Friday, September 29, 2017

AP's Richard Pyle dead at 83

Richard Pyle, whose long and accomplished Associated Press career spanned the globe and a half-century of crisis, war, catastrophe and indelible moments in news reporting, died Thursday at age 83.
He died at a hospital of respiratory failure due to lung fibrosis and obstructive lung disease, said his wife, actress-writer Brenda Smiley.
AP obit

Thursday, September 28, 2017

No bailout for ailing media outlets, Ottawa says

The Star's Bruce Campion-Smith writes that Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly took the wraps off the Liberal government’s vision for culture in Canada, laying out in broad strokes a road map for everything from onscreen productions, poetry and books and the fate of small-town newspapers.
Good journalism is “critical” to democracy but she said Ottawa won’t bail out media models “that are no longer viable.”
“We start from the premise that this is a shared responsibility between government at all levels, the private sector and civil society,” she said.
She said that “reliable” journalism is “critical” to a health democracy and that any government measures must respect journalistic independence.
“Our approach will not be to bail out industry models that are no longer viable. Rather, we will focus our efforts on supporting innovation, experimentation and transition to digital,” Joly said.
Full Star story

Saturday, September 23, 2017

TVO's newly expanded team of journalists will report from communities around the province

TVO will open four hubs to provide on-the-ground coverage in different regions of Ontario. Journalists Jon Thompson and Mary Baxter in our hubs in Thunder Bay and London, respectively, have already started producing articles. We’ve also hired a field producer, Jeyan Jeganathan, to file video stories from across the province. We’ll announce the location of two additional hubs this fall.
Each hub will be partnered with a local postsecondary institution, so we can provide internship opportunities and help nurture the next generation of Canadian journalists. We have already partnered with Confederation College in Thunder Bay and Western University in London. (TVO Web page)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New York deli owner doubles as Egyptian TV commentator from backroom studio

By Sarah Maslin Nir of the New York Times
Every other day or so, Hatem El-Gamasy connects to a news audience nearly halfway around the world, delivering hot takes on American politics, live from New York, but on Egyptian television.
When the broadcast ends, he slips out his earpieces, opens the door of his makeshift studio and returns to his day job.
“You want ketchup on that?” he said to a customer on a recent morning. “Extra ketchup as usual?”
Mr. El-Gamasy owns the Lotus Deli in Ridgewood, Queens, a place known for its sandwiches, extensive craft beer selection, and its gracious, friendly owner. But few of his customers — and likely, none of his viewers in Egypt — know that the man making egg sandwiches and small talk behind the counter is the same one who appears on popular Egyptian television news programs, holding forth on subjects from immigration policy to North Korea.
Nor do many know that his television studio is actually a converted room in the back, past the potato chips display.
Full story

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Literary Review of Canada replaces publisher Helen Walsh

The Star's Deborah Dundas writes:
"Turrmoil in the publishing industry appears to be affecting one of Canada’s most highly regarded literary magazines.
"The Literary Review of Canada sent an email to supporters saying it was undergoing a “period of transition.” Publisher Helen Walsh is leaving and being replaced in the interim by board member Mark Lovewell.
"While the email was short on details, it did say the LRC 'is launching a comprehensive strategic review and fundraising campaign to chart a course for the long-term outlook of the magazine.'
"The email came from the editor-in-chief, Sarmishta Subramanian, who would not provide any further comment when requested.
"Subramanian was named editor of the LRC in 2016, coming from a position as a managing editor at Maclean’s magazine. She replaced Bronwyn Drainie, a former CBC host and literary journalist who was with the magazine from 2003."

National Post staff announce union drive at Postmedia’s flagship paper

Editorial staff at the National Post announced Wednesday that they are beginning a union drive with CWA Canada, Global TV reports. The paper’s beleaguered parent company Postmedia, which has suffered steep revenue declines affecting the entire print media industry, offered buyouts last week, just months after completing a company-wide salary cost reduction of twenty per cent.
“It has been a year of unprecedented events, of things we once thought were beyond the realm of possibility,” said the union drive’s organizers, in a playful nod to the paper’s conservative editorial bent that has often been critical of Canada’s labour movement. “A reality television star is president of the United States. Ontario’s liquor control board is planning to sell marijuana. And the National Post is unionizing.”
Full Global News story

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Arnold Amber memorial on September 24

Arnold's daughter  Jeannine writes that a memorial will be held at 2  p.m. on September 24 in the Imperial Room of the Royal York Hotel.

Globe and Mail obituary by Fred Langan

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Globe and Mail to tap into online data to help reshape daily newspaper

The Globe and Mail is putting more faith in algorithms as part of a newspaper redesign that’s influenced by what’s trending on its website.
A print revamp that launches Dec. 1 will incorporate news and topics that already have a proven track record with readers online, publisher Phillip Crawley said in an interview with CP on Tuesday.
Editors will ultimately decide which stories land in the paper, but their choices will be informed by what the Globe’s internal tracking systems have tabulated online.
"Instinct of an experienced editor … can’t ever be substituted, but when you’ve got data which constantly feeds and gives you great clarity, there will be great surprises.”
It’s part of a larger overhaul of the Globe’s newspaper that will see its weekday sections reduced to two: News and Report on Business. Stories from Sports will appear in Report on Business while Life and Arts will be folded into the News section. (CP)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Pulitzer-prize-winning New York Daily News was just bought — for $1

Tronc Inc., owner of newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune, agreed to pay $1 and assume pensions and liabilities for the New York Daily News and to expand its digital business and add coverage of the biggest media market in the U.S.
Chicago-based Tronc assumed operational and pension liabilities for the New York Daily News in a deal that includes 100 per cent ownership of the New York newspaper’s printing facility in New Jersey, Tronc said in a statement late Monday. The pensions and liabilities Tronc is accepting under the deal total more than $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because financial terms are confidential.
Acquisition of the almost 100-year-old paper marks the highest-profile media deal for Tronc Chairman Michael Ferro, a former software entrepreneur and investor, since he bought into the company last year through his Merrick Ventures LLC. The newspaper group will now operate in 10 major U.S. markets and have more than 80 million unique monthly digital visitors, it said in the statement. (Bloomberg)

New CRTC chief will face several unusual issues

Here are three out-of-the-ordinary files Ian Scott will have to deal when he starts his job as head of the CRTC today writes Christine Dobby, the Globe's Telecom reporter:
-A new model for cheaper wireless service?
-Bell's Super Bowl ads Hail Mary
-A test of support for original Canadian programming
The full story

Monday, September 4, 2017

Arnold Amber has died

Arnold Amber
Longtime CBC producer Arnold Amber has died at age 77, his family has announced. He had two strokes during the summer and also suffered from cancer. Arnold was a long-time producer of CBC election coverage and of many specials and was a major figure in the Canadian Media Guild.
A tribute to Arnold Amber from the CMG's Lise Lareau.
CBC obit

The face of North Korean TV: The emotional news anchor who announced the nuclear test

The announcement that North Korea had carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, fell, almost inevitably, to Ri Chun-hee.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Mrs Ri has been reading the news on North Korean state television since 1971 and appeared on Sunday to announce the regime's latest military breakthrough.
In front of a backdrop of Mt Paektu, the dormant volcano on the Chinese border that is the fount of Korean nationhood, she trembled with excitement, smiling broadly as she pronounced the test's "perfect success".Mrs Ri's appearance was the latest landmark in a remarkable TV career. She is believed to be 73-years-old.
The full story

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Canadian Press marks 100 years

CP's John Ward writes:
The Canadian Press, the national news service that was created during the First World War to bring home stories from the European front — and went on to become the country's go-to, real-time source — turned 100 Friday.
But even dedicated news junkies might not know where to send a birthday card.
Described by some scholars as a cornerstone of Canadian history, CP remains a mystery to many, a low-profile but central part of the news landscape. Its news stories, photos, videos and radio broadcasts, in both official languages, appear in almost every media outlet in the country, yet readers or listeners are often unaware of their source.
The agency was established in 1917 by an Act of Parliament, as newspaper publishers looked to share stories across a massive, thinly populated country. With the war raging in Europe, Canadians were hungry to hear about their troops. Coverage of the Canadian military has remained a top priority for CP, the only news outlet to have a reporter stationed in Afghanistan throughout the duration of that conflict.
As it grew into a non-profit co-operative owned collectively by member newspapers across Canada,
Full story

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