Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Excellent Michele Mandel column about the spate of publication bans

The Sun's Michele Mandel writes:
"There was absolutely no good reason to ban the identities of the three victims of alleged crossbow killer Brett Ryan.
"But that’s what happened last Friday when the Crown arbitrarily sought a discretionary publication ban at Ryan’s first court appearance. The media would not be permitted to name the woman and two men allegedly killed by Brett Ryan; the public wasn’t allowed to know that the 35-year-old former bank robber stands accused of murdering his mother and two brothers.
Why? The Scarborough prosecutor didn’t even bother to give anyone a reason. And just like that, a blanket pub ban was imposed."
The full column

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TIME Inc.'s chief content officer plans to take down "silos"

As the newly appointed chief content officer of Time Inc., Alan Murray, 61, will be the boss of the editors of its more than 20 magazines at a time when the publishing giant is hemorrhaging print ad sales and cutting back on staffing. His primary job will be to better orchestrate the efforts of its online and print publications, while paying close attention to digital revenue. His boss, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp, has told investors that Murray has been tasked “to grow audiences in every format and on every platform, with particular emphasis on mobile, social and video." (From FORTUNE)
The whole story

The Globe's John Doyle finds CRTC decision "truly appalling"

 John Doyke writes:
" . . .the decision is truly appalling. It suits a commercial industry that is already heavily protected, arrogant and uncaring about investing in a medium from which it profits vastly. Second, the CRTC decision comes, suspiciously, without the usual public and industry debate. It looks like a major favour being done for outlets who want to dodge responsibility. Third, it arrives when a Liberal government, one that loudly proclaims its support of Canadian culture, is in power.
"While the CRTC is at arm’s-length from the government, something blatantly ridiculous and hypocritical is unfolding. The 'Mandate Letter' from the Prime Minister to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said this: 'As Minister of Canadian Heritage, your overarching goal will be to implement our government’s plan to strengthen our cultural and creative industries. Our cultural sector is an enormous source of strength to the Canadian economy. Canada’s stories, shaped by our immense diversity, deserve to be celebrated and shared with the world.' The CRTC decision is a cynical 'yeah, right’ to that mandate."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Elizabeth Renzetti on keeping news photogs out of Tragically Hip concert

The Globe and Mail's Elizabeth Renzetti writes about keeping news photogs out of the Tragically Hip concert. Excerpt:
"The Canadian Press wire service would not distribute the handout photos of the show to its customers, citing editorial independence. As CP’s editor-in-chief Stephen Meurice wrote, 'Photos are an integral part of news coverage. They tell a story and have just as much impact as words do. … Our trained journalists decide what to shoot, what to write and what we will make available to our clients. The subjects of our stories and photos do not get to make those decisions.'”

Friday, August 26, 2016

John Doyle: CTV’s Your Morning is an exercise in harebrained inanity

John Doyle, the master wordsmith, writes:
Here’s a new entry in the annals of inanity on Canadian TV – Your Morning.
The daily three-hour show, launched this week as a replacement for the long, long-standing Canada AM, is in its early days. Finding its feet. Trying to get it right. Trying to be engaging.
It’s a tough task, this engaging thing. Getting people hooked on your version of the morning experience and prepping for the day ahead is not easily done. There are existing models, mind you. Turn on most commercial radio in the morning and you’re listening to a bunch of people laughing hysterically at one another’s lame witticisms and, in general, being obnoxious. That’s why a lot of those shows have the word “zoo” in the title.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The New York Times announces plans to expand to Canada

CP reports that The New York Times plans to expand to Canada.
Danielle Rhoades Ha, the company's vice-president of communications, said in an email that the paper is actively assessing how to further extend its reach to readers in Canada and Australia in the coming months.Rhoades Ha said the company has deployed people to both countries to recruit journalists and lay the groundwork for local newsrooms.
She said the company is not discussing further details at the moment. The Times already has a Canadian correspondent, Ian Austen.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Nick Ut, AP photographer who captured iconic image of Vietnamese girl, retires

L.A. Times story:
Nick Ut stood on a road in a village just outside of Saigon when he spotted the girl — naked, scorched by American napalm and screaming as she ran. He raised his camera and snapped the photo that changed his life.
Almost a half century later, Ut is driving east of Los Angeles International Airport, past the Forum in Inglewood where he once photographed Lakers games during the “Showtime” era. He has lived in L.A. for more of his life than in his native Vietnam. He knows its streets so well he never uses a GPS or maps.
L.A.Times story

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The New York Tines public editor on the paper's Facebook venture

The New York Times public editor, Liz Spayd, has misgivings about her paper's venture into Facebook. Excerpts:
"It's been just over four months since The New York Times started producing live video for Facebook, but already the scoreboard is flashing. A few earned gold medals. Several others finished strong. And a lot should never have made the team. . .
"What I hope is that The Times pauses to regroup, returning with a rigor that more sharply defines the exceptional and rejects the second-rate. After all, the world has a glut of bad video and not enough of the kind The Times is capable of producing."
Link to the whole story

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why journalist Arthur Kent spent 8 years fighting column on his political candidacy.

In June, former NBC News war correspondent Arthur Kent, who unsuccessfully ran for office in Canada in 2008, won his libel lawsuit against the Canadian newspaper company Postmedia. The suit centered on a 2008 column by Don Martin published in the Calgary Herald and the National Post, both newspapers owned by Postmedia, that Kent says ruined his attempt at a political career.
Full story in iMediaEthics

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Long-time CFTO reporter Bill Rogers has died at age 64

Bill Rodgers
Television veteran Bill (Rodgers) Kittelberg, has died Thursday in Ottawa of an apparent heart attack. He was a former CFTO / CTV Parliamentary correspondent and former president of  the Parliamentary Press Gallery. He was 64. His death was confirmed by his daughter Lori.
 Funeral arrangements:
Beechwood, Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services
280 Beechwood Avenue, P.O. Box 7025, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1M 1K5
Thursday, 25 Aug 2016 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Link to obituary and funeral details

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

John McLaughlin, TV pundit and Nixon speechwriter, dead at 89

The McLaughlin Group Facebook page reported the news. "Earlier this morning, a beloved friend and mentor, Dr. John McLaughlin, passed away peacefully at the age of 89," the statement read. "As a former Jesuit priest, teacher, pundit and news host, John touched many lives. For 34 years, The McLaughlin Group informed millions of Americans. Now he has said bye bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in Heaven. He will always be remembered." The page said it would post information about memorial services when it becomes available.The McLaughlin Group premiered in April 1982, according to The Associated Press, creating a platform for heated political discussion between the host and a panel that recently featured journalist Tom Rogan, Nixon advisor and presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, columnist Clarence Page and MSNBC contributor Eleanor Clift. "The acquisition of knowledge need not be like listening to the Gregorian chant," the host once said.
The whole Rolling Stone story

Long time CTV VTR operator Wayne Marshall

Wayne Marshall has died at age 65.
Death notice

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mike Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, dissects his defence strategy

Excellent story by the Globe and Mail's Gloria Galloway:
The man who successfully defended Mike Duffy in criminal court says he went to the media nine months before his client was charged in an effort to control the narrative and to stop those in the Senate who he says were driving the message that there was a scandal to be uncovered.
Donald Bayne admits his attempt to change the public characterization of Mr. Duffy was less than successful.
One of the big lessons coming out of the lengthy case was that “when the media develop the story line, that’s a ship, like a cruise liner, that’s very hard to turn around,” Mr. Bayne told fellow lawyers on Sunday morning at a meeting of the Canadian Bar Association. “And the story line of Duffy from Day One was ‘corrupt, greedy, fat, easily cartooned man.’”

Shad leaves CBC Radio’s Q

Shadrach Kabango a.k.a. Shad, is stepping down as host of the CBC Radio show Q, the broadcaster announced Monday.
His last day as host will be Tuesday, CBC said in a statement that also named his replacement as Tom Power.
Kabango was hired as the permanent host of Q in April 2015 following a search to replace the show’s previous host, Jian Ghomeshi. But critics thought his delivery and interview-skills were lukewarm, and the show’s ratings were lackluster.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Obit for the obits

Bruce Weber of the New York Times writes:
No sense in burying the lede. This week, after more than eight years of lively habitation in one of journalism’s more obscure corners, I’m making a final egress, passing on. Starting after Friday’s deadline (ha!) I am an ex-obit writer.
Here’s my legacy. A thousand salutes to the departed, something like that. Age range 11 to 104. Cops and criminals, actors and athletes, scientists and judges, politicians and other poobahs. Famous, infamous or as obscure as the rest of us except for one instance of memorable distinction. A man with a mountain named for him, another who hijacked a plane. A woman who changed infant care for the better, another who shot a ballplayer. High achievers who died after long and fruitful lives (Yogi Berra, Ruby Dee, E. L. Doctorow) or whose unanticipated demise (Grete Waitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Carr) demanded furiously quick reporting and writing — and attention on the front page.
Full story

The slow fade of the newspaper trade

Interesting Alan Freeman take on the newspaper biz in iPolitics:
Once again, another smart idea to save the news business has turned out to be not so smart after all.
Torstar Corp., the publisher of The Toronto Star, announced this week that it was eviscerating the dedicated team set up for its tablet edition — after having spent something like $35 million to launch the product over the past two years. It’s laying off 52 employees, most of them attached to the tablet edition.
Full story

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Interesting but long story about Justin Trudeau's use of photos

From the Saturday Globe and Mail:
"The camera loves Justin Trudeau – and he knows it. Eric Andrew-Gee job-shadows Adam Scotti, the photographer charged with capturing every move of a Prime Minister well aware that, in the age of social media, a flattering picture may be worth far more than a thousand words"
The story -- It's long

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tory attack ads targeting shirtless Trudeau removed after photographer issues cease and desist letter

The federal Conservative Party has removed the now famous photo of a shirtless Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a Tofino wedding, after the photographer served the party a cease and desist order for illegally using her photos as part of a social media campaign, the National Post reports.
Marnie Recker claims the ads, which appeared on the Conservative Party’s social media platforms earlier this month, disrespect her work. She claims the party illegally stole and altered the copyrighted image and used it to attack the Liberal Party. The photo was posted Aug. 8 with a caption that reads, “Canada lost 110,000 jobs recently. And the Prime Minister is still on vacation.”
Recker hired a lawyer, who served the party a cease and desist letter on Tuesday. The images have since been removed.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

NOW magazine could face lockout by end of August

NOW magazine could face a lockout or strike by the end of this month, says the union representing employees at the Toronto weekly, the Star's Lisa Wr9ight writes..
A no-board report was issued Wednesday at the request of company management, which puts the alternative magazine in a legal strike or lockout position after 17 days.
Unifor 87-M, which represents 52 full- and part-time staff at Now, says it is concerned the company has escalated ongoing contract negotiations by requesting the report from the province, which starts the clock ticking on a possible company lockout or union strike by Saturday, Aug. 27.
The two sides have been at the bargaining table since last December. In recent months, the company has tried to re-bargain items already settled and added new concessions, throwing talks into disarray, said Jonathan Goldsbie, a staff writer at Now and chair of its bargaining unit.

Arianna Huffington is leaving The Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington is leaving the Huffington Post, AP reports. A one-time conservative commentator, she oversaw the explosive growth of the liberal online blog and news site she co-founded in 2005. It went on to win a Pulitzer in less than a decade.
Huffington, who has been the site’s editor-in-chief, will now head a new health, wellness and productivity startup.
“I thought HuffPost would be my last act,” Huffington said in a tweet. “But I’ve decided to step down as HuffPost’s editor-in-chief to run my new venture, Thrive Global.”
The Huffington Post is now owned by Verizon Communications Inc., and her departure comes several weeks after Verizon said it was buying the media properties of Yahoo Inc. for about $4.8 billion (U.S.).
In 2012, the site won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting on its series of stories about wounded veterans.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Torstar cuts 52 jobs, drastically reducing tablet edition staff

The Globe and Mail's media reporter James Bradshaw writes:
"Less than a year after the Toronto Star launched an ambitious tablet edition designed to reshape the newspaper’s digital future, parent company Torstar Corp. has slashed 52 jobs, dramatically shrinking the project’s core staff.
The cuts announced Tuesday include 45 people from the Star’s newsroom, 26 of whom were on contract jobs and mostly dedicated to Toronto Star Touch. Another 19 were full-time staff, including 10 reporters and five editors, while three digitally focused positions and four jobs outside the newsroom at the free Metro daily newspapers were eliminated.
"The layoffs represent a major retrenchment in resources devoted to the tablet edition as the company lowers its expectations for the project’s popularity with readers, but also shows the deep financial troubles afflicting Torstar. The publisher of newspapers including the Star and The Hamilton Spectator recently closed its printing plant in Vaughan, Ont., outsourcing printing of the Star and putting 285 people out of work, and posted a $23.9-million loss in the first quarter of 2016."

Survey: Even on social media, trusted news sources command most influence

Interesting article in Media Shift:
Technology has changed almost every aspect of news, except for possibly the most important one: Traditional news editors and journalists still write the vast majority of the stories we read and consume.
As PR professionals, we underestimate the business of traditional media relations at our peril. We are still in the business of building relationships, being sensitive to reporters’ needs, and serving as a bridge between what journalists want to cover and the agendas of the brands we represent.
 So while we obsess over how changes in technology have changed news consumption, far less attention has been paid to how these changes have affected those who still write the news – the editors and journalists themselves.
The whole story

Monday, August 8, 2016

Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Henry Burris takes shot at TSN after hearing criticism

Henry Burris, the Ottawa Redblacks quarterback, sounded off on national television during halftime of Saturday night’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos, apparently directing his own pointed remarks at commentators for TSN broadcasts of Canadian Football League games.
“There’s these guys at TSN that always want to jump on me every week,” Burris told Matthew Scianitti, the sideline reporter for the telecast of the game at TD Place stadium.
Full Sun story

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Interesting PEW resarch on the state of U.S. media

Eight years after the Great Recession sent the U.S. newspaper industry into a tailspin, the pressures facing America’s newsrooms have intensified to nothing less than a reorganization of the industry itself, one that impacts the experiences of even those news consumers unaware of the tectonic shifts taking place.
The full report

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dan Rather warns journalists to take Trump seriously

Dan Rather writes:
"It’s very fashionable for people to say we should ignore him, or “stop making him famous” and write him off. That isn’t going to work. He’s now the Republican nominee, and if anyone calls themselves a progressive they have a duty to talk about the offensive things he says and does. Reporters need to ask the hard questions, instead of softball him to ensure continuing press access. Ignoring him is what got him to the nomination."
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