Okay everybody, back to work. Here’s what you missed over the holidays.
News about news
Le Québec a perdu 10% de ses journalistes entre 2006 et 2016. On en compte désormais 3840, selon l'ISQ.
En comparaison, le nombre de travailleurs de publicité, marketing et relations publiques a doublé durant la même période: 22 930.
— Pa Normandin (@PaNormandin) December 17, 2018
- The number of journalists in Quebec is going down. (But meanwhile, the number of journalists employed by the New York Times and Washington Post is going up.)
- The Alberta Press Council shut down on Dec. 31. I’d link to the press release, but the website has already been shut down. The group started in 1972.
- Der Spiegel, the German magazine known for having among the most solid fact-checking in the industry, has been humiliated by revelations that one of its journalists, Claas Relotius, apparently invented sources for at least 14 articles he wrote for them. The deception came to the magazine’s attention after a fellow journalist became suspicious of Relotius’s work. This post lays out just how wrong the journalist’s reporting was. It even gets worse, with revelations he was soliciting donations for the fictional people he was writing about. And as the Columbia Journalism Review notes, the magazine is being criticized for being tone deaf in the reporting about its own crisis.
- Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson criticizes her former employer for its anti-Trump coverage in her new book, says a story by Fox News. But Abramson tells The Associated Press her words were taken out of context and she has mainly praise for the organization.
- The Google News Initiative has announced $25 million in funding to 87 news organizations in 23 countries on various technological development projects. Canadian recipients are Global News, Postmedia and TVO. The announcement doesn’t break down what each group got, or what their projects are.
- The Journal de Montréal has started a possibly satirical “Centre d’observation du Québec-Bashing“, and has discovered J.J. McCullough, who for some reason keeps getting published in the Washington Post.
- TVA Nouvelles has finally apologized — almost a year later — for a story it ran that accused a mosque of demanding that women be excluded from a nearby construction site. That turned out to be false after an investigation that TVA has not released.
- Montreal Gazette editor Basem Boshra (my boss) apologized after its website posted a story from American Media Inc. (originally from Radar Online) about a “Tinder Horror Date” who stabbed a woman and was tased by police, later dying because of it. A lot of people on Twitter criticized the headline and tweets about the story for portraying the attacker as the victim or being apparently flippant about a Tinder date that left a woman seriously injured. (Boshra offers some subsequent advice for editors apologizing for screwups).
- Toronto Star public editor Kathy English asked Star newsroom employees about what they wished people knew about their jobs. The result is a bit of a rosy picture of how much journalists care about getting facts right and informing the public.
- Star assignment editor Ed Tubb lists the kinds of stories he’d like to see more of in a Twitter thread.
- A major hack of prominent Germans’ personal data — including that of Chancellor Angela Merkel — was posted online, prompting a major scandal. The fact that far-right-wing politicians were excluded from this hack points to a political motive, and caution from journalistic sources on making use of the data (or even trusting it).
At the CRTC
- Licences for independent commercial television stations including CHEK, CHCH and NTV have been renewed to 2023. The decisions set new quotas for local news, following the CRTC’s new policy, and denies various requests for exceptions to new rules on described video.
- Similarly, the licences of Crossroads Television’s YesTV stations in Ontario and Alberta were renewed. The stations won’t be subject to a local news quota but are still subject to the standard local programming quotas.
- Corus was not swayed by a few people arguing against its proposal to shut down 44 Global TV transmitters in an application to reallocate tangible benefits to other projects. “Some intervenors have mistakenly characterized this as an application for approval to decommission the re-transmitters. … To be clear: Corus has exercised its discretion to decommission the re-transmitters in question, it is prepared to forego certain regulatory privileges as a result, and it is applying only for authorization to reallocate the remaining tangible benefits associated with those re-transmitters.” It made only a slight change to the application, reallocating $250,000 from the Canadian Media Producers Association to the Canada Media Fund after the CMPA declined the offer.
- RNC Media has been given permission to reallocate money from the Local News Fund that had gone to its Radio-Canada TV affiliate in Abitibi to its other stations in the market, after it chose to shut down CKRN-DT. Other stations receiving money from the fund argued that this would go against its funding criteria, but the CRTC agreed with RNC that the spirit of the rules should allow the transfer, since news resources and employees were transferred to RNC Media’s other stations.
- Community radio station CKMN-FM Rimouski/Mont-Joli had its licence renewed for a year and a half, but with six mandatory orders attached, and a requirement to broadcast a message about its non-compliance with several licence conditions.
- CILM-FM (O 98,3), owned by Attraction Radio (now Arsenal Media), has been renewed for six years after compliance issues.
- Low-power community TV station CFTV-TV Leamington, Ont., also got a licence renewal, until 2021, with serious concerns raised about licence compliance — Canadian programming, local programming and filing of annual returns.
- The commission has given Northern Native Broadcasting a one-year extension, to June 2020, to launch its Indigenous radio station in Vancouver. The FM station (106.3 MHz, 9,000W) will use the callsign CJNY-FM. This is one of the five urban Indigenous stations that were authorized to replace the defunct Aboriginal Voices Radio.
- The commission has ruled that a Bell Media contribution to a 2004 Canadian Music Week FanFest concert was not eligible to count toward its tangible benefits requirements, because $126,672.19 of $304,375.05 in talent fees (42%) went to non-Canadian artist Ellie Goulding, and because 400 of the 2,750 tickets were CHUM-FM contest handouts. Bell will instead have to pay $433,120 to existing Canadian content funds. This should serve as a warning for other broadcasters considering contributions to concerts to meet those regulatory Canadian content requirements.
- The commission has given the green light to implement automatic blocking of telephone calls that have “blatantly illegitimate” caller IDs (like 000-000-0000 or other undialable numbers, or the same number as the recipient). Unfortunately this won’t block a lot of nuisance calls these days, that have legitimate-looking IDs, often using the same prefix as the recipient to make it seem like a call from the same neighbourhood.
- The National Newsmedia Council found that a Sue Ann Levy column in the Toronto Sun that said goats were being slaughtered in hotel bathrooms based on an unverified post on TripAdvisor constituted a “serious breach of journalistic standards for accuracy in reporting.”
- The council also found that a Niagara Independent story about a political group lacked balance and should have given it a chance to respond, and The Clipper Weekly was justified in a story about a city politician’s expenses.
- The Toronto Star does its annual you-be-the-editor quiz, letting readers judge the bounds of good taste based on real-world decisions its editors made.
- The Globe and Mail’s Sylvia Stead lists eight factual errors that made it to publication that year, as a sort of quiz for readers. Similarly, the Toronto Star’s Kathy English would like you to know that they take corrections seriously.
- The New York Times also compiles a best-of list of corrections in a story that itself has a correction.
- Another round of Quebec Press Council decisions:
- Remember when Luc Lavoie went on LCN and made a joke about shooting separatists? The press council finally got around to looking at that, and surprise, they constituted discriminatory comments. The council found that TVA did its job as a broadcaster by apologizing afterward and ensuring the comment was not rebroadcast.
- A Radio-Canada online story about a police presence at a Chambly city council meeting was not sensationalist and accurately reflected the article.
- Get your guns right, folks. Two stories on gun control, one by the Journal de Montréal/Québec and the other by Radio-Canada, had misleading photos that depicted firearms that weren’t the kinds talked about in the story. News media have an old habit of using scary gun photos to illustrate stories about restrictions on much less scary guns. Another decision about whether a Ruger Mini-14 is a hunting rifle or “automatic” was dismissed as being a difference of opinion.
- An Elle Québec story about fatphobia did not identify sources for facts presented in the story and failed to correct that issue. (Elle Québec is a Quebecor publication, and like other Quebecor publications does not participate in press council investigations.)
- A complaint against TVA accusing it of identifying a victim of a fire before her family could be notified was rejected for lack of proof because TVA did not participate in the investigation and did not provide a recording to confirm the timing. The complaint was filed nine months after the story aired.
- A Vice Quebec story about an anti-prostitution group was unreasonable in referring to the group as having an “anti-sex-worker mentality”, as being against sex work does not mean being against sex workers.
- Journal de Québec columnist Karine Gagnon should have done her homework instead of just asserting that opinion polls show public support for a tramway in Quebec City without saying which polls.
- Four Quebec Press Council decisions were upheld on appeal.
- CBC ombudsman:
- A story about flooding in Quebec that used an example of a home in Gatineau Park should not have been expected to go into detail about that particular home’s history and other factors that may have come into play that led to its flooding.
- Another complaint by the same man against CBC Ottawa over other stories about Gatineau Park was largely dismissed, except for a minor error by the reporter.
- A CBC News Network story about Alberta oil was not incorrect or biased in saying pipeline capacity has caused its price to be undervalued, even though the causes for Alberta’s oil problems are more complex than that.
- Stéphane Laporte in La Presse has an interesting question: When people say stupid things on radio call-in shows, we don’t write stories about them. So why do we write stories when people say stupid things on social media? The answer lies in a few things:
- Generally, stories about social media abuse are much more virulent than what you might hear on the radio — stuff that’s downright racist or threatening
- On social media, the targets get notified of what’s posted about them (if it’s on their accounts, or tags them, or people reacting to it tag them)
- Social media posts are easier to search for and archive than what’s heard on the radio
- Radio stations take measures to filter call-ins to avoid these kinds of statements, and apologize when they make it to air. Social media doesn’t.
- Radio stations answer to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. And when the CBSC reports on a complaint about stuff said on the air, that’s generally reported in the media.
— Kate McKenna (@katemckenna8) January 4, 2019
- Radio-Canada’s annual Bye-Bye had its annual racism accusation, about a sketch on Justin Trudeau’s trip to India.
- Meanwhile, a campaign to get the ads for the program (which had more than 3.3 million viewers) given a Super Bowl-like treatment was pretty successful, in that many creative spots were created for this broadcast. The ads are posted online. (That’s not to say the ads are particularly good, but they at least put in some effort.)
- Videotron has settled its dispute with Bell Media over the distribution of Crave, and Bell has dropped its lawsuit. The good news is that Videotron subscribers to the Crave TV service (formerly The Movie Network) now have access to the whole Crave library from crave.ca. The bad news is that the price of Crave on Videotron has gone up, from $15 to $20 a month, and it can no longer be included free in build-your-own packages with the “premium” option. Super Écran is also up, from $15 to $17 a month.
- TV service changes on Videotron, removing BBC Kids (which shut down), ZoomerMedia’s One, Canal Algérie and Al Jazeera Arabic, and adding BBC Earth HD (747), MAVTV (171771), BeIN Sports en español (170/770), RAI News (244), RAI World (245) and ERT World (263). The new channels are on free preview until Jan. 31.
- The Canada Media Fund has announced funding for francophone minority projects — TV series produced outside Quebec for Unis, TFO and Radio-Canada. The six projects will share $3.2 million. There was also funding announced for experimental media projects.
- A judge has ordered former Toronto mayor candidate Faith Goldy to pay Bell Media’s legal fees after unsuccessfully suing the broadcaster over its refusal to air her ads.
- Netflix has pulled an episode of Hasan Minhaj’s series Patriot Act from its service in Saudi Arabia on request from the Saudi government. The episode is available on YouTube and has more than a million views there.
- Hamilton’s CHCH TV is airing games from the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
- CBS has allowed its agreement with ratings company Nielsen to expire after a contract negotiation impasse. Could the major network live without ratings information, or find (or create) a competitor?
- Winter season premiere dates:
- CTV (Cardinal, The Launch, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, Whiskey Cavalier, The Village)
- Global (The Titan Games, Schooled, The Blacklist, Man with a Plan, Big Brother)
- Space (Star Trek Discovery, Doctor Who, Deadly Class, Stan Against Evil)
- The Comedy Network (standup specials from Trevor Noah and Katherine Ryan taped at Just For Laughs last summer)
- HGTV (Property Brothers, $ave My Reno, Boise Boys, Windy City Rehab)
- Canal Vie
- ICI Explora
- ICI ARTV
- CBC’s, announced in November is here.
— Aaron Rand (@aaronrand) January 2, 2019
- Aaron and Tasso had lunch. The photo of the two former Q92 morning men hitting social media resulted in a lot of feedback hoping for a more permanent reunion. Aaron Rand says they might do a Facebook Live or something.
- Montreal community radio station CIBL is still slowly trying to pull itself out of a financial crisis, but a general assembly in December was more optimistic than in the past. They’ve at least solved their internal bickering and have several dozen shows back on the air. But they still have to figure out issues related to their expensive downtown studio space, their transmitter on the Olympic Stadium (the RIO wants to evict antennas from there), and their long-term financial security.
- The crisis at Toronto’s Jazz.FM91 continues, with host Heather Bambrick’s resignation. She and other Jazz alumni distraught with what happened there have started a new online jazz radio station.
- Stingray is putting a new national show on six of its hit music stations. It’s hosted by Katie & Ed, the morning team from 90.3 AMP Radio (CKMP-FM) Calgary.
- Stingray is also rebranding two radio stations to The Breeze: CKRA-FM 96.3 in Edmonton (formerly Capital 96.3) and CHLG-FM 104.3 in Vancouver (formerly LG 104.3). Both were formerly classic hits stations and will essentially remain so, but with a more relaxed feel, with “artists like Lionel Richie, Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Whitney Houston, Sara McLachlan, Billy Joel, and Adele.”
- Vista Radio has agreed to purchase the remaining stations of Clear Sky Radio in Lethbridge, Alta., and Cranbrook, B.C. Clear Sky had previously sold CJCY-FM Medicine Hat to Rogers and CKOV-FM Strathmore, Alta. (which launched as 104.5 More), to Golden West.
- Jessica Deer writes for the CBC about the Kahnawake Christmas show Ratonnià:ne Waterennótha Enhatikaratónnion on K103.
- Le Devoir looks at the state of the Quebec podcasting industry.
— James Bradshaw (@jembradshaw) January 1, 2019
- A group of employees is proposing to take Rogers’s remaining print magazines, including Maclean’s, off their hands.
- The Journal de Montréal has stopped publishing letters to the editor, arguing that readers have various platforms to comment on stories.
- Blacklock’s Reporter did an access-to-information request and found that the department of heritage gave $384,870 in grants to the Canadian News Media Association to encourage people to read newspapers.
- The Los Angeles Times and related newspapers were victims of a cyberattack from a “foreign entity” that disrupted production of them.
- To the surprise of no one, authors make very little money.
- Training Chinese censors on what to censor means … teaching them about the history they don’t want people to know.
- Fake Beyoncé albums somehow made their way onto Apple Music and Spotify.
- The director of the critically mocked Papa est devenu un lutin, a movie played exclusively in a few Guzzo cinemas, published a press release and a YouTube video (since deleted) in which he defended his movie as one made for children, not adult critics, and saying among other things that “Si vous aimez des films comme Maman, j’ai raté l’avion, c’est un film pour vous. Allez voir mon film, vous allez l’adorer.” Critics may disagree that his movie can be compared to Home Alone. The movie has made a few thousand dollars from those cinemas.
- People aren’t happy about Disney trying to claim a trademark on the phrase “hakuna matata”
- Video games using athletes’ likenesses in sports games has led to an interesting legal question: Do they have to get authorization from tattoo artists before incorporating their tattoos on the recreations of the athletes in their games? Some court cases may test this issue.
- Work to add wireless connectivity in the Montreal metro has completed on the Blue Line, meaning three of the four lines are now on wireless networks for the four major carriers from one end to the other. The remaining line, the Green Line, will be connected in 2019-20, starting on the eastern side.
News about people
Back home from doing this in Nepal and back on the air tonight on @CBCMontreal at 6, just in time for holiday mode! Hope you’ll tune in to see how I get through the show with jet lag! Thanks to @cbc_nancywood for filling in for the last month. pic.twitter.com/HN90yZosds
— Debra Arbec (@DebraArbecCBC) December 17, 2018
- Alison Brunette has been named the new permanent host of Breakaway on CBC Radio One in Quebec. She replaces Saroja Coelho, who left in the summer.
- Lesley Chesterman has done her final restaurant review for the Montreal Gazette. She has other projects that will take up her time, but she’ll still be a regular on Radio-Canada and CHOM, and contribute occasional stories to the Gazette, she tells Eater.
- Nathalie Petrowski has filed her final column for La Presse after 26 years with the publication. But she’s not retiring, she insists.
- Judith Lussier is back in the pages of Métro after almost two years away.
- Catherine Perrin is leaving as host of Radio-Canada’s Médium large in June to pursue other projects.
- Brandon Gonez left CTV’s Your Morning on Friday, and joins CP24 on Monday.
- Radio-Canada journalist Frédéric Nicoloff has retired. He gave radio exit interviews with Manitoba’s L’Actuel and network program Médium large.
- Alexandre Pratt has his first column in La Presse’s sports section, after returning to writing from management.
- Adam Wylde is the new morning host at Virgin Radio in Toronto. He and TJ O’Halloran replace Scott Tucker, Maura Grierson, and Andy Wilson.
- Tina Simpkin is the new morning meteorologist for CBC in the Maritimes.
- Damien Cox has left Rogers Sportsnet. It’s unclear why or where he’ll end up.
- Christina Vardanis has left Chatelaine.
- The Financial Post talks to Manon Brouillette as she steps down from her job as president of Videotron.
- CBC/Radio-Canada has named Claude Galipeau as executive vice-president of corporate development. He was previously chief revenue officer for Torstar.
- Former Postmedia columnist Michael Den Tandt, who left to do PR for the Liberal government, is running for a nomination to become an MP.
- Ted Bird was on a recent episode of the Sound Off podcast, and discussed his career, including his departure from CHOM, which he said in hindsight he could have handled better (i.e. burning fewer bridges), but doesn’t regret.
- McGill’s alumni magazine talks to Jayme Poisson, who hosts CBC’s new daily Front Burner podcast.
- The Winnipeg Sun talks to broadcaster Bob Picken, who has terminal cancer.
- If you missed Tarah Schwartz’s goodbye from CTV Montreal, it’s here.
- Appointments to the Order of Canada include:
- Actor Len Cariou
- Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre
- Playwright Christopher Newton
- Journalist and TV producer Jean Pelletier
- Crime fiction writer Kathy Reichs
- Insight TV producers (and siblings) John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby
- Cree actress Shirley Cheechoo
- Publisher Michel de la Chenelière
- BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet
- Telus CEO Darren Entwistle
- Former journalist and MP John Godfrey
- Former Quebecor board chairman and former Videotron and TVA president Serge Gouin
- Dundurn Press founder Kirk Howard
- Shaftesbury Films CEO Christina Jennings
- Former TV and radio journalist and author Daniel Lessard
- CBC Vancouver journalist Gloria Macarenko
- Découverte host Charles Tisseyre
- Author, publisher and historian Denis Vaugeois
We made this little tribute to one of our favorite people ever in the world of comedy, the one and only Bob Einstein.
(And yes, I did give him the car..) pic.twitter.com/0cVMIERSL1
— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) January 5, 2019
- Bob Einstein, aka Super Dave Osborne, actor
- Cam Fuller, Saskatoon StarPhoenix columnist (remembrances from Rob Vanstone and other colleagues)
- Claude Gingras, La Presse music critic (appreciation by Arthur Kaptainis in the Gazette)
- Raoul Hunter, caricaturist for Le Soleil and the Journal de Québec
- A proper obit of Social Studies columnist Michael Kesterton in the Globe and Mail
- “Mean” Gene Okerlund, WWE broadcaster
News about companies
- Stingray has dropped its planned acquisition of Music Choice, a similar audio channel service in the U.S. This comes after it reached a deal with Altice USA to get on some U.S. cable TV systems.
- Videotron has sold its 4Degrees data services arm for $259 million to Vantage Data Centers, a significant increase from the $31-35 million it paid for the company in 2015. But Videotron also invested heavily in a new Montreal data centre in the St-Laurent technoparc.
- The Washington Post on the impact of lockdowns on students in U.S. schools, even when there’s no real shooting. The story required reviewing thousands of news stories and other reports to get data, which led to an interesting finding that such lockdowns tend to get reported more in smaller cities than larger ones (probably because violence is less common in those areas and community media more prevalent, but those communities will also tend to be whiter).
- Concordia University spokesperson (deadline: Jan. 14)