CBC/Radio-Canada president Catherine Tait presented a vision for a thriving Canadian cultural sector at the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal last week. Tait said while digital presents challenges, “it also presents an opportunity, and an unprecedented springboard for Canadian content.” Tait asserted that at a time when Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Spotify are undermining cultural sovereignty, she wants CBC/Radio-Canada to be “a spearhead for Canadian content in international markets” – one of the pillars of the corp’s forthcoming strategic plan this spring. To strengthen Canada’s place in the global media market, Tait said she wants to encourage greater cooperation among Canadian media companies, while leveraging Canada’s strengths in podcasting and kids programming.
BCE has reported Q1 2019 results, including 50,000 postpaid net wireless customer additions and its lowest postpaid customer churn in 15 years. Wireless delivered 4.5% increase in revenue and 11.6% higher adjusted EBITDA. Broadband Internet and IPTV market share was up 37.4% with 44,000 net additions. The Media segment’s adjusted EBITDA was up 26.9% on higher TV advertising revenue and lower costs. Net earnings grew 11.6% to $791 million; net earnings attributable to common shareholders increased 12.0% to $740 million, or $0.82 per common share; adjusted net earnings of $692 million generated adjusted EPS of $0.77, down 3.8%.
The Province of Quebec’s so-called “Netflix tax,” which kicked in in January, has injected more than $15-million into provincial coffers thus far, double the amount forecast. Netflix, Spotify, Apple and Amazon are among the companies who’ve agreed to the 9.975% QST.
Global Affairs Canada has announced $11.7 million in funding to launch Journalists for Human Rights’ program “Canada World: Voice for Women and Girls” in the Middle East, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. The project, includes media partners APTN, Bell Media/CTV News, CBC, Corus/Global TV, La Presse, and National Post. The program will pair Canadian media expertise with local independent media in those countries to work on media development to improve local coverage of human rights, and increase the participation of women and girls in public life. The project will build the capacity of over 1,000 journalists, 640 journalism students and 650 key stakeholders, engaging over 600,000 citizens in the targeted regions.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) handed out its annual awards over the weekend at the conclusion of the 2019 CAJ Conference in Winnipeg. Recognizing outstanding investigative journalism, the recipients included Laura Kane and Aleksandra Sagan of The Canadian Press, who won the year’s top investigative prize, the McGillivray Award, for their entry Contagion: Edging closer to a world without antibiotics. Contagion, which was also recognized in the Open Media category, looked at the challenge of how to deal with potentially fatal antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Jeremy Cohn, one of the photojournalists arrested by Hamilton Police at the scene of a fatal crash in Waterdown, ON in May 2017, accepted the Charles Bury Award, given under circumstances of exceptional merit to those people or organizations that have made a significant contribution to Canadian journalism. Find the full list of honourees here.
Gerry Belec will receive the 2019 RTDNA Bill Hutton Award of Excellence. Formerly known as the “Friend of RTDNA Canada Award” the award was renamed in 2009 to honour the late Bill Hutton, RTDNA Canada’s first president. Belec is the Director of News Technology and Operations for Global News. He has more than 30 years’ experience, starting at BCTV in the mid-eighties where he managed the computer graphics department for more than a decade. Following BCTV, he spent several years travelling the world overseeing the implementation of state of art graphics systems for international clients as a Broadcast Product Specialist for Pinnacle Systems. Belect has also led design of live video effects for three consecutive Grateful Dead summer tours, was in charge of the 3D stereoscopic animation show during the KISS 3D Psycho Circus Tour and created the video and graphic elements for Janet Jackson’s 2001 World Tour. Belec joined Global in 2006, spearheading the move to automated control rooms and was key in the development of Global News’ MMC (multi-market content) production model, which was awarded the 2009 Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award and the 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation. Belec will be recognized during the Awards Gala Dinner on May 11 during the 2019 National Conference & Awards Gala.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has released shortlists for the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism, recognizing news organizations that have a profound and positive impact on the communities they serve. The five finalists in the large media category (more than 50 full-time employees) are: CBC News for its Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo podcast; CBC News for “Deadly Force,” which documented fatal police encounters from 2000-17; The Globe and Mail for investigating aging wells, in which major companies routinely offload energy assets burdened with hefty cleanup costs onto smaller players with scant ability to pay for cleanup; National Post – Postmedia Network for compiling more than five million records to create the country’s first central, searchable database of political donations; Toronto Star for its “Medical Disorder” investigation revealing a patchwork of rules and disclosure policies that allow doctors on both sides of the border to leave behind documented histories of crime, sexual misconduct, incompetence and fraud. The finalists in the small media category are: CBC Saskatchewan for digital legacy project “Beyond 94” that includes a teacher’s guide measuring Canada’s progress in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action; National Observer for revealing how the Canadian government made a politically motivated decision to approve the major Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain west coast pipeline project without adequate review; Regina Leader-Post/Saskatoon StarPhoenix for coverage of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash; St. Catharines Standard for a major series called “All the Chair’s Men” that exposed corruption at the Regional Municipality of Niagara; and Saint John Telegraph-Journal for an investigation into unmanned ambulances and paramedic shortages. The winners will be announced at the CJF Awards June 13 in Toronto.
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