News about news
— Ric Ernst (@RicErnst) June 16, 2018
- The Michener Award, the journalism award given out by the governor general, was awarded to the Globe and Mail and journalist Robyn Doolittle for their Unfounded project looking at how police departments across the country handle investigations of sexual assault.
- Bill 400, which allows La Presse to be converted into a nonprofit, passed through the National Assembly just before it broke for the summer. The bill was rushed through the legislative process (though, at two paragraphs, it doesn’t take long to study), and MNA Martine Ouellet tried to propose seven amendments in committee and two others in the National Assembly, designed to establish rules for how the non-profit’s board should be formed (such as that employees should control a third of the board) and ensure the company is not sold to a corporation with a headquarters outside Quebec. All were rejected. The final vote passed 76-24.
- The National Assembly also adopted a law offering more protection to journalists who wish to protect the identity of confidential sources.
- La Presse published an investigative report this week about Influence Communication, the Quebec news media analysis firm famous for quantifying the weight of topics in the news media. The report questions the company’s methods, particularly when it comes to broadcast media, and quotes former employees saying that president Jean-François Dumas, the firm’s public face, applies a multiplier, whose source is unclear even within the firm, to determine how much a news story is trending on media they cannot directly analyze. Dumas went into immediate damage control, issuing a 4am press release, and appearing on Radio-Canada and 98.5 FM morning shows to denounce the reporter and the story. Dumas says the former employees (who are unnamed in the story) were fired or left on bad terms, and suggests the reporter refused two offers to see how the company works in person. (The reporter, Isabelle Hachey, says both those statements are false.) Influence’s press release does not single out any specific fact in the story as being incorrect.
- Former Toronto Star digital editor David Skok has launched a new online subscription news outlet called The Logic, covering “the innovation economy.”
- The Guardian looks at the issue of journalists in the United States facing danger for reporting on radical right-wing political groups.
- Concordia University has launched a new institute for investigative journalism, with several media and university partners.
- An online survey done for the international Digital News Report shows only 18% of Canadians would be willing to donate to a news outlet “if they were unable to cover their costs in other ways.” More details on the report’s findings about Canada are here.
- Another report shows that news consumers are not very well informed about how journalism works, and that they believe news has veered too far toward opinion (I agree). Details are here.
- Rob Rogers was fired as the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette because he refused to stop making fun of Donald Trump. The newspaper’s publisher counters that he was “too angry” and obsessed with Trump. The paper itself covered the firing.
- The Boston Globe has suspended columnist Kevin Cullen after learning he allegedly fabricated anecdotes related to the Boston bombing. He’ll be busted down to general assignment reporter temporarily when he returns.
- Former employees of the Denver Post have started a new publication called the Colorado Sun that is being bankrolled by the founder of the Ethereum cryptocurrency. The Sun’s business model is something-something-blockchain but appears to be some sort of crowdfunding model.
- The Ahuntsic-Cartierville community publication Journal des Voisins has hired some student reporters thanks to a government grant.
- La Presse is launching a new webinar series featuring photojournalist Martin Tremblay.