Postmedia sells Victoria Times Colonist, weeklies

Well, the company that defines itself as “primarily in the large, urban newspaper business” (CEO Paul Godfrey), has sold the Victoria Times Colonist, a large urban newspaper, to Glacier Media, along with 20 community newspapers. The communities are a bit of an odd sale; they actually are profitable, money machines. Godfrey says he wants to pay down debt; surely one of the best ways to do that is keep your profitable enterprises and use them to pay down debt. And another way is to sell/close your unprofitable enterprises, like the National Post. The Times Colonist is another matter. The paper was added to the sale “following failed attempts to have the paper’s union agree to cost-cutting measures.” Might be tough times ahead for the union, though given it is a monopoly newspaper, the TC should be a money-maker anyway for Glacier. Maybe this is a harbinger of things to come; the Postmedia selling off its profitable bits until it’s left with the National Post, which then has to shut down because there is nobody left to subsidize it. Just hoping…

Supreme Court ruling helps bloggers

The Supreme Court of Canada has just made a major ruling on defamation. Up to now, the law said that not only was the source of a defamatory comment liable to prosecution, so was anyone who transmitted the defamation. Thus, not only was Don Cherry at risk for his “pukes” comments of late, so was the CBC for broadcasting them, and any other media for further broadcasting them (and hence the apology, once the CBC lawyers put a legal gun to Cherry’s head, I presume). Anyway, the Supremes announced in a unanimous ruling that people who hyperlink in digital media are not liable to prosecution if they link to a defamatory statement. This is a wonderful admission of reality by the SCOC. There’s so much going on it’s impossible to track all the hyperlinking. Now, if they’d do the same and waive copyright permission for every quote used on the web…

“The internet cannot, in short, provide access to information without hyperlinks. Limiting their usefulness by subjecting them to the traditional publication rule would have the effect of seriously restricting the flow of information and, as a result, freedom of expression,” the ruling said. “The potential ‘chill’ in how the internet functions could be devastating, since primary article authors would unlikely want to risk liability for linking to another article over whose changeable content they have no control. ”

CBC, Oct. 19 2011

Steve Jobs on Mainstream media and the blogosphere

Steve Jobs is getting the kind of adulation that Bill Gates can only dream of. Anyway, in all the chat with his unfortunate demise, some comments from him on the importance of mainstream media versus the blogosphere, and of an intervening force between brain and keyboard:

 

Traditional media remains vital.

“I don’t want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers. I think we need editorial oversight now more than ever. Anything we can do to help newspapers find new ways of expression that will help them get paid, I am all for.”

[D8 conference, via All Things Digital, June 2010]