It’s been a month and a half since the last one of these, and frankly it’s quite the load on my time. I’m going to have to explore ways of lowering the workload if I’m going to keep doing this. In the meantime, I’ve dropped the jobs section and may drop others that are less popular and/or have better sources elsewhere.
News about news
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— Newseum (@Newseum) December 31, 2019
- A court has approved the plan to convert Groupe Capitales Médias into a group of workers’ cooperatives. The arrangement has not pleased GCM’s retirees, who have said they will appeal the decision and have gone so far as protesting former owner Power Corp. demanding that they make good on the underfunded pension plan. The six newspapers have formed their boards of directors (Le Droit, Le Nouvelliste, Le Quotidien, Le Soleil, La Tribune, La Voix de l’Est) and begun appointing general managers — Gilles Carignan at Le Soleil, Éric Brousseau at Le Droit. Claude Gagnon, the previous president, has retired.
- Cabinet mandate letters for the new federal government have been published, including that of new Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault. Among the promises he’s being asked to carry out:
- New legislation requiring online platforms remove “illegal content, including hate speech, within 24 hours or face significant penalties”
- Modernize the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act to make internet access more affordable and require streaming platforms to offer and contribute to Canadian content
- “Strengthen the regional mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada to broadcast more local news and require CBC/Radio-Canada to open up its digital platform.”
- More funding for Telefilm Canada
- Implement new online rights, including: “data portability; the ability to withdraw, remove and erase basic personal data from a platform; the knowledge of how personal data is being used, including with a national advertising registry and the ability to withdraw consent for the sharing or sale of data; the ability to review and challenge the amount of personal data that a company or government has collected; proactive data security requirements; the ability to be informed when personal data is breached with appropriate compensation; and the ability to be free from online discrimination including bias and harassment.”
- Review the Copyright Act
- “Support local journalism and develop business models that facilitate private giving and philanthropic support for professional journalism and local news.”
- Guilbeault also says the government will impose GST on foreign platforms like Netflix.
- The Canadian government has launched its newspaper bailout. This includes the release of the form to fill out to be considered a qualified Canadian journalism organization.
- Meanwhile, News Media Canada has released the list of recipients for its Local News Initiative. They include my employer, the Montreal Gazette.
- Canadaland has a story about the publisher of the Globe and Mail lobbying the Canadian government for direct funding.
- Radio-Canada is clamping down on excessive use of the term “exclusive” in news reporting, except in very narrow circumstances — notably when getting interviews with important figures who are difficult to access. Investigations will be labelled as such (“enquête”) when they’re the result of significant investigative journalism work.
- A media placement agency presents some potentially self-serving data from a Via Rail experiment showing that advertising in Canadian-owned media gives more return than foreign digital giants like Facebook and Google.
- Alberta’s Canadian Energy Centre, a so-called “war room” set up by Premier Jason Kenney to counter negative news about Alberta oil, has drawn the ire of the Canadian Association of Journalists because the people writing stories for its website have been identifying themselves as journalists in talking to sources.
- As part of its CRTC licence renewal (see below), CBC commissioned an analysis comparing CBC News Network and CTV News Channel. For the most part they were similar, but this remark struck me: “CBC relied more extensively on its local journalists (the majority reporting from the field) for reporting and commenting on events while CTV relied more heavily on third-party speakers and experts, as well as US-based reporters.” And “CBC journalists filed or provided commentary on almost 49% of the network’s international coverage, compared to 24% for CTV.” In other words, CBC NN tends to rely on its network of journalists more, particularly for international stories. That sounds about right based on my anecdotal observation of the two channels.
- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers got mad at TSN reporter Darrin Bauming and pulled him from his job during the Grey Cup, according to the Free Press.
- CBC Manitoba and the Winnipeg Free Press appear to have entered into a content sharing agreement, with each website excerpting from and linking to stories on the other. Here are a few examples of Free Press stories at CBC and CBC stories at the Free Press.
- The new movie Richard Jewell, about a man whose reputation was destroyed by the media, is being criticized for falsely portraying a (now deceased) reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as having traded sex for information. It is hardly the first movie to portray female journalists having sex with sources or subjects, even though this is virtually unheard of in practice.
- A legal battle between radio host Pierre Mailloux and La Presse journalist Rima Elkouri has been settled out of court. The battle stems from a previous legal case that was also settled out of court, but Mailloux blabbed about its contents, prompting lawsuits both ways that have now been withdrawn.
- The Grande guignolée des médias fundraiser has raised $3.6 million for various local charities.
- Staff of the National Observer online news outlet have filed to unionize.
- Daniel Leblanc of the Globe and Mail took some Quebec media to task for allowing sources within the Quebec Liberal Party to say behind the cloak of anonymity that Dominique Anglade should not be leader of the party because of her race. He explains his reasoning here, and notes that the Globe and Mail’s investigative reporting has improved since the paper restricted the use of anonymous sources.
- The Globe and Mail looks at Thunder Bay and northern Ontario after a year of stories it produced from a bureau it set up there, with profiles of 10 people who are making a difference.
- The New York Times takes a couple of peeks behind the curtain, discussing how it decides what goes on the front page, and what technology its reporters use.