Think there were only three debates during the Quebec election campaign? Not enough time to debate the issues? You probably weren’t looking hard enough then. Thanks to the efforts of local media, there were a bunch of multi-party debates during this election campaign to complement the three official debates by the party leaders.
If you’re still stuck on who to vote for tomorrow, here are links to other debates that took place during this campaign, some on specific issues, some more general, and many that included all candidates in a particular riding.
Editor’s note: In the interests of maintaining my sanity and reducing the amount of time I put into these things, I’m limiting their scope to news that directly affects Canada (though I may occasionally add international news of particular interest to journalism). If you’re interested in getting international media news, you can check out sources like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, the New York Post, Variety.
News about news
- A report by the Public Policy Forum that studied 20 markets in Canada shows a decline in newspaper coverage of local politics. Which, duh. The drop doesn’t seem to be as big as expected, possibly because newsrooms have prioritized local political reporting and cut elsewhere instead. It also doesn’t really explore the entire news ecosystem to determine if there’s been an increase in coverage in other types of media as newspapers have declined.
- With just two days to go before voting day in Quebec, it’s time for newspaper editorial endorsements. So far I’ve only found two: the Montreal Gazette endorsing the Liberals (I know, shocking) and Le Devoir endorsing the Parti Québécois but also Québec solidaire a bit (it’s kind of confusing and doesn’t explicitly say who to vote for, but nevertheless they had to warn people they would take a stand). Le Soleil and other Groupe Capitales Médias newspapers merely encouraged people to vote.
- I compiled election night coverage plans for local broadcast media for the Gazette. CTV, CBC, Radio-Canada and TVA will have all-night election specials on their local TV stations in Quebec as well as their all-news networks. Global and Citytv in Montreal will keep their regular primetime but be active on social media and have special election wraps at 11pm. CJAD and CBC Radio will also have election night specials.
- Stéphane Giroux, president of the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, wrote an opinion for several Quebec media outlets on the issue of government transparency and access to information, criticizing the Liberal government for its failure to meet a 2014 campaign promise to improve things.
- One of the Globe and Mail’s “unfounded” cases of sexual assault has resulted in a conviction after the police reopened the case.
- A man who yelled “a vulgar phrase” (FHRITP) at a CTV Atlantic reporter has apologized and will perform community service as punishment for public mischief and causing a disturbance.
- A Slate story pours some cold water on Apple News, noting that revenue per view on the platform is much less — by several orders of magnitude — than publishers’ own websites.
- BBC News Africa explains how it verified a controversial video and forced the Cameroon government to walk back its denial.
- A British study of the newspaper The Independent showed that going online-only caused most of its audience to disappear as the print audience vanished and the online audience stayed flat rather than increase.
At the CRTC
- The commission has approved a new CBC Radio One transmitter in Belleville, Ont., at 104.7 FM. The transmitter will fill a hole between Kingston and Peterborough in the network. Meanwhile, an existing Radio-Canada Première transmitter will be relocated to the new tower for this transmitter.
- The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel, put together by the federal government to recommend changes to the Broadcasting Act, Telecommunications Act and other related legislation, has put out its request for public comments. The deadline is Nov. 30. Its questions are broad and open-ended, but will result in recommendations for major legislative changes in 2020.
- The commission has put out a call for comments on whether new stations should be allowed in Timmins, Ont., and North Bay, Ont., after applications for both markets by Vista Radio.
- The commission has deleted a condition of licence for CHTG-FM Haldimand County (92.9 The Grand) that prohibits it from soliciting advertising in Brantford and Simcoe. Because of a change in the station’s signal, the condition became unnecessary, and Brantford/Simcoe stations don’t have similar conditions related to Haldimand County.
- CIAM-FM-23 in Taber, Alta., has gotten permission for a transmitter relocation.
- Cogeco’s FM radio transmitters in Montreal (CKOI, Rythme FM, 98.5 and The Beat) have been approved for relocation onto a combined new antenna on the Mount Royal tower.
- The commission has set criteria to judge which projects will get access to a $750-million fund to improve access to broadband internet in Canada’s remote regions.
- TVA’s union reached a deal with the employer just in time to avert a planned Sept. 22 strike. Workers will meet Oct. 6 to vote on it.
- The International Emmy Awards has announced its nominations, and five of them are from Canada:
- DHX Media, which owns the Family Channel and its sister channels, has taken itself off the auction block and announced that it will focus more on short-form digital content for children and less on traditional television.
- The Quebec cop series 19-2, which has already been adapted into an English Canadian series of the same name, will be remade again, this time in the U.S. by CBS. CBS’s version will be called H-Town and set in Houston.
- Some coverage of 514 Undiscovered, the new MAtv series, in the Suburban and Gazette.
- RDS will broadcast 18 Laval Rocket AHL games this season.
- CBS Television Studios is opening a “production hub” in Mississauga.
- A controversy is building in Ontario that could wind up at the CRTC or another tribunal. Faith Goldy, a candidate for mayor of Toronto who has been criticized for being a bit too sympathetic to neo-Nazis and white supremacist arguments, had ads banned from Bell Media’s CP24 this week. But whether Bell has the authority to do this is unclear. The CRTC requires broadcasters be equitable in treating candidates during elections, both in free and paid time. Goldy is a municipal candidate, not a provincial or federal one, but presumably should be afforded the same rights.
- CBC has posted the job of host of Breakaway on CBC Radio One in Quebec City. The job is to replace Saroja Coelho, who left last month.
- Radio-Canada’s ICI Première station in Montreal (CBF-FM at 95.1) has activated an HD Radio transmitter and its second channel is broadcasting the ICI Musique Classique channel, a digital-only service that airs just classical music.
- Radio-Canada has a new fiction podcast called Cavale that is recorded in “3D” audio. By “3D” they basically mean “stereo”, though it’s a bit richer than that because the microphones capturing the audio moves during scenes. I listened to an episode and you definitely feel the stereo sound (sometimes the difference between the two sides is too much and gets distracting), but it doesn’t feel that “3D”, whatever that’s supposed to feel like.
- CBC Radio One’s satirical news show This is That is ending its run. The show, probably more famous for having fake news articles online that would be trusted because they were on the cbc.ca domain, will air its final episode Dec. 29.
- Former 92.1 CITI host Dave Wheeler is suing his former employer after he was fired for making transphobic comments. The lawsuit raised eyebrows for revealing that he was making $335,000 a year.
- TJ Connors is returning to Winnipeg to co-host the morning show on 92.1 CITI. Connors was hired a year and a half ago at St. Catharines’s HTZ FM.
- New station 104.5 More Country has launched in Strathmore, Alta., and announced its on-air staff.
- Amazon Music Unlimited has launched in Canada.
News about people
News about companies
If the CRTC is trying to wean the broadcasting system off of free money, it hasn’t been showing it in the past couple of weeks as it has renewed mandatory distribution orders for most services that have that special status requiring all cable, satellite and IPTV subscribers to subscribe to those services.
Every service whose status was up for renewal on Aug. 31 was renewed, with three getting an increase in their per-subscriber fee and one getting a decrease. Overall, the total goes up by seven cents a month per subscriber.
Gazette photographer Dave Sidaway composes a photo of CityNews Montreal journalists Andrew Brennan, Akil Alleyne, Emily Campbell, Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed and Giordano Cescutti at the Citytv Montreal studio on Friday.
A handful of young journalists have been spending a couple of weeks rehearsing for the launch of Montreal’s fourth English-language daily evening local newscast. On Labour Day, ready or not, it goes live.
CityNews Montreal is part of the second half of five local City stations that have decided to join Toronto in having local news at 6 and 11pm. Rogers has determined that these evening newscasts are worth investing in as part of meeting their new requirements for “locally reflective news” established by the CRTC as of last year.
To get an idea what we can expect from this newscast, I watched the existing ones in Edmonton and Winnipeg, and talked with Dave Budge, VP of news and information at Rogers, plus briefly with Melanie Porco, supervising producer in Montreal.
The result is this Montreal Gazette story, published in Saturday’s paper. It explains how the anchorless newscast works. But for the TV and policy nerds, a few extra tidbits here.