News about news
- A Google-funded project called NewsWise is aiming to teach young kids how to look critically at the news media and understand how news and politics interact. It has instructional videos featuring people like BuzzFeed’s Jane Lytvynenko and Craig Silverman (or people claiming to be them, who knows) on its YouTube channel.
- A New York Times reporter’s phone and email records were secretly seized by the U.S. government during a leak investigation.
- People saying the media aren’t talking enough about how 4,645 people died in Puerto Rico are probably unaware that the study that number comes from doesn’t actually say that.
- La Presse is giving more detail about its restructuring plan, including that it has asked the Quebec bar for the names of three retired judges, from which it will choose its trustee to ensure the non-profit it establishes respects its mandate. It will also name the chair of its board without consulting Power Corp.
- The disgraced shell of what was once Newsweek is not above exploiting high-profile suicides for clickbait.
- If you think the Canadian regulatory system is broken, consider this BuzzFeed story about a company that is exploiting a loophole in Britain’s local TV news subsidy program and producing low-quality stories that the BBC is paying for but never using.
- Canadaland has a story about the failed attempted formation of a union at the National Post.
- The Globe and Mail is willing to cancel subscriptions of people who harass journalists.
At the CRTC
- The federal government has appointed an panel of legal experts to consider changes to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications acts. They will be given until Jan. 31, 2020, meaning after the next federal election.
- Former commissioner Peter Menzies is very critical of the commission’s report on the future of television programming.
- Quebec Press Council:
- The Journal de Montréal put a photo of a flood evacuee on its front page and included a speech bubble with an entirely invented quote, according to the Quebec Press Council. The story also included a fictional quote, apparently inserted without consulting the journalist who wrote it. The council severely blamed the newspaper, which doesn’t participate in council investigations and faces no consequences for this.
- CHOI host Jeff Fillion should not have said that we should be suspicious of Muslims. (Majority decision)
- The council is not the place to debate the historical accuracy of cultural works, even if they’re referenced in a Le Devoir column.
- A Canal D documentary series about disputes between neighbours (Chicanes de voisins) led, unsurprisingly, to a dispute about its content. The council’s decision mostly deals with whether the council itself has the jurisdiction to hear the complaint, and it determines that it does. The producers and broadcaster of a documentary series are producing journalistic works, and the fact that the complainant had signed a legal waiver does not prevent the council from hearing the case. But on the actual complaints, all but one (a minor error about the length of an incarceration) were dismissed as incorrect or with insufficient evidence to confirm.
- A TVA Nouvelles report about a school cancelling its graduation ceremony due to lack of participation from students should have been more thorough before jumping to the conclusion that this was a case of religious accommodation because of Ramadan.
- Le Journal St-François was a bit loose with the truth in reporting a court proceeding, by reporting facts from a previous hearing without making that clear.
- Other dismissed complaints:
- In the wake of high-profile suicides, Globe Public Editor Sylvia Stead reminds us how to cover it (and says a recent AP story about Kate Spade that the Globe published did not meet those guidelines).
Great job by our crew in the truck capturing the last moments of the Final. pic.twitter.com/k0dHtlOcT5
— Scott Moore (@MooreScottmoore) June 8, 2018
- Sportsnet boss Scott Moore put up a video taken in the control room during its broadcast of the final moments of the Stanley Cup Final. A good reminder of how much work goes into moments like this on TV.
- A few bloopers on the French news networks, with Lisa-Marie Blais being afraid of spiders on LCN, and the use of a pool feed at the G7 summit in La Malbaie resulting in TVA’s Raymond Fillion appearing accidentally on RDI.
- CTV’s women-centred cop drama The Detail is not getting a second season.
- La Voix is going to look different next season. Out is long-time producer Stéphane Laporte, replaced by Jean-François Blais, known for Radio-Canada’s En direct de l’univers.
- That Tower of Song Leonard Cohen tribute concert ran a huge deficit due to the cost of staging it in a way that could be recorded for television. The organizers hope to recoup some of that with future TV distribution deals, but it’s probably not going to make that money back any time soon.
- Stingray has renewed its distribution agreement with Bell TV, and that includes the music video channels. Vibe, Loud and Retro were among the few channels not on Bell TV, which was notable because those channels were owned by Bell Media until they were sold to Stingray. With the sale, those channels no longer count toward a quota that limits how many related channels a TV provider can have compared to competitors.
- Bell Media is crowing about CTV’s ratings dominance again.
- Hulu has picked up the U.S. rights to Letterkenny, the Crave TV comedy.
- Netflix has picked up the two-season Radio-Canada drama Le Clan.
- Global’s Calgary morning show is launching a new format next week that will put more resources into its online presence in addition to the linear TV feed.
- La Presse talks to Montrealer Elisabeth Williams, production designer for The Handmaid’s Tale. Among the things we learn in this story is that scenes set at the Boston Globe newspaper were actually filmed at unused space at the Hamilton Spectator.
- Quebecor is putting its foot down about its personalities at the Journal de Montréal and TVA/LCN having jobs on the radio, and is making them choose. As a result, Mario Dumont and Antoine Robitaille will no longer appear on 98.5, Richard Martineau and Jonathan Trudeau will leave their show on Quebec City’s CHOI Radio X, and Luc Lavoie has been booted from LCN. It’s unclear what will happen with Bernard Drainville, who hosts a show on 98.5 and also contributes to LCN’s La Joute. Hugo Dumas says Quebecor is planning to launch a web radio station in the fall and wants to buy or create real radio stations in Montreal and Quebec City. Doing so would put it at odds with the CRTC’s common ownership policy, which prohibits owning a TV station, radio station and newspaper in the same market.
- Coup de théâtre: Rouge FM has finally found the person to replace the disgraced Éric Salvail on its afternoon drive show: Véronique Cloutier. The former tête d’affiche of rival Rythme FM will host Véronique et les Fantastiques (they even get to keep the alliteration) as of Aug. 27. The show will be more talk than before. And even worse for Rythme FM, Véro’s former BFF there Marie-Soleil Michon is also making the jump to Rouge to join the new show.
— NewsGuild of NY (@nyguild) June 6, 2018
- The New Yorker now has a union.
- Le Devoir had a pretty big redesign. InfoPresse shows the before-and-after. You can read a free PDF of the paper here for the next few days. The paper also has an interview with designer Lucie Lacava.
- The National Magazine Awards were given out last week. Multiple-award winners include L’Actualité, Dînette Magazine, The Site Magazine, The Walrus and Maclean’s.
- Sunday was the Montreal Gazette’s 240th anniversary. The paper didn’t do anything to mark the kinda-occasion, but if you’re hankering for some nostalgia, you can read the giant bicentennial edition published in 1978.
- A tribute to Tribune Tower, which the Chicago Tribune is moving out of.
- The city of L’Assomption north of Montreal is becoming the latest to decide to no longer publish official public notices in the local newspaper.
- Postmedia is outsourcing printing of the Calgary Sun, resulting in the elimination of 52 jobs.
- Le Devoir profiles magazine and news website Urbania.
- BuzzFeed is looking to eliminate its operation in France. Here’s a thread of their greatest hits.
- Postmedia has launched a new cannabis news and lifestyle site called The Growth Op.
- The Gala Québec Cinéma was last Sunday. The winners, including zombie movie Les Affamés for best film, are listed here. For the vast majority of you who haven’t seen the movies in nomination, most of them are available on a special website for free viewing until June 10.
- It’s official now: Bell and the Canadiens have acquired an undisclosed stake in Just For Laughs.
News about people
- Radio and TV personality Mike Bullard has pleaded guilty to harassing his ex-girlfriend, CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan. As Mulligan’s victim impact statement makes clear, this was a very extreme case of harassment.
- Washington Post columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer says he has only weeks to live.
- Guy Mongrain is retiring as host of La poule aux oeufs d’or on TVA at the end of the season, ending a 25-year run.
- Tommy Schnurmacher has begun publishing his memoir on Facebook.
- Ross Porter has stepped down from his job as CEO of Toronto’s Jazz FM 91 in the wake of sexual harassment allegations from staff.
- The Toronto Star talks to Howard Berger, former Maple Leafs beat writer and Fan 590 contributor who now works at a mortuary.
- Ève-Marie Lortie is leaving Quebec City’s FM93, having decided that being a journalist is more her style than giving her opinion on news of the day.
- Brodie Fenlon has left his job as senior news director at CBC for a teaching job.
- Andray Domise has been named a contributing editor at Maclean’s.
- Aalia Adam, formerly of Global Montreal, has a new job with Global National in Toronto.
- More journalist job changes are rounded up at J-Source.
- The Ryerson Review of Journalism profiles Canadaland founder and host Jesse Brown. The story’s author, Amy van den Berg, also speaks to J-Source about her frustrations finding sources in the journalism community willing to talk about it. (I’m apparently one of the exceptions.)
- BuzzFeed’s Elamin Abdelmahmoud gives some good advice in this J-Source podcast to young journalists (or people in media in general) wanting to start out: Exploit people’s tendency to be nice to you, find out what they need in an employee (even if they’re not hiring), and tailor your CV to match that.