were informed late last week. Keogh said the decision was not part of any broader tightening of editorial control by the franchise.
The full Star story

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Moderator trying to rein in party leaders in Monday's debate. Good luck with that!

Mike Blanchfield of The Canadian Press writes:
"In a turbulent world with new troubles at every turn, the moderator of Monday night’s foreign policy debate has a simple message for the three main federal leaders: forget the talking points, and go deep.
"Rudyard Griffiths, the chair of the Munk Debates, knows politicians like to keep things tightly scripted, but he says the world is at a pivotal moment — from new challenges posed by a more assertive China and Russia, to the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War with the Middle East exodus.
" So it’s time, says Griffiths, for Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau to explain their rationale for how Canada can navigate all of that turmoil and make a concrete — and practical — contribution, especially at a time when the country has limited resources."
The whole story

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Wynne documentary to air next month

The Star reports that the contentious documentary about Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne by Peter Raymont's White Pine Pictures will air next month on CTV in the W5 time slot. The documentary was produced for TV Ontario but the broadcast was cancelled when a dispute developed between White Pine and the premier's office.
Link lo Star story

Canadian priest go-to communicator during Pope’s Cuba, U.S. tour

The Globe and Mail's Eric Reguly writes:
"Rev. Thomas Rosica, chief executive of Toronto’s Salt + Light Media, a Catholic TV and web service, is the grand tour’s English-language media attaché, and predawn to midnight a whirlwind, surviving on only five hours’ sleep. He pumps out detailed daily reports on the Pope’s itinerary, puts the Pope’s comments into historical and cultural context, interprets for the English speakers, is the go-to man for a million Pope-related questions, and sums it all up for American TV viewers on CNN, CBS and other networks."
Full story

Friday, September 25, 2015

Former Star editor remembered for legendary caper in Canadian journalism

The Star's Mary Warren writes:
"One day in 1977, Alastair Dow and fellow Toronto Star editors Bruce Garvey and Jim Rennie decided over a booze-soaked lunch to fly to across the Atlantic, just because.
"In a story that’s become legendary in Canadian journalism, the details of which differ depending on who tells it, the three newspaper men eventually got sent home and landed in a whack of trouble with their bosses.
“'They just needed to go to England right away,' recalled Dow’s son, Rob, with a laugh.
“'There wasn’t a plan. They went over and someone at the Star had to collect them and send them back. They sent a hat around the airplane and begged for money.' It was a caper from another time and the stuff of old-time newspaper movies.
"Dow, the sole living member of the trio and a former Toronto Star business writer and political editor, died this week at age 77 after a long illness."
The whole story

Thursday, September 24, 2015

La Presse laying off 158 as weekday printed edition ends

Montreal La Presse is laying off 158 employees as it prepares to eliminate its weekday printed newspaper in January, The Canadian Press reports.
The French-language newspaper says it is cutting 102 permanent and 56 temporary positions.
They include 43 newsroom positions.
However, La Presse says it will still have the largest newsroom in Quebec with 283 employees compared with 239 in 2011, before it began hiring to create a digital offering called La Presse Plus.
The job cuts include unionized, non-unionized and management positions. La Presse says the departure of unionized positions will be determined in accordance with collective agreements, including seniority.
After the job cuts, the paper will have 633 permanent positions.
The print edition of the 131-year-old paper will only be available on Saturdays after Jan. 1.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Good rundown on the remaining debates by L. Ian MacDonald

"The first one, on Radio-Canada in Thursday prime-time, will be picked up via ‘simultrans’ by CBC News Network and CTV News Channel, and streamed on Globalnews.ca.
"In effect, it’s a consortium debate with Radio-Canada playing the lead role. So it will be professionally produced and run by journalists who understand television — a marked contrast to last week’s Globe and Mail debate on the economy, an unmitigated disaster in terms of both production values and moderating.
"The Rad-Can debate will be followed next Monday by the Munk Debate on foreign policy. It’ll play out before a live audience in a sold-out, 3,000-seat Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, with Rudyard Griffiths in his usual role as moderator. Griffiths is a polished television performer, and Peter Munk’s organization knows how to run a major-league event."
The whole story

Mohamed Fahmy pardoned by Egyptian president, released from prison

Mohamed Fahmy, who last month lost his second trial on terrorism-related charges, has been released from prison after he was granted a pardon by Egyptian President Adbel Fattah el-Sisi.
The Associated Press reported that Fahmy and fellow journalist Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian national, were dropped off by police in a Cairo suburb.

CBC might sell all its buildings including Toronto HQs

There are conflicting reports today that the CBC plans to sell all its buildings across Canada including its downtown Toronto broadcast headquarters at Wellington and John, Blog T.O. reports. The Canadian Media Guild is reporting that an announcement came at a town hall meeting and was in response to the decline in funding the CBC is receiving from taxpayers.
According to the Toronto Star, however, the manager of media relations at CBC, Alexandra Fortier, denied the claim, saying the broadcaster will be following the plan announced in February to sell up to 50 percent of its property.
The news comes in the midst of a Federal election campaign where both the Liberal and NDP parties have promised to restore some of the funding the CBC lost under the Harper government

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Election debates too important to be left to amateurs: Robin Sears

Excellent analysis of the botched leaders' debates.
"David Walmsley learned a hard public lesson on Thursday night in Calgary: successfully moderating a live political debate is a fine art that requires a rare skill set hard to acquire. As a result, there was a surprising degree of pundit unanimity about the winners and losers of the economic debate. The Globe and the audience who stayed with the amateur production lost. The broadcast consortium won. . . .
"Live television production is a complex challenge requiring dozens of professionals and big budgets. Sadly, the Calgary event offered some clear evidence of that, looking more like a community cable channel production."
The full column

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Federal leaders debates, campaign tours outliving their usefulness: Delacourt

The Star's Susan Delacourt writes:
"We are seeing the looming extinction of two political species in this federal election — leaders tours and leaders debates.
"Both were created for another time, and neither is serving a particularly useful role in helping make citizens make an informed choice a month from now at the ballot box.
"Start with Thursday night’s debate, which was hosted by the Globe and Mail in Calgary and moderated by the paper’s editor-in-chief, David Walmsley.
"In sheer visual terms, the event cast politics as a private insiders club. Leaders stood behind podiums against a Gothic, violet-hued photo backdrop of the Parliament buildings (which raises the question about why one would need to go all the way to Calgary to create a big purple Ottawa on a stage). "The three leaders shouted over each other’s remarks and punctuated their talking points with personal shots at their opponents.
"The best that can be said about this exercise is that it was good training for the empty theatre of question period, which is also well past its best-before date in format and democratic utility."
 The full column
(We are not sure she is right. Let TV people stage the debates with TV journalists as moderators. The Globe and Mail debate was amateurish. Steve Paikin of TVO would have handled it much better.)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Former Olympic boss John Furlong wins defamation case

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong did not defame a freelance journalist who reported on allegations he abused First Nations students, a judge ruled Friday,
CP reports that British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge has released her written decision in a defamation lawsuit filed by freelance journalist Laura Robinson.
Wedge said she found no evidence that Furlong was motivated by malice and accepted his defence of qualified privilege, meaning he had the right to defend his reputation. She said the issue in the legal action was whether Furlong was entitled to respond in the way he did to Robinson’s published stories.
The woman’s articles could not be fairly characterized as simply reporting on another persons’ allegations against Furlong, her ruling stated.
“Rather, the publications constituted an attack by Ms. Robinson on Mr. Furlong’s character, conduct and credibility.”
Furlong issued a statement that said he was pleased with the ruling and thanked his family, friends and supporters for standing by him.
The whole CP story

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

La Presse to end weekday printed paper in new year

Montreal La Presse, owned by Power Corp., announced Wednesday that the print edition of the 131-year-old French-language paper will only be available on Saturdays after Jan. 1, the Canadian Press reports.
Publisher Guy Crevier says the paper will become the world’s first major daily to go completely digital on weekdays as it responds to a permanent shift in advertising spending.
The North American newspaper sector has lost 63 per cent of its revenues — or $29 billion — over the past decade, Crevier said in an interview.
“There is nobody who can survive in an environment like that,” he said.
His newspaper’s digital edition — called La Presse Plus — is more successful than the print edition just 30 months after it was introduced.
Full story

CTV 1, CBC 0, in the John Doyle scoring of TV election coverage

The Globe and Mail's John Doyle writes:
"And there’s the pivotal point. CBC’s coverage is, too often, just terrible TV. CTV News grasps that it’s in the TV racket and the medium itself must be served. It’s perfectly possible to do serious campaign coverage while making compelling TV. That’s shouldn’t be news to CBC."
The whole column
(Let's see what he says about the Globe hosted debate scheduled for Thursday! -- ED)

Elizabeth May to tweet her way into Globe and Mail debate

The Green Party leader plans to muscle her way into the conversation, at least online, with the help of Twitter.
The party is teaming up with the social media company to swiftly film and Tweet May's video responses to statements by the three invited leaders.
The Globe and Mail asked  Harper, Tom Mulcair and  Justin Trudeau to discuss economic issues Thursday evening at Calgary's Stampede Park.
May and her team will be hunkered down in a Victoria church with Twitter's Steve Ladurantaye, creating a steady stream of video remarks, retorts and reality checks.
People watching the debate on the Canadian Parliamentary Affairs Channel or at globeandmail.com won't see or hear May.
But the idea is to engage Canadians following the debate on Twitter, including many who will have their TV remote in one hand and their smartphone or tablet in the other.
Full story

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Toronto Star pins hopes of younger audience on new tablet app

The Globe and Mail's media reporter James Bradshaw reports:
"The Star Touch application, launching Tuesday, is an ambitious but expensive bet on the device Apple Inc. has made a staple in many households since the first iPad in 2010, but whose popularity shows signs of stalling. And it marks a major change of course in the way the Star makes its news, and delivers it.
"Since it was first announced last November, the Star has upended newsroom routines to make the tablet edition’s needs paramount and shift to a more TV-news-style production cycle, without abandoning its print, online or mobile offerings. The tablet has changed the way the Star crafts its news, promising richer visuals and more interactivity, but whether it can reshape and expand readership remains an open question."
The whole story

Monday, September 14, 2015

Rex Murphy retiring from Cross Country Checkup

After 21 years as host of Cross Country Checkup, Rex Murphy has decided to retire from the show, the CBC reports.
Rex first appeared on Checkup several times as a guest host and became the full-time host on August 7, 1994.
"His ability to connect with Canadians of all backgrounds using a unique mix of humour, civility and probing intellect quickly put a strong stamp on the program," the CBC says.
Rex's last day on-air will be Sunday, September 20, 2015. He will continue his weekly commentaries on The National.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

National Geographic fans worry about partnership with climate change skeptic Rupert Murdoch

The Washngton Post's Sarah Kaplan reports:
Last month, Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to vent his frustration about an upcoming United Nations climate summit in New York.
A week later, he blamed “extreme greenies” for hindering economic growth. “Seems beyond reason,” he wrote.
On Wednesday, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox paid $725 million for 73 percent control of a partnership with National Geographic’s media arm, giving Murdoch and his media empire sway over the magazine revered for its science coverage.
[National Geographic gives Fox control of media assets in $725 million deal]
That has the magazine’s fans worried.
But outside onlookers, pointing to scientists’ criticism of Murdoch’s comments and Fox’s climate change coverage, gloomily speculated about the effect of the partnership on the magazine’s famous science journalism.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Journalist pauses mid-report to help refugees ashore in Lesbos

A British journalist is being praised — and criticized by some — for his decision to jump in and help a group of struggling refugees out of their boat during a news report on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy was in Greece this week, along with many news teams from around the world, to report on the boatloads of refugees arriving there in search of asylum.

Social media still not a vetting priority for political parties: experts

The Globe and Mail's Michelle McQuigge reports:
The recent spate of social media gaffes offering sideshows on the election trail highlights both the need for and dangers of scrutinizing the online personas of would-be politicians, say experts.
Video footage, tweets and Facebook status updates posted to the web long before the campaign kicked off have caused headaches among all political parties and forced candidates of all stripes to abandon their bids for elected office.
The content of the archived posts ranged from the sophomoric to the offensive, causing observers to wonder how party officials could have failed to spot the red flags while assessing each candidate’s online history.
Experts say that’s because social media has still not become a vetting priority for Canada’s political parties.
“It’s fairly obvious that all concerned are not giving enough weight to social media vetting before approving anyone’s candidacy,” social media analyst Carmi Levy said in a telephone interview. “They’re not doing basic due diligence, and it’s coming back to bite them.”

Glacier Media to close three more B.C. community newspapers

Glacier Media Inc. is shutting three more community newspapers in British Columbia as the company continues to cut costs to offset declining revenue, the Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw reports.
Staff at the Burnaby News Leader, New Westminster News Leader and Tri-Cities Now learned Thursday morning that their papers will be shuttered after publishing their Oct. 1 editions.
Glacier bought the two News Leader papers from the province’s other major publisher, Black Press, in a deal last December that swapped titles and doubled Glacier’s presence several cities. Although the company’s chief executive officer, Jonathon Kennedy, suggested at the time that it planned to keep the titles open, Glacier has since slashed its community news portfolio, also shutting the Richmond Review last July after 83 years in print.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Globe's James Bradshaw ties up all the Bell media reshufles and departures

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw writes:
"A sweeping restructuring of Bell Media’s senior ranks continued Wednesday with the arrival of a new deputy to its sales arm and the departure of six senior managers with decades of combined experience at the company.
"Bell, which is owned by BCE Inc., brought in new blood by hiring Mark Finney as its vice-president, strategic sales. He previously worked at The Guardian newspaper and for Star Media Group at Torstar Corp., where he oversaw sales and helped prepare the Toronto Star’s forthcoming tablet app, Star Touch.
 "A changing of the guard was also evident in the departures of two senior vice-presidents and three vice-presidents, as well as Discovery Channel president and general manager Paul Lewis, who had been with the network since 1994.
"The changes are the second wave of a reshuffling in Bell Media’s management, driven by president Mary Ann Turcke, who took the helm in April. As the company tries to respond to an array of pressures eating into revenues across the media landscape, it is looking to get leaner and smooth the lines of authority that had grown complicated owing to mergers, such as the acquisition of Astral Media in 2013."
Full story

Some details of the Bell media executive reshuffle

Bell Media’s new chief, Mary Ann Turcke, has unveiled an extensive reshuffle of the company’s executives apparently aimed at flattening the organizational pyramid. (See also post below)
All departments seem affected. CTV News sees Joanne MacDonald in an expanded role and Paul Rogers departing.
The announcement says:
Joanne MacDonald
Reporting to Wendy Freeman, President, CTV News, Joanne will now manage the day-to-day news operations of CTV News Toronto and CP24 in her newly expanded role as Vice-President, CTV News. Joanne MacDonald has spent more than 25 years at the company in a number of senior positions within CTV News, including Director of CTV News from 1997 to 2002.
Paul Rogers 
Most recently Senior Vice-President, CTV News Toronto, Paul departs the company today. Prior to his appointment in 2004, Paul was the Vice-President and Executive Producer of CANADA AM. In his tenure with Bell Media, Paul has led CTV Toronto to numerous accolades, including, most recently, the RTDNA award for best large-market local television newscast.


Bell reshuffles senior ranks, slices off a level of management

Excerpt from the Globe and  Mail story:
"A spokesperson for Bell Media declined a request to interview Ms. Turcke or Mr. Lennox. But Jay Switzer, chairman and co-founder of broadcasting company Hollywood Suite Inc. and the former head of CHUM Ltd. before its assets were sold to Bell, said Ms. Turcke “must be under tremendous pressure to reinvent the business.”
“'Their ratings have probably never been stronger, and yet the advertising side of the business year over year is very challenged and going down, no matter how high their ratings,' Mr. Switzer said."

Hugarian camerawoman fired after tripping migrants

A Hungarian camerawoman faces a criminal investigation after kicking a little girl and tripping up a migrant father carrying his terrified young child as they fled police.
The camerawoman, Petra Laszlo, was filmed tripping up a desperate refugee father carrying his child and kicking a fleeing girl. She is now set to face a criminal investigation. She has been fired from her job at the Hungarian news site NITV, which is run by the anti-immigration far-right Jobbik party.
Daily Telegraph story and vide

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fox buys struggling National Geographic

The Star reports that the venerable National Geographic Society, struggling with declining revenue and readership, has signed a deal to sell its 127-year-old enterprise to 21st Century Fox that doubles its resources, the two companies announced Wednesday.
The deal “significantly” increases the non-profit National Geographic Society’s endowment to nearly $1 billion US in a new company called National Geographic Partners. It will be 73 per cent owned by 21st Century Fox and 27 per cent by the National Geographic Society.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

TIFF pulls Aretha Franklin doc Amazing Grace from festival

TIFF is going to R.E.S.P.E.C.T Aretha Franklin’s demand not to show her legally embattled music documentary Amazing Grace at film festivals.
The Toronto International Film Festival announced Tuesday it is pulling the movie from its opening night roster, after producer Alan Elliott bowed to legal demands from the soul superstar, whose hits include “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
The film was directed by the late Sydney Pollack, but never released due to various problems, the main one being syncing issues between the 16mm film and the analog tapes.
The syncing problems were recently overcome, and the film was due to have its international premiere Thursday as part of TIFF’s opening night roster. But outstanding legal issue remains, and Franklin’s lawyers successfully obtained an injunction Friday that halted the planned world premiere of Amazing Grace at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.
Full Toronto Star story

German paper Bild removes all photos in protest over Alan Kurdi complaints

Germany’s best-selling newspaper has removed all pictures from its print edition and website in response to complaints about its decision to publish images of the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned trying to reach Greece, the Guardian reports.
A statement from Bild says the photo of Alan Kurdi, who died last week along with his mother and five year old brother, “caused dismay and compassion” and “rattled a million people awake”.
It likened the images of the boy, who was initially named by Turkish officials as Aylan, to the famous photo of a Vietnamese girl running from a napalm strike during the Vietnam war, adding: “The world must see the truth in order to change.”

Rebekah Brooks returns to Murdoch's empire

When the once toxic Rebekah Brooks returns to run Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers on Monday she will face the toughest challenge of her career -- rebuilding her reputation and the company in the harsh glare of the public spotlight. Reuters reports.
Brooks, the media mogul's protegee who was cleared last year of being part of a criminal phone hacking campaign to dig up news stories, will resume oversight of Britain's The Sun and The Times papers as News UK chief executive, following a four-year battle to clear her name.
On her return, she will face a new fight to stem falling circulation at The Sun, the move of advertisers online and the simmering resentment from some staff who feel Murdoch sought to protect Brooks above all others when faced with the crisis engulfing his company.
Renowned for her networking abilities, the 47-year-old will also have to find a way to rebuild ties with those who run the country after her 2011 fall from grace led to her vilification.
Full story

Sunday, September 6, 2015

BBC to face down Vlad Putin with new World Service Russian TV channel

The BBC is proposing to set up a new World Service satellite news channel for Russian speakers, in a direct challenge to Russia Today, the Kremlin-funded television service found guilty of impartiality breaches. the Guardian reports.
The World Service would expand services in Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and other territories where state-sponsored broadcasters are denying audiences an impartial and independent source of news.
Tony Hall, the BBC Director-General, will set out plans to enhance the World Service’s role as “the UK’s most important cultural export”, in a speech on 7 September, in which he will deliver the corporation’s response to Government proposals which could radically reduce its size and scope.
The World Service, which reaches a global audience of 210m a week on television, radio and digital has faced blocking, jamming and prohibitive licensing rules in countries including Russia, Iran and China.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Greag Stremlaw appointed new head of sports at CBC

Greg Stremlaw, the former CEO of Curling Canada, has been named the new head of CBC Sports.
Stremlaw's priority will be to lead CBC Sports' strategy, placing emphasis on multi-platform sports journalism, amateur sports and a collaborative partnership approach to marquee events, CBC says.
"It is a privilege and an honour to be joining such a world-class team and an organization synonymous with broadcasting excellence," said Stremlaw. "I am very proud to be a part of CBC Sports and look forward to helping to continue CBC's tradition of exceptional sport coverage for Canadians."
Stremlaw boosted Curling Canada's financial profile by negotiating television deals with TSN and RDS. Stremlaw began his duties with the organization in 2007 and resigned this past May.


Blue Ant Media says Cottage Life rerun rules dampen profits

Excerpt from James Bradshaw' Globe and Mail story:
"Specialty TV networks have begun jostling for position after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) opened the door to looser Canadian-content rules in a decision stemming from a major hearing called Let’s Talk TV. The regulator promised to scrap daytime quotas for specialty networks, which vary by channel but average about 60 per cent, while setting an across-the-board 35-per-cent quota for the evening prime-time hours.
"But those new rules will not go into effect until channels renew their licences, which in many cases will not be for years. Cottage Life’s licence runs until Aug. 31, 2018. Some channel owners have begun making moves to shake up their schedules sooner."
The whole story
(Do we really need a whole channel devoted to cottage life? Maybe a one-hour program on another channel would cover the ground.)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander hangs up on As It Happens

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, facing a series of tough questions about how many Syrian refugees have made it into the country, hung up on Carol Off, the host of CBC Radio's As It Happens, the CBC web page reports.
The As It Happens interview with Alexander began with a discussion of immigration reforms contained in Bill C-24, something Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati had criticized on a previous show, before moving on to questions about Syrian refugees.
"What has happened to the 200 government-sponsored refugees from Syria that you've committed to bringing into Canada?" Off asked Alexander, noting it's a question the show has been trying to obtain an answer to for months.
Alexander responded by saying around 1,150 Syrians have received "Canada's protection," before adding that the government expects to surpass its commitment to bring in 200 sponsored refugees.
When asked where the 200 refugees are, however, Alexander did not give a firm answer. Below is a transcript of the exchange between Off and Alexander:
"I have to go to question period," he said.
The whole story

Will photo of dead refugee boy bring Harper down?

The Globe and Mail published on its front page a picture of dead Kurd boy being carried from the water. An excerpt from Mark McKinnon's story:
“'Migrant crisis? No, Europe is facing a moral crisis,' read an online headline in The Globe and Mail.
"But this crisis is also a Canadian one. The Ottawa Citizen reported that Aylan and his family – mother Rehan, father Abdullah and five-year-old brother Galip – were rejected in June by Canada’s refugee system. Their desperate attempt to reach Europe was motivated in part by Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s rejection of their application to be resettled in British Columbia, where they have relatives who were willing to sponsor them."

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Vice News journalists arrested to deter foreign media coverage of Kurdish conflict, lawyer says

A lawyer representing two Vice News journalists and their assistant has denounced a Turkish court's decision to arrest them on terror-related charges, calling it a government attempt to deter foreign media from reporting on the conflict with Kurdish rebels, the AP reports.
The two British journalists and their Turkey-based assistant were formally arrested late Thursday in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast, where renewed fighting has killed scores of people.
Tahir Elci, head of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, on Tuesday said the arrests were a government move to prevent international media from reporting from the area, after Turkey earlier this year gave police heightened powers to crackdown on protesters.
A government spokesman denied the accusation and said authorities would soon make a statement on the arrests.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bloomberg begins layoffs of roughly 80 journalists

Bloomberg began layoffs Tuesday morning, with the media company expected to cut around 80 newsroom jobs, according to sources familiar with the plans.
The staff cuts have been looming as the company restructures under top editor John Micklethwait, who was hired in late 2014 by founder (and once again CEO) Mike Bloomberg, The Huffington Post reports.
Though Bloomberg still makes billions of dollars annually through its financial data-focused terminal business, Micklethwait has spoken publicly about the company needing to move forward by concentrating on six core subject areas: business, finance, markets, technology, economics and power (government and politics).

Globe columnist on CTV Ottawa's Robert Fife and his scoop

The Globe and Mail's Lawrence Martin writes: 
"Spring, 2013. Journalist Bob Fife gets a phone call fom a senior ranking Ottawa player. He has a story tip.
"They meet mid-afternoon for 45 minutes in an out-of-the-way coffee shop in Ottawa’s east end. The source, palpably nervous, says there’s something the hard-edged CTV reporter should know about the Senate expenses scandal.
"Mr. Fife leans forward. 'It’s Nigel Wright,' the source says. 'He paid the $90,000.'”
Full Column

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