Media News Digest: English Quebec leaders’ debate, new Gazette columnists, Cogeco CEO retiring

News about news

At the CRTC

  • Only a week after the first test of smartphone emergency alerts, a real one went out this week, for an Amber Alert in Ontario. And the result was a bunch of people annoyed that they were interrupted by an alarm about some missing kid somewhere. (The child was found safe.) It’s sparking a discussion (which should have happened a while ago) about what kind of alerts should be blaring warning sirens on people’s phones, and whether the authorities that issue them should be more geographically restrictive to avoid false alarms. The CRTC has asked people who have complaints to file them through Alert Ready. But it has also requested information from system operator Pelmorex as well as wireless service providers about the alerting system and what went wrong.
  • A coalition made up of CBC, TVO, TFO, Télé-Québec, V, Blue Ant Media, TV5 and OUTtv has filed a CRTC complaint against the Bell Fund, an independent production fund, saying it sets different rules for large and small broadcasters (favouring, naturally, the large ones like Bell). The Bell Fund is funded by Bell TV’s mandatory contributions to Canadian programming. Among the rules of setting up independent production funds like this, which also exist for other TV distribution companies, are that they be independently controlled and that they not unduly fund a related company’s programming. The coalition says the fund’s board falls short of being 2/3 independent and its plan to establish envelopes for various sizes of applicants unduly favours large vertically integrated companies — Bell, Corus and Quebecor.
  • First Nations TV has done a story on CKHQ-FM Kanesatake’s fight to keep its frequency. Legally the station’s frequency has no protection and it has no leg to stand on, but politically it would look very bad if the CRTC made a decision that effectively forced it off the air because someone wanted to start a Christian music station in Lachute.
  • MobileSyrup summarizes the FairPlay coalition’s response to critics in an application to establish piracy blacklists for ISPs, which says it does not plan to block YouTube or VPNs or other legitimate services that might house pirated content.
  • Commissioner Stephen Simpson, whose term ends next month, gave a speech to the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters.

Ethical reviews

At the CBC




  • Environment Canada is working on a weather app, which no doubt annoys the people at the Weather Network.
  • The Montreal hyperlocal news site Pamplemousse is crowdfunding to stay alive. It wants to raise $35,000 through crowdfunding out of a $50,000 total. If it doesn’t raise that amount, it will refund pledged donations and the site will stay dead. There are 72 days remaining in the campaign.


News about people


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7 thoughts on “Media News Digest: English Quebec leaders’ debate, new Gazette columnists, Cogeco CEO retiring

  1. awr

    Re CHKQ, I think they would get some sympathy from the Commision had they been actually on on the air. The fact that they have not been for almost a year does not look good.

  2. Brett

    If CKHQ does have to leave the airways it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the station. They could always turn to web radio. At least that would keep them going till a solution is found.

  3. Ottawa gent

    Colette Watson only cares about the bottom line!

    Her “so-far” success is based on cost cutting with no regard for content, viewers or journalistic integrity. I do not buy her sob story about “difficult decision” to cut community programming.

    Watson took care of her friends in Ottawa first then started swinging the ax.

  4. Bill

    I wonder if the time of the debate, 5:30 – 7:00 is helpful. Many people are still commuting around that time, and if you’re at home you’re most likely preparing your supper or eating. Not sure which crowd they are trying to reach with this.

    A more jaded person might think this anglo outreach is just smoke and mirrors (snark)

    Any info on where we can submit questions?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Not sure which crowd they are trying to reach with this.

      The crowd that watches the evening news. Which is still the most popular show on television. The timing is also so it doesn’t disrupt the primetime TV schedule and people don’t miss their favourite dramas.

      Any info on where we can submit questions?

      We don’t even know who’s moderating yet, much less if they’re taking questions from the public. But if they are, they’ll put the word out.

      1. Anonymous

        Heaven forbid people should miss their favourite dramas for a couple of hours to form an opinion on candidates looking to hold office. Mind you with the Anglo set it’s a likely a foregone conclusion on how votes will go.

        1. Fagstein Post author

          Mind you with the Anglo set it’s a likely a foregone conclusion on how votes will go.

          Actually it’s not, which is why we’re having this debate in the first place.


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