Monday, May 30, 2016

Chinese TV shopping channels a big hit with older consumers

The Globe and Mail's front page features a story on Chinese TV shopping. Excerpt:
"China’s online shopping craze has built some of the world’s biggest edifices of digital commerce. But in the urban compounds and rural villages that house the country’s greying population, another retail boom is playing out, this one on television.
"From 2007 to 2015, China’s TV shopping sales grew at an average pace of 24.5 per cent per year, driven by people like Ms. Zhang, 60, who want nothing to do with the complications of buying online. “People at my age don’t dare,” she said. Only 4 per cent of buyers on Taobao, the biggest Chinese online mall, are older than 50."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Stanley Burke dead at 93

Television journalist and author Stanley Burke died Saturday at Kingston General Hospital. He was 93. Burke anchored CBC's The National News from 1966-1969 before it was re-branded as The National.
Before becoming an anchor, Burke worked as a foreign correspondent in many places including France. He became particularly passionate covering stories about the Biafran civil war in the late 1960s, a battle in Nigeria to fight the secession of Biafra as an independent state.
His outspokenness and criticism over the issue led to his resignation from CBC. He went on to launch a public campaign to bring a peaceful resolution to the fighting which had also provoked widespread death from famine and disease.
"He was so personally involved and wanted Canadians to understand that it's a whole other world out there that we should care about," said Peter Mansbridge, CBC's chief correspondent and host of The National.
CBC obit
Globe and Mail obit by Fred Langan

Carl Mollins dead at 84

Carl Mollins, a Reuters journalist in London during the late 1960s, died in hospital on Saturday as the result of injuries sustained in a fall on his daily walk along Toronto's lakeshore, the independent website The Baron reports. He was 84. Mollins began his career in Britain and after five years at Reuters, returned to Canada where he worked at Canadian Press and Macleans Magazine

National Newspaper awards winners

Here is a link to the winners and finalists

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The sole woman in the Ottawa Press Gallery

Jennifer Ditchburn writes: (Excerpt)
"The weirdness, the novelty, of a woman reporting from the press gallery would persist well into the 1960s, as the institution was a primarily male one for most of its history. In the beginning, it was a proud association of newspapermen, who hung out playing cards, smoking and drinking with the politicians around the precinct, and who were often deeply involved in federal politics themselves – politics that didn’t include any female representatives until Agnes Macphail in 1921."
(Not all are identified in the Globe caption. -- extreme left is Geoff Scott (CHCH), Robert Hull of the Windsor Star (deceased), behind Lester Pearson is Ian MacDonald of the Vancouver Sun and to the left of  Ms Fairbairn is the late Fraser MacDougall of CP who lived till age 92!. )
Link to full story

Aussie ‘60 Minutes’ slammed, producer fired over botched kidnap attempt

The producer behind an Australian television program’s involvement in a mother’s botched child-snatching operation in Lebanon has lost his job, as the show’s founder on Friday dubbed the debacle “the gravest misadventure in the program’s history." the Associated Press reports.
The comment by Australia’s 60 Minutes founder Gerald Stone came amid the release of a damning internal review into the incident, in which the program paid a so-called child recovery agency to snatch an Australian woman’s two children back from her estranged Lebanese husband.
Sally Faulkner said her children’s father, Ali al-Amin, took them from their home in Australia to Beirut on a holiday last year and never returned. In April, Faulkner and a 60 Minutes crew covering her story went to Beirut in a bid to get back the children. But after agents hired by 60 Minutes grabbed the children off a Beirut street, the four-member TV crew, Faulkner, two agents from the Britain-based Child Abduction Recovery International company and two Lebanese men were jailed on kidnapping charges.

Bell to pay $11.82 million for unwanted premium text messaging charges

Eligible Bell Canada wireless customers will receive a share of a record $11.82 million payout from the company as part of a Competition Bureau settlement over unwanted premium text messaging charges on wireless phone bills, the Star's Michael Lewis reports.
Bell will issue credits or cheques to current and former customers and donate some $800,000 to groups dedicated to supporting public interest in the digital economy, the independent law enforcement agency said in announcing the settlement Friday.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

CBC executive fired in wake of Ghomeshi scandal sues broadcaster for ‘sacrificing’ him

The National Posts' Joseph Brean reports:
"A top CBC executive who was fired for his role as a key player in the Jian Ghomeshi affair claims he was politically scapegoated by the public broadcaster, and is suing for more than $700,000.
"Todd Spencer, 45, was executive director of human resources and industrial relations, and he led the CBC’s first internal investigation into Ghomeshi’s conduct, after inquiries were made by two journalists in June 2014.
"His lawsuit draws into doubt CBC’s claims that it has put the Ghomeshi matter to rest. It also promises further ugly revelations of what happened behind the scenes, if the case ever goes to court. CBC, for example, describes Spencer’s internal investigation as wholly insufficient, but Spencer alleges it was being substantially led and overseen by his superiors, up to the highest levels.
"In the lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court, he accuses CBC of publicly shaming and 'sacrificing' him 'to send a message to the Canadian public that the CBC takes matters of workplace harassment seriously.' He claims CBC concocted false excuses to fire him, including claims of dishonesty and negligence, in order to offset the ugly 'optics' of paying severance to a top employee over its own failure to prevent harassment by Ghomeshi.
The whole story

Level broadcast playing field, Ottawa urged

Canada should ease the regulatory burden on traditional broadcasters to create a level playing field with less encumbered digital streaming rivals, two policy think tanks said in separate reports this week, the Star's Michael Lewis reports.
“While traditional broadcasters have Canadian content quotas and funding taxes imposed on them, online broadcasters enjoy a much more flexible regulatory environment,” said Steven Globerman, a Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of a report released Wednesday called “Technological Change and its Implications for Regulating Canada Television Broadcasting Sector.”
The solution is not for the federal broadcast watchdog to impose new regulations on online TV and movie content, the report says, but rather to further deregulate Canada’s traditional broadcasting industry.
“With the explosion of online content, Canadians have a plethora of choices and options now available to them. Canadians will benefit from further deregulation,” Globerman said.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CRTC summons top TV providers for review of pick-and-pay rollout

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw writes:
"The federal broadcast regulator wants to know how pick-and-pay television is working out so far, and is calling Canada’s largest cable and satellite distributors to account for the way they’ve rolled out new choices to viewers.
"On Sept. 7, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will kick off a public hearing to discuss how the new, more flexible traditional TV packages it has mandated “are being implemented across Canada.” So far, the CRTC is summoning only BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc. and Videotron Ltd., which is owned by Quebecor Inc., to appear at what is expected to be a short hearing."

Friday, May 20, 2016

Spying by officers was not approved, RCMP commissioner says

The CBC's Terry Milewski writes:
"The RCMP commissioner decided to handle this one himself — and with good reason. As Canada's top cop, Bob Paulson knew it wasn't going to look good, and that he, personally, had been in the thick of it.
"So, instead of punting the question to a communications officer, the head of the RCMP sat down on Tuesday night and tapped out his own version of a tangled story about illicit spying by his officers.
"Yes, he said, the Mounties put two journalists under surveillance. And no, they did not have his approval — which was required. Three times, he'd turned them down. But they'd already done it anyway."
The whole story

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pamela Wallin won't face RCMP charges over expenses

The RCMP won't press criminal charges against Independent Senator Pamela Wallin for irregularities in her Senate expenses.
"The RCMP has completed its thorough investigation into Senator Pamela Wallin's Senate expenses," assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud said in a statement Thursday. "Following consultation with Crown counsel, the RCMP has determined that no criminal charges will be laid against Senator Wallin and will be concluding its investigational file."
Wallin said Thursday she was happy to have avoided further scrutiny. (CBC)

Morley Safer, the Toronto-born legendary host of 60 Minutes, has died at 84.

Morley Safer had just retired from his broadcasting post last week, after 46 years in the reporting business.
CBS celebrated his lengthy career this past Sunday with a post-60 Minutes special, titled Morley Safer: A Reporter’s Life. It featured interviews with Safer, and a vast collage of historians, colleagues and past interview subjects.
Notable members of the media took to Twitter to express their condolences.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CBC applies to change broadcasting licenses, extend right to air national radio ads

The CBC has applied to change its broadcasting licences for CBC Radio 2 and its French language counterpart, ICI Musique, to allow the stations to continue to air paid national ads through 2018, the Financial Post reports.
The public broadcaster was first granted a licence by the CRTC to sell ads on its flagship music stations in 2013, but the license is due to expire at the end of August.
The decision to air commercial advertising on public radio – for the first time in Canada in more than three decades – was not without controversy. At the time, then-CRTC Vice-Chair Tom Pentefountas made a scathing dissent of the regulator’s decision, saying there would be “a slippery slope once the door is opened to the commercialization of public radio… As a consequence, a distinct service that is highly appreciated by the public will be completely altered and lost forever.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

BBC retrenching -- "Independent" story

The Independent reports that the BBC is to shut down its food and Newsbeat websites as part of plans to save £15 million and address criticism that the Corporation is unfairly competing with commercial online publishers.
The plans will mean that around 11,000 recipes will disappear from BBC sites – and, in future, recipes linked to programme will only be available for a month after transmission.
But the corporation was forced to admit that rather than being deleted the recipes would only be archived – and would still be available for people to search for.
Full story

Monday, May 16, 2016

Fox News Is literally dying of old age as younger viewers refuse to watch Fox

Audience data for 2015 contains bad news for Fox News. Fox continues to march towards extinction as the average age of Fox News, primetime viewers is stuck at 68, while the revitalized CNN saw their average viewer age drop to 59, Politicus USA reports.
TVNewser reported, “Through Dec. 15 (which was the day of the last GOP debate), CNN’s median age was 61 years old for total day, and 59 years old for prime time (Monday-Sunday). MSNBC’s audience is two years older, at 63 (for both total day and prime time), while FNC’s is 67 for total day and 68 in prime time. For both MSNBC and FNC, that’s the oldest level on record in both dayparts.”
Daytime audiences are always going to skew older, so the level playing field is in primetime. Both MSNBC and Fox News tried a similar strategy of promoting younger on screen talent to attract younger viewers. Both networks have seen their audience grow older.
CNN took a different path. The network’s mix of primetime news, documentaries, and original series has drawn younger viewers their programming.

Friday, May 13, 2016

CRTC says cable companies not offering fair $25 basic TV deals risk licence renewal

If their $25 basic TV packages fail to meet CRTC expectations, cable companies could face trouble as they try to renew their broadcast licences.
In a surprise move, Canada's broadcast regulator recently demanded detailed reports on providers' new basic TV packages as part of their licence renewal process.
Within weeks, the commission will make those reports public. And Canadians will then be invited to wade in and tell the CRTC what they think.
"We'll take all those comments into consideration as we come up with a decision to renew [TV providers'] licences," said CRTC spokesman Eric Rancourt.
He added the CRTC could impose conditions on companies not offering the type of TV deals mandated by the commission. (CBC)
Full story

Postmedia's Godfrey wants tax breaks, bigger government ad spending

Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey has called on Ottawa to spend more on Canadian newspaper ads, and to give greater tax breaks to companies that do the same.
He made the plea Thursday to a Commons committee examining the future of the country's struggling local media.
"Come back and advertise in our newspapers and on our websites," Godfrey pleaded, noting that government cuts to advertising in recent years have disproportionately affected newspapers.
The Liberals on the committee were quick to accuse Godfrey of contradicting himself. Postmedia has been among the strongest critics of government spending on advertising, said Liberal MP Adam Vaughan.
"There have been no fiercer critics of subsidies to the media than the Toronto Sun and the National Post," Vaughan said of two of Postmedia's flagship papers. "How do you square your editorial position with your corporate position?"
Godfrey responded by saying Postmedia columnists are given leeway to write articles that contradict their own company's positions on political and other issues.
CBC story


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How mobile journalism is rising in popularity with journalists around the world

Interesting report in "" Excerpts:

"There have been significant developments in mobile journalism production over the past year, with many news organisations around the world altering their workflows to adapt to using new mobile technologies. . .

"Mobile journalism proved useful for Germany's leading news website Spiegel Online during the refugee crisis. The digital publisher was able to send 15 video reporters out to different locations all over Germany and each was able to produce video footage of a professional standard
Sandra Sperber, video reporter at Spiegel Online, initiated this video project that was produced solely on smartphones.
"She said that the success of the coverage was due to "keeping it simple" – some reporters had little experience using mojo tools, but stuck to just one or two apps that they were able to cope with and their work improved as the day went on."

The whole story

Monday, May 9, 2016

BBC faces turning point in mission as pressures bear down: N.Y. Times

Steve Erlanger of the New York Times has written an excellent piece on the BBC's situation:
The British Broadcasting Corporation is variously seen as a crown jewel of British culture, a producer of refined entertainment and reliable news coverage and as a cumbersome monolith, burdened by scandal and mismanagement.
But there is wide agreement that the BBC is at a critical moment in its nearly 94-year history. Challenged by the same forces that have upended traditional news media organizations elsewhere, including the technology-driven fracturing of its mass audiences, it faces intense budget pressures. Accused of using public funds to distort the market for programming, it is under constant assault by private-sector competitors. Criticized by some members of the governing Conservative Party as having a left-leaning institutional bias, it has been caught in political crosscurrents.
The whole story

Saturday, May 7, 2016

CBC's Terry Walker dead at 67

Reporter and Producer Terry Walker has died at age 67. Terry was loved and respected by many at, Simon Dingley Tweets.
Death notice in the Star

Thursday, May 5, 2016

CRTC releases financial stats for broadcasters

Excerpt from Broadcaster magazine story:
In 2015, there were 93 private conventional television stations in operation in Canada, which generated total revenues of $1.76 billion. These stations continued to operate in a challenging environment, with total revenues declining 2.6%, or $46.6 million, from 2014.
To meet the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC requires most television broadcasters to spend a minimum percentage of their revenues on content made by Canadians. In 2015, private conventional television stations invested $652.8 million in Canadian programing, a 5.4% (or $33.5 million) increase from 2014.
Investments in Canadian programming have grown consistently over the last five years as conventional televisions stations spent 16% more in 2015 than in 2011. These investments accounted for 49.8% of total programming expenses in 2015, up from 43.6% in 2011. Of note, private conventional television stations spent $60.9 million less on foreign programming in 2015 compared to 2014, primarily due to a reduction in spending on drama.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada reported total revenues of $1.1 billion in 2015, down 16.6%, or $220.9 million, from the previous year. . .
Conventional television stations employed 10,995 people in 2015, with the CBC/SRC employing 5,205 people.
The whole story

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

AP's race and ethnicity editor sues news agency for discrimination

The Associated Press’s race and ethnicity editor is suing the global news network, alleging that she has been marginalized and discriminated against because of her race, sex and age, the Guardian reports..
Sonya Ross, who is black, filed a lawsuit against her employer on Monday. Ross says in her suit that she was denied opportunities, promotions and adequate resources to do her current job. Ross started working at the AP as an intern in 1986 and was appointed its first race and ethnicity editor in 2010.
Ross’s suit comes less than a week after two black women in their sixties filed a class action lawsuit against their boss at the New York Times, alleging that the paper’s chief executive Mark Thompson created an office culture of “deplorable discrimination” based on age, race and gender.
In her suit, Ross says she filed a complaint of discrimination with the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in 2012. According to the lawsuit, the office finished its investigation in February, and found that the AP “allowed, and tolerated, a climate of hostility toward African American employees.”
The whole story

Blog Archive