Mitch Joel WARNING... LONG RANT! It takes a lot for me to both get angry and publish about it. Canada’s…
Media matters 2011
2011: Media Deaths and Births
(The New Yorker) There have been so many important media and digital births this year: Amazon released four new low-priced Kindles, Google changed its C.E.O., LinkedIn went public, and a contentious and momentous copyright battle brewed in Congress between content and digital-platform companies. But at year’s end my mind keeps returning to the subject of death: one figurative, and two literal.
1. Rupert Murdoch’s dynasty.
2. Steve Jobs.
3. Daniel Burke. This year also marked the passing, this fall, of Daniel Burke, who, with Thomas Murphy, built Cap Cities from a small group of TV stations to become owner of ABC and ESPN.
Speaking out against press restrictions
(Westmount Examiner) Beryl Wajsman is fond of pointing out that there are only five countries in the world where governments are involved in the accreditation of journalists: Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea, China and Iran. Not exactly bastions of liberty and free speech.
Wajsman, local radio host and editor of Montreal publications including The Suburban, presented the public lecture to take aim at the Quebec government’s proposed plan to begin accrediting journalists.
He said that by accepting government control, journalists would no longer be able to fulfill their most important function: to advocate for citizens who are facing injustices, often at the hands of the authorities.
Wayne Larsen: Accreditation, anyone?
(Westmount Examiner) The question of who is a journalist is currently a hot topic in Quebec, where the provincial culture minister is reportedly about to table a bill that would grant official accreditation to certain journalists – in other words, deciding who can or cannot practice the profession as an “accredited” journalist. This would certainly lead to profound repercussions across the entire media landscape, not just in Quebec.
In a National Post article earlier this year, local editor Beryl Wajsman pointed out the dangerously absurd notion of a government choosing its journalists. Under this legislation, it is feared, bloggers would find themselves out in the cold – unwelcome at press conferences and all but shut out of the news-gathering process and ongoing media discourse.
Journalistic Success, Economic Failure — Can Free Web Content Save The Guardian?
What Wikileaks Tells Us About Al Jazeera
Is the rapidly expanding Middle East satellite television network and voice of the Arab Spring as independent as it claims?
Première Chaîne – Duceppe se retire et Languirand, retiré des ondes, attire des appuis
Anne Lagacé Dowson reviews Page One: Inside the New York Times, directed by Andrew Rossi. A MUST-SEE documentary
“The New York Times is a magisterial newspaper. It has won over 100 Pulitzer Prizes. In 1896, when Adolph Ochs bought it, he came up with the line “All the news that’s fit to print.” Its mission was to rise above the yellow journalism of the tabloid papers that dominated the market at that time. Incidentally, the flagship of modern yellow journalism, Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, has been garrotted by its owners recently, for reasons other than money.
“The documentary picks up the trail of the Times in 2009. All across the media universe, but especially in newspapers, revenues from classified sections were collapsing, replaced by free sites like Kijiji and Craigslist. At the Times, 100 employees were asked to take early retirement. For the first time ever the newspaper of record seemed threatened. Rossi found himself in the middle of the maelstrom and an idea came to him – he started shooting.
Rossi got the kind of access to the paper’s inner workings that filmmakers dream of. He went into the midtown Manhattan headquarters of the paper every day.” Read on See also takepart.com with clips and interviews ; (National Post) Page One star on an atypical year at the New York Times – there had to be a Canadian connection: “[Bruce] Headlam, an Elmira, Ont., native who worked in Toronto for a number of years before moving to New York … ”
News Corp. pulls plug on BSkyB takeover
Murdoch, savaged in parliament, pulls British TV bid
(Ottawa Citizen) “Now it’s a new era. Political leaders will be falling over themselves to avoid close contact with media conglomerates. This is a turning of the tide. It’s parliament versus Murdoch.”
8 – 11 July
Kai Nagata: Why I quit my job – Manifesto, cri de coeur, or self-indulgent rant? It seems that it all depends on your age and/or political persuasion. Reactions range from hero worship to huffy. See The Mark for some less-than-impressed reactions from some of the media. On the other hand, read the Comments on Tyee ; (CBC) TV reporter’s job-quitting manifesto goes viral
International Conference Examining Media and Higher Education Set for Toronto June 16-18, 2011
Can higher education trust the media? Does journalism help keep education honest? These are two of many provocative topics that will be debated by an international audience of media and academics June 16 to 18 at the first annual Worldviews Conference.
Hundreds of journalists, academics, and researchers are set to tackle issues surrounding the transformation of information from the ivory tower to the broader audience in this new era of digital media. This conference will play a key role in stimulating a much-needed conversation on how higher education and media interact. The organizers hope it will lead to better relationships between journalists and academics, as well as innovations in the coverage of higher education around the world.
Arianna Huffington: HuffPost Goes International: Introducing HuffPost Canada
Graham Moysey, our general manager, and Brad Cressman, our head of content … have been joined by Kenny Yum and Rashida Jeeva, who come to us from the Globe and Mail, as does Brodie Fenlon who was part of a team that won a 2010 National Newspaper Award in the Multimedia category for a year-long study of a Haitian community after the earthquake. Rounding out the team is senior editor Lisa Yeung.
I’m also personally delighted that my great friend Heather Reisman, the CEO of Indigo Books and Music, will be joining us as HuffPost Canada’s editor-at-large.
UN commends imprisoned Iranian journalist
UNESCO has awarded Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi with the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for “his exceptional courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression, democracy, human rights, tolerance and humanity.” Zeidabadi is serving a six-year jail sentence on charges of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government through a “soft revolution,” and faces an additional five years of internal exile as well as a lifetime ban from reporting in Iran. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement congratulating Zeidabadi on the award. United Press International (4/7)
Fox drops a demagogue
Fox’s announcement that Mr. Beck will end his weekday show this year signals more than the parting of the top U.S. cable news network and its most notorious property. It underscores a shift in the national mood.
Huffing and Puffing
(Vanity Fair, February 2011) Reminiscent of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Arianna Huffington is being sued by two political consultants, Peter Daou and James Boyce, who claim a critical role in creating her top-ranked Web site, the Huffington Post.
These are the perils when we outsource war reporting
(The Independent) Reporters who are clearly ‘foreign’ can be forgiven for making ‘mistakes’. ‘Locals’ who take the other side are seen as traitors Only one day after this piece was published, its thesis was confirmed: Al Jazeera staffer killed in Libya
Cameraman Ali Hassan Al Jaber was returning to eastern city of Benghazi from filing report when he was shot and killed.
David Broder, Political Journalist, Dies at 81
Mr. Broder, whose last column was published on Feb. 6, was often called the dean of the Washington press corps. He was a fixture at The Post for more than four decades, and his influence was national in scope. His column was syndicated around the country, and he made more guest appearances on “Meet the Press” than any other journalist.
NPR CEO Vivian Schiller Resigns
NPR chairman Dave Edwards said Wednesday that accepting Schiller’s resignation was difficult. She stepped down a day after a conservative activist posted a video showing NPR executive Ron Schiller calling tea party Republicans xenophobic and racist.
Sarah Palin ‘Not Afraid’ Of Jon Stewart, Says Aide
(HuffPost) Palin has been invited numerous times by Stewart, most recently on Jan. 18 during an extended mockathon. “Join me — I would love to have a conversation with you. We’ll do it in my studio, your wilderness utopia,” Stewart quipped. “You could have Glenn Beck sit next to us or between us. I want him to come on too. He won’t do it either. I promise a pleasant, respectful and classy conversation.”
Asked for comment, Palin aide and unofficial spokeswoman Rebecca Mansour emailed The Huffington Post, claiming that Palin “doesn’t recall being invited on Jon Stewart’s show” and that no one at her political action committee, SarahPAC “remembers seeing an invitation,” adding that the former governor’s Fox News contract precludes her from appearing on other networks without approval.
(HuffPost) Hillary Clinton Calls Al Jazeera ‘Real News,’ Criticizes U.S. Media (March 5 Update: Hillary Clinton’s Al Jazeera Comments Draw Attention Of U.S. Media
Beryl Wajsman: Quebec report would submit journalists to state controls
(National Post) In late 2009, Dominique Payette, a former journalist and now professor at the Université de Montreal, was mandated by Quebec Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre to study strategies for strengthening the province’s media in the face of new information technologies. Her final report, presented this month, went far beyond that mandate. In fact, it is the greatest affront to free expression in Quebec since the creation of the province’s infamous anti-English language laws. It deserves a resounding rejection.
Among her 51 recommendations are the following: mandatory membership by all news organizations in the Quebec Press Council; use of the state’s spending power to coerce membership in this council by threatening to withdraw provincial advertising from all those that will not submit; vesting the council (now a voluntary organization with only moral suasion) with sanction power; controlling who is called a “journalist” by organizing a professional corporation to control admission, and demanding language testing for all those seeking such accreditation. “Accredited” journalists would be given preference over non-accredited journalists on matters ranging from government information flow to protection of sources.
CRTC receives thousands of comments on ‘false and misleading news’ amendment
(Simon Doyle, Embassy Magazine) A small and seemingly technical regulatory change under way at the CRTC about the broadcasting of false and misleading news has inadvertently drawn thousands of public comments directed at the commission.
But as CRTC staff sort through unhappy messages about a “completely unacceptable” amendment that would create the ability to “manipulate” the news, it was a parliamentary committee that, as recently as December, has spearheaded a push for the regulatory change.
CRTC plan to lift ban on false news prompts political investigation
A CRTC proposal that could make it easier to broadcast false or misleading news has prompted confusion and criticism among opposition MPs and consternation in at least one of the unions that represents Canadian journalists.
It has also led to allegations of interference by the Prime Minister’s Office and a hastily called investigation by federal politicians, who were caught off guard by the move. … on Jan. 10, the commission announced it was seeking comments on a proposal to change the wording of the regulation to say that it applied only in cases in which broadcasters knew the information was false or misleading and that reporting it was likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public. The cut-off date for public input was set at Feb. 9.
AOL Makes an Expensive Bet With Huffington Post Deal
(WSJ) In its fight for survival, AOL Inc. is paying a rich price to hitch itself to a digital-media juggernaut, the Huffington Post, and its outspoken celebrity co-founder and editor-in-chief, Arianna Huffington.
Ms. Huffington, who signed a multi-year contract with the company, said she wants to apply the Huffington Post model—a combination of original reporting and aggregated content — to AOL. She said that she plans to move to New York and deploy a similar editorial management structure that she has pursued at the Huffington Post: selecting big-name editors from established publications like Newsweek and the New York Times with young reporters straight out of college.
Huffington Post sold to AOL for $315m
(The Guardian) Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington sells her site to AOL for $315m in deal branded ‘1+1 = 11’ (The Economist) 80:80 vision — Why AOL wants the Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington — When HuffPost Met AOL: “A Merger of Visions”
I’ve used this space to make all sorts of important HuffPost announcements: new sections, new additions to the HuffPost team, new HuffPost features and new apps. But none of them can hold a candle to what we are announcing today.
… before the first course was served — with an energy and enthusiasm I’d soon come to know is his default operating position — Tim said he wanted to buy The Huffington Post and put all of AOL’s content under a newly formed Huffington Post Media Group, with me as its president and editor-in-chief.
… Things moved very quickly. A term sheet was produced, due diligence began, and on Super Bowl Sunday the deal was signed. In fact, it was actually signed at the Super Bowl, where Tim was hosting a group of wounded vets from the Screamin’ Eagles. It was my first Super Bowl — an incredibly exciting backdrop that mirrored my excitement about the merger and the future ahead.
By combining HuffPost with AOL’s network of sites, thriving video initiative, local focus, and international reach, we know we’ll be creating a company that can have an enormous impact, reaching a global audience on every imaginable platform.
Comcast Receives Approval for NBC Universal Merger
(NYT) The combination of Comcast’s cable and Internet systems and NBC Universal’s channels will create a media powerhouse, and it will be the first time a cable company will control a major broadcast network.
With the government approvals in hand, Comcast executives can now participate in management decisions at NBC Universal — which they have been champing at the bit to do — though they cannot formally lead the company until the deal closes, which is expected by the end of the month.
Hungary’s new media law has fast impact
Popular Hungarian radio personalities have begun to disappear off the air as a new law on media freedoms comes into effect. In one case, a host on a pro-government station asked for a moment of silence to protest the new legislation and was promptly taken off the air. The new law has drawn criticism from governments across Europe. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (1/7)