Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reporters hugging athletes raises concerns

Highly detailed story listing cases where Canadian reporters have done things which show their sympathies to the Maple Leaf Team and its members. Of course its only sports, it doesn't interfere in the outcome of the event and its very unlikely that public opinion will be altered by it, but purists will quibble.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Times of London says BBC ready to make cutbacks

The BBC has refused to comment on recent reports that it will close two radio stations and scale back its web presence in order to save about $965 million Cdn. According to The Times of London newspaper, BBC director-general Mark Thompson will close BBC 6 Music and its Asian Network, and close half its website, with savings diverted into higher-quality television programming.

Rick Salutin' on Andy Barrie as the radio host retires

"Yesterday was Andy Barrie's (shown at right)last as host of CBC Radio's Toronto morning show. It's a shame. The shame isn't that he's going after 15 years. He has good reasons. It's that he wasn't there for 15 years before that. Andy is like the Platonic model of what Canadian public broadcasting should be. This is despite the fact that he grew up in the United States, came here as a deserter in the Vietnam years and spent most of his career in private radio. Or maybe it's because of those things. . . " Rick Salutin

Click on the title to read the column.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

NBC offers good reviews for Canada: Worthington

From Peter Worthington's column in the Toronto Sun:
" . . .NBC, which won the TV rights for something like $850 million, was supposed to be taking a bath with a $250 million loss, both in ad revenues and viewers. Victims of the recession. While audience appeal has apparently been far greater than expected, NBC’s coverage that includes sidebars about Canada, has been exceptional. Not only has the host country not been ignored, it has virtually been glorified by NBC commentators. Sure, NBC concentrates on Americans in the esoteric, low-viewer sports like the biathalon and cross country skiing. That’s to be expected. But the network has given glimpses of Canada that are dazzling — even to (perhaps especially to) Canadians, who mostly don’t know a hell of a lot about their own country, given that 90% of all Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border. For example, NBC provided a sidebar feature on the polar bears of Churchill, with wonderful shots of their strength and sometimes comical demeanor. Then they had professional tennis player Mary Carillo visit the RCMP training academy in Regina, and undergo basic training. On the parade square she was a klutz. It was amusing, informative, and made both her and the Mounties more human. Former news anchor Tom Brokaw gave a thumbnail history of Canada-U.S. relations, which was a glowing tribute to Canada as a friend and rival; a sort of American version of the late Gordon Sinclair’s tribute to the U.S. at a time when criticism of that country was high (in the 1960s) and he reminded people that whatever its failings, the U.S. was still the most generous and humane country on Earth. Brokaw’s story has gone viral on the Internet, too. . . ."

Pravda online hammers Canada

Pravda Online has posted a damning critique of Vancouver - and Canada as a whole - on its English-language website. Author Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey writes that "Vancouver is not fit to hold the Winter Olympics." The apparent editorial, under the headline Vancouver: Mutton Dressed as Lamb", laced into the city and the country in no uncertain terms.
"Far from being a question of sour grapes, Russian commentators were already expressing their reservations as to the integrity of the Vancouver lobby being able to host the Olympic Games weeks before the start," Bancroft-Hinchey wrote in the article dated Feb. 19.
One of his main beefs was related to a decision by Olympic officials to pull aside Russian cross-country skier Natalia Korosteleva between the quarter-finals and semifinals in the sprint on Feb. 17 and ask her to go to the doping control centre, where athletes give urine and blood samples.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Google Italy ruling "threat to internet freedom"

Three Google executives were convicted on Wednesday of violating privacy laws by allowing disturbing footage of a disabled Italian boy being bullied to be posted on the internet. The ruling was the first of its kind in history and was condemned by critics as "the biggest threat to internet freedom we have seen". The trial centred on footage posted on Google Videos, of a teenager suffering from Down's syndrome and who was being bullied by four other boys, at a Turin school. The footage was posted in September 2006 and became the most viewed where it remained for two months before finally being removed. Prosecutors in Milan brought the case after being contacted by the charity Viva Down and argued that the boys privacy had been violated and that Google should have removed the footage quicker than it eventually did. In the footage the boy was seen cowering as he was punched and kicked before one of the youths attacking him made a mocking call to the Viva Down charity.

Google trying to convince ad agencies, businesses to buy ads

Google Inc.'s Canadian-born chief financial officer is back in his home country, trying to convince businesses here that when consumers make purchasing decisions, they turn to the Internet first. “All these eyeballs that used to be on TV, they've all shifted online,” Patrick Pichette said in an interview with the Globe and Mail. “Advertisers have not.” By some metrics, as little as 3 per cent of Canada's population regularly does its shopping online. However when it comes to using the Web to research those shopping decisions, that number jumps to between 50 and 70 per cent. Canadians also have a voracious appetite for online video, an area of particular interest to Google as the company attempts to monetize its huge store of Youtube videos and entice advertisers to pay for flashier multimedia-based ads.


Thomson Reuters boosts dividend

Thomson Reuters Inc. is raising its dividend to shareholders, the information company announced Wednesday as it announced financial results showing fourth-quarter sales and profit were down compared with a year earlier. The company, which provides specialized information services for the financial, legal, scientific and other professions, said its annual dividend is being increased to $1.16 per share, up 4 cents.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ABC News prepares major restructuring; as many as 300 jobs could be cut

ABC News is poised to make a major round of cuts that will reduce the size of the news division by as much as 20% and radically reorder the network’s traditional approach to news gathering. Forced to belt-tighten by the weak advertising market, network executives have opted to restructure the labor-heavy newsroom from top to bottom in favor of a leaner, more nimble operation, according to multiple sources. Many of those remaining in the pared-down news division will be expected to both produce and shoot their own stories, acting as “one-man bands,” a model increasingly being adopted in television news. The process is expected to begin Wednesday morning when employees receive a letter asking for volunteers to take buyouts and leave the company. Newsroom employees have heard that the network is seeking to shrink the newsroom by as many as 300 positions, about 20% of the 1,400-person staff. If not enough employees volunteer to leave, layoffs are likely to follow.

Hockey blogger snares Olympic dream job

Of the hundreds of media personnel in Vancouver to cover the Olympics, Steve Glynn might be the most unlikely one who made the trip. Just a few months ago, he was familiar to only a few thousand diehard fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who knew him by his online pseudonym, Steve Dangle. But thanks to the popularity of the comical fan videos he records in his bedroom and posts to YouTube after each Leafs game, today he's rubbing elbows with Canadian hockey stars in Vancouver as part of a Web marketing initiative designed by Nike Canada. For the 21-year-old Ryerson University radio and television student, the trip to Vancouver is the latest in a string of new adventures which began with his video musings about the pitfalls of being a Leafs fan on YouTube.

Link to his YouTube blog:

Even without Tiger Woods, golf is good for TV networks

Television viewership will fall without Tiger Woods, but the networks that air the sport and the PGA Tour itself can handle the setback. That's the word from several media analysts and the president of CBS Sports, which now is facing the possibility of covering the Masters Tournament just weeks from now with golf's biggest star conspicuously absent. The first of four major tournaments on the PGA Tour, the Masters, which has long aired on CBS for the concluding rounds, ends April 11 this year. The U.S. Open follows in June on NBC. The British Open will be seen on ABC in July, and the PGA on CBS in August. Broadcast network coverage will be supplemented by coverage on cable networks. Tournaments in which Woods isn't playing generally suffer a drop in viewership and a loss of advertising revenue, notes Larry Novenstern, executive vice-president of Optimedia. For the 15 or so tournaments where Woods might have been expected to play this year, Novenstern estimated the resulting advertising loss to networks would total between $10 million and $20 million. But in comparison to other economic hardships challenging broadcasters right now, he says, "This is just a speed bump."

Monday, February 22, 2010

U.S.-Canada game sets record for viewers: N.Y. Times

The U.S. men’s hockey team’s 5-3 victory over Canada on Sunday night was the most watched sports program ever shown on Canadian TV. The average of 10.6 million who watched on six networks, including CTV, exceeded the 10.3 million for Canada’s gold-medal-winning game over the Americans at the Salt Lake Games eight years ago. At its peak, the viewership of the game in Canada reached 13 million. In the United States, the game was seen by an average of 8.22 million viewers on MSNBC, more than twice the 3.7 million who watched the New Year’s Day Winter Classic on NBC at Fenway Park. At 8.22 million, the game’s viewership nearly matched the MSNBC record of 8.23 million for coverage of election night in 2008. -- N.Y. Times

Amanda Lindhout says she pities ‘deeply wounded’ Somali captors

Amanda Lindhout, the free-lance journalist who was kidnapped and beaten in Somalia, says she bears no grudge against the war-torn country. She spoke publicly Sunday for the first time since she was freed on Nov. 25, telling a Calgary audience that her "thoughts and prayers remain with those who continue to suffer in Somalia."

"It's very important for me to say I do not see the men who kidnapped me as a reflection of Somali society as a whole," she told Alberta's Somali-Canadian community Sunday.

Tamil newspaper’s Scarborough office attacked

The front window of Uthayan newspaper’s office looked like a “vehicle drove right through it” when Kula Sellathurai arrived at the scene. Overnight, Sellathurai said, the newspaper’s editor received a threatening call and hours later its office on Progress Rd., near Markham Rd. and Highway 401, was vandalized. The threats stemmed from a recent meeting Sellathurai, President of the Canada-Sri Lanka Business Council and the United Tamil Council of Canada, had with the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The meeting was covered in Uthayan, a paper widely read by Toronto’s Sri Lankan diaspora, as well as Sri Lankan media and websites.

Military chief says France has spent $13.6 million to try to find missing journalists in Afghanistan

France has spent more than $13.6 million to try to track down and free two journalists held captive in Afghanistan since December, the head of the French military said Sunday. In an interview with Europe-1 radio and Le Parisien newspaper, French chief-of-staff Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin said he made the price tag public because he is urging "everyone to have a sense of responsibility," a message aimed at French reporters covering danger zones. But Georgelin said he does not want to "question the right of free expression and freedom of the press."
A week ago, the Taliban released a video of the two journalists for France-3 television pleading for their government to negotiate with their captors. Both said they were in good health and had been well treated. The two disappeared Dec. 30 along with two or three Afghan employees while travelling in Kapisa province east of Kabul. French soldiers in the region are fighting Taliban and other insurgents as part of the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.

Media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders criticized Georgelin for making the price tag public, calling his comments "out of line."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Americans in border areas missing Olympics on CBC

It was an instinctual move, honed through years of watching the Olympics on television. Tom August, a resident of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., changed channels to see what was on CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It’s an option available to many American border cities like Detroit, Buffalo and Seattle, and a secret escape for Americans who do not want to watch NBC. But as August soon realized, that option was not available for the Vancouver Games. CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, won the rights to broadcast the Vancouver Games, and August’s cable company does not carry it.
“I thought it was weird the CBC was showing ‘Coronation Street’ during the opening ceremonies,” August said. “I’ve just always gone back and forth between NBC and the CBC, usually sticking more with the CBC. It took a second, then it hit me: I’m not going to get to see the Olympics on the CBC. I am going to have to watch NBC.
“I’m not happy about that, because I think NBC does a terrible job. I want to watch sports live, not watch NBC’s commentators talking in front of a fake fireplace.”
August, 38, is not alone in his CBC withdrawal. Watching CBC for Olympic coverage has been a tradition for many Americans since 1992.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Error causes CBC to broadcast CTV footage of Olympic Games

The Olympic Games briefly returned to CBC on Friday. A spokesperson for CBC-TV has acknowledged to The Canadian Press that an error caused CBC NN - the Canadian broadcasting network's round-the-clock news channel - to broadcast about 45 minutes of Olympic footage. The CBC could not pinpoint the cause of the error but did confirm that the footage was broadcast from coast to coast. "It was a technical issue," CBC spokesperson Chris Ball said in a telephone interview. When contacted for comment, a CTV official poked fun at the incident.
"Our Olympic Games coverage is so great and extensive, even the CBC wants it," said Bonnie Brownlee, senior vice-president of corporate communications for CTVglobemedia.

Gomery is elected president of the Quebec Press Council

The Quebec Press Council has unanimously elected retired Justice John Gomery as its new president. A self-described "news junkie," Gomery was in the public spotlight when he presided over a commission of inquiry into the federal government sponsorship scandal starting in February 2004. It resulted in a fact-finding report in 2005 and a second report in 2006 containing recommendations. General secretary and former interim president of the Quebec Press Council, Guy Amyot, says the press council was looking for a president with an excellent reputation, extended professional experience, proof of leadership, and a preoccupation with ethics.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shaw wins court fight for CanWest assets

Jim Shaw has knocked aside an 11th-hour rival bid and won court approval to take control of the CanWest Global Communications Inc. broadcasting empire. The Superior Court of Ontario gave the green light late yesterday to Shaw Communications Inc. despite a competitive offer filed in the early hours before the court hearing. The competing bid came from private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group and included CanWest’s founding Asper family, Wall Street heavyweight Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and former executives of Rogers Communications Inc. The court hearing became heated as Shaw threatened to walk from the deal if it was not approved by midnight. The Catalyst-led bid came in at roughly 3:30 in the morning yesterday, according to a report by the independent monitor appointed to oversee CanWest’s restructuring. The move complicated court proceedings that were expected to rubberstamp the Shaw deal.
While the new bidders asked for an adjournment until Monday to allow a comparison of the two deals, Shaw sent a message through its lawyer saying it was not prepared to wait for a decision, and in fact insisting the company would walk away from the offer if no decision had been reached by midnight on Friday.

Canwest ordered to assess new bid for television assets

An Ontario judge has ordered Canwest Global Communications Corp. to assess a rival offer for the broadcast giant despite Shaw Communications Inc.’s threat to walk away if its bid to control the television assets did not receive court approval Friday. Ontario Superior Court Justice Joanne Pepall instructed Canwest's court-appointed monitor to review a new $120-million proposal backed by Catalyst Capital Group Inc. and the Asper family and return to the court with a recommendation by the end of the day. Representatives from Canwest had convened late Friday afternoon and were expected to report back to the court within a couple of hours

Canadian Association of Broadcasters to close June 1

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters says it is planning to shut down after reaching an impasse in the dispute between broadcasters and cable companies. Chairman Elmer Hildebrand says the organization, which represents Canadian radio and television broadcasters, has decided close this June. Hildebrand has been trying since December to help the CAB find common ground between broadcasters and cable operators, who have been forcing increasingly different views on the industry. After reviewing its strategy, the organization concluded that TV operators like CTV and Canwest wouldn't be able to find a common ground with cable companies like Rogers Communications Inc., which have broadcasting assets. Both Canwest and CTV have been pushing for a tax on cable operators like Rogers for carrying over-the-air television signals, an approach that has created a major rift between the two sides. Hildebrand says he hopes to form a new organization in the future that solely represents radio broadcasters.

Asper backs rival bid for CanWest

CanWest Global Communications Corp. has a second suitor. A consortium backed by the Asper family and supported by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will file a $120-million bid for control of the broadcasting company. Toronto-based private equity fund Catalyst Capital Group Inc., a substantial owner of CanWest's bonds, has assembled a rival bid for CanWest to compete with last week's offer by Shaw Communications Inc. In addition to Goldman and the Aspers, the Catalyst group includes two former senior executives from Rogers Communications Inc.: John Tory, the ex-CEO of Rogers' cable division, and television executive Rael Merson, who would be the new chief executive officer of CanWest, according to sources familiar with the details. The Catalyst coalition wants to own 32 per cent of CanWest in exchange for their investment. The offer, if successful, would thwart Shaw's effort to gain control of one of the country's largest conventional TV networks and a collection of coveted specialty cable channels.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gordon Lightfoot very much alive

Major media picks up twitter chat that the warbler of Orillia was gone. Not so, he says.

Olympians heard using vulgarity on NBC TV

Oh dear! Do skiiers say things like that?

Astonishing story of teen fashion blogger

This is what the Planet Guys get for not paying attention. There is a 14-year-old kid named Tavi Gevinson who is apparently challenging grown ups, and being taken seriously, as a worldwide fashion critic. Who knew? She must know something however and her comebacks as to why she isn't in school consist of a nicely put suggestion to mind your own business. This linked story from Derek Cherty of the Star makes no mention of how all this started or where mom and dad fit into the picture. (Just a journalism note Derek). Can it be entirely curiosity value? Jeanne Becker says she's not afraid.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Globe and Mail's Leah to star in British sitcom pilot

And why not? CP story via CBC linked through headline.

Bloomberg News gets a Polk Award

RELEASE -- (Edited) --The Bloomberg News Service has won the George Polk Award for National Reporting. The award recognizes the late Mark Pittman and colleagues Bob Ivry, Alison Fitzgerald and Craig Torres, the Bloomberg reporters who wrote a series of stories seeking transparency and accountability from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This is the second Polk for Bloomberg, which was recognized in 2006 for its health reporting on human drug testing.

CTV staff memo denies Lloyd retirement

" News Staff
Date: Tuesday Feb. 16, 2010 2:27 PM ET
CTV's Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lloyd Robertson says he is staying on the news desk, refuting Internet rumours that said he would be retiring after the Olympic Games.
"A fascinating work of fiction," is how Robertson referred to the rumours on Vancouver talk radio station CKNW.
He said he had no plans at this time to retire.
"I don't know where this comes from, the premise is that I am tired, I am worn out . . . but I'm fine, I'm thriving (here) at the Olympics," Robertson, 76, said.
A media blog late Monday reported that Robertson was planning to tell CTV at a March 3 meeting that he was resigning his post as chief news anchor.
Robertson said that he is anchoring CTV's federal budget coverage on March 4, and would be too busy with his job to have a meeting on March 3.
The blog is run by Howard Bernstein, a former TV producer who has worked for CBC, CTV and Global according to his website.
The post went viral on Tuesday, and was one of Twitter's most trending topics in Canada by mid-afternoon.
Robertson joined CTV in 1976 and has a broadcasting career spanning 50 years. He was voted as Canada's most trusted news anchor by TV Guide readers for 11 years in a row. "

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Phily Metro and Calkins chase classified together

Logo above looks familiar no matter where you live. It's the sign of the Swedish firm that rules the world of free newspapers. In Philadelphia, as in Toronto, Metro has collaborated with a local publisher. In this case, Metro and Calkins Media will offer combined service to try to keep classified advertisers from fleeing to the internet. Release

Bernstein blog pokes through CTV tea leaves

Interesting but inconclusive assessment of when Lloyd will retire, who will replace him. Medium Close Up.

Shaw, Canwest move to appease Goldman

In a pointed missive over the weekend, Goldman lawyers said they were "gravely concerned" that Canwest had entered into a deal to be acquired by Shaw without its knowledge. National Post

Ryan Carter new court photographer in Abu Dhabi

The National is an English language paper in Abu Dhabi. Lots of Canadians seem to work there. This is from the National Press photogs board. "It's with mixed emotions for the staff at The National to announce that staff photographer Ryan Carter, a native of Toronto, Canada, would leave our staff to become the official photographer of the Crown Prince's Court of Abu Dhabi. Since joining our staff Ryan has not only worked tirelessly for The National and Abu Dhabi Media Company but also has worked many many hours for the Executive Affairs Authority (EAA) and HH General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. So while we will miss working with a true professional and gentleman like Ryan and seeing his work on our pages, we're all very excited and happy to see his work recognized in such a noteworthy fashion."

Unknown filmers of Iran protest death win Polk Award

The unnamed people who captured on video and made public the shooting death of an Iranian protester have been chosen as winners of a George Polk Award, the first time the journalism prize has honoured work produced anonymously.

"Re-used language" tempest hits New York Times

Plagiarism by any other name?

von Finckenstein raps broadband "paranoia"

Jacquie McNish and Iain Marlow in the Globe and Mail.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hamas grabs scribe for "suspected harm"

Documentary filmmaker Paul Martin was detained Sunday at a Gaza military tribunal where he was to testify on behalf of a local man accused of collaborating with Israel, said Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ehab Ghussein. He had just begun to speak when the prosecutor ordered police to arrest him, saying the Briton was wanted in the case, according to Ehab Jaber, the attorney for the Gaza man accused of collaborating. "The policeman put the handcuffs on him, and took him out of the court to prison. They were rough with him," said Jaber, who witnessed the scene. Ghussein said Martin, who has produced reports in the past for British Broadcasting Corp. and The Times of London, is suspected of harming Gaza's security. He said the order to detain him for 15 days was based on a confession by a suspected collaborator with Israel — an apparent reference to the man on trial.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

BBC reveals total pay given to radio and TV stars

Totals, but not individual pay.

CBS Denies Advertisers Are Pulling Money Out of TV

A bit of controversy erupted on the floor of Thursday's Association of National Advertisers meeting when a TV executive stood up to challenge gloomy findings being presented from the podium. Advertising Age

Olympics the most-watched TV event

Release on Friday night figures.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

17 feet fall into firepole hole at Anderson Cooper's

An interior designer is suing CNN anchor Anderson Cooper after she took an unusual fall at an old Manhattan firehouse that he is converting into a new home. Killian O'Brien, of Brooklyn, said in her suit that she plunged 17 feet through the hole that once held the station's fire pole. The pole had been removed, but the hole was uncovered.

Toronto Sun Family blog a work of love

Present and past employees blog about their beloved Sun. Folksy and newsy stuff.

Bill Brioux gives NBC edge over CTV at Vcr opening

Canadian Press entertainment writer liked American Olympics commentary better.

Shaw rides to CanWest rescue

Toronto Star analysis.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Case of "inadvertent" plagiarism for Gerald Posner

Posner wrote on his website that he "inadvertently" copied Miami Herald passages into master files and that he "lost sight" that the material belonged to a published source.

Shaw to buy control of Canwest TV, pay creditors

Calgary-based Shaw Communications Corp. (TSX:SJR.B) would own at least 20 per cent of Canwest's equity and 80 per cent of its voting stock after the deal. Jim Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications, waits to address the company's annual meeting in Calgary

List of World Press Photo winners

PHOTO OF THE YEAR, 2009: Pietro Masturzo, Italy, Woman shouting on a rooftop in protest to the presidential election results, Tehran, Iran, 24 June.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Random House signs up Globe's Appleby for book on Col. Williams (release)

TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - Random House Canada announced today that it has acquired BETRAYAL IN UNIFORM: THE SECRET LIFE OF COLONEL RUSSELL WILLIAMS, to be published in late fall of this year. Its author is Timothy Appleby,(pictured) longtime crime reporter and foreign correspondent for The Globe and Mail. Of the book, Appleby says, "As commander of one the biggest military bases in Canada, Colonel David Russell Williams looked to be everything a career military man should be. His shock arrest has left his friends, family, neighbours and the Canadian armed forces reeling - this respected pilot and base commander stands accused of being a serial killer and sexual attacker/fetishist whose alleged exploits could have been lifted from the darkest pages of pulp fiction."

Click on the title for the full release.

CRTC considers regulating wireless

The CRTC said yesterday it may begin regulating the wireless sector in a rare report being called a new "policy manifesto" for the future of the industry. Yet some of the sector's biggest players such as Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. say the report signals an entrenchment of outdated rules. Others said the paper's release hinted at a power play by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission designed to assert its authority against counterparts in the federal government.

How Iran's political battle is fought in cyberspace: BBC

From BBC News: "They called it the "Twitter revolution". Iran's post-election protests showed the world the power of new media to organise and publicise opposition in a controlled society. On the anniversary of the Islamic revolution in 1979, once again Twitter, Facebook and other internet tools could be crucial in helping the opposition organise another major protest. Since Iran's disputed election in June of last year, the cyber war between government and opposition has taken on a whole new dimension."

"Absolutely extraordinary and unprecedented" - that was the role of the internet in Iran's election dispute according to Hamid Dabashi, who presents an opposition webcast to Iran from New York every week.

Click on the title for the full story.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stunning aerial photos of 9/11 attack released to ABC

The images were taken from a police helicopter carrying the only photographer allowed in the air space near the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. They were obtained by ABC News after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which investigated the towers’ collapse.

The still images are “a phenomenal body of work” that show a new, wide-angle look at the towers’ collapse and the gray dust clouds that shrouded the city afterward, said Jan Seidler Ramirez, the chief curator of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which is compiling a digital archive of attack coverage. The photos are “absolutely core to understanding the visual phenomena of what was happening,” Ms. Ramirez said.

The network posted 12 photos this week on its Web site, all taken by Greg Semendinger, a former detective with the New York Police Department’s Aviation Unit, who was first in the air in a search for survivors on the rooftop. He said he and his pilot watched the second plane hit the south tower from the helicopter.

“We didn’t find one single person. It was surreal,” he told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “There was no sound. No sound whatsoever but the noise of the radio and the helicopter. I just kept taking pictures.”

Click on the title to view the full set of the photos.

Michael Burns, Canada's leading horse racing pohotog, dead at 84

Michael Burns was well-known for his thoroughbred photography, which earned him a record seven Sovereign Awards in Canada – the most recent in 2009 – and three Eclipse Awards, the top horse racing award in North America. He was also the official photographer for the Canadian government at five Olympics and covered several Pan Am and Commonwealth Games. He died Tuesday in Toronto at age 84.

Click on the title to read the complete Toronto Star obituary.

Woman charged in hit-run that killed CBC producer

A 20-year-old woman has been charged in the hit-and-run death of Dianne Trottier, a CBC producer who had been crossing a Fredericton street in her wheelchair in 2009.
Trottier, 33, who worked for CBC News in Toronto, was hit by a vehicle while crossing at a crosswalk on Aug. 29. She died later in hospital. Darcie Victoria West of Chipman, N.B., is charged with attempting to obstruct justice by destroying evidence, threatening violence against people to impede justice, and failing to stop to offer assistance, knowing that she was involved in an accident.

Frank Magid, creator of "happy news," dead at 78

Frank N. Magid, 78, the television "news doctor" whose survey research and advice to local television stations in the 1970s resulted in co-anchors who chatted between stories, fast-paced graphics, sports tickers and live shots, and a heavy reliance on both crime coverage and feel-good segments, died of lymphoma Feb. 5 at Santa Barbara [Calif.] Cottage Hospital. "Action News," as Mr. Magid dubbed his format, revolutionized broadcast news operations from Cedar Rapids to Kuala Lumpur.

Two new serious bidders for CanWest

The Globe and Mail says that sources close to the situation say two leading consortiums have been formed to buy CanWest’s chain of 46 newspapers in a deal that could see the winner spend as much as $1-billion.

Paul Godfrey, the president of CanWest’s National Post newspaper and former chief executive officer of the Sun Media chain, is leading one consortium. Sources say he has joined with Vancouver-based phone directory company CanPages Inc., which is backed by U.S. private equity firm Hicks Muse Tate & Furst.

The group also includes at least six top CanWest executives willing to run the operation if the bid is successful. “If you take the list of 10 top executives … at least six or seven of them are there,” said one source familiar with the proposal. CanWest chief executive officer Leonard Asper is not said to be part of the plan.

However, Mr. Godfrey’s consortium will face stiff competition from a rival group that is said to include Vancouver-based Glacier Media Inc., a community newspaper business run by former investment banker Jon Kennedy. Glacier has stakes in 120 community papers and covets CanWest’s community publica

David and Gail Asper resign from Canwest board, Leonard Asper remains

David and Gail Asper,(pictured) the son and daughter of Canwest Global Communications founder Izzy Asper, have resigned from the media conglomerate's board to pursue other interests and help shrink the board's size as the company restructures. Their brother Leonard Asper will remain as chief executive and a director of Canwest, the owner of the Global TV network and a number of newspapers including the National Post, Montreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen

CRTC approves licence for FreeHD

A satellite TV upstart has won limited approval to do business in Canada. The new company, FreeHD Canada Inc., applied in August for permission to offer a package of local television channels for free - if customers agree to buy the equipment necessary to pick up the company's satellite signal. BCE Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. have made similar proposals. FreeHD is also planning to offer an additional package of 150 pay and specialty channels.

Prosecutors: ESPN reporter's stalker had other victims

The man who stalked ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and shot nude videos of her through a hotel room peephole videotaped 16 other women and ran background checks on 30 people, including female sports reporters and TV personalities, according to court documents.
A sentencing memo filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles says Michael Barrett uploaded videos of 16 other women to an online account. Barrett also allegedly conducted 30 Internet background checks that can produce birthdays and home addresses, the document said. The filing did not name the other alleged victims or say what information he obtained or how he may have used it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Corus Entertainment starting movie channel in March aimed at female audience

Corus Entertainment's female-oriented W Movie specialty channel will launch March 1 with a first-month lineup of films that includes "You've Got Mail," "When Harry Met Sally," and "Shakespeare in Love." The channel replaces SexTV, which Corus acquired last year from CTV Globemedia and almost immediately announced it would rebrand. Drive-In Classics, the other channel it bought from CTV in the deal for $40 million, also is getting a new face as a Canadian version of the Sundance Channel.

"With women's movie services representing one of the fastest growing genres in the U.S., we are thrilled to be able to offer Canadian audiences the first dedicated movie channel for women," Susan Ross, Corus's executive vice-president and general manager of specialty and pay television, said in announcing W Movies.

"With the phenomenal success of women-oriented films at the box office, coupled with the huge popularity of our film blocks on W Network, we know that women have a real appetite for movies," added Ross.

Corus says the 24-hour-a-day channel will cater to Women 25 to 54.

Bassett Media cancels deals with Sidetrack Technologies, Haizou Media

Bassett Media Group Corp. has cancelled plans for two previously announced acquisitions. The Toronto-based advertising display company said Tuesday that it has nixed agreements to buy both Sidetrack Technologies Inc. and Haizou Media Corp. after concluding that neither was a strategic fit with its operations. Last August, Bassett said it would buy Sidetrack in a $3-million share-swap agreement that would've shifted the operator of full-motion advertising displays used in subway systems into its hands. In October, it signed a letter of intent to buy Haizou Media Corp., operator of advertising display screens in China, for at least $5 million.
Chief executive Matthew Bassett said that further due diligence led the company to conclude that neither would've worked with its own operations. He said his company continues to search for potential acquisitions. Bassett Media's two primary business units are advertising display companies Impulse Media and Concourse Media.

Super Bowl XLIV breaks ratings record; tops MASH finale

The New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts has become the most-watched programme in US TV history, early figures show. A record 106.5 million people, watched the game last weekend, according to Nielson media. The figure tops the 1983 finale of medical drama M*A*S*H which drew 105.97 million viewers.

Globe's Ian Brown wins Charles Taylor Prize

To explain why they chose his book The Boy in the Moon as this year’s grand prize winner, the jury lauded The Globe and Mail writer for his sensitive exploration of “a netherworld where medicine and morality meet” and for telling the story of his disabled son “with artless candour, quirky humour and unsparing detail.” Now in its tenth year, the Charles Taylor prize is named for another former Globe writer, known for his graceful writing style. The award is administered his widow, Noreen Taylor, and although it is no longer the richest prize for non-fiction in Canada -- the government of British Columbia offers a similar prize worth $40,000, which was also won this year by Ian Brown -- the Taylor prize emphasizes the literary quality of its honorees.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Matt Galloway will replace outgoing host Andy Barrie on CBC’s Metro Morning

Andy Barrie surprised listeners last week by announcing that he planned to retire after 15 years on the microphone with CBC. Today, the CBC tapped Matt Galloway, (shown at left) frequent fill-in host and the man at the head of afternoon show Here and Now to succeed him starting on March 1.

Arrest for murder of high profile officer challenge for media and prosecutors

The media were all over the arrest of Col. Russell Williams for murder and sexual assault. And it became quite clear today that a major challenge for the authorities will be to contain information which might prejudice the trial of Williams. As is usually the case in murder investigations, reporters have information or suspect it, which prosecutors will not want revealed. At his news conference, Det. Insp Nicholas turned away many carefully posed questions. The Belleville Intelligencr noted, "Queries regarding how Williams knew Lloyd and Comeau, how long Lloyd was in her murderer's company before being killed and whether Lloyd's disappearance was an "Internet crime" went unanswered due to the status of the investigation."

Circulation at US magazines falls 2.2 per cent in second half; newsstand sales slip 9.1 per cent

U.S. consumers showed less willingness to spend money for magazines at newsstands and other retail outlets as single-copy sales fell more than nine per cent in the second half of 2009. One positive sign: the drop in newsstand sales was not as severe as in the first half of 2009, when publishers saw a year-over-year decline of 12 per cent, according to figures released Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Still, the figures are troubling for the magazine industry as the weak economy continues to put a damper on spending and consumers have plenty of free reading options available online.

Fire forces CTV Ottawa to move to Market Media Mall

CTV Ottawa says its emergency plan is in place following a fire that destroyed its newsroom on Merivale Road. CTV plans to broadcast out of the 'A' facilities in the Market Media Mall for the foreseeable future, including the 6 pm and 11:30 pm newscasts. The fire severely water-damaged the first floor of the building, including the television studios. CTV Ottawa Station Manager Louis Douville says the fire has had an emotion impact on the staff, adding a lot of memories "went up in smoke." CTV Ottawa has 100 or so full-time staff. There will be a staff meeting on Monday to inform staff where they'll be working for the next couple of weeks. CTV anchor Max Keeping tells CFRA News that CTV Ottawa will have a tough time "re-creating" the archives, but the station will be back on the air.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rather like your genial Uncle Harry from Mississauga (Edmonton Journal pokes fun at The Globe)

"Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper clearly means well when it pulls on the pith helmet and hits the road for the provinces. But sometimes, one wonders if its editors could save themselves some blushing by dropping that rather grand billing of their publication as " Canada's National Newspaper". Last weekend, for example, thebig news here in Canada's sixth-largest city was the opening of our refurbishedart gallery -- on Saturday, in fact. The Globe caught up to the event Tuesday with a report datelined in Vancouver that seemed to take for granted readers knew the Art Gallery of Alberta was in Edmonton, and not the home of the Stampede. Now, in these troubled and economically challenged times . . "

Click on the title to read the whole editorial.

Fire destroys CTV Ottawa newsroom in CJOH Building

A cultural and broadcasting landmark in Ottawa went up in smoke early Sunday morning. A fire started in the CTV Ottawa — formerly CJOH — building’s newsroom around 4:15 a.m. The fire ramped-up to a four-alarm blaze, with a total of 16 firetrucks arriving at the scene at 1500 Merivale Rd. The fire destroyed CTV Ottawa’s newsroom, makeup and equipment rooms, and anchor Max Keeping’s office. Station manager Louis Douville said it’s not yet known if the station’s historical archives, dating back to 1961, were lost. Ottawa Fire platoon chief Dave Stephenson said damage is estimated at around $2.5 million, but that’s expected to rise because officials aren’t sure of the value of all the broadcasting equipment.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Star's public editor on conflicts of interest at the paper

Kathy English, the Star's public editor, deals with two cases of possible conflict of interest. She says that while she did not find any evidence that the journalists involved distorted their work to their own interests, the "reality that perception truly does matter was made clear to me in looking into two recent suggestions of conflict of interest in work published in the Star."

" . . . in both situations, it seems to me that these journalists did not fully consider the imperative to avoid even the perception of a conflict by either stepping away from the assignment or disclosing to readers any facts that might lead to the perception of a conflict," she wrote.

In the first instance, a reader questioned freelance theatre critic Mark Selby's review of the Acting Up Stage Company's production of the musical Light in the Piazza after discovering that Selby was scheduled to perform at a cabaret evening being produced by that same theatre company.

"I do not understand how we can expect an unbiased review from someone who is working for the same company whose show he is reviewing," the reader said in an email, adding that she expects reviews in the Star to be "unbiased and without conflict of interest."

"She's right to hold that expectation. In looking into this, I learned that Selby was booked to play piano at the cabaret production by vocalist Sara Farb, whom he often accompanies. Farb, not the theatre company, employed him and paid his salary, so this was not in fact a direct conflict," English wrote.

"Certainly there's nothing to suggest that Selby's review of the musical was affected by this connection. Still, given that readers did not know these facts, it is the perception of conflict in Selby's three-star review of the musical that's of concern here," English added.

The Star's newsroom also acted to dispel any appearance of conflict of interest following the publication in November of sports reporter Mary Ormsby's Page 1 exclusive report about the Toronto Leaside Girls' Hockey Association's accusations of gender discrimination in the allocation of ice time. That article prompted Mayor David Miller to order that Toronto's public arenas ensure equal access to ice time.

Ormsby's report, and her follow-up story the next day, did not disclose the fact that her 7-year-old daughter plays in the 900-member girls' hockey league. This story was taken over by another reporter after editors became fully aware of Ormsby's connection to the girls' hockey league.

The story was assigned to another reporter after Ormsby told her editors, English said.

Click on the title to read the full column.

Newspaper Guild files labor complaint against Reuters over compensation cuts

The Newspaper Guild accused Reuters of wrongly cutting the pay and benefits of 420 employees, in a complaint filed on Friday with U.S. federal regulators. The union says that Reuters informed employees on Jan. 19 that it was declaring an impasse in year-old contract talks, and would impose new terms unilaterally, in stages over the course of the year. The guild contends that there was no impasse, making the move illegal.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Globe and Mail to publish Sunday edition in B.C. during Olympics

The Globe and Mail plans to enhance its coverage of the Winter Olympics by publishing a Sunday newspaper in B.C., the host province of the Games. The Globe, owned by private media company CTVglobemedia, will include the Sunday edition free to home delivery subscribers in the Lower Mainland, Whistler and Victoria. The edition will also be sold at hundreds of retail stores in Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria for $1.50. The Globe will print 60,000 Sunday copies in B.C.

How many photogs is too many? Interesting N.Y. Times discussion

Photographers from across the globe descended on Haiti last month after the earthquake. As the death toll grew, more photographers arrived — some with a deep history of working in Haiti or in conflict zones, some with neither. Some photographers were sent on assignment, supported by the budgets of large news organizations. Some went on their own dime.

Click on the title to link to the full story.

Canadians more interested in Super Bowl ads than game itself: poll

More Canadians were interested in watching the Super Bowl ads this coming Sunday than the big game itself, according to a new poll. The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey indicates 43 per cent of the people polled hope to see the high-priced commercials, even if they have no intention of watching the game between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. Only 33 per cent of Canadians polled said they hoped to watch the Super Bowl. That's the same percentage of people who said they'd watch the Grey Cup game in November between the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oldies 650 becomes Russian Olympics station

High-level voIP will provide source for local Russian stations to pick up commentary twice a day from Vancouver station.

Adrien Veczan, 24, winner of Tom Hanson Photo Award

A 24-year-old freelance photographer has been named the inaugural winner of the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award.The Canadian Press and the Canadian Journalism Foundation declared Adrian Veczan the winner out of a strong field of hopefuls.Veczan's work has already been featured in such newspapers as the Toronto Star and the Sydney Morning Herald. He will join staff at The Canadian Press for a six-week internship later this year.

Russian editor jailed for anti-Semitic incitement

A court in the Russian city of St. Petersburg has found the editor-in-chief of the newspaper ‘Orthodox Russia’ guilty of incitement to hate against Jews and sentenced him to three years in prison. Konstantin Dushenov is to serve his sentence at a settlement colony, the court told the ‘Interfax’ news agency. Two other people accused of the same crime were handed suspended sentences of 18 months and one year respectively. World Jewish Congress

Indy Russian news site back up after hack attack


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Moonves "bombs" CBS News

On the evening of Monday, Feb. 1, Katie Couric, anchor of the CBS Evening News, was wearing red. For the next half-hour, she tore through the headlines. There were allegations of bigotry among the federal air marshals in the U.S., an American church group accused of trafficking children in Haiti, faulty gas pedals in Toyotas, a suicide bombing in Baghdad, a massacre in Mexico and a bodybuilder in Latvia with a rippled back like a map of Switzerland. “Thank you for watching,” said Ms. Couric, at the end of the broadcast. “I’ll see you here tomorrow.”Many of Ms. Couric’s viewers would return the following night. Much of Ms. Couric’s staff would not. It had been a rough day at CBS News. Four and a half years earlier, CBS chief Les Moonves had joked in The New York Times Magazine about bombing the news division. And now, among the seasoned veterans of the newsroom, there was a sense that the detonation had finally gone off. New York Observer

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Georgia says Moscow killed Russian-language service

The public broadcasting company in the former Soviet republic of Georgia says Russia has pressured a French satellite operator into cancelling transmission of its new Russian-language channel. CP

AP wins new source of revenue from Yahoo

The AP says it is still negotiating to renew its online licensing agreements with two other companies with far deeper pockets, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Google stopped posting fresh AP content on its website in late December. BloggingStocks

Jon Miller wins 2010 Frick Award

Longtime ESPN broadcaster Jon Miller was named the 2010 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award on Monday, beating out Tom Cheek, Dave Van Horne, Jacques Doucet and others for the prize.

Debt financing blows in at WIND

Globalive Wireless Management Corp. (WIND Mobile) today announced its intention to enter into a private debt financing for the purposes of continuing to expand the WIND Mobile network, create new distribution partnerships and for general working capital purposes. Globalive has engaged Canadian and international investment banks to assist in placing the debt financing.
The financing will not impact the ownership and control structure of WIND Mobile. CNW

Why Pepsi chose social media over Super Bowl ads

The epicenter of Pepsi's Refresh Project is an interactive web community, which allows visitors to apply for their own grant, as well as vote for those who have already applied. Pepsi will fund six categories that will contribute to making a difference in the applicant's community. PR Newswire

Monday, February 1, 2010

Goodbye to Journalism 805

"What have you got for the five star?" No more do such shouts and others like it rend City Rooms of the nation. Mark Bonokoski laments the end of the newspapering course at Ryerson.

Recalling history of CFCF radio -- now off the air

Oldest station in Canada, known for most of its life as CFCF, has been unplugged by Corus. Radio lover's site recalls history with some clips and wonderful pictures. Closure of the successor stations marks confluence of marginal old media, the recession and that original challenge to Montreal radio stations, the language split.

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