New funds for UK investigative journalism centre

Hmmmm, here’s an interesting idea: set up a centre for investigative journalism, get a charity to fund it, then start digging. Typicallyl, investigative is tough, and expensive, to do. You might take a reporter off the job for three to four months, if not longer, while he/she digs behind the scenes. And you’re not sure if you’re going to get a story at the end of it. Might be an interesting model for North America.

Guardian blog, July 23 2009

CanWest closes two TV stations

CHEK TV in Victoria and CHCA TV in Red Deer will be closed by CanWest by the end of August;¬† two other subsidiary stations have been sold (Hamilton and Montreal) and Kelowna will be rebranded as a Global affiliate. So, the death toll rises as CanWest faces another deadline — July 31 — to come up with some kind of plan to pay down its debts and deal with its creditors. It’s not over yet; at some point the creditors and investors are going to lose patience and put CanWest into bankruptcy to sell off as much as possible and get some of their money back.

CBC, July 22 2009

Andrews nude photos expose dark side of MSM, NM and us

So a (PIU)(U)_*U)_ drills a hole in the wall and takes a video of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in the nude and posts it on the net. Appalling enough, but then MSM picks it up (New York Post, CBS, CNN and others) pick it up and run it as a story. What story? This is just lechery plain and simple. As for either MSM or NM being morally superior to the other, they are only as good as the men (in this case) who run them and use them. As Cassius put it so well, “The fault dear Brutus is not in the stars, it is in ourselves…”

National Post, July 21 2009

Want input into the new copyright legislation consultation process?

Well, unless you’re lucky enough to live in the few cities where the hearing takes place, you’re going to have to do it over the net. Click below to have your say:

copyrightconsultation.ca, July 20 2009

Third time’s the charm? Copyright legislation back on agenda

Well, here we go again: another round of public consultation on new copyright legislation that will help (depending on who’s point of view you believe) sort out some of the trickier aspects of traditional copyright in the new media age. This very blog violates copyright laws every day, as do most blogs. We link to copyrighted sites, but don’t ask for permission to link onto intellectual property owned by someone else. Well sure, most people/organizations¬† don’t mind being linked to; it adds to their readership. And we seem to have evolved into a variation of a negative billing option: if anyone objects to the link, Netiquette requires that we de-link. If we link but misrepresent the argument of the link (as I have done), we put in a correction. So, the digital world is sorting out some protocols; the big fight is corporate entertainment which stands to lose gazillions from the net.

The North Bay Nugget, July 18 2oo9

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner takes on Facebook

Privacy in the digital age is a huge issue, as is the right of national governments to legislate a world-wide phenomenon. The latest today is that Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has given 30 days to clean up its act and strengthen privacy, while apparently choking down on access. Likely another great fight, but one worthy of having. A lot of this comes down to the individual’s right to disclose as much as they want to about themselves, but not enough people are reading the fine print of the agreements they sign and don’t realize just who is getting access to their info.

Globe and Mail, July 17 2009

CTV sells Brandon station for $1

Well, another $1 bidder for a small Canadian station has popped up, this one at least looking more credible than the PR-based Shaw proposal. A private investment firm has bought¬† CTV’s Brandon Manitoba outlet, meaning that it has a chance of continuing to exist. Interesting that small stations are being sold by major nets because they can’t make money, but smaller operators are convinced they can (this is the second sale in about a month of a small market station to a private operator.)

CTV, July 16 2009

Canwest continues death spiral

Canwest continues to argue it will recover, but you really have to wonder if it’ll ever get out of the recovery room. Latest loss is $100 million in the last quarter, with yet another deadline facing it at the end of the month from creditors who wonder if they’ll ever get a piece of their money back. This gloomy quote from CP, itself a victim of CanWest cutbacks:

CanWest, which was once worth more than $2 billion and now has a stock market value of just under $7 million, is working with creditors to recapitalize the company. While negotiations continue, it cautioned it may not be able to survive as a going concern if efforts fail.

CP, July 11 2009

Three Canadian mags die for every new start: Masthead

Depressing story from Masthead.com about the body count in magazines. One small caveat: it’s a high risk, high turnover industry at the best of times, and these aren’t the best of times. Masthead itself has gone out of publication, and is trying to make it as a website, since last Nov.

Mastheadonline.com, July 7 2009

CRTC ups funding, calls for TV hearings in the fall

As per the budget, the CRTC upped funding for local television to $102 million. More importantly, it called for public proceedings into the future of conventional broadcasting starting in the fall. That might be more meaningful in the long term, as the CRTC is upping funding and granting one-year licenses to tide the nets over the short term.

CTV, July 6 1009