News about news
- La Presse has launched its voluntary contribution initiative, starting up a website to allow people to contribute $5 or more on a monthly basis or give a one-time donation of an amount that they want. Saturday’s edition included a special section of mostly self-congratulatory articles, including an impressive list of investigations that resulted in major changes, as well as the behind-the-scenes story of one of those investigations, and some thoughts on what it means to be a columnist. It’s unclear how transparent La Presse will be about its donations, but its website says that donations are confidential unless the giving party consents to it being publicized. La Presse also published its journalistic standards and practices guide.
- La Presse’s workers have also ratified a new collective agreement. The agreement is retroactive to 2016 and lasts until 2021, with a salary freeze until 2020 and a 1% increase the final year. The employee pension plan (the one that began when La Presse became a non-profit) will transition to a targeted benefit structure. The union will also have some access to La Presse’s financial information once a year, and employees will get an abridged version of that.
- It’s been 10 years since the start of the lockout at the Journal de Montréal. During a panel discussion on the future of media, Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau credited the lockout with saving the paper (and similarly the Journal de Québec, which also went through a lockout).
- Le Devoir has started a new weekly news quiz and is expanding its email newsletter offering. It’s also added three new columnists: Normand Baillargeon (education), Émilie Nicolas (diversity) and René Vézina (business).
- An agronomist with Quebec’s agriculture ministry has been fired after sharing documents with a Radio-Canada journalist and sounding the alarm about corporate interference in studies on pesticides. Despite being apparent retaliation against a whistleblower, the government is standing by its decision.
- James Sears and LeRoy St. Germaine, the men behind the Your Ward News publication in Toronto, have been found guilty of promoting hate against women and Jews. The judge didn’t buy their “but it was satire” defence.
- The woman who lives at the Toronto home where remains were found that led to Bruce McArthur’s murder charges has some things to say about how she was treated by less professional journalists.
- The Telegraph has apologized and paid “substantial” damages to Melania Trump after a magazine profile of her included many facts that both sides now say were untrue.
- The 19 newspapers in Alberta’s Great West Newspapers have joined the National Newsmedia Council.
- The Desjardins credit union in Quebec has rethought its marketing strategy in a way that encourages more advertising with local media and less with big web giants like Google and Facebook.
- Toronto Sun columnist Anthony Furey may or may not be headlining a Conservative Party fundraising event. (It has since been cancelled.)
- The Fonds québécois en journalisme international has announced its second cohort of bursary winners. Among them is Charlie Fidelman, former Gazette journalist, who will get to do some reporting from Mexico.
- Freelance entertainment journalist Phil Brown writes about how he has given up and abandoned that career.
- Montreal lifestyle freelancer Marissa Miller Kovac has some tips for PR people on how to deal with journalists and freelancers in particular.
- The Washington Post on the demise of the Newseum in Washington, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on its building and is finally realizing that its ambitions are unsustainable.
At the CRTC
- The commission has denied a request by Telus to allow six of its cable systems in Alberta and B.C. to be made exempt from licensing, after finding they failed in their duty to provide sufficient community programming. Telus, the CRTC found, was counting a lot of programming that wasn’t really local to the community in question.
- The CRTC has begun the process for determining whether it should issue a call for applications for new radio stations in three markets, after receiving applications for them. Others who may be interested in filing competing applications have a month to manifest their interest. The applications are:
- Scarborough, Ont.: Christian music station, 105.3 FM, 150W, by International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc.
- Grande Prairie, Alta.: Commercial radio station, 100.3 FM, 100,000W, by Vista Radio
- Vernon, B.C.: Community radio station, 97.9 FM, 1,000W, by Vernon Community Radio Society
- Decisions from the Quebec Press Council:
- A complaint by Attraction Radio against a Radio-Canada story about an Attraction station manager running for municipal office was largely dismissed by the council, which found that it was not biased or arbitrary and did not need to find other examples of such things happening to normalize the situation. It did find fault in that the headline of the story said the candidate was for mayor when in fact it was for a city councillor job, an error that was quickly corrected.
- A fact-checking story by Le Soleil was blamed for concluding that an interest group’s arguments were “not very honest”. The council concluded that the story was factual (not opinion) journalism and the comment was out of line.
- A complaint against TVA and its journalist Marie-Pier Cloutier, about a story on a condo complex in Laval where former mayor Gilles Vaillancourt was reportedly staying, was dismissed. It wasn’t a violation of privacy because the condos and its (other) inhabitants weren’t identified, and an accusation that the journalist lied to gain entry could not be verified because TVA does not cooperate with council proceedings.
- A Lise Ravary column in the Journal de Montréal was incorrect (though one council member disagreed) in saying the Quebec mosque shooting was the only one of its kind in a western country. But the error was deemed minor.
- A Journal de Québec story about a plea from the co-founder of the Quebec City mosque for gun control was not at fault for quoting him as saying an “automatic” weapon was used in the shooting, when in fact it was a semi-automatic weapon. The distinction was not critical to the article, and the quote was more of an opinion than a statement of fact.
- A Journal de Québec column by Michel Hébert about La Meute was not hateful, or inaccurate, or discriminatory.
- A Radio-Canada story about an attack in Syria was not inaccurate about whether the United Nations investigated on the ground, but three of the seven council members found that it was and the way the story was written gave a misleading impression. The story nevertheless now has a correction added.
- A complaint against CFER (TVA Rimouski) by a candidate for mayor of Sept-Îles was dismissed because it was filed nine days after the three-month deadline set by the council for complaints.
- From the CBC and Radio-Canada ombudsmen:
- Radio Canada International, and its journalist Marc Montgomery, were far too resistant to transparently correcting errors in a story about climate change’s effects on severe storms. The ombudsman (RCI is handled by the French services ombudsman even though the article in question was in English) found the case was “needlessly complicated” and the review is quite long. The ombudsman recommended editing the stories in question, but it looks like they were instead deleted and reposted (they now appear under different URLs, and the originals lead to “page not found” errors).
- A CBC Nova Scotia newscast that discussed a school teacher engaging in sexual activity with a former student should have come with an advisory beforehand.
- A Metro Morning (CBC Toronto) discussion about Facebook that criticized the CBC was not posted online, but that was not a violation of policy, mainly because it is not standard practice to post columns online. The column by Jesse Hirsch also contained statements that CBC believes are untrue.
- A friendly discussion about municipal rainwater, hard surfaces, and taxes. There was no violation of policy.
- News anchor Patrice Roy was not biased in noting that the discussion of banning of religious symbols in Quebec was mostly focused on veils worn by Muslim women.
- Globe and Mail public editor Sylvia Stead wants to see less reporting on opinion polls, minor gaffes and other minutiae during election campaigns.
Among the many things that have changed with the new House of Commons is the on-screen graphics. pic.twitter.com/CL7VxAZ6Z1
— Steve Faguy (@fagstein) January 31, 2019
- Global TV is expanding its national Morning Show from half an hour to an hour starting in March. The show airs at 9am (except in Atlantic Canada where it’s at 10am) and is essentially an extension of the national segments produced out of Toronto for the local morning shows. Global currently airs the HGTV home decor show Decked Out in the 9:30am timeslot.
- Bell Media has announced its plans for the Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday. It’s the third year that the broadcast is a special exception to simultaneous substitution rules, allowing viewers to choose between the Canadian and American broadcast (the recently signed USMCA trade deal calls for that exception to end, but the agreement has not been ratified yet by the Canadian government and neither the CRTC nor the courts are willing to jump the gun):
- Rather than a special airing of a big U.S. drama or even a Canadian premiere, CTV will air a special Jay and Dan Super Bowl recap special after the game
- The game will once again be “super simulcast” on CTV, CTV2 and TSN. CTV’s coverage begins at noon.
- “exclusive new advertising from SkipTheDishes, Purplebricks, Subway Canada, Maple Leaf Foods, L’Oréal, Colgate, and Mazda, as well as PepsiCo Canada’s first-ever SUPER BOWL advertisement featuring Michael Bublé.”
- U.S. Super Bowl ads on the BigGameAds.ca website, which Bell is putting a bit more effort into this year (though it’s still just a bunch of links to YouTube videos).
- No word in the announcement of any watch-to-win contests to keep viewers on the Canadian broadcast during the game itself (remember that the simsub exception applies only from kickoff to the final whistle — pregame and postgame shows remain substituted).
- Videotron’s MAtv community channel has a new English-language series from the Concordia University film festival, talking to its creators
- Bill Brioux explains the difficulties ethnic television broadcasters have in getting accurate ratings, and what Numeris is doing to try to fix that.
- CBC has signed an agreement with Quebec’s education ministry to make its educational video streaming service curio.ca available to all public elementary and high schools in the province for the next three years.
- Rogers’s NHL Live streaming service is now available on the NHL app on Android and Amazon Fire TV.
- Bell Media is working on a new French-language documentary series about life after the NHL, hosted by Daniel Savoie, the comedian behind the Patrice Lemieux character. The series will air this fall on Z and RDS.
- Bell is also working on a new medical drama about a Syrian refugee doctor called The Transplant. The series is produced by Montreal-based Sphère Média Plus (the people behind 19-2 and other less successful English adaptations of French series) but will be set in Toronto.
- Club Illico has renewed the Fabrice Cloutier comedy Léo for a second season.
- CTV has renewed the “comedic procedural” series Carter for a second season, with its international distribution partners.
- Emmanuelle Latraverse is back to hosting a Sunday political talk show, as LCN adds a Sunday edition of La Joute.
- Vrak has apologized after publishing a blog post online giving advice to teens on how to take “sexfies” — semi-nude photos of themselves.
- A nice little video from Saturday Night Live about how (and why) they use cue cards.
For the past month, every time I've walked past a gas station with my girlfriend, I've turned the price of gas into a spot for a fictional Ontario FM radio station pic.twitter.com/9BvCKEQiu4
— ?att (@matttomic) February 2, 2019
- Nominees for the Juno Awards have been announced. Brendan Kelly lists the Quebec artists nominated, which includes Hubert Lenoir, Coeur de Pirate, Chromeo and Milk & Bone.
- Montreal community station CIBL-FM 101.5 is currently off the air for unspecified technical reasons. The station says it should be back on Monday. It continues to stream online.
- Spotify looks to be spending $200 million to buy podcast network Gimlet Media.
- CBC News has a story about Chisasibi CHFG radio in northern Quebec.
- Arsenal Media, which owns regional radio stations in Quebec, has started a digital content production studio, called Sparkium Studio.
- Quebec City’s FM93 has added Québec solidaire MNA Catherine Dorion as a regular contributor. She’s not paid for it, but the other parties are upset that they also don’t get a regular platform in a local radio station.
- Radio-Canada and public broadcasters in Switzerland, France and Belgium are collaborating on a show about francophone hip hop called Rapophonie. The Canadian version on ICI Musique includes an original segment with more Canadian music.
- BuzzFeed is laying off 15% of its workforce. The announcements are coming in waves as various departments get the news, but the cuts include the national news desk in the U.S. A list is being compiled here and another here. One silver lining: the company will compensate workers for banked time off, after previously saying they would only do so in California, where it is legally required. Other online media companies are also making major cuts, including 250 at Vice.
- Snopes and Associated Press are pulling out of agreements to fact-check stuff for Facebook.
- Elections Canada says text messages are not subject to the Voter Contact Registry and no rules prevent political parties from contacting voters through text messages.
- Videotron employees in eastern Quebec have ratified a new collective agreement.
News about people
— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) January 25, 2019
- Elliott Price, formerly of TSN 690 and CFMB in Montreal, has been let go after two years at Sportsnet 590 in Toronto. His final broadcast was Friday.
- James Wallace, vice-president of editorial for the Toronto Sun, has been hired by the Ontario provincial government. Which as Canadaland points out is yet another concerning link between the Sun and the Ontario Tories.
- The Toronto Blue Jays have hired Richard Griffin, Toronto Star baseball columnist, as director of baseball media. Griffin previously held a similar post for the Montreal Expos.
- Sue Smith, host of Homerun on CBC Radio One in Montreal, writes about her mother’s illness, which led to her taking leave from her show.
- Gazette managing editor Basem Boshra has suspended his Twitter account after a tweet about Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada caused a backlash.
- CBC has named Daniel Boudreau its Executive Vice-President, Media Technology and Infrastructure Services. He was formerly VP of technology at TVA.
- Meanwhile, at TVA, Boudreau is being replaced by Denis Rozon, who is also COO of MELS studios, and Anick Dubois becomes TVA’s VP Finance.
- Pam Frampton is the new managing editor at the St. John’s Telegram. She’s the first female ME in its history.
- Darryl Dahmer, traffic reporter for Toronto’s 680 News, is retiring.
- Raymond Saint-Pierre, international correspondent for Radio-Canada, is retiring.
- Mylène Crête, Parliament Hill reporter, is among those affected by cuts at The Canadian Press
- Léa Stréliski’s humour column for La Presse has come to an end
- Hugo Meunier, former La Presse journalist and Quebecor Media digital media boss, writes for Urbania about quitting his job and going on a world tour with his family.
- Jasmine Pazzano, video journalist for Global Durham, is moving to Toronto to join Global’s digital team there.
- A petition has garnered more than 2,500 signatures to demand that Joee Adams be rehired at Q93 in Charlottetown. He was fired for what he says was “inappropriate” on-air comments, though the examples given are pretty tame.
- Mitch Melnick has unearthed a 1994 TV appearance by Red Fisher, who died a year ago this week, on Melnick’s cable TV show.
- Beverley Mitchell, former Montreal Star and Gazette reporter
- Peter Calamai, former Ottawa Citizen and Toronto Star science journalist
- John Himpe, radio broadcaster (another obit from CBC)
- Pierre Saint-Jacques, La Tribune journalist
- Bob Levin, editor for Maclean’s and the Globe and Mail
- Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist
- Robert Caro explains the process of researching former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, spending countless hours scouring documents for hints of hidden stories.
- CNN explains how it got footage of a raid on Roger Stone’s home by monitoring the activity of the Robert Mueller grand jury and taking an educated guess.
- A Twitter thread on how journalists are judged harshly by their employers for their use of Twitter