News about news
- Suzanne Legault, Canada’s information commissioner, talks to Maclean’s about how disappointed she is that the government is not making more of an effort to improve access to information.
- The Canadian Journalism Foundation and CBC have awarded their indigenous journalism fellowships for this year. Julian Brave NoiseCat of B.C. and Lenard Monkman of Manitoba will get $3,000 plus per diems and travel expenses to report on events for possible broadcast by CBC News.
At the CRTC
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) April 18, 2017
- CHOD-FM, a French-language community radio station serving eastern Ontario, needs to improve its signal, so it has applied to the CRTC for a second transmitter. The second transmitter would use the same frequency (92.1 MHz) and would be located in Dunvegan, along the 417 about halfway between Ottawa and Vaudreuil. Having a synchronized transmitter on the same frequency is hard, especially for a low-budget community station. People between the transmitters will hear a lot of interference if it’s not done perfectly. CHAI-FM 101.9 in Châteauguay tried it with a retransmitter in Candiac, but abandoned that plan and replaced its two-transmitter system with a single transmitter. In a few years we could see CHOD-FM do the same.
- The CRTC has released its three-year plan. Not much new here, though it finally expects to do its review of French-language music quotas on radio in 2017-18.
- The commission’s decision on differential pricing and zero-rating, a process prompted by a complain about Videotron making access to online music services exempt from data charges and data caps, will be delivered Thursday at 4pm.
- CBC is holding online discussions, moderated by Daybreak host Mike Finnerty — in a suit! — as part of its response to criticism of the Canada: The Story of Us history documentary series that has been criticized for lack of inclusion or misrepresentation of French Canadians, westerners, Atlantic Canadians, indigenous peoples and just about everyone else. It’s bilingual (the version with French translation is here) though for this episode at least most of the discussion is in English. They’ll be back for another discussion next week.
- Today is National Canadian Film Day:
- Bell Media is celebrating by airing a bunch of Canadian movies on its pay TV movie channels TMN, TMN Encore, Super Écran and Cinépop. Which sounds great, but it’s 25 movies spread across 11 channels (they’re actually airing more than is listed there). Other movies these channels are showing today include Furious 7, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, The Free State of Jones, Mistress America, Suicide Squad, The Devil at Four O’Clock, War Dogs, Mortdecai, The 33, Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour, Be Cool, Letters from Iwo Jima and I Love My Sister’s Big Tits 6. None of these are Canadian.
- CBC is also celebrating, by putting some films online for free streaming. Radio-Canada will be airing the movie Sarah préfère la course at 2pm.
- Other movies screening on TV include Lesser Blessed on APTN, Strange Brew, Monsieur Lazhar and Trailer Park Boys on Hollywood Suite, Laurence Anyways on OUTtv, The Rocket on Sportsnet One, Love Under the Stars on Super Channel, The Stone Angel on Vision TV, and Porky’s on Sundance channel
- The Juno Awards, after 16 years on CTV, are moving back to CBC for at least six more years. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences notes that CBC has promised more content around the Junos year-round.
- Historia, which has apparently learned that Montreal Canadiens history is the best way to drive viewership these days, has another documentary coming out, this one about the team’s 1970s dynasty. Starts April 26.
- Discovery has a documentary on the Fort MacMurray wildfire airing April 30.
- The NHL playoffs continue, taking over CBC six nights a week (they’re keeping Sundays for Anne and The Story of Us). We’re getting some ratings numbers announced. Canadiens Game 1 had 1.165 million viewers on TVA Sports and 1.324 million on CBC, 219,000 of whom were Quebec francophones. On Sunday, TVA Sports had 1,560,000 for the Canadiens, justifying their move of La Voix to Monday, where it got 2,011,000 viewers.
- As part of its NHL playoff coverage, NBC is making a thing about having Pierre McGuire in a different city each night. On Thursday, he’ll be at the Bell Centre covering Game 5 of Rangers-Canadiens, though because the game is on USA Network in the States, most Canadians won’t be able to catch him. (TSN’s Chris Cuthbert will be calling the game there, while Paul Romanuk and Garry Galley continue calling it for CBC/Sportsnet.)
- A couple of Mohawk girls started a podcast about Mohawk Girls and how the fictional reality of the TV series compares to actual reality on the reserve.
- The union representing staff at Postmedia’s Vancouver papers has reached a tentative agreement with the company to save 21 of the 54 jobs cut recently. The deal would see most employees work only four days every other week. Union members will vote on the deal today.
- The Boston Globe is reorganizing its staff as newspapers have tended to do these days. They’ll be broken down into teams, some covering breaking news, others on beats and investigations, and a dedicated print team.
- The New York Times is changing the way it does placelines because readers don’t understand what they mean. (The fact that many news organizations use fake placelines when covering a story from a distance doesn’t help.) Instead of putting, say, “BEIRUT —” at the beginning of a story, the location of the journalist will go in the byline, as “by Steve Faguy in Beirut”. Purists might scoff at this change, but remember that the NYT refers to these as “datelines” because back in the day when stories would take more than a day to travel around the world, these lines also contained the date a story was written.
- One of the things I really like about how the CBC approaches digital video is its embrace of YouTube, not just for posting promos and extras, but full programs to ensure they get as wide an audience as possible. Here, a short 14-minute documentary on a Mohawk school in Kahnawake and the adults working hard to keep it going.
- Montreal-based WatchMojo.com has started a new web video series called The Lineup, which is a kind of fantasy hockey game show, hosted by Adam Reid.
- Alex Jones’s lawyer says he’s a “performance artist”. Which I’m sure comes as great comfort to Sandy Hook parents who have been harassed by his supporters because he says the murder of dozens of children was faked by the government.
News about people
- Mutsumi Takahashi (CTV Montreal news anchor, for the 12 people here who don’t know who she is) is getting a lifetime achievement award from the RTDNA.
- Former Telus CEO Joe Natale is CEO of Rogers as of today. Rogers reached a deal with Telus to get him out of his non-compete agreement early.
- Lyne Robitaille, who is responsible for newspapers and books at Quebecor Media, will add TVA Publications’ magazine portfolio to her responsibilities.
- Patrick Bégin has been named news director for Cogeco Nouvelles.
- Toronto Sun entertainment columnist Jim Slotek is a bit critical of his bosses in his farewell column.
- Bernard Brault, sports photographer for La Presse, has an exhibition of his work at Lozeau until May 16.
- CTV’s Geneviève Beauchemin ran the Boston Marathon.
- Chris Mota, who has been doing public relations at Concordia University for 23 years, is retiring. She’s been the university’s voice through some pretty tough times, having to deal not only with professional journalists but also those pesky student ones (including myself 15 years ago).
- The New York Times on Pierre McGuire, NBC hockey analyst, who’s racking up the air miles travelling between series.
- Steve Ballmer, former head of Microsoft, is making it his mission to take information about how governments spend money and make it accessible.
- Reporter, The Canadian Press in Toronto
- Internship (paid), Huffington Post Québec
- Business reporter, Montreal Gazette (deadline: April 21)
- Political producer in Ottawa, National Post (deadline: April 24)
- Canada Media Fund board member (deadline: April 25)
- Journalists, Journal de Montréal (deadline: May 2)
- Journalist at CJSO-FM in Sorel-Tracy (deadline: May 12)
- La Presse diversity bursaries and internships (deadline: June 9)