Rogers Communications has announced new agreements with SpaceX and Lynk Global to bring satellite-to-phone coverage to Canadians in areas that aren’t being served by traditional wireless networks, pending regulatory approval. Rogers will leverage SpaceX’s Starlink low earth orbit satellites and Rogers national wireless spectrum, in addition to a partnership with Lynk Global, to bring coverage to remote areas that currently remain unconnected including national parks, rural highways and remote wilderness areas. It will start with satellite coverage for SMS text and eventually extend to voice and data. The technology, which is already in use in the U.S., would be a first for Canada. Once commercially available, satellite-to-phone coverage would work with all 5G and 4G smartphones, supporting SMS and MMS text and enabling Canadians to reach 9-1-1 as first responders and emergency services upgrade their systems for emergency SMS texting. Read more here.
The CRTC says that the current strike by members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) may impact the release of commission decisions. A post to the commission’s website cautions that “Due to the labour dispute, there may be service and publication delays and we may not be able to meet our usual service standards.”
The BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) will host its first gathering since 2019 next week as the 73rd BCAB Conference converges on the River Rock Casino in Richmond, BC on May 4. BCAB President Rob Germain says the streamlined, one-day event is aimed at making the association’s first conference, post-pandemic, as accessible as possible. With the rapid progression of digital adoption during the pandemic, Germain said this year’s conference will include discussion on meeting audiences where they are as well as celebrating the industry’s strengths. The event is headlined by keynote speaker Jim Pattison, CEO and Chairman of the Jim Pattison Group. Germain said registration for this year’s event is on par with the organization’s 2019 conference, but they would like to see as many people as possible come out. Read more here.
Niagara College School of Media Professor Peter VandenBerg was honoured this week with national and global recognition for his dedication to student success. VandenBerg, Program Coordinator of Niagara College’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film (BRTF) program, known to students and colleagues as “Dutch,” received two awards – a Gold Leadership Excellence Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and an Outstanding Educator Award at the Silver level from the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP). A 1993 graduate of the BRTF program, VandenBerg began teaching in the program in 2009 and is known for actively seeking unique learning opportunities for students to apply their skills via industry partnerships. Read more here.
The Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJAs) were handed out April 20 in three separate events at College of the North Atlantic (St. John’s, NL); University of King’s College (Halifax, NS) and St. Thomas University (Fredericton, NB). Among the winners in the Radio category were VOCM St. John’s, which won Gold for Breaking News for its Hurricane Fiona coverage. The CBC St. John’s Morning Show was named Best Information News Radio Program, with CityNews Halifax morning show The Morning News securing Gold for Best Newscast. In the Television categories, ICI Acadie’s Alix Villeneuve, who is based in Fredericton, claimed Best Videojournalist, while CBC P.E.I.’s “Compass” was named Best Newscast. The awards ceremonies will be broadcast on Eastlink Community TV at 10 p.m. AT every Thursday during May, and also available via Eastlink On Demand.
The Michener Awards Foundation, celebrating the best in public service journalism, has announced its 2023 Michener-Deacon Fellowship has been awarded to Molly Thomas for her investigative project “Afghanistan’s Secret Schools: Version 2.0.” Thomas’ project focuses on efforts to keep a Canadian promise alive — access to education for Afghan women. Thomas has been a correspondent with CTV’s W5 since 2020. The Michener-L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship goes to Sarah Trick and Alanna King to create a new style guide for Canadian media to help journalists cover disabilities thoughtfully, accurately and with nuance. Trick, the lead journalist on the project, is a multiply-disabled, neurodivergent digital media producer at TVO, while King is also employed at TVO as an instructional liaison. Each fellowship is worth $40,000 plus $5,000 in expenses.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has announced its shortlist for the annual CJF Award for Climate Solutions Reporting that celebrates a journalist or team of journalists whose work shines a spotlight on climate change and innovative solutions. The three finalists for the $10,000 prize are: CBC’s The Fifth Estate for The Big Burn, a report about “green-washing” in Canada’s wood pellet industry (Allya Davidson, Harvey Cashore, Lynette Fortune, Lyndsay Duncombe and Diana Swain); The Narwhal for its reporting on Indigenous-led conservation efforts (Emma Gilchrist, Jimmy Thomson, Carol Linnitt, Shawn Parkinson, Arik Ligeti, Ashley Tam, Stephanie Kwetásel’wet Wood, Lindsay Sample, Taylor Roades and Jesse Winter); and Kristin Nelson for stories produced for CBC Radio about individuals grappling with the realities of climate change, including The Last Coal Miners for The Doc Project. Finalist story submissions are available on the CJF awards page.
The Jack Webster Foundation has announced the recipients of its Professional Development Fellowships for 2023. They include Tamara Baluja, a producer at CBC Vancouver, who is completing a Master in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King’s College where she’ll learn writing techniques and structures for memoirs, personal reflections and opinion writing; Alistair Taylor, Editor, Campbell River Mirror, who has enrolled in the Stylistic Editing course offered through Simon Fraser University; and freelance Vancouver photojournalist Tallulah, the recipient of a self-defined fellowship that will assist her further studies of documentary filmmaking at UNBC. Tallulah’s fellowship is in the name of the late B.C. reporter, Don Matheson, whose estate has provided funding for professional development awards for B.C. born journalists.
RTDNA Canada will host its next webinar on May 1, featuring Global News’ National Online Journalist Craig Lord presenting on how to write financial stories for real people. Lord will share tips on how to break down the big financial news of the day. Click here to register.