Friday, September 30, 2016

Maclean's goes to monthly print edition as Rogers thrashes some of its titles

Rogers Media says it is overhauling its magazine division by eliminating some print editions, shifting to more digital content and selling off some publications, the CBC reports.
The company said Friday that the magazines Flare, Sportsnet, MoneySense and Canadian Business will go exclusively digital starting in January. Their content will be available on the web and through apps.
Four other titles will keep their print editions, but reduce their frequency.
Beginning in January, Maclean's will go from a weekly publication to a monthly, with new content posted digitally each week. Chatelaine and Today's Parent will produce print editions six times per year, instead of a dozen.
Full CBC story

Canadian media ‘crisis’ puts democracy at risk, says Torstar chair John Honderich

Bruce Campion-Smith writes:
"Canadian media are facing a “crisis” as market forces shrink newsrooms, leaving fewer journalists to report the news vital to a vibrant democracy, the chair of Torstar warns.
John Honderich, chair of the board of Torstar, had blunt words Thursday for MPs studying the state of media in Canada.
“'My message to you is a simple one: there is a crisis of declining good journalism across Canada and at this point we only see the situation getting worse,' Honderich told MPs on the Canadian Heritage committee.
He said newspapers across the country have cut their ranks of journalists, resulting in diminished political and community coverage and less investigative journalism."

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Video streaming service Shomi to shut down

Shomi announced Monday it was shutting down at the end of November, two years after the video-on-demand service launched amid hopes of thriving in a hyper-competitive market, CP reports.
“The business climate and online video marketplace have changed markedly in the last few years,” David Asch, senior vice-president and general manager for Shomi, said in a brief statement.
“Combined with the fact that the business is more challenging to operate than we expected, we’ve decided to wind down our operations.”

Monday, September 26, 2016

Why Facebook is public enemy number one for newspapers, and journalism

Roy Greenslade writes in The Guardian:
"Facebook has emerged as newspapers’ public enemy number one. Hardly a day passes in which there is no negative article about the social media website that is luring away “our” readers and advertisers.
In the past couple of weeks, there has been something of an overload of criticism on a range of topics.
"There was the blocking of the image of a girl fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam. It generated outrage from, among others, Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg in the Guardian, Jane Fae in the Daily Telegraph and Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times (an excellent piece).
"Facebook’s tax affairs have come under the microscope. Questions were raised about Facebook’s attack on ad-blocking software (as if that isn’t in the interest of every news outlet). And there have been plenty of critical articles about Facebook’s news feeds, notably its “trending topics” feature."
The whole story

Margarte Wente didn't appease Nefoundland with her apology

From the CBC web page:
More than a decade after hostile remarks about Newfoundland and Labrador, Margaret Wente's apology did not fall on deaf ears this weekend.
The often-contentious Globe and Mail columnist visited Newfoundland last month, and wrote a follow-up to an inflammatory column from 2005 when she called the province a "vast and scenic welfare ghetto," full of "ingrates on pogey."
On Saturday, she wrote, "I got them all wrong, and I'm sorry."
While Wente's name was being disparaged across social media in Newfoundland and Labrador over the weekend, Joan Penney went about her business at her saltbox house in Little Seldom.
Penney, who hosted Wente, her husband and friends during their stay on Fogo Island, had no indication her guest was a columnist, or intended to write about their conversations over dinner.
"We had no idea who she was. She introduced herself as — hang on, let me check here," she said, flipping through the pages of her guestbook. "Peggy MacLeod."
The full tale

(Hey people, give Ms Wente a break! She apologized.)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

CBC Radio's Ron Solway dead at 84

Ron Solloway, a long-time CBC writer and arts producer, has died at age 84 in Vancouver. He was the founding producer of The Royal Canadian Air Farce, and in his 20 years as head of CBC Radio Drama and Literature and CBC Radio Variety, he oversaw the creation of shows such as Goldrush, Touch the Earth, Jazz Radio-Canada, Brave New Waves, The Vicki Gabereau Show, Anybody Home?, the Frantics and the CBC Literary Competition.
.Death announcement in the Globe and Mail

Friday, September 23, 2016

BBC loves Canada

"Starting today, we're expanding our coverage of Canada on the BBC News website," the BBC website states..
"We've built a small team of journalists in Toronto, led by news editor Jessica Murphy, to report on the issues and themes that are driving Canadian news and current affairs.
"We are also improving the way we show off our reporting about Canada.
Canadian users will see a new section on the front page of the site which highlights the best and latest material about Canada.
"Today, for example, Canadian users can read a story about the Canadian accent and watch Britons confused about the coming of Tim Hortons.
"Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet's emotional reunion with a Syrian refugee girl illustrates the BBC's global reach and how we hope to explain Canada's place in the world.
"And Red River Women, an investigation into unsolved murders of Aboriginal women and girls, is an example of the BBC's very best in-depth and multi-media storytelling."

Monday, September 19, 2016

CBC's Terry Milewski retires

He announced on Twitter: "Small news: I gotta go. After 38 years at CBC, I'm retiring. Still gonna show up often on air and online, so not going cold turkey but..."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Walrus fiction editor quits over magazine’s push for ‘family-friendly’ stories

Nick Giovannetti writes in the Globe and Mail:
"One of Canada’s foremost magazines is embroiled in a battle over whether serious literature tackling serious subjects should also be family-friendly, leading to the resignation of The Walrus’s fiction editor and charges that politeness has gone too far at the publication.
"Nick Mount, the magazine’s fiction editor and an English professor at the University of Toronto, announced by e-mail on Friday morning that he had resigned after The Walrus’s management expressed “obscenity concerns” about publishing the words “crap” and “orgasm” in a work of fiction planned for an upcoming issue.
“'The publisher has decided that the magazine wants more family-friendly fiction,' he said in the e-mail, which went to a list of past contributors, including Margaret Atwood. 'There’s just not enough fiction in Canada that is both good and family-friendly. So I can’t be of much help to the magazine any more.'”

Friday, September 16, 2016

"Headlines my father told me" -- Judith Timson.

Judith Timson's touching musings about her dad, Ray Timson, on the CBC web page:
'My father died well before the age of Twitter. But Dad always spoke in tweets. He called them headlines: 'Race riots, Birmingham, firehoses, tragedy,' was Dad's brisk summation of a tumultuous chapter of the American civil rights movement. 'A dark night for Canada's finest,' telegraphed his outrage over a deadly loggers strike in Newfoundland. 'Bobby's down' came sideways out of his mouth as he hung up the phone after hearing about the mortal shooting of Robert F. Kennedy, brother to the already felled president. From a young age, I took this as normal parental discourse.
The story

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gallup poll: Public confidence in American media falls to all-time low

Politico reports that the American public’s trust in the media in 2016 has fallen to its lowest point since at least 1972, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.
Thirty-two percent of the respondents in Gallup’s most recent national poll said that they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the mass media, an eight percentage-point drop compared to 2015. It’s the lowest point in Gallup’s polling history, which began asking respondents whether they had trust and confidence in the media in 1972.
Public trust in the media fell among respondents who identified as Democrats, Republicans and independents, but the decline in trust in the media was most pronounced among Republicans, whose confidence in the media dropped from 32 percent in 2015 to 14 percent in 2016.
“This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years,” according to the poll.
The drop in media trust and confidence was also apparent among both young and old respondents, according to the study. 2016 is the first time in 15 years that confidence in the media among Americans 50 and older fell below 40 percent.
The whole story

Friday, September 9, 2016

How the iPhone is killing the traditional camera

Om Malik writes in the New Yorker:
"Camera companies, like traditional phone manufacturers, dismissed the iPhone as a toy when it launched, in 2007. Nokia thought that the iPhone used inferior technology; the camera makers thought that it took lousy pictures. Neither thought that they had anything to worry about. Of course, neither anticipated the value of having a computer in your pocket, and what the camera folks, especially, didn’t anticipate was that, as the photographer Chase Jarvis puts it, the best camera is the one that’s with you. . . .
"There are now nearly a billion smartphones worldwide capturing selfies, birthday smiles, breakfast sandwiches, Tuscan villages, and cats. In the past, such photos were taken by a point-and-shoot camera. Even today, the interchangeable-lens cameras and high-end cameras have their fans, so demand for these monsters still exists. But for how long?"
The whole story

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Globe and Mail offering buyouts

The Globe and Mail has offered voluntary buyouts to 40 of its approximately 650 staff in a bid to "right-size" its business, the Hamilton Spec reports.
Publisher and chief executive Philip Crawley said the newspaper expects to know how many volunteers will take the severance packages by early October.
Crawley said the reason for doing this is to "right-size the business as it adjusts to market forces."
He said the offer is open to all managers and staff, union and non-union, and that those leaving voluntarily or involuntarily will be gone by the end of November.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Frank Mag in hot water again!

Local reports that the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service is proceeding with a charge against a writer for Frank Magazine, alleging he violated a publication ban in the case of a police officer's murder. Andrew Douglas, who is Frank's managing editor, pleaded not guilty and was ordered to return to court Sept. 20 for a trial date to be set.
The whole story

It’s about time: We’ve put up with Mansbridge and his pompous ilk for too long - John Doyle

The Globe's John Doyle not being nice to PeterMansbridge:
"In the matter of Peter Mansbridge stepping down from CBC’s The National, this might seem ungracious and harsh, but it’s about bloody time.
Mansbridge has spent 28 years as anchor and chief correspondent for CBC Television’s flagship newscast and that’s a very, very long time for anyone to be in a position of on-air authority in the TV business, a business that has changed so much. The traditional anchor position, which Mansbridge embodies in every scintilla in his on-air persona, is outdated and, essentially, redundant."

Monday, September 5, 2016

Peter Mansbridge to step down from The National next year

Peter Mansbridge has announced he is retiring as anchor of The National.
Mansbridge, 68, has announced that he's planning to step down next summer, after anchoring special Canada Day coverage on July 1.
"As someone who believes strongly in public broadcasting, leaving the CBC's flagship will not be easy," Mansbridge told viewers Monday night. "But what's important is that The National of the future will continue to reflect our world, our country and our people."
Mansbridge's  career has spanned nearly five decades, including 28 years at the helm of the desk as anchor chief correspondent.
CBC story

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Good-bye Speed Graphic, Rolleiflex and Nikon! Welcome the iPhone

Photographer Michael Christopher Brown was 32 when he went to Libya in February of 2011, just as the Arab Spring was dissolving into war. A broken camera forced him to document the conflict with his iPhone, and the pictures he made with his phone’s camera over the next several months form the foundation of Libyan Sugar Twin Palms, his first photography book.
Vanity Fair interview

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