Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Eric Rankin, Lis Travers among RTDNA Lifetime Achievement recipients

RTDNA Regional Lifetime Achievement Award honourees (l-r) Eric Rankin, Lis Travers, Harry Forestell, Paul Dunphy, and Janet Brown.

RTDNA Canada has announced its regional award winners in the East, Central, Prairie and West Regions. The association has also revealed this year’s Lifetime Achievement recipients which include broadcast news veterans Lis Travers, Sharon Murphy, Eric Rankin, Dave Barry, Harry Forestell, Peter Wugalter, Paul Dunphy, Donna Allen, and Janet Brown. Read more about this year’s honourees, here.

The Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJAs) has announced the 2020 finalists with Gold and Silver winners to be announced in early June. Those up for Best Television Broadcast include NTV St. John’s Evening Newshour; Radio-Canada Acadie Moncton’s Le Téléjournal Acadie; and CBC P.E.I.’s Compass. Radio-Canada Acadie is also nominated for Best Radio Newcast for ICI le midi, alongside CBC P.E.I. and VOCM St. John’s News at Noon.

 

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has concluded that French-language all-news channel LCN breached the Radio Television Digital News Association’s (RTDNA) Code of Journalistic Ethics during its live coverage of an alleged hostage situation broadcast on Nov. 13, 2020. The CBSC concluded in its decision that the station divulged critical information while the emergency response operation was in progress and failed to demonstrate sensitivity and restraint in information gathering. The police operation in question took place in Montreal in response to a phone call alleging there was a hostage taking inside Ubisoft’s offices. The station broadcast images of the police tactical unit around the building, as well as of people gathered on the rooftop terrace with the doors barricaded, which were obtained by the station’s helicopter. A team of reporters on the scene tried to gather information from bystanders and reporter Yves Poirier even opened the door of an ambulance to question people inside. Read more here.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is calling on the courts to limit the powers of the RCMP and other police agencies when issuing injunctions. The call comes after the RCMP temporarily blocked media access to the Fairy Creek watershed, near Port Renfrew, BC as police were set to enforce an injunction and remove demonstrators who have been blocking logging of an old-growth forest since last summer. The CAJ says the key problem is a clause typically included in most injunctions which gives police broad discretionary powers to detain or arrest anyone violating the order or interfering with police actions. In spirit, the clause is meant to allow police to remove demonstrators who are the subject of the injunction. However, CAJ says police have repeatedly used the clause to deny access to journalists and arrest or detain them. The CAJ is monitoring the press freedom situation on the ground and is asking journalists who have had their ability to report impeded by police to contact the association. 

CBC has lost its lawsuit against the Conservative Party of Canada over the use of the public broadcaster’s material in ads during the 2019 federal election. The ads included brief excerpts of CBC News reports, in addition to clips from the English-language leaders’ debate re-purposed in a series of four tweets. The court concluded that the party’s use of the CBC works was fair.

CBC/Radio-Canada is issuing an open invitation to its Annual Public Meeting on June 16. Hosted by Le Téléjournal’s Céline Galipeau, the virtual event will allow Canadians to hear from six CBC/Radio-Canada foreign correspondents about the impact of fake news, the rise of online hate, and the increasing threats facing journalists worldwide. Michael Goldbloom, Chair of the Board of Directors, and Catherine Tait, President and CEO, will also provide an update to Canadians on the state of their national public broadcaster in a segment hosted by CBC Montreal’s Catherine Verdon-Diamond. The event will be streamed live on CBC/Radio-Canada’s corporate website and Facebook

Quebecor has released consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2021. Revenues were $1.09 billion, up $35.6 million (3.4%) from the same period of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA was up $16.0 million (3.7%) to $452.7 million. Net income attributable to shareholders was $121.3 million ($0.49 per basic share), a decrease of $10.3 million ($0.03 per basic share). The Telecommunications segment grew its revenues by $39.3 million (4.5%) and its adjusted EBITDA by $15.4 million (3.5%) in the first quarter of 2021. Videotron significantly increased its revenues from mobile services and equipment ($23.0 million or 11.1%), Internet access ($19.1 million or 6.9%) and wireline equipment ($18.4 million or 65.0%) in Q1.

Xplornet Communications has closed the acquisition of TowerCo Inc.’s tower assets in Manitoba. With the acquisition of more than 160 wireless communications towers located across rural Manitoba, Xplornet is executing on its infrastructure investment plans to accelerate the deployment of its 5G broadband network and expand mobility coverage throughout rural Manitoba. In recent years, Xplornet has focused on building its network in Manitoba, with both Xplore Mobile and Xplornet Enterprise Solutions headquartered in Brandon, MB, as well as the recent acquisition of CCI Wireless and its Manitoba subsidiary, WiBand Communications.