News about news
- There was another school shooting in the United States. That’s not a media story, but there were a few problems with social media reaction to it. Poynter points out that people were creating fake tweets from real journalists to make them look bad (and reduce public confidence in professional journalism). Meanwhile, an oft-reported fact about there being 18 school shootings so far in 2018 was debunked by the Washington Post as an exaggeration based on overly broad criteria from an interest group about what constitutes a “school shooting.”
- Two Quebec journalists won’t have to divulge their sources of leaks from the province’s anti-corruption squad UPAC. The judge cited the federal government’s new journalism source protection law. The decision is being appealed.
- Meanwhile, the province’s minister responsible for access to information is presenting a new law that would restrict it somewhat, exempting communication between ministers. That isn’t playing well with the government’s promise of more transparency.
- A Newfoundland judge has dismissed a charge against a man who yelled FHRITP at a journalist, ruling that emotionally disturbing a news reporter did not constitute a public disturbance according to the law. He was careful to note that this doesn’t make FHRITP legally protected, and suggested the government could amend the law to add emotional disturbance to the criteria.
- The Globe and Mail explains why media are using Facebook photos of accused killer Bruce McArthur instead of his mugshot. Simply put: because police didn’t release the mugshot.
- Quebec superior court has upheld a labour board decision ruling that a government employee who gave a whistleblower interview to Radio-Canada denouncing insufficient resources for environmental protection should not have been fired for giving an interview without authorization.
- CBC’s ombudsman ruled that a former Calgary school board trustee candidate cannot get previous articles about her de-indexed.
- Quebec’s journalism federation is offering government-subsidized workshops to teach high school students how to recognize fake news.
At the CRTC
- Télé-Québec’s CRTC licence is up for renewal, and among the interventions was one from the English Language Arts Network, which Vincent Brousseau-Pouliot found, writing a story about its demand that English be more represented in TQ’s programming, and even a 10% English quota imposed. Specifically, ELAN is asking the CRTC to:
- Require TQ to develop and publish a policy to reflect the full diversity of Quebec society,
- Require TQ to develop and publish an action plan for creation of content that fulfils its diversity policy and a promotion policy to encourage viewership from members of Quebec society who have not traditionally felt reflected,
- Require TQ to track the language of its viewers so that it knows which language groups are watching which programs,
- Create a consultative committee that includes the diversity of Quebec society, which will advise the board of directors on issues concerning the broadcasters diversity of programming throughout the license period.
- Place ads in English-language media when pertinent programming for the English- speaking minority is scheduled and when new programs are being developed,
- Create an on-line playlist of Anglo-Que?be?cois reflective content (following the NFB’s example),
- Require TQ to increase the production and programming of content reflecting the Quebec minorities, especially English-language, indigenous, and visible minority communities to at least 20% of the schedule, and at least 20% of the production budget; and
- Require TQ to establish English-language programming for 10% of its schedule, and 10% of its production budget, to reflect the English-language community in Quebec.
- The commission has approved the acquisition of four Ontario radio stations by Bell Media, which will pay $15.64 million to Larche Communications for CICZ-FM Midland, CICX-FM Orillia, CJOS-FM Owen Sound and CICS-FM Sudbury. Bell will pay $1,022,004 to various funds and development initiatives as a CRTC-mandated tax on the acquisition.
- The CRTC has dismissed a complaint by Electronic Box (aka EBOX) against Bell Media, which accused the company of refusing to make Bell’s specialty channels available for a TV distribution service EBOX plans to launch in Ontario and Quebec. Bell says it is willing to negotiate, and the CRTC agreed Bell was willing to act in good faith. If they can’t come to an agreement, they can come back to the commission for mediation or arbitration.
- TVA is appealing a CRTC arbitration decision to the federal court of appeal, arguing that the commission was wrong to accept a Bell deal that would set Bell TV per-subscriber rates for TVA Sports lower than Bell’s RDS.
TV and video
- Unifor is raising the alarm about cuts at Global News, and in particular the decision to have local evening newscasts in Atlantic Canada be anchored out of Toronto. (Late-night and weekend newscasts are already done this way.) On the other hand, Global is expanding its local newsgathering operations by hiring online journalists in three markets where it doesn’t have local TV stations: Ottawa, Barrie and Kitchener. (CTV has stations in all three markets.)
- Télé-Québec is turning 50, and has some special anniversary programming this month.
- A judge has ruled against a website called TVAddons, which provided add-ons for the Kodi media player that allowed users to access copyright-infringing content. The ruling overturns a lower court ruling that denied an injunction.
- Britbox, an over-the-top service providing classic British TV series, has launched in Canada. It costs $8.99 a month.
- CBS All Access is launching in Canada in June. But its exclusive series Star Trek Discovery and The Good Fight will remain on Bell Media’s Space and Corus’s W Network, respectively.
- Richard Therrien at Le Soleil is wondering if the ubiquity of viewer content warnings at the end of every commercial break is desensitizing TV viewers to them, which causes them to miss when there are scenes that really need viewer discretion.
- CBC says more than 23 million Canadians tuned in during at least part of the first three days of the Olympics, including an average audience of 1.3 million for the opening ceremony. About 4.3 million tuned in to watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s gold-medal-winning ice dance free skate, plus another 700,000 on Radio-Canada. On NBC, Olympics ratings are down 6% from Sochi, but the network says that’s what they expected.
- APTN has responded to popular demand and added the classic Canadian drama North of 60 to its schedule.
- YouTube is promising changes after top recommended videos related to the Parkland Fla. shooting were found to be conspiracy theory videos accusing people involved of being actors.
- The New York Times explains how TV networks like NBC handle compensation for the rights to broadcast music that is included with figure skating performances during the Olympics.
- Jerry Howarth, radio voice of the Toronto Blue Jays, announced his retirement, effective immediately. He says health issues are affecting his voice, and it’s time to pack it in.
- CIBL 101.5 has slowly resumed programming as it continues to try to find a way out of its financial crisis.
- Corus-owned radio stations have suspended play of songs by Canadian band Hedley after sexual misconduct allegations were published against the band. The band has also pulled out of the Juno Awards following this flurry of anonymous Twitter allegations.
- Urbania did a statistical analysis of CHOM’s playlist to determine objectively if it really is playing the same songs over and over again. Its conclusion: songs aren’t being repeated that often, but you do hear the same artists a lot.
- The New York Times is offering its Daily podcast to public radio stations.
- Le Soleil will stop printing a Sunday edition starting March 18, and instead publish a digital-only edition on Sundays. Groupe Capitales Médias’s other newspapers (which didn’t have Sunday editions) will also add Sunday digital editions. The move will leave only the Journal de Montréal and Journal de Québec as Quebec newspapers printing seven days a week.
- Quebecor is asking the court to invalidate a $10-million aid package from the Quebec government to Le Soleil publisher Groupe Capitales Médias, arguing that the investment, through Investissements Québec, is discriminatory and unfair. GCM says it’s a political move by Pierre Karl Péladeau.
- The Toronto Star is sounding the alarm about the industry’s financial state in dramatic fashion: it has put its internship program on hiatus, cut budgets for travel and freelance, and its chair gave an interview to the Globe and Mail in which he says the paper is “very, very close to the end.” (At least one person thinks the Star’s internship program, while very useful, has some serious structural problems.)
- A new website, La Torche 2.0, is offering editorial cartoons as a subscription service for $1/week. It’s already signed up Beaudet, Bado and Fleg, former newspaper standards. Le Devoir has details.
- The New York Times profiles The Players’ Tribune, the website that features first-person essays by athletes, and the thorny issue of giving them a public forum unfiltered by journalists.
- Google’s Chrome browser has begun blocking website ads by default from sites that don’t respect ad standards.
- The Globe and Mail has a long (paywalled) feature about 5G, the new wireless technology being tested that would increase mobile data speeds mainly by adding many more smaller cell towers in big cities.
- Newsweek is continuing to implode, as evidenced by the epic editor’s note atop this story reporting on itself.
News about people
- CBC has poached Vassy Kapelos from Global to host its Power & Politics show, finally replacing Rosie Barton, who left for The National. Kapelos had been host of Global’s weekly politics show The West Block.
- V’s new late-night talk show hosted by Stéphane Rousseau has announced a co-host (or, perhaps more accurately, sidekick): Sonia Cordeau, best known from Les Appendices.
- Former Impact captain Patrice Bernier has been added as a contributor to TVA Sports.
- Jonny Harris (Still Standing, Murdoch Mysteries) and Emma Hunter (The Beaverton, Mr. D) will co-host the Canadian Screen Awards on March 11.
- TSN 690’s Sean Coleman is going back to school to get an MBA.
- Gerry Forbes, CJAY Calgary morning man, is retiring.
- Jean-François Breau replaces Jean-François Baril as host of La guerre des clans, the Quebec version of Family Feud, which V is bringing back from the dead.
- La Presse profiles Mathieu Beaumont of 98.5 FM.
- NPR has released a report into alleged sexual harassment by Michael Oreskes, former senior vice-president of news. It’s not good news for Oreskes.