The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Radio Council is calling for foreign-based digital audio and music services like Spotify and YouTube to be brought under the Broadcasting Act. In its submission to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel, the Radio Council says it believes “that the best way that communications legislation can promote access to Canadian voices on all platforms, in both official languages, is to make it explicitly clear that digital platforms are captured by Commission regulation.” The council, which represents 500 AM and FM radio stations, argues that essentially most online foreign services already fall under the definition of a broadcast undertaking. It makes the call to have the Broadcast Act encompass those operators in the context of what it terms “disturbing trends” driven by an exodus of advertising revenue to digital platforms. The council says to stay competitive, private radio must be allowed to increase operational efficiencies through the elimination of outdated regulations and restrictions that applied in a pre-internet era. It specifically wants to see a relaxation of rules that prevent radio operators from owning more than two FM stations in any market. The council’s submission also calls for “greater clarity on, and criteria for CBC/Radio-Canada’s digital initiatives, including digital advertising.” Read the full story here.
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Informed Opinions, a project of Media Action – a not-for-profit that aims to boost representation of women and girls in the media – has found that women are quoted three times less than men in Canadian news stories. Informed Opinions has released a new tool newsrooms can use to check themselves. The Gender Gap tracker has been mining data since August from online news sources like CTV, CBC News, Global, HuffPost and the National Post, among others. The Financial Times implemented a similar tool last year after finding it was over-quoting men, with only 21 per cent of its sources women.
CBC/Radio-Canada president Catherine Tait raised eyebrows at Prime Time in Ottawa after equating Netflix and its increasing worldwide domination with cultural imperialism. Tait went “a little off script” telling Stephane Cardin, Netflix’s director of public policy in Canada, that the streaming giant’s global expansion reminded her of the former British and French empires. Tait cautioned that Canada stands to pay a steep cultural price if foreign OTT operators continue to have unchecked access to the television and digital space.
Videotron employees in the Eastern Quebec and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean regions have ratified tentative agreements reached on Dec. 21, 2018 with the union executive of CUPE Union Local 1417. The collective agreements are renewed through the end of 2020.
ABC Communications has announced a plan to conduct internet service trials in Lac La Hache, BC, using Huawei’s next-generation Massive MIMO Rural Broadband System. Massive MIMO delivers internet speeds of up to 100 mbps for rural residents. Developed in large part by Huawei’s Canada Research Centre team over the last decade, Massive MIMO antenna equipment can simultaneously receive and transmit more than one data signal. As a result, one Massive MIMO antenna can operate at the same efficiency and effectiveness as multiple antennas. It also utilizes beamforming technology, which improves the connection range.
Bell says this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day raised $7,272,134.95 for Canadian mental health programs. Total Bell Let’s Talk Day messages of support Jan. 30 amounted to 145,442,699 between midnight in Newfoundland and Labrador and midnight in B.C., with Bell donating five cents to the Bell Let’s Talk fund for each interaction. Eligible Bell Let’s Talk interactions were up by more than five per cent over last year, including Bell mobile calls, long-distance calls and texts, as well as tweets, retweets, filters, frames and video views on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Social media engagement was up 13 per cent, with Bell crediting, in part, support from social media influencers like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, members of the Royal Family, and celebrities including Shawn Mendes, Celine Dion and Shania Twain. Bell’s total funding commitment to Canadian mental health now stands at $100,695,763.75, since its first event in 2011, including its original $50 million donation that launched the initiative. Read more here.
CBC has launched its CBC COMEDY’S NEXT UP contest that offers amateur comics a chance to win a performance slot at the 2019 Ha!ifax ComedyFest, April 24-28. Online submissions are open now at cbc.ca/nextup. Interested burgeoning comedians are invited to submit a 60-to-90-second video of their best material before Feb. 21. The contest will be complemented by a series of online videos exploring the state of comedy in Canada from a variety of perspectives, including new women of comedy, comedy in the North and how comedy is flourishing in Indigenous communities.
Veritas – Advancing Journalism in the Public Interest is teaming up with Investigative Reporters and Editors to host Investigative Journalism Across Borders, its third international conference, May 4-5 in Toronto. The conference training is designed for reporters, editors and producers from newspapers, TV, radio stations, web and digital-only news sites and news blogs, as well as academics. Confirmed speakers and panelists for the conference include: Susanne Craig (New York Times); Tanya Talaga (Toronto Star); Harvey Cashore (CBC fifth estate); Peter Klein (60 Minutes, University of British Columbia School of Journalism); Lynn McAuley (Toronto Star); and Patti Sonntag (Institute for Investigative Reporting, Concordia University), among others. Register here.
The Michener Awards Foundation is reminding news organizations and journalists that the deadline is less than three weeks away for entries and applications for the annual Michener Award and two fellowships. News organizations whose journalism achieved results for the public good in 2018 are encouraged to enter the competition. Qualifying journalists and news organizations are also urged to apply for two Michener-Deacon Fellowships for investigative reporting. Both offer $40,000 and $5,000 in expenses. The deadline for both the Award entries and Fellowship applications is Feb. 22. Learn more at michenerawards.ca
Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry celebrated his 85th birthday on Tuesday. Part of the HNIC broadcasts since 1980, the CBC’s Tim Wharnsby makes the case to honour “Grapes” with the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Award, presented annually to the person who makes “outstanding contributions to their profession and the game of hockey through their broadcasting career.”
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