Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – CAJ condemns journalist assaults, arrests

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) says it’s outraged following numerous assaults and arrests of working reporters at the hands of police as they cover protests sweeping the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s police-involved death in Minneapolis on May 25. Among those that have been targeted are CBC senior correspondent Susan Ormiston, who was shot at with rubber bullets in Minneapolis on Sunday, while Radio-Canada colleague Philippe LeBlanc had his tires slashed. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker says it’s now investigating more than 250 incidents involving journalists. It would ordinarily investigate about 150 complaints in an entire year. Read more here.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the recipients of the 2019 CAJ Awards for outstanding investigative journalism. They include Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed News who won the McGillivray Award for his multi-part look at how one company successfully used Facebook and fake news posts to lure people into subscription-based services that ended up ripping them off. The Charles Bury President’s Award, given under circumstances of exceptional merit to those who have made a significant contribution to Canadian journalism, was presented to Jerome Turner, Jesse Winter and Amber Bracken for their reporting from the Coastal GasLink pipeline standoff in Wet’suwet’en earlier this year under threat of arrest from RCMP. Find the full list of winners, here.

The Canadian Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) says it plans to expand its J-School Noire program, which launched in February in Halifax, to more cities. Designed to introduce Black youth, ages 13-18, to journalism and media, the workshop covers storytelling (on-air and online), conducting interviews, shooting and editing and live reporting. Participants are also connected with Black media professionals, who continue mentoring students even after the workshop ends. Under current social distancing measures, CABJ has been hosting Zoom mentoring sessions, including a recent Q&A with CBC Halifax morning show host Portia Clark

Bell Canada has announced that Ericsson will provide radio access network (RAN) equipment for its national 5G wireless network, while TELUS says it’s selected Ericsson and Nokia to support building its 5G network. Huawei wasn’t mentioned by either company. Perceived as a potential security threat by the U.S., the Americans have warned allies, including Canada and the UK, that it would limit intelligence sharing with those who integrate Huawei equipment into their 5G networks. TELUS CFO Doug French previously indicated in February that the company’s initial 5G rollout would involve Huawei tech. The federal government has yet to release the results of its own risk assessment.

BCE has agreed to sell 25 data centres at 13 sites to global interconnection and data centre company Equinix, Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at CDN $1.04 billion. Equinix is acquiring Bell data centre facilities in eight cities across Canada, while Bell will continue to own and operate five other data centres in Calgary, Halifax, Saint John, St. John’s and Toronto. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2020.

Rogers Communications has started hiring for its new B.C. customer solution centre in Kelowna, which will bring 350 new jobs into the local economy by 2021. All positions will be work from home until the new centre can be safely opened. Employees at the new centre will handle approximately one million Rogers and Fido customer interactions each year.

Rogers Centre, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays, is set to become the temporary home to 10 million pounds of food, as Rogers and Jays Care Foundation support Food Banks Canada with new initiative Step Up to the Plate. With food banks continuing to battle food donation shortages and significant drops in volunteers, Rogers Centre will house 6,000 pallets of food that will be sorted into food hampers on the field and delivered across the country to families in need. Each hamper will be filled with non-perishable food items, providing one individual with a week’s worth of food. Hundreds of Rogers employees and their families will be volunteering to stuff the food hampers as part of Rogers’s annual “Give Together” volunteer program. The company will also be tapping its mobile retail team, Rogers Pro On-the-Go, to help with deliveries on the ground. The goal is to fill 390,000 hampers, for a total of 8 million meals.