Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Coalition to take Fairy Creek media access issue to court

The police presence at the Fairy Creek watershed, near Port Renfrew, B.C., the site of ongoing old-growth logging demonstrations.

APTN, Ricochet Media, The Narwhal, Capital Daily, Canada’s National Observer, The Discourse, IndigiNews, Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) are part of a coalition planning to file a court application guaranteeing journalists substantive access to cover the ongoing old-growth logging demonstration in the Fairy Creek watershed, near Port Renfrew, B.C. The coalition has sent a formal letter to the RCMP calling for an immediate end to journalist exclusion zones; that journalists be allowed close enough to unfolding events to record video and sound, conduct interviews and take photographs; that the RCMP refrain from using physical obstructions that block the view or prevent the media from capturing audio; and that arrest or detainment of journalists and seizure or interference with equipment cease. Read more here.

Robert Jones

The Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJAs) have announced that retired CBC P.E.I. executive producer Donna Allen and Robert Jones of CBC New Brunswick will be inducted into the Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame. Allen spent 36 of her 38-year journalism career at CBC P.E.I. before retiring this year. She began her career at CBC as a traffic reporter in Halifax, before moving to P.E.I. in 1985 as a radio writer. She was soon promoted to producer of afternoon show, Mainstreet, then producer of the morning show, Island Morning, and for the past decade has served as executive producer of News and Current Affairs for the bureau. Jones has been a journalist in New Brunswick for 33 years, most of that time as an investigative reporter with CBC News in Saint John. His reports on government, business, and the justice system have been recognized with multiple national and regional awards, including a dozen AJAs. Many of Jones’ stories have triggered official investigations or changes in government policy. 

Pacinthe Matter

Pacinthe Mattar is the 2022 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow. Mattar will study how journalism can better foster, retain and promote Black, Indigenous and other racialized journalists, with a focus on developing initiatives that lead to more representative newsrooms and coverage. Prior to joining Toronto-based branded podcast and content company, Antica Productions, as a senior producer in 2019, Mattar was a producer for CBC Radio One, working on shows like The Current and As It Happens.

Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) has announced photographer, filmmaker, and journalist Shelby Lisk as the winner of its 2nd Annual Award for Outstanding Work by an Indigenous Youth Reporter. Lisk has been recognized for her story For our children: How families are passing down Indigenous languages, published by TVO.org. Lisk has roots in Kenhtè:ke (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory) and is based in Ottawa, where she currently works as TVO’s Indigenous Hub staff writer. 

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has published a new survey that finds Quebecers are the most confident they can identify false news. Among the survey’s findings, Quebecers are more likely to trust journalists (72%) and politicians when it comes to news about COVID-19 and the vaccine. The Prairies and Alberta have the least trust in politicians and government authorities. Albertans say they are least informed about what is going on with COVID-19, however, feel most informed about the side effects of the vaccine (77%). Quebecers are most likely to consume news daily (75%), primarily television (56%), but are also more likely to read newspaper websites (36%) and sponsored posts on social media (29%) than the other provinces and territories. Albertans are least likely to consume news daily (61%). The online survey of 2,013 Canadians, 18+, was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights in early March.

The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled to uphold Canada’s first-ever website blocking framework in the case of TekSavvy Solutions v. Bell Media Inc. et al. In 2019, Bell Media, Groupe TVA, and Rogers Media filed a lawsuit against IPTV provider GoldTV for alleged copyright infringement, asking that ISPs be ordered to block it with the Federal Court subsequently issuing a site-blocking injunction requiring certain ISPs in Canada to block identifiers related to GoldTV, including GoldTV.ca. In response, Chatham-based independent ISP TekSavvy Solutions appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal. TekSavvy hasn’t indicated whether it will take its appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Last month, the federal government launched a consultation on whether website blocking should be used to curb piracy online.

Bell Mobility has announced the expansion of its 5G network to 23 new markets across Québec, Ontario and Manitoba. Bell 5G’s reach has been expanded in Manitoba (St. Andrews and Stonewall), Ontario (Barrie, Burlington, Clarington, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, McNab/Braeside, Moravian, Pickering and Waterloo) and Québec (Ascot Corner, Champlain, Magog, Rivière-du-Loup, Saint-Catherine-de Hatley, Saint-Luc-de-Vincennes, Saint-Maurice, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières). Touting mobile data access speeds of up to 1.7 Gbps, Bell 5G is now available to approximately 35% of the Canadian population. Bell says it’s on track to cover up to 70% by the end of the year.

TELUS is upgrading its relationships with data intelligence company, Loop Insights, announcing a multi-year reseller agreement in which TELUS will sell Loop solutions directly to its national customer base as a TELUS product. Previously an IoT Marketplace partner, the expanded relationship gives Loop direct access to a large network of TELUS clients and the company’s sales & support team. TELUS will provide marketing, pre-sales, and sales services for Loop products, joining Loop’s growing roster of reseller and licensing partners that include NTT Data, Vend, Oracle and Shopify.