News about news
- A case between the RCMP and Vice News reporter Ben Makuch about getting access to original source material of communications he had with an ISIS fighter will go to the Supreme Court. This despite the fact that the man Makuch interviewed has been reported dead.
- Reporters with the Toronto Star explain their frustrations with access to information laws and how they’re applied.
- Disney has offered to buy Sky News in order to make it easier for regulators in the U.K. to approve Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of the larger Sky plc network.
- The chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group says he doesn’t understand why everyone is against his company pushing “must-run” segments on its local news broadcasts across the country. Meanwhile, employees of Sinclair are confidentially opening up to Deadspin (which compiled the video of them delivering a “must-run” statement written by corporate denouncing “fake news”) about their dislike of corporate policies and how they can’t say anything about it.
- A report on local TV news shows, among other things, that local TV stations are a primary source of information for local news in many smaller markets.
- Doug Ford is not going to have a bus for media during his provincial election campaign, which is unusual for politicians but kind of expected for a Ford.
- April Fool’s Day was kind of a dud this year, with not much enthusiasm for it locally (or, say, appreciation for a handsome local blogger’s efforts). I found only two press releases on newswire.ca — one from CAA Quebec about pets being made employees, and one from Swoop, WestJet’s discount airline, charging for toilet use. The only hoax to really pique media’s attention was a statement by Jaggi Singh saying he would run for the NDP.
- J-Source and The Discourse have joined the National Newsmedia Council.
- The winners of the Concordia Student Union executive elections were all disqualified, and the runners up declared elected, because student newspaper The Link published an editorial supporting them. Seriously. That’s what happened. Apparently there’s a rule that limits communication with student media right before polling, and it was deemed a disqualifying offence even though The Link says there was no communication before its editorial was published. The CSU’s judicial board will meet Friday to discuss the issue.
- A Vice/Motherboard story about Chinese techie Naomi Wu prompted backlash from its subject even before it was published for asking her about her personal life and rumours about her on Reddit. Wu alleges she made that stuff off limits and that Vice agreed, and is mad that they reneged on their word. Vice, meanwhile, says it did not agree to avoid asking specific questions. The conflict quickly degenerated into Wu accusing Vice of publishing personal details about her (it didn’t even publish her real name) and then publishing the home address of the writer of the story, which led to social media sites suspending her accounts. This Twitter thread provides a good summary (and argument) of how ridiculous Wu’s accusations and behaviour got.
- The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that André Arthur incited violence during an appearance on Nathalie Normandeau’s show on BLVD 102,1 when he suggested that winter cyclists be “hit”. He apologized the next day on air, but the exchange still prompted 1,112 complaints.
- CBC ombudsman: A Halifax city councillor says he did not agree to be recorded in a phone conversation with a reporter, nor for that conversation to be broadcast. The reporter says it was clear he was being recorded and that the conversation was on the record, but the part where this is made clear was in part of a recording that was subsequently deleted. The ombudsman said the he-said-she-said nature of the case means no definitive ruling can be issued.
- The Globe and Mail’s public editor comes to the shocking conclusion that more diversity is needed in news coverage.
- National Newsmedia Council upholds complaint against Burlington Gazette, which was sloppy in attributing comments made during a school board meeting.
- Quebec Press Council decisions:
- Statements by Luc Lavoie on LCN’s La Joute about Martine Ouellet in October 2016 do not constitute hate speech, nor does he call her a liar, despite what a complainant wrote.
- A statement by Pierre Bruneau of TVA the night of the Quebec City mosque shooting that it’s surprising that a terrorist attack would be committed against Muslims was found to be discriminatory. Bruneau quickly apologized for the remark.
- Those same André Arthur comments above denounced by the CBSC were similarly condemned by the press council, which found they condoned violence and found in a 5-1 majority that they also constituted hate speech.
- Another complaint against Arthur, for his comments criticizing a Journal de Québec story for not mentioning that one of the mosque shooting victims had a fine against his shop, was rejected because Arthur was in his rights to express such an opinion, a majority found, while a minority believed his comments were inappropriate and hateful.
- An article by the Journal de Québec about a sexual abuse case against a minor should not have identified the victim’s father as a former SQ officer without a clear public interest in doing so.
- The morning show on 91,9 Sports should not have broadcast comments from Martin Leclerc making jokes about the Israeli baseball team that they launch grenades and steal things (a minority of the panel found the comments were in bad taste but not against journalistic ethics for a commentator).
- A TVA investigation into security at a residence for students in Sherbrooke caused unnecessary stress to those students when the journalist was spotted attempting to infiltrate the residence and left without explaining what she was doing or identifying herself as a journalist.
- A Journal de Montréal/Québec story about an incident between two drivers included several inaccuracies and appeared to be biased in favour of one of the drivers, and was not sufficiently corrected when those errors were brought to light.
- A TVA Québec story about a local company included incomplete information
At the CBC
- Catherine Tait has been named the new CEO of the corporation, replacing Hubert Lacroix. Former Montreal Gazette publisher Michael Goldbloom has been named its new chairperson. Though the name Catherine Tait showed up in a database of donors to political parties (showing donations to the federal Liberals in 2011-12), a spokesperson says she has never donated to Canadian political parties.
- As the new Maison Radio-Canada is built and the old one soon to be vacated, Radio-Canada is getting rid of its archives. Quebec City’s Musée de la civilisation is picking up “heritage props and furnishings” from classic television series, and a call for interest has been issued for the 55,000 “non-heritage” props and furnishings. It’s also looking to unload 119,000 vinyl records and 113,000 commercial music scores.
At the CRTC
- Community radio station CICR-FM in Parrsboro, N.S., has had its licence renewed for two years, but with mandatory orders applied because of its repeated licence compliance issues related to paperwork it has failed to file with the commission.
- Former CRTC commissioners Michel Arpin and Louise Poirier believe it’s well past time for the regulator to step in and start regulating Netflix et al directly. (UPDATE: Arpin comments below, saying neither he nor Poirier are calling for regulation on Netflix and other “new media” broadcasters. but both told La Presse the exemption order that gives them free reign should be reviewed.)
- Nominations for the Gala Artis have been announced. It’s mainly the usual suspects for this very predictable awards show.
- Did someone say Street Legal reboot? According to the Toronto Star, it would shoot this fall, and Cynthia Dale is on board.
- Telus is no longer selling satellite TV to new customers. Telus satellite TV was essentially repackaged Bell satellite service, and their agreement came to an end. Existing customers will still be supported, Telus says.
- Bell Media is offering the first season of Westworld for free on service providers’ on-demand platforms as it prepares for the second season. It is available until May 24. The first episode of the first season can also be watched free on HBOCanada.com.
- The new animated Corner Gas set a record for best-rated debut of a Canadian comedy on Comedy Network, with 280,000 viewers (overnight estimate).
- CBC has renewed Burden of Truth, Frankie Drake Mysteries.
- Radio-Canada has renewed Lâcher Prise.
- La Presse talks to District 31 author Luc Dionne about his craft.
- Corus Radio has its first director of podcasting, Chris “Dunner” Duncombe.
- Torstar and Gesca, owners of jobs website Workopolis, have sold it to the parent company of Indeed. The amount of the sale was not announced. Workopolis, which will continue as part of the Indeed network, has given users a week to download their resumes, which won’t be accessible anymore.
- Facebook’s first MLB broadcast generated a lot of criticism, mostly related to either how it appeared on Facebook (particularly the layout of graphics), and the fact that the game was not available on regular television or MLB.TV. The broadcast had about 75,000 viewers on average.
News about people
Sylvie Gendron, "la" caméraman de Radio-Canada pic.twitter.com/NaGbpXWg5a
— Céline Galipeau (@CGalipeauTJ) April 5, 2018
- Sylvie Gendron, first female cameraman at Radio-Canada, is retiring after almost 30 years. Isabelle Richer sat down with her.
- Michèle Ouimet published her final column with La Presse and is now retired (though she plans to keep contributing to the paper, at her own pace as a freelancer). Rima Elkouri was one of the many colleagues to voice appreciation for Ouimet’s career.
- Michael Hainsworth has left BNN for “a new challenge”
- Mitch Melnick’s music promotion passion gets a writeup by Bill Brownstein.
- Andy Frost at Q107 is yet another Corus radio departure.
- CTV London reporter Reta Ismail writes a first-person story about her miscarriages and the emotional toll they take.
- John Fraser has been named executive chair of the National Newsmedia Council.
- Steven Bochco, co-creator of Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and L.A. Law
- Geralyn Wraith, makeup artist for Canadian series including Kids in the Hall and Kim’s Convenience
- Bev Munro, morning man at CFCW radio in Camrose, Alta.
- Connie Lawn, independent White House reporter
- Fast Company on how Twitter has been slow to deal with abuse on its platform (including interviews with people who worked for it), and what it could do to improve the situation
- HuffPost on how the media got the story of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando all wrong: There’s no evidence it was targeted because it was a gay club, and evidence points to the shooter’s wife being a victim, not an accomplice.
- The Membership Puzzle Project on the failure of OpenFile, a news project that had an innovative idea (community-driven news and stories that are never truly finished) but failed to make it work or make it financially viable (full disclosure: I contributed pieces to it when it existed).