Monday, February 29, 2016

Gord Martineau signs off after 39 years!

After nearly four decades as the face of CityNews, Gord Martineau has signed off as anchor of the six o’clock broadcast, the CityNews web page reports.
Martineau began his career with City in 1977 as anchor of CityPulse.
"A Montreal native, Martineau easily adapted to the Toronto environment and became an important part of the community, bringing a new brand of newscast to Torontonians," the web page says.
Link to CityNews web page

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Vice Media fighting RCMP order to hand over Terror suspect info

Excerpt from Colin Perkels' CP story:
"Vice Media and its journalist Ben Makuch want Ontario Superior Court to quash an order that they hand over material related to their interviews with a suspected terrorist to the RCMP.
"'Courts should be wary of allowing the state to conscript journalists as investigative arms of the police,'' Vice and Makuch state in their factum.
"'If media outlets are permitted to become investigative arms of the police through the use of production orders, the media's important role and credibility will be undermined, as well as its ability to gather information.'"

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Germans are losing faith in their media. Nowhere is this more apparent than in mistrust of refugee crisis media coverage.

A lengthy piece in Der Spiegel. But well worth a read. Excerpt:
"(Isolde) Beck felt vindicated in a suspicion she had had for months: that the media had long concealed the extent of crimes committed by refugees and migrants. As early as the end of last year, she says, she was surprised to read reports that refugees were no more criminal than Germans. 'How could the media have known this at the time?' Beck asks. As far as she is concerned, it's clear that 'the media manipulated their reporting to reassure people.'
"In voicing these sentiments, the SPIEGEL reader joined the ranks of a movement that seems to have gained momentum in recent weeks -- one that, to varying degrees, is claiming that journalists are no longer capable of being independent and unbiased.
"It is a phenomenon that defies simple description. According to polls, 40 percent of Germans believe the media are not credible. And the loudest of them all, people like Tatjana Festerling, an organizer with the anti-immigrant, Islamophobic PEGIDA movement, have even taken to calling on the public to get out the pitchforks to chase journalists out of newspaper offices."
The whole story--it's long

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Looming Canadian playoff drought may hurt Rogers

 Aleksandra Sagan of the Canadian Press reports:
"For the first time in more than 40 years, the Stanley Cup playoffs may lack a Canadian team this season.
"That's not only a major disappointment to Canada's devoted hockey fans — Rogers Media coffers could also suffer at the hands of the teams' lacklustre performances three years after the company made a big investment in Canadian hockey talent.
"In 2013, Rogers Media purchased the exclusive national rights to broadcast all NHL games for a dozen years in Canada for $5.2 billion."

Duffy’s lawyer launches sharp attack on prosecutors, urges judge to acquit

The Star's Tonda McCharles writes about Duffy's lawyer's closing argument:
"It was a surprisingly sharp attack on the professionalism of Crown attorneys Mark Holmes and Jason Neubauer. Bayne said they were deliberately attempting to have the judge make legal errors. He slammed the Crown’s main witnesses, Nigel Wright and Chris Woodcock, and suggested Senate staff and the current Senate Speaker, George Furey, were out to cover their own failings as administrators of public funds and policies."
The verdict is due on April 21.
The whole story

Monday, February 22, 2016

Subscription news site AllNovaScotia expands to Newfoundland

The Globe's media reporter, James Bradshaw, writes:
"On Monday, owners of the subscription news outlet AllNovaScotia will launch a sister site, AllNewfoundlandLabrador, hoping to persuade a new audience of well-connected Newfoundlanders to buy into a strict paywall model that seeks to restore a sensse of value to digital journalism.
"The original Halifax-based site, launched in 2001 and then relaunched a year later after a false start, has become a must-read for a small but devoted group of Nova Scotia readers. It was founded by David Bentley, an idiosyncratic but disciplined journalist who apprenticed in the trade under revered British editor Harold Evans and later created the east coast satirical magazine Frank."
The whole story

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jennifer Ditchburn on differences between Ottawa and Alberta press galleries

Excerpt from Jennifer Ditchburn's CP story:
"At the Alberta legislature, the press gallery does not control the comings and goings of visiting media.
"Reporters who are not permanent members show their ID to a security guard. By contrast, the parliamentary press gallery in Ottawa has an elaborate system of accreditation, even for day passes.
"Members must prove that their principal occupation is reporting, interpreting or editing parliamentary or federal government news, and that they work for an organization that reports on a regular basis on such news. "Rebel co-founder and freelancer Brian Lilley is a gallery member, as is reporter Karl Nerenberg.
"Federal governments, meanwhile, have carefully kept out of that business. "Even though the Speaker of the House of Commons holds ultimate authority over the precinct and its services, it has been a long-held convention that the press gallery operates independently."
The whole story

Jennifer Ditchburn leaves CP for "Policy Options"

After nearly two decades in the Canadian Press Parliament Hill bureau, Jennifer Ditchburn is leaving to become editor of Policy Options, the online magazine affiliated with the Institute for Research on Public Policy, CP announced.
Ditchburn will start in March, replacing Dan Gardner, a former Ottawa Citizen columnist who has joined the Prime Minister’s Office as a policy adviser. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CRTC chair slams TV executives as "yacht owning complainers"

Canada's broadcast regulator mounted a vocal defence of television journalism Wednesday, while slamming the executives who run the stations as wealthy yacht-owning complainers who are out of touch with changing audiences, the CBC reports.
CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said he is tired of broadcast executives coming before his committee to tell him the "cupboards are bare," and that they can no longer afford to fund local news without government subsidies.
"Local television news is failing us. But it need not. The system sits at a position of strength," Blais said in a luncheon speech at the Canadian Club in Toronto. "In 2014, TV stations spent more than $470 million on local programming and news … the industry is rich in resources.
"I listened as Canadians spoke with intelligence and passion [about local TV news], while corporate executives who own luxury yachts and private helicopters came looking for subsidies," Blais said.
The whole story

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Panel of MPs to examine issue of local news crisis, media concentration

CPs' Jennifer Ditchburn writes that Liberal MP and heritage committee chair Hedy Fry is about to add her name to the list of Canadians who have led federal studies into the state of the country's news media.
The dismal record of action on those previous reviews notwithstanding, Fry said she's convinced that this time around, any recommendations will lead to concrete changes.
"I know that our government has a strong will to deal with this now," Fry said in an interview Tuesday.

Rachel Notley reviewing her ban of Ezra Levant

Alberta's NDP premier has asked a former journalist to review her government's media policies following public outcry over a ban of correspondents from The Rebel, a website owned and run by former Sun News commentator Ezra Levant.
Premier Rachel Notley confirmed Tuesday that the review would be undertaken by Heather Boyd, the former Western Canada bureau chief for The Canadian Press.
Boyd will take three weeks to examine "how this is dealt with in other jurisdictions, consult with the press gallery, to look at how we deal with new media participants and then we'll move forward with that on the base of those recommendations," Notley said.
The conservative news site, which hasn't been shy in its criticism of Notley and her government, was sent a letter late last week from the Justice Department defending the ban.
The whole story oin the CBC web page

Monday, February 15, 2016

Rosie diManno on the Independent's move to the Internet

Rosie diManno on the end of the "Independent's" print edition, Excerpt:
"What a loss for the rough-and-tumble world of British newspapering.
"True, The Independent had become only a slim, shrunken, shrivelled shadow of its original broadsheet self as it struggled to cope with plummeting circulation and ad revenues, a dilemma that is causing chaos for all papers.
"Where once the centre-left daily enjoyed a healthy weekly circulation of 400,000 — was named National Newspaper of the Year in 2004 — today copy sales are just over 40,000.
"The looming loss of The Independent is particularly sad because it was founded in 1986 by three former Daily Telegraph journalists, a fantasy come true for every working mook in this profession, promising a non-partisan view of the world, beholden to nobody.
"That’s not been quite the case in practice. The Independent still employs veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, once a revered reporter, now an insufferable polemicist. But the paper has mostly stuck close to its principles, even as it was sold and resold."
The whole column
(Also see post below)

BBC to axe television and radio divisions as part of radical management overhaul

 The Daily Telegraph reports:           
Lord Hall, the director-general of the BBC, will not replace Danny Cohen, the corporation’s recently departed director of television, and is instead moving ahead with radical plans to abolish the broadcaster’s radio and television divisions.
In what is being billed as the most far-reaching organisational overhaul in the BBC’s 93-year history, Lord Hall will give a speech before Easter in which he will unveil proposals to axe the corporation’s existing channel-based structures, fundamentally reshaping the organisation into content and audience-led divisions.
While the broadcaster is committed to the keeping its television channels and radio stations on the airwaves for the foreseeable future, Lord Hall is said to believe that the quickening pace of technological change means that the boundaries between media such as television, radio and online are blurring.
(The story is somewhat unclear on whether it's a merger of radio and TV or shifting it all to the Internet.)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Better not get political when playing basketball!

The star crowned most valuable player during Friday night’s NBA all-star celebrity game had his post-game interview abruptly cut off after talking about the U.S. election, the Star's Nick Westoll reports.
Arcade Fire singer Win Butler, who played for Team Canada during the game, spoke with ESPN’s Sage Steele after walking away with the trophy. Things got awkward after Steele wished Butler congratulations on the recognition.
“Thank you. I just want to say as an election year in the U.S.,” Butler said as music began to play over him.
“The U.S. has a lot they can learn from Canada — health care, taking care of people…”
And that’s when Steele cut Butler off.
“So we’re talking about celebrity stuff, not politics. Congratulations on your MVP,” Steele said, followed by the camera cutting away to a wide shot of the basketball court.
Butler led Canada past the United States 74-64 at the Ricoh Coliseum. He finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Friday, February 12, 2016

'60 Minutes' to profile Justin Trudeau in an upcoming episode

CBC reports that CBS's 60 Minutes will profile Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an episode likely to air just before his state visit to Washington next month.
60 Minutes has been filming Trudeau for months including at last November's swearing-in ceremony, CBC says.
Lara Logan, chief foreign correspondent for CBS News and co-host of the weekly newsmagazine, is the reporter attached to the Trudeau episode, a source familiar with the show's plans told CBC News.
The episode is set to air on March 6, just days before Trudeau visits Washington, DC for a state dinner with U.S. President Barack Obama on March 10.
The program draws more than 15 million viewers.
CBC story

Britain's "Independent" to go digital only

The Independent is to become the first national newspaper in Britain to move to a digital-only future, owners ESI Media have announced.
The move will capitalise on The Independent’s position as the fastest growing UK quality newspaper website, and will ensure a sustainable and profitable future, the announcement said.
Evgeny Lebedev, owner of The Independent, said:
“The newspaper industry is changing, and that change is being driven by readers. They’re showing us that the future is digital. This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high-quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers to our online platforms."
Full story

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

CBC appoints women’s advocate

The Globe and Mail's Janet McFarland writes:
"The CBC is continuing to remake its executive ranks with the appointment of women’s advocate Alex Johnston as its new vice-president of strategy and public affairs, marking the third private-sector appointment to the broadcaster’s eight-member senior executive team in the past year.
"Ms. Johnston, who has headed women’s advocacy group Catalyst Canada for the past three years, will be responsible for helping implement the CBC’s latest strategic plan, which emphasizes delivering content to mobile devices such as phones and tablets, cutting physical building space in half and sharply reducing in-house productions in favour of outsourced programming."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ottawa Press Gallery administrator to join PMO

The long-time chief of logistics at the Parliamentary Press Gallery is going to run media logistics for the new Liberal government, the Gobe and Mail reports.
Terry Guillon, the de facto administrative head of the gallery who worked as a liaison between Parliament Hill and journalists for 37 years, told The Globe and Mail he will join Justin Trudeau’s office after he leaves his current post on Feb. 19. 
Mr. Guillon, 55, is a fixture on Parliament Hill, spotted at nearly every major press conference and scrum. He plays a role in organizing national events, such as royal visits, and travels internationally with the government of the day. He also helps the press-gallery board with memberships and decision-making, and has sat in on sensitive meetings about issues arising in the gallery.
In his new role, Mr. Guillon will lead a team running media logistics for the government – but this time, he’ll work directly for Mr. Trudeau

Monday, February 8, 2016

Frank Magazine on the firing of Laurie Graham from CTV

Frank's headline: "Wreckage at CTV News"
Link to story
Consume with caution. It is Frank magazine!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Washington Post editor Martin Baron says media organizations should “stop looking for the moon shot”

Susan Delacourt writes:
"(Martin) Baron was at Carleton University on Wednesday night to talk about the state of journalism, a topic being much discussed in Canada these days. Spotlight, for those who haven’t seen it, is the story of how the Boston Globe’s investigative reporters unearthed the ugly truth about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
"Baron, who is now at the Washington Post, did want to assure us at the outset that he’s not as humourless as he appears in the movie. "And in fact, one of Baron’s more intriguing thoughts on the future of journalism borrowed on an old joke: Why did we put a man on the moon before we invented wheels on luggage?
"That is a funny line, but it’s also true (I checked)."

Global News journalist tackles saw-wielding man outside Ghomeshi courthouse

Charges including assault and making death threats have been laid after a bizarre incident outside the Jian Ghomeshi trial courthouse that police say saw a man threateningly wave a saw before being tackled to the ground by a Global News journalist.
The man was outside the Old City Hall courthouse around 7 a.m. Friday — hours before the disgraced radio star’s trial convened — when he began swearing and indicated he had a weapon, police said.
 It’s alleged the man pulled a bladeless saw from a bag, started wielding it and began talking about a gun when Global News online reporter Adam Miller, who was lining up to cover the trial, wrestled him to the ground.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The sad tale of the PostMedia bloodbath in The Walrus

"Why employ local publishers if their loyalties were to their community and their staff, rather than dedicated to the health of the overall company? Most were let go in the spring of 2013, replaced by 'regional' leaders.
"The instatement of corporate executives in lieu of local publishers may have rid Postmedia of irritating pushback from metro papers, but it also effectively cut ties to the communities these papers had worked to build over the years.
"When a local paper doesn’t seem local anymore—when it loses its ability to be a community partner—it loses credibility with the business community, which further impacts sales."
The whole story

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Media outlets lose battle for bikini photo in Jian Ghomeshi case

Media outlets do not have the right to publish the bikini-clad photo of one of the complainants in Jian Ghomeshi's sexual assault trial, even with the woman's face blurred, the judge in the case has ruled.
A lawyer representing seven major news organizations — including the CBC — sought access to a photo that the woman sent to Ghomeshi more than a year after he allegedly assaulted her.
The photo was presented as evidence, but was not shown to spectators in the courtroom. It was described as a shot of the woman in a red bikini on a beach. (CBC)

The cause of the crisis in newspapers is not a mystery. So why investigate it?

Excellent Kelly McParland column in the NatPost. Excerpt:
"It’s simple: new technology has made the existing business model less viable. People peer at laptops, cellphones and tablets, rather than printed pages. The news business can fill those screens just as easily as it fills newsprint. It just can’t generate as much revenue. Readers and advertisers won’t pay as much for news on screens as they did for news on paper. Which makes the existing order unaffordable.
"That’s it in a nutshell. You could royal commission your way across the country from now until a week next Christmas and it would still come down to that. Despite all its efforts, the print industry hasn’t figured out how to squeeze enough money out of the screen industry to support itself. Everyone is in the same boat and struggling mightily to find an answer.
"The news business won’t go away. If anything, the proliferation of digital news sites has increased the demand for “content” to fill them. Much of the 'content' now comes from those same newspapers that fear for their existence. Nimrods who squeal with delight at the potential disappearance of print publications that displease them fail to realize it’s the legacy, mainstream media that keeps feeding all those new web sites with most of the information, ideas and issues they regurgitate.
The whole column

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