Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sun upset that P.M. Trudeau allowed only VICE along to historic First Nations visit

The Sun's parliamentary bureau chief writes David Akin writes:
"Trudeau made what is an unequivocally historic visit to a First Nations community in crisis. The people of Shoal Lake 40 have been living under a boil-water advisory for 17 years. They've pleaded with one federal government after another for financial help to build the infrastructure for clean drinking water.
"But no Canadian news organization was permitted to document this historic encounter on the reserve that straddles Ontario and Manitoba.
The Trudeau PMO permitted only a crew from Vice Media, the New York-based company which is expanding in Canada, to record the visit."
The whole story

Monday, April 25, 2016

Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente caught up in plagiarism scandal — Star story

The Star's May Warren writes:
"Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente has again been accused of plagiarism and the newspaper’s editor-in-chief has apologized, saying her work 'fell short' of the paper’s standards.
"In a recent blog post, Ottawa-based artist Carol Wainio drew attention to Wente’s April 23 column 'for lifting an unattributed phrase from a piece by American scientist Jesse Ausubel.'
" It also criticized Wente for leading with a similar anecdote about bears, paraphrasing two of his other observations without direct attribution and paraphrasing from a different article without linking to or citing the original author.
"Wente did not immediately reply to a request for comment from the Star. The online version of her column has been updated to include attribution, a link to the other article not previously cited and an editor’s note that apologizes to Ausubel."

Al Jazeera America Lost $585 million in 2 yars, acording to a lawsuit

In its brief TV life, Al Jazeera America lost more than half a billion dollars. That’s according to a lawsuit filed by the former evp of finance Anand Gupta, TV Newser reports.
According to the New York Times, Gupta is suing the now-defunct network for not being given a promised promotion. Gupta claims former network chief Ehab Al Shihabi, who was sidelined in May 2015 after being named in another employee lawsuit, promised him a promotion to CFO, but that his successor Al Antsey reneged. Gupta’s suit includes financial details including that the network had an operating loss of $250 million in 2013, and $335 million in 2014.
The whole story

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Canada's cultural policies to get review

Ottawa is ready to blow up the rules governing Canada’s $48-billion broadcasting, media and cultural industries, arguing that decades of technological changes and government inaction have left a broken system in need of a revolution, the Globe and Mail's Daniel Leblanc reports.
“Everything is on the table,” Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly told The Globe and Mail.
Announcing the launch of consultations with consumers and creators of cultural content, Ms. Joly said she is willing to change laws such as the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, modify the mandates of the CRTC and the CBC, and create new laws or agencies, as needed. The scale of the coming upheaval hasn’t been seen in 25 years, since the Mulroney government revised the Broadcasting Act in 1991 at a time when no one could foresee the arrival of YouTube, Netflix and iTunes.
The whole story

New York Times plans to lay off hundreds: N.Y. Post

The New York Times Co. is preparing to lay off a few hundred staffers in the second half of the year, The New York Post reports.
Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s management team has been talking with some of the Times’ unions to come to a deal to provide reduced severance to those affected, sources told The Post.
“There’s a goal of a couple of hundred people,” said a source familiar with talks. “They don’t want to pay out big packages, and they’re having negotiations with the unions.”
The layoffs would likely occur between the Aug. 21 end of the summer Olympics in Brazil and Election Day on Nov. 8, sources said.
The Gray Lady is also looking at either a radical downsizing or closure of its Paris office, and has been moving people to London, where it can have better control of letting staff go, since French law makes it very difficult and expensive for companies to lay off workers, one source said.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Australian Mike Duffy getting Tweets aimed at our Mike Duffy!

The Mike Duffy trial was a top trending topic on Twitter across Canada Thursday, with tens of thousands of tweets from journalists, politicos, and everyday citizens alike. After Duffy's acquittal on 31 charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, some people took the time to tweet their congratulations, or their disappointment and disapproval, to Mike Duffy.
There was only one problem. Senator Mike Duffy isn't on Twitter and the recipient of those tweets has never been to Canada.
Mike Duffy is an Australian reporter with Seven News, based out of Sydney. The two share a journalistic background and a similar haircut - something the Australian Duffy enjoyed mentioning - and the Down Under Duffy says he couldn't help but be amused by the whole affair.

Ladurantaye named managing editor of digital news at CBC

Steve Ladurantaye has been named managing editor of digital news at the CBC. He will be responsible for strategy around digital news. According to the memo sent to CBC staff on Apr. 15, he’ll also oversee “journalistic programming and staffing of” Ladurantaye was head of news and government partnerships in Canada and the global chair for news at Twitter for just over two years. Prior to that, he was the Globe and Mail’s media reporter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Canada's only French language TV business channel to shut down

Argent, Canada’s only French-language business TV channel is shutting down after an 11-year run, its owner, Quebecor Media's TVA Group Inc. announced. The network said it made the decision reluctantly, saying that despite numerous efforts in recent years, it was “difficult if not impossible” for the specialty channel to maintain consistent profitability.
A financial summary provided to the CRTC shows that Argent was profitable for several years but lost money from 2012 to 2014. The station’s subscribers reached nearly one million in 2010 before crashing to 552,000 four years later. Its pretax profit margin slid from 10 per cent to negative 31 per cent over that time.
By contrast, Toronto-based Business News Network, owned by BCE Inc., topped six million subscribers in each of those five years and boasted a margin of between 36 per cent and 44 per cent throughout the period.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Rogers’ profits slump as restructuring costs rise

Rogers Communications has reported lower year-over-year profits in the first quarter, citing among other reasons higher restructuring costs and an increase in the adjusted operating loss of its traditional media business. The Toronto-based telecommunications giant said net income in the three months ending March 31 was $248 million or 48 cents per share, down from $255 million or 50 cents per share in the same 2015 period. Adjusted net income, which excludes certain one-time items, was $263 million or 51 cents per share, down from $275 million or 53 cents in the prior-year period. Revenue was $3.245 billion, up 2 per cent from $3.175 billion, reflecting growth of 5 per cent in its wireless operations and 2 per cent in business solutions. That was offset by a decline of 2 per cent in its cable business and 3 per cent in media. (CP)

TV reporter wades into floods to rescue man from his sinking car

A TV reporter who was covering the destructive flooding in Houston helped rescue a man who drove his car into a flooded underpass and appeared confused about what to do next.
In the incident captured on video Monday, KTRK reporter Steve Campion yells, "Dude, you've got to get out of the car!" The car begins to sink and the man appears baffled.
Eventually, the man opens the passenger door and crawls out into the water as the reporter yells: "Leave the car! Swim!"
The driver swims toward Campion, who wades out into the waist-deep water and extends his hand.
As the car slowly sinks under water, the driver tells Campion that he's OK, but didn't realize the water was so deep.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

New York Times to invest $50m on global digital expansion

 Mark Sweeney of the Guardian reports:
The New York Times is to invest more than $50m in an aggressive international digital expansion to take its “without fear or favour” brand of journalism outside the US.
The publisher said that with mounting pressure on international media around the world there was an opportunity for the NYT to become an “indispensable leader in global news and opinion”.
“At a time when journalism and independent media around the world are under acute pressure, from forces both financial and political, the New York Times has never had a better opportunity to expand its mission and its reach,” the company said in an internal announcement from Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, chief executive Mark Thompson and executive editor Dean Baquet.
“Just as the Times became a truly national news organisation in a previous generation, we believe we now have the opportunity to become an indispensable leader in global news and opinion.”
The NYT receives about 375m visits from readers globally each month.
However, just 26.6% of web traffic is from outside the publisher’s home market of the US, where it is the sixth biggest media site, according to figures from SimilarWeb.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Canadian Journalism Foundation announces CJF Jackman Award for Excellence finalists

(Media release) "The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is proud to announce the shortlists for the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism in the large and small media categories.
 "The annual awards recognize Canadian news organizations that embody exemplary journalism with a resulting impact on the community they serve. Since 1996, the CJF has honoured news organizations that embrace ideals of journalistic excellence – accuracy, independence, accountability, courage and originality – with this prestigious award."
The winners will be announced on June 16, 2016.

The full list

Thursday, April 14, 2016

U.S. journalist sentenced to 2 years for conspiring with Anonymous in hacking case

A well-known social media journalist was sentenced to two years in federal prison Wednesday after he was convicted of conspiring with the hacking group Anonymous to break into the Los Angeles Times’ website and alter a story, AP reports.
Despite his role in the news media, federal prosecutors in Sacramento say Matthew Keys, 29, of Vacaville was simply a disgruntled employee striking back at his former employer. U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller sentenced him Wednesday after he was convicted in October of providing login credentials to The Tribune Co.’s computer system.
The company owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other media companies including FOX affiliate KTXL-TV in Sacramento. Keys worked at the television station until he was fired two months before the December 2010 hacking.

Corus Entertainment higher revenue; job cuts on the horizon

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw writes:
"Corus Entertainment Inc. weathered another tough stretch for television advertising to report higher second-quarter revenue, beating expectations thanks in part to the launch of new specialty TV channels under the Disney name.
"The results mark the last time Corus will announce earnings separately from the Shaw Media assets it purchased for $2.65-billion from Shaw Communications Inc. The deal closed April 1 and the two businesses are now being combined, with a revamped executive team rolling out a plan that will include cost cutting and job losses but is also expected to make Corus more competitive in a shifting media landscape.
"The second-quarter performance, which saw revenue from the company’s TV business rise 5.3 per cent, represents a relative bright spot for Corus, which endured a difficult 2015 that saw its stock price virtually halved and a turbulent start to 2016 as an activist shareholder, Catalyst Capital Group Inc., publicly contested its deal with Shaw. The purchase proceeded with 78.5-per-cent support from minority shareholders, and Corus is now projecting modest growth in the coming quarters as it adjusts to its new scale."

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Halifax Chronicle Herald retracts refugee story after public outcry

The Globe and Mail's Simon Houpt writes:
"The publisher of Nova Scotia’s largest newspaper apologized on Monday after one of its stories ignited a firestorm with unverified allegations that young Syrian refugees had attacked fellow students at a Halifax elementary school.
"The Halifax Chronicle Herald story, which alleged numerous acts of playground abuse at Chebucto Heights Elementary School – including an incident in which one “refugee boy” choked a girl in Grade 3 with a chain while yelling 'Muslims rule the world,' and another in which 'refugee students' threatened others on the soccer field – was published online late Friday and in the paper’s Saturday edition. It suggested school administrators had responded weakly to the alleged abuse.
"After criticism on social media, editors removed some details from the online story, including the religious reference and the mention of the chain, and softened the original headline, prompting some critics to complain the paper was bowing to 'political correctness.' But on Monday the entire article was removed from the site and replaced with a lengthy editor’s note, which also ran in the paper, saying the piece had 'needed more work.'”
The story also notes that " the paper’s staff has been on strike for 12 weeks, with many inexperienced reporters taking their place."

Canadian journal breaks new ground in open access science

The Globe and Mail's Ivan Semeniuk writes:
"Canadian scientists have a new outlet for their research and it’s homegrown.
"On Tuesday, Canadian Science Publishing – an organization born out of the downsizing of the National Research Council – officially launches FACETS, an online multidisciplinary journal that is Canada’s most ambitious effort yet to carve a niche in the burgeoning world of open access science."

Monday, April 11, 2016

CBC declines to turn over Panama Papers data to CRA

The Canada Revenue Agency has formally asked the CBC to hand over offshore tax-haven data from the massive Panama Papers leak, but the news organization is refusing, the CBC web page says.
The commissioner of the agency, Andrew Treusch, sent an email on Friday to the president of the CBC asking for the data, saying the agency wants to begin work immediately on reviewing the information.
CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said the corporation rebuffed a similar request from the CRA in 2013 for another massive cache of tax-haven data — and will do so again.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Panama Papers turned competing journalists into a global investigative team

The Star's Jim Coyle writes:
"Almost as mind-bending as the sheer volume of data leaked in the Panama Papers, and its reach into the lives of the rich and powerful, is the fact so many journalists in so many newsrooms in so many countries were able to keep so big a project secret for so long.
"It defied the natural order of things. It required journalists to go against all traditional training and view competitors as collaborators.
"It demanded of a notoriously gossipy species the sort of tight-lipped discretion more typical of confessors than those in the business of spreading the news.
"Yet the lid was so tight not even the New York Times, according to its deputy executive editor, knew the Panama Papers project was under way or the stories were coming.
"What made it all possible, according to Rob Cribb, the Star’s lead reporter on the project, was a new attitude of collaboration born of the sheer scale of modern data-based research imperatives and the diminished resources of economically strapped news agencies. Both demand and supply suggested collaboration."
The full story

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

9-year-old reporter breaks news of murder in town, fires back at adult critics

Tom Jackman of the Washington Post reports:
"Reporter Hilde Kate Lysiak got the tip early Saturday afternoon that there was heavy police activity on Ninth Street. She hustled over with her pen and camera, as any good reporter would, and soon she posted something short online, beating her competitors.
"Then, working the neighbours and the cops, she nailed down her scoop with a full-length story and this headline:
"The online story not only beat the local daily paper, but she also included a short video from the crime scene, assuring viewers that 'I’m working hard on this investigation.'
"Then Monday came and Hilde had to go back to third grade. She is 9."

Rogers cuts senior VP of production for NHL games

Rogers has announced it is parting ways with Gord Cutler, the senior vice-president of production for NHL games.  In a statement, Rogers said it was eliminating Cutler’s position, moving Sportsnet’s live sports coverage and studio production “under the same umbrella” of Rob Corte, the vice president of Sportsnet and NHL production. Cutler was considered a hiring coup when Rogers won the 12-year, $5.2-billion NHL deal before last season. With no Canadian teams in the playoffs, it has been a disappointing season for Sportsnet’s NHL ratings.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Laurie Graham returns to Nova Scotia, becomes premier's principal secretary

Laurie Graham, ditched by CTV as an Ottawa national reporter, has returned to her native Nova Scotia as the premier's principal secretary.
 She steps into the position previously held by Ryan Grant, who became deputy chief of staff.
Premier Stephen McNeil says the principal secretary does outreach work with private sector and not-for-profit organizations.
“She brings with her obviously the scope of not only having experience in our province, but nationally, working and dealing with what's been happening across governments,” said McNeil.
 Ms Graham will be paid more than the premier's chief of staff in her new role, and significantly more than the last principal secretary.
Ryan Grant was making a little under $92,000 as of November. Graham will make $160,000 – $10,000 more than the premier's new chief of staff, Kristan Hines, who's paid $150,000.
Grant's been bumped to $125,000 a year in his new role as the deputy chief of staff.

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Wired" mag on the "Panama Papers" leak

"When Daniel Ellsberg photocopied and leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, those 7,000 pages of top secret Vietnam War documents represented what was then the biggest whistleblower leak in history—a couple dozen megabytes if it were contained in a modern text file. Almost four decades later, WikiLeaks in 2010 published Cablegate, a world-shaking, 1.73 gigabyte collection of classified State Department communications that was almost a hundred times bigger. . .
"Just five years have passed since WikiLeaks’ Cablegate coup, and now the world is grappling with a whistleblower megaleak on a scale never seen before: 2.6 terabytes, well over a thousandfold larger.
"On Sunday, more than a hundred media outlets around the world, coordinated by the Washington, DC-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, released stories on the Panama Papers, a gargantuan collection of leaked documents exposing a widespread system of global tax evasion."
Full story in "Wired"

Fun story of Star journalist turned back from British Virgin Islands

When a Toronto Star journalist went to the British Virgin Islands to see whether reforms to combat tax evasion were working, he was detained at the border and put on the first plane out.
The story

Friday, April 1, 2016

Tangerine bank to test online marketing

The Globe's marketing repoter Susan Krashinsky writes:
The tantalizing promise of online advertising has always been to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person. But for all the big talk about “big data” and consumer targeting, finding the perfect message can still be a guessing game.
Tangerine executives knew this as they tried to figure out how to promote the bank’s first ever money-back credit card, which launched this week. So rather than making one ad, they made 70.
The online campaign for the new card will be testing out dozens of different messages and images to attract potential consumers to its new rewards card.
The whole story

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