News about news
This is quite a correction pic.twitter.com/TnFZmbCIQV
— Jon Steingart (@jonsteingart) February 26, 2018
- The federal budget is providing $50 million to support local journalism over five years, though the details are light so far. There’s also talk of opening up charitable donation rules to make journalism eligible. Though it’s better than nothing, it’s also being criticized as being far too little.
- The NETendances study by CEFRIO shows Quebecers continue to get their news mainly from television, but also mostly use multiple platforms to inform themselves. Radio is on the decline, while online sources continue to rise.
- The New York Times has decided to write obituaries for women who died long ago, as a make-up effort for ignoring them when they died. The “overlooked” series, which will continue, includes obits for people like Charlotte Brontë, Ada Lovelace and Sylvia Plath.
- La Presse’s Marie-Claude Lortie visits the New York Times to talk about its business model and what lessons other media can learn from it.
- A widely shared opinion piece by CTV personality Marci Ien claiming to have been racially profiled by Toronto police was challenged by the department after it consulted video of the incident. The police’s case is pretty convincing, though it doesn’t mean that Ien isn’t being racially profiled in general and doesn’t face a different standard because of race. Ien says the police are missing the point, and it’s about her feelings (though her opinion piece makes several statements of fact that, if she was not racially profiled in this case, would be factually incorrect). There’s also a history of racism to consider, even if race may not have played a factor in this incident.
- Facebook is testing a new feature that allows select publishers to label a post as breaking news (once a day). Apparently only four Canadian news outlets are being given this power to start with: Global News, CityNews, CBC and the Journal de Montréal. Meanwhile, the website is ending an experiment in some countries that tried to separate feeds related to friends from feeds related to organizations and brands.
- Joel and Jerome Vangheluwe are suing alt-right websites after they spread rumours that the two were behind the Charlottesville attack.
- TVA is still blacklisting Hugo Dumas of La Presse.
- The Journal de Montréal profiles three women who cover the Canadiens, including CBC’s Jessica Rusnak. It’s the kind of story you expect on every International Women’s Day, but this one goes into a bit more depth about their careers and the sexist crap they’ve had to deal with.
- An open letter to the Quebec government by organizations including the FPJQ asking it to reconsider legislation that would restrict what information can be obtained through access to information laws.
- Fake news travels faster on Twitter than real news, a study has found.
- Press Forward is a new campaign to end sexual harassment in media workplaces.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to India, and there were lots of hot takes by columnists about how much a disaster it was, but not much context about the issues separating India and Canada. Supriya Dwivedi points out some of them in a column at GlobalNews.ca.
At the CRTC
- Télé-Québec has unsurprisingly argued against a request by the English Language Arts Network to devote some of its programming to better representation of the anglophone community, arguing that CBC, CTV and Global already serve this community. The demand prompted an outraged response from language hard-liners, including Bloc leader Martine Ouellet, who issued a statement saying it’s “not surprising that the anglophone community feels entitled to demand more” and repeating the tired line that it’s the best-treated minority in the world. She also gave a press conference that failed to attract a single journalist, leading to a faux pas when her attaché asked her a question instead.
- Emily Jackson at the Financial Post summarizes the discussion about the future of television in the CRTC’s review to be submitted to the federal government by June 1. Canadian broadcasters are split between imposing more regulations on Netflix or reducing regulations on themselves to level the playing field.
- The Canadian Cable Systems Alliance (which represents most of Canada’s small TV service providers and negotiates collectively on their behalf) has filed a complaint against Rogers over its inability to change how Rogers’s channels are packaged. It is currently in contract negotiations with the company and a CRTC rule means they have to keep distributing the channels under the same rules until a new contract deal is reached.
- The commission has approved a new transmitter site for TVA’s CFCM-DT in Quebec City. The new antenna will be slightly higher and transmit with less power, and its coverage will be about the same as before.
- A bunch of radio licence renewals were posted to the CRTC website on Feb. 23. They include Kahnawake’s CKKI-FM 89.9 (KIC Country), whose responses to the standard questions were very brief. Deadline for comments is March 26.
- The commission has opened up a comment period after its previous refusal to allow U.S. shopping network QVC into Canada was challenged in court. A new decision should either follow the CRTC’s usual process for determining if a foreign channel should be allowed into Canada, or better explain why it would use another method for determining eligibility.
- CBC ombudsman: Vicky Mochama saying “crying white girl” on a CBC panel discussion was not racist when used in the context it was.
- CBC ombudsman: Use of F word was justified on a broadcast of The Current
- Canadian Broadcast Standards Council: The song “Squaws Along the Yukon” by Hank Thompson really shouldn’t be broadcast on radio anymore.
- Canadian Broadcast Standards Council: Paid programming game show Game Time failed to ensure its quizzes were fair. Those familiar with Call TV and Instant Gagnant, similar overnight pay-to-call game shows that caused so many ethical problems for TQS/V, will be familiar with the concept.
At the CBC
— CBC/Radio-Canada (@CBCRadioCanada) March 6, 2018
- RNC Media has decided to pull the plug on CKRN-DT, its Radio-Canada affiliate in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Local news will continue on its sister stations, which are affiliates of the TVA and V networks, but the station’s seven transmitters will be shut down, meaning no over-the-air reception for Radio-Canada in the region. The shutdown will leave CKRT-DT in Rivière-du-Loup, owned by Télé Inter-Rives, as the only privately owned Radio-Canada TV affiliate in the country.
- The Paralympic Winter Games begin Friday. CBC Television will have coverage, though not nearly as much as for the Olympics. There will be live broadcasts weekend mornings, and daily recap shows from 4-6pm on weekdays. Events will be streamed live as they were during the Olympics.
- Speaking of the Olympics, CBC did a pretty good job with it, and put in a lot of work, but one thing that irked me was that it didn’t close its final broadcast with credits. Instead, it invited people to visit its website to find out the names of people who worked on its broadcasts. This is inconsiderate. It’s not like the broadcast wasn’t long enough to include all the names. And they had plenty of montages they could run with those credits.
- CBC and Radio-Canada also released ratings highlights from the games. Among them:
- 5.7 million viewers in English, and 719,000 in French, to watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s free dance that won them the gold in ice dance
- 4.8 million viewers at 2:11am to watch the Canada-U.S. women’s hockey final shootout
- 3.7 million viewers in English and 1.08 million in French to watch Sebastien Toutant’s gold-medal snowboard big air performance
- 3.7 million viewers in English and 932,000 in French to watch Max Parrot and Marc McMorris win silver and bronze in snowboard slopestyle
TV & video
- The Canadian Screen Awards are being handed out this week in several ceremonies, with the big one Sunday on CBC. (There are still way too many categories.) CBC Montreal anchor Debra Arbec, nominated in the best local news anchor category, lost out to her former co-anchor, Andrew Chang.
- The federal budget included no announcements related to tax changes for streaming video services, much to the annoyance of Quebecor. Services like Netflix still don’t even have to charge sales taxes, unlike their Canadian counterparts.
- Corus shut down the Sundance Channel, formerly Drive-In Classics, on March 1.
- RDS’s 5 à 7 show is doing a special 14-hour episode, starting at 5 in the morning, on March 13. Why? Just because.
- Rogers has ordered a second season of the original drama Bad Blood, based on Montreal’s Rizzuto family. The eight-episode second season will take place five years after Vito Rizzuto’s death, which would put it in the present day. Kim Coates returns as the star, but no word on other cast members (most of the supporting characters, spoiler alert, did not survive the first season finale).
- CTV’s The Launch has apparently impressed Sony Pictures Television enough that it has signed on for international distribution of the format.
- Plan B, formerly a Séries+ series that has been scooped up by Radio-Canada, is preparing to shoot its second season.
- Barack Obama is reportedly in talks with Netflix about a deal that would have him produce some sort of non-fiction programming for the streaming service.
- NBC is looking to cut ad time by 20% to keep viewers engaged with programming. That’s not as simple as just running fewer ads. Series have to be made a few minutes longer, and then it’s harder to switch back when those episodes are rerun later.
- Hugo Dumas of La Presse points out an anglophone character on a French-language drama. It’s still pretty rare to see anglos represented even though so many series are based in Montreal, but the situation is improving.
- Groupe TVA released its financial results. It says its specialty channels saw a 10% improvement in their ratings, but the TVA network saw its revenue decrease by 10%.
- DAZN, which had a disastrous start as the official NFL streaming service in Canada, has signed up to provide the same service for MLS here. DAZN will offer games not involving Canadian teams live, and all MLS games on demand after 48 hours. Live games with Canadian teams will still be provided by the rights holders, TSN and TVA Sports.
- En audition avec Simon is back on Tou.tv, with new episodes being added every few days.
- The New York Times is looking to create a weekly TV series showcasing its journalism.
- TSN says its TradeCentre NHL trade-deadline show had an average audience of 159,000 and total reach of 1.8 million. That’s still not enough to launch James Duthie’s rap career.
- DHX Media, which owns Family Channel and produces lots of children’s programming, has had a management shakeup. CEO Dana Landry is out, replaced by former CEO Michael Donovan. The company is also replacing chief financial officers.
- Local anchors at Sinclair Broadcasting TV stations in the U.S. are upset about a corporately-mandated statement they have to give that accuses national media of peddling fake news.
- Voters in Switzerland have voted against cutting the government subsidy for its public broadcaster.
- It’s radio ratings week. Numeris winter PPM ratings for Montreal are posted here. Self-congratulatory press releases from The Beat (still ahead of Virgin, with now its morning show ahead as well), ICI Radio-Canada (best winter rating in Montreal since PPMs started in 2008), 98,5 fm (still #1 overall), and even Bell Media (uhh, people are still listening to us! And CJAD is still #1 overall!). This analysis putting both anglo and franco audiences together shows that CHOM is #2 overall for men 25-54.
- La Presse’s Stéphanie Vallet visits Montreal’s six big French-language radio station morning shows and reveals how the staff of each one tackles their day.
- There was no big announcement, but Montreal’s Virgin Radio station has rebranded slightly, going from “Virgin Radio 96” to “Virgin Radio 95.9“, more accurately reflecting its frequency. It’s also changed its call-in number from 514-790-9696 to 514-790-0959.
- Struggling community station CIBL 101,5 is holding its annual general assembly on March 19.
- The Montreal Gazette has a new columnist: Marc Richardson will write Mondays about issues affecting millennials. Richardson is the brother of former Gazette managing editor (and current Ottawa Citizen/Sun editor-in-chief) Michelle Richardson.
- The Chronicle Journal in Thunder Bay apologized after a front-page headline about an incident of egg-throwing at two Indigenous men that read “Egg toss incidents have police scrambling.” A reminder that fun with puns should be reserved for stories that aren’t about serious things.
- Dan Bilefsky, Montreal correspondent for the New York Times, is taking a Quebec road trip, and wants to know where he should go.
- The Toronto Star cut its width by an inch over the weekend.
- Music weekly NME is ending its print edition and going online-only.
- FYI Music News talks to the publisher of NOW about the future of Toronto’s alt-weekly newspaper.
Mentioned tonight that Daily Mail is most-read English-language news Web site in the world. (Whatever you may think of it). Want to know about Canada? Here’s the latest Comscore numbers for Canada. Jan 201818 vs Jan 2017. @globalnews is #2 with 10.7m readers last month. pic.twitter.com/zxzimCz2Q6
— David Akin ?? (@davidakin) March 9, 2018
- Rogers is starting up a new website for local news in Ottawa, called OttawaMatters.com. Similar to a website it started recently in Halifax, it will be fed mainly by Rogers’s local all-news radio station, but also with some contributions from the local Rogers TV community station.
- Two Montreal-based websites shut down recently after their creators decided they were no longer worth the effort: Pamplemousse.ca, which covered the Mercier neighbourhood of Montreal as a hyperlocal website, couldn’t find investors to keep it financed, and YULorama, which was more of a lifestyle site, and also said it couldn’t survive in the current industry situation. The FPJQ issued a statement condemning the shutdown of Pamplemousse.
- Maclean’s is shutting down comments on its website. People can comment on Twitter and Facebook instead, it says, or send a letter to the editor.
- NiemanLab discusses the Globe and Mail’s innovation laboratory.
- The Athletic has raised another $20 million in funding and is continuing to expand, wanting to be in every city with a professional sports team. This likely means we’re still a few more years away from finding out if this subscription-based sports feature site has a working business model.
- Reddit responds to how Russian propaganda efforts are trying to manipulate the platform in order to manipulate the media and public opinion.
- Canadaland released its annual transparency report, prompting a day-long session of former employees dragging owner Jesse Brown over being insufficiently woke in hiring.
- A couple of forces are getting online media to team up: In Europe, as new privacy regulations will force a new personal data consent model, websites are banding together to develop a common login system to handle such permissions. Meanwhile, a startup called Scroll is signing up publishers as part of a program where subscribers pay $5 to eliminate ads on those websites.
News about people
- Camille Ross has been named the new weekend anchor at CTV News in London, Ont. Ross’s career has been back and forth between CTV and Global at Yorkton, Regina and Montreal.
- Nil Köksal has been named the new host of CBC Radio’s World Report.
- Teresa Wright, formerly political reporter for the PEI Guardian, has been hired by The Canadian Press, where she will cover politics in Ottawa for the next year starting in April.
- Gregg Zaun, the baseball analyst who was fired by Sportsnet after allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace, has resurfaced on YouTube as host of The Manalyst, his own show. The first half-hour episode was posted March 1. In it he gives his opinions about baseball news and takes a few questions from social media. The production quality is very just-starting-on-YouTube-esque (poor audio, awkward camera angle, no prompter), but that will likely change pretty fast.
- Meanwhile, Sportsnet has hired former catcher Joe Siddall as Zaun’s replacement on its Blue Jays broadcasts.
- Paul Bliss, the CTV reporter in Queen’s Park who was suspended after an allegation of him sexually harassing a colleague, is no longer with the company, which we assume means he has been fired or forced to resign. The news prompted a statement from the woman whose story prompted the investigation, and a column from Christie Blatchford blaming her for ruining his life.
- Red Fisher’s portrait, which was taken down at his request from the Canadiens’ wall honouring media members of the Hockey Hall of Fame after the HHOF downgraded media to a lesser fame status, has been reinstalled with the permission of his daughter.
- Margaret Brennan has been named the new host of CBS’s Face the Nation. She replaces John Dickerson, who is replacing Charlie Rose on CBS’s morning show. Rose was dismissed over sexual harassment allegations.
- Hasan Minhaj has become the latest Daily Show personality to get a deal for his own show — a weekly talkshow on Netflix.
- The Gazette profiles Montreal courtroom sketch artist Delphine Bergeron.
- TVA Quebec City journalist Martin Everell is moving to radio, becoming Nathalie Normandeau’s cohost on BLVD 102,1. He’ll also host solo while Normandeau deals with that whole criminal trial thing.
- LCN has added Régine Laurent as an analyst. The former nurse and union activist will add some badly needed racial diversity to the on-air commentariat at the all-news channel.
- Comedian Louis T gets a writeup in Le Devoir, about his new podcast that blends humour and news in a style his fans are very familiar with.
- Andrew Carter celebrated 15 years as CJAD’s morning man.
- Joanne Vrakas stopped by Breakfast Television, new kid in tow.
- Poynter on the story of Brandy Zadrozny, a librarian turned journalist who used her research techniques to become a scoop machine
- Motherboard on the history of the PDF format
- Ing Wong-Ward, associate director of Toronto’s Centre for Independent Living, says journalists should move away from inspiration porn and toward better-informed coverage of people with disabilities.
- Farhad Manjoo disconnected from social media for two months and read news only from newspapers. He says he was better informed as a result and had more free time. (On the other hand, he had less control over what he read and was informed of news much later than the rest of us.)
- The New York Times on how the student survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting have become activist forces on social media.
- Videojournalist, HuffPost Québec (deadline: March 9)
- Ottawa reporter, APTN (deadline: March 14)
- Journalists, First Peoples Radio (Ottawa/Toronto; deadline: March 27)
These roundups take a lot of my time. This one, which covers two weeks of news, easily consumed a couple of long days just to put together, including 10 straight hours leading to this publication. I’m curious what you all think about it. Is it worth the time (or would that be better spent finding new stories and doing original reporting), are there things that should be improved, or things you don’t need included here? Should I change the categories that split the links up in different sections? Is “print” still a category that makes sense with just about every print publication focusing on digital distribution (and some, like La Presse, abandoning print entirely)? Or should the entire concept be rethought? Perhaps posting each link as an individual brief story instead of one long 3,000-word post?
Let me know what you think in the comments.