Pierre-Karl Peladeau: Let’s talk about CBC TV

Peladeau, owner of Videotron and the Sun newspaper chain, and God knows what else, is arguing today for a public debate on the role of CBC (though he doesn’t specify it, he really means CBC TV.) In the zero channel universe of the 1950’s, a national television broadcaster made sense, just as a national radio broadcaster did. In the 500 channel and counting universe, what exactly should CBC television’s role be? News and documentaries? Got those channels. Sports? Got those channels. Showcase for independent filmmakers? Check. So, let’s have a national debate on the role of CBC and its 28 platforms, then fund it accordingly. I’ll start the ball rolling: yes to Radio One, maybe to Radio Two, no to Radio Three. No to CBC English TV, yes to CBC French TV/radio outside Quebec, maybe to CBC French inside Quebec.

The future of the CBC and its pre-eminent role in our broadcasting system should be up for review. The Corporation’s funding is tied to its mandate, as stipulated in the Broadcasting Act. Just as the CRTC acted courageously in its recent decision, Parliament should now rethink CBC’s direction and funding and make it accountable in the same way as other Crown Corporations.

National Post, March 30 2010

More outrage on CRTC non-decision

This time from someone a little more qualified than the usual suspects, Dr. Michael Geist, academic expert on new technologies and copyright. His argument: the CRTC failed to consider two key factors in its non decision on fee for carriage, the consumer and the Internet. You should read the whole column to get a solid analysis of the CRTC’s failure as a regulator in this case.

Toronto Star, March 29 2010

CRTC non-decision lays an egg

I’m back, and I’ll pass on Ann Coulter thanks (if you ignore them, they do go away.) Of more import is the CRTC’s non-decision on fee for carriage to dump the whole thing back to the two entities that can’t agree on it: over the air TV companies and cable companies. J-source rounds up the media opinion, which is universally negative (you’d think a regulator could actually regulate). Meanwhile, CBC-TV seems to be asking for its share of cable revenue as well. Pretty rich. We’re all paying for CBC TV through our taxes, then CBC wants us to pay for receiving it on cable. Talk about double taxation….

J-source, March 23 2010

No cameras at Sinclair hearing

I’m on the road with varying abilities to post,so don’t expect much for the coming week.

Anyhoo, can catch up on one story: the judge has decided that the media won’t have cameras during the inquest into the death of an aboriginal male who waited 34 hours in the Emergency Room without getting a bed or treatment. The argument? He doesn’t want to set a precedent. I thought judges set precedents all the time, in literally every case they hear. Anyway, check it on CBC’s website March 19; this hotel’s computer won’t let me copy or paste.

Another argument over cameras in a court of law

In this case, an inquest into the death of a man in a Winnipeg hospital after waiting over 30 hours for treatment. One of the odder arguments against is from the nurses’ union, that nurses will quit rather than undergo questioning on camera. I thought they could be subpoenaed anyway, cameras or not. And the testimony process can be nerve-wracking whether or not cameras are allowed. Anyway, it would be nice if there was some overarching direction across Canada on whether to allow cameras in court/quasi-judicial hearings, instead of always being case by case.

Canoe, March 12 2010

Sigh, Aspers won’t go away

You know, when the blind, failed king Oedipus was humbled by his hubris, the people of  Thebes gently led him away from the plagued city. So can someone gently lead the Aspers away from Canwest? It’s in today’s ROB: “Aspers bid to reclaim newspaper chain.” It’s too depressing to link to. Shouldn’t there be a law that when you crater a company, destroy its share value to pennies and sink it into bankruptcy, you should just leave and let someone else resurrect it?

Hyperlocalist journalism: next trend or next dead end?

But worth giving a try, to see if very local writers/bloggers/whateverists can practice good journalism at a local level. Prof. Robert Washburn puts out a challenge, let’s try to see if it works:

Over the next few months, the J-Source Innovation section will seek to provide information about hyperlocal journalism, post resources and stimulate discussion. As well, you can follow @jsourceinnovate on Twitter for more up to the minute ideas, trends and news. We would also like to start an inventory of Canadian examples of hyperlocal journalism. If you are aware of a hyperlocal journalism project, send us the link. Let us know what you would like; what you think; and what is possible.

J-Source, March 3 2010

Yahoo beats NBC in Olympic hits

According to ComScore, “Yahoo’s Olympics-devoted site received 32 million unique visitors during the two-week event. NBC’s Olympics site drew 18.9 million unique visitors.” On the plus side, NBC tripled its net hits from 2006.

Canoe/AP March8 2010

Americans access news from many platforms: Pew study

The helpful people at Pew have done another study on American news habits, this time showing that only seven per cent of people get their news from one source; most access five or six different types of news media a day, shifting between mainstream and “new” media. Oddly enough, local television and national television news are still the favorites before internet, and 34 per cent of Americans get their news off their cellphone. Complete study below; it’s worth a look to find out how people are getting their news in the multi-platform media.

Pew/journalism.org, March 1 2010

Black bids for CanWest!!

Thought that would send the blood pressure spiking. No, it’s not Conrad, but David Black of Black Press, based in BC, who’s put in a bid for the newspaper portion of CanWest, joining about half a dozen prospective buyers in the bid for the bankrupt dailies. Final sale is expected to be in April, which then would make the fate of the dailies a little more clear. At that time, they can be broken up, or the new owners can try to return to the Southam model.

And as has widely been reported, Leonard Asper has finally stepped down from CanWest. I suspect there will celebrations in newsrooms across the country.

Globe and Mail, March 4 2010