SCOC upholds media restrictions in courthouse

Judges across the country have been putting more and more restrictions on what journalists can cover, in part because of media excesses in shooting and reporting while a trial is on. They uphold a Quebec ruling that restricts them to specific spaces in courtrooms and uphold judges right to impose publication bans and ban on social media to cover trials. From recent rulings, they are siding with the right of a citizen to a fair trial over the right of media of free expression.

Postmedia, Jan. 29 2o11

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CAB shifts focus to copyright

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, long a lobby group for commercial television, is shifting its focus from advocacy and regulatory affairs to copyright. CAB was considering disbanding (members probably wondered what they got for their fees and in the climate of declining ad rates, probably don’t want to put more money into their trade association, particularly when they’re all competitors. Now, if we could just get a copyright law out of Ottawa.

J-Source, January 14 2011

Magazine ad revenue up in US

While newspapers revenue continues to decline. Magazines were affected by the 08 crash like all media, but like all media except newspapers they’ve since recovered, and shown that it was just another economic downturn, that they’ve survived before. US newspapers though continue to struggle, and may be a genuine dinosaur. Canadian newspapers are still in tough; the Sun chain keeps being subsidized by Quebecor and management blindness insists on bleeding the otherwise profitable PostMedia chain dry to support a money losing ineptitude called the National Post. The Post is unaivaible in the prairies and Atlantic Canada outside Halifax. Kill it already and support your local newspaper.

Reuters/CNews, January 10 2011

Supremes ready to take on tech law in 2011: Geist

With pending federal legislation on copyright, access to information and privacy gummed up in a minority Parliament (several have already died on the order paper as elections were called (and there’s a good chance of a spring election this year), the Supreme Court has on its docket several potentially groundbreaking decisions. Trademark, access to government information and the liabilities of hyperlinking, which no blogger can do without, are all up for decisions this year. Professor Geist is an acknowledged expert on digital media law; it’s worth looking at his view of the year ahead, and I hope in future I don’t have to get his permission to link to articles he puts in the public domain.

Toronto Star, Jan. 9 2011

Digital media beginning to affect justice

Typically, when juries are sworn in they are directed by the judge not to speak about the case to anyone, even themselves, until it’s time for them to deliberate. And unlike American juries, they are directed to keep their reasoning private once a verdict has been rendered. Now, it’s coming out that some jurors are tweeting and facebooking their comments during the trial. Generally, this is enough to throw a trial. I can understand why kids don’t get they are sending stuff to the whole world, but adults should know better. Is digital making us morons? Or am I just getting old and cranky (this is a rhetorical question; no need to respond.)

Vancouver Sun, Jan. 7 2011

Internet news inexorably overtaking tv news: Pew study

Well, it doesn’t come as a surprise, but at least it’s statistically proven: more and more people are getting their national and international news off the net, instead of tv. While television is still strong, it’s second fiddle to the net in the most (unnecessarily) coveted demographic, youth.

Pew Center, Jan. 4 2011

New Newspaper association in Canada

The dailies and the weeklies have finally united to form one newspaper association: Newspapers Canada. It’s about time newspapers started to figure out how to work together to survive the vicious media market in Canada. And they have a great new website, http://www.newspaperscanada.ca that I think I’m going to link to.

Winnipeg Free Press, Jan. 4 2011