Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Slovak investigative journalist and girl friend shot to death

A 27-year-old Slovak journalist who had been investigating corruption has been found shot to death at his home along with his fiancée, the authorities said Monday, the New York Times reports.
The killing — which appeared to be the first targeted slaying of a journalist in Slovakia’s modern history — was immediately condemned by officials, who vowed to investigate.
The journalist, Jan Kuciak, and his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova, both 27, appear to have been killed on Thursday in the village of Velka Maca, in western Slovakia, according to the office of the general prosecutor. Their bodies were found on Sunday after Ms. Kusnirova’s mother was unable to reach her.
Ms. Kusnirova was shot in the head and Mr. Kuciak in the chest, the authorities said.
“If it turned out that the death of the investigative reporter was connected to his work, it would mean an unprecedented attack on the freedom of press and democracy in Slovakia,” Prime Minister Robert Fico said in a statement.
Full story

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Patrick Brown sends libel notice to CTV

Patrick Brown has sent a notice of libel to Bell Media, the parent company of CTV News, late Friday night, CBC reports.
In the notice, Brown alleges CTV engaged in "false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory" reporting on its national newscast as well as its news website. The notice names the CTV Television Network, its parent Bell Media Inc., as well as several journalists.
Link to CBC story

Friday, February 23, 2018

Ottawa to pledge $50 million for local journalism in budget

Tuesday’s federal budget will commit $50 million over five years to support local journalism across Canada, the Star's Bruce Campion-Smith reports.
The federal government will provide the funding in the coming fiscal year to one or more “independent non-governmental organizations” that will support local journalism in underserved communities.
Those organizations will be responsible for administering the funds, a source told the Star. The investment is being made to help “ensure trusted, local perspectives as well as accountability in local communities.”
“This could include new ways for Canadian newspapers to innovate and be recognized as charitable or not-for-profit providers of journalism, reflecting the public interest that they serve,” the source said.
That was one suggestion to emerge from the Public Policy Forum’s “The Shattered Mirror” report that examined the financial crisis hitting Canada’s media outlets. Released in 2017, it gave a grim overview of the media landscape, noting that since 2010, 225 weekly and 27 daily newspapers had closed or merged operations.
Full story

Longtime CBC Radio personality Arthur Black dies at 74

Arthur Black, the humorist and former CBC Radio host, has died aged 74 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
His partner, Lynne Raymond, confirmed he died at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island, B.C., on Wednesday.
CBC obit

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sweeping cuts at Global News

Unifor, the union representing many Global News workers, said  that 69 of their members have been laid off. Global News has reported the total number of cuts is closer to 80 people.
Among those cut are “camera operators, reporters, anchors, control room staff, make-up artists and other production crew,” according to Unifor.
According to the Global News report, the layoffs come part of a Global News reorganization that is “part of its transformation into a sustainable, digital-first organization.” Troy Reeb, senior vice-president of Global News and Corus Radio, said that more resources will be directed into four new local digital-first bureaus Global is opening in Ottawa, Kitchener, Guelph and Barrie. According to Global News, laid-off employees will have the opportunity to apply for 50 new positions that are being created to serve the new digital-first mandate.
The biggest cuts came in Vancouver, according to Unifor, where 21 staff were laid off.
In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, evening newscasts will no longer be produced locally in Halifax. Instead, they will be anchored in Toronto and broadcast remotely. “Our studios will be empty after the morning show ends at 9 a.m.,” said David MacPherson, president of the Maritimes unit of Unifor local M1, in a statement.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Vassy Kapelos to host CBC's Power & Politics

CBC News has tapped Canadian broadcast journalist Vassy Kapelos to host its flagship daily political program Power & Politics.
Kapelos, who describes herself as "politics-obsessed," joins the public broadcaster from Global News, where she most recently served as Ottawa bureau chief and host of the network's program The West Block.
Prior to working as a parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa, Kapelos covered provincial politics, including in Alberta and Saskatchewan. (CBC web page)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Torstar cuts jobs, internship programs; board chair says the company is fighting for survival

The Globe's Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes:
"John Honderich won't mince words: Torstar Corp. is fighting for survival.
"The chair of Torstar's board, and a member of one of the five families that control the company that owns the Toronto Star, The Hamilton Spectator, and a collection of community newspapers, sat down with The Globe and Mail last week to discuss the state of the news industry.
"Mr. Honderich was part of an industry-wide effort to encourage Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly to include funding for journalism in her vision for the future of Canadian cultural policy. Ms. Joly rejected many of the suggested measures, saying the government would not 'bail out industry models that are no longer viable.'"
"The struggles precipitated by declining print advertising, and by a booming digital economy that has been dominated largely by Facebook and Google – at the expense of others who would survive on digital advertising – have led to widespread job cuts. On Monday, the company tightened its belt one more notch, cutting 13 jobs in its digital and sales operations, slashing the Toronto Star's travel and freelance budgets and suspending its summer and year-long internship programs. The Star's internships were among the most prestigious in the country for training young journalists."
Full story

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong reaches deal to buy L.A. Times and San Diego Union-Tribune

For more than a century, one family owned the Los Angeles Times and used the newspaper to build great wealth and exert political influence over how the city would take shape.
But over the years, the Chandler family — descendants of hard-charging Civil War veteran Gen. Harrison Gray Otis, who bought the paper in 1884 — became increasingly fractured and disenchanted with the newspaper business. In 2000, they sold Times Mirror Co. to Chicago-based Tribune Co., thrusting it into a protracted, 18-year battle with its out-of-town owners.
 On Wednesday, The Times' corporate parent, Tronc, announced that it had reached a deal to sell The Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Spanish-language Hoy Los Angeles and community newspapers to L.A. biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. His investment firm, Nant Capital, agreed to pay $500 million for the Southern California papers and it will assume $90 million in pension liabilities.
Full L.A. Times story 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Toronto Star photographer Reg Innell dead at 92

Reg Innell, a Star ohotograoher for 30 years, died last Thursday at the age of 92. He had been grappling with kidney complications and a weakened immune system caused him to succumb to an infection, said his life partner Margaret Serrao.
Star story

TVO launches probe into allegations against host Steve Paikin

The Globe and Mail's Jeff Gray reports:
TVO is launching an independent third-party investigation of an allegation of sexual harassment made against well-known broadcaster Steve Paikin, host of the Ontario public-TV channel's current affairs show The Agenda.
The allegation was made by Sarah Thomson, an outspoken former candidate for mayor of Toronto. But the channel said, based on the evidence it has so far, Mr. Paikin will remain on the air pending the results of the probe.
The taxpayer-funded station's chief executive officer, Lisa de Wilde, issued a statement on Monday disclosing that Ms. Thomson, after detailing the alleged incident in articles on her website without using Mr. Paikin's name, had sent him an e-mail over the weekend. Mr. Paikin immediately notified TVO of the e-mail, the statement says.
According to the account of the 2010 incident that Ms. Thomson published on her website, while at a lunch at the Grano restaurant, where Mr. Paikin is a regular, the TVO host allegedly asked if she would have sex with him to appear on The Agenda. Ms. Thomson says her assistant, whom she did not name, was also present at the lunch.
Full story

The end of TIME Inc.- Columbia Journalism Review

The Columbia Journalism Review chronicles the end of the once mighty TIME Inc..
Once America’s great magazine company, the much-reduced publisher was bought by Iowa’s Meredith Corp. last year, with $650 million in equity from Koch Industries. This week its name was stripped from its headquarters in lower Manhattan, to which it moved in 2014 after abandoning the Mad Men-era Time-Life Building in Rockefeller Center.
The full story

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