Broadcasting

Radio, television and internet broadcasting is a critical element of Canadian culture and a key player in the country’s news industry.

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Press release graphic Class-action lawsuit big step toward fairness for factual/reality TV workers - Claim says hundreds hired improperly, denied pay, benefits TORONTO — The Canadian Media Guild / CWA Canada is welcoming a $35-million class action filed by law firm Cavalluzzo on behalf of hundreds of reality and factual TV workers who have worked at Cineflix, which produces such TV shows as Property Brothers and Mayday. The legal action follows a five-year campaign by CMG and its parent union CWA Canada to bring fair working conditions to this part of the entertainment industry. “Reality and factual TV are the wild west of the entertainment world,” said Lise Lareau, a co-ordinator of the CMG’s Fairness in Factual TV campaign. “People working in this area of production are cut out of labour laws. They don’t have the rights of other employees, and historically they’ve been left out of union contracts enjoyed by the rest of the entertainment industry.” Most reality and factual TV production companies make their workers set up their own corporations or sign contracts saying they are “independent contractors” and then don’t provide overtime pay, vacation pay and paid holidays. The failure to pay these basic entitlements is the basis for the Cavalluzzo class action lawsuit. The statement of claim for the suit is [...]
Over 250 Canadian news media outlets have closed in last 10 years - H.G. WATSON | J-Source [~] Over the last 10 years, the number of media outlets in Canada has dwindled — and not enough new media outlets have sprung up to replace them. According to data collected by the Local News Research Project, using their crowdsourced Local News Map, over 250 Canadian news outlets have closed from 2008 to Oct. 1, 2018, either outright or through mergers with other media outlets. “The goal of the map is to provide some basic data on what is happening to local journalism outlets across the country – information we’ve never had before,” said April Lindgren, lead investigator of the Local News Research Project and professor at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism, in an email to J-Source. “And of course the data points to trends. One trend is that local news outlets are shutting down at a much greater pace than new ones are appearing.” Read the whole article at J-Source.ca >>>
Press release graphic Media union applauds feds’ tough talk on protecting Canadian media, cultural industries - OTTAWA – CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, welcomes the federal government’s promise to stand firm on protecting Canada’s cultural industries, including media, in the current NAFTA negotiations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday that he would not sign a deal that undermines Canada’s cultural exemption, such as allowing American media conglomerates to buy Canadian news companies. The NAFTA cultural exemption recognizes Canada’s right to protect its culture. “We’re glad to hear the prime minister taking a firm stance on this,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “Protecting our media and cultural industries from big profit-driven American companies is critical to our society and our democracy.” “We only need look at what has happened to Postmedia to see how destructive control by foreign investors can be. Even with current laws, an American hedge fund was able to take effective control of our country’s biggest newspaper chain, resulting in the loss of more than 3,000 jobs, the closure of local papers, and leaving our major daily newspapers a shell of their former selves. It’s bad for journalism, bad for communities, and bad for democracy.” While the cultural exemption is reportedly not a major issue in the NAFTA negotiations, it remains [...]
Fairness in Factual TV campaign volunteers CMG steps up fight for fairness in factual TV - LISE LAREAU | Canadian Media Guild After five years of working with people in Toronto’s robust factual/reality TV industry, the Canadian Media Guild is taking the campaign a step further by supporting workers who’ve decided it’s time to join a union in order to gain real negotiating strength. The Guild estimates there are about 2,000 people who regularly work on set and in post-production for reality shows such as Property Brothers, Coldwater Cowboys and Amazing Race Canada. Almost 500 people have signed on with the CMG (CWA Canada Local 30213), saying they want to be part of a group campaigning for change. CMG leaders say job descriptions and work practices in this field were once similar to the work in documentary production, but is slowly starting to look more like traditional film and scripted sets — with stunts, complicated photography, and long hours. “While reality TV is an established part of the entertainment industry now, we have found that reality TV workers have been left out of the traditional entertainment industry contracts by unions and producers alike,” says Denise O’Connell, who worked in the industry for 20 years before kick-starting CMG’s Fairness in Factual TV campaign. “That’s partly because reality [...]
Media Guild slams cuts at TFO, calls on Francophone community to react quickly - CWA Canada’s largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), is denouncing 37 layoffs and program cuts at Ontario’s French public broadcaster and calling on the Franco-Ontarian community to react quickly and demand that Groupe Média TFO invest in its human resources. CMG President Kamala Rao said 10 of the union’s members are affected, including four permanent and five contract positions. The cuts target programming for adults, including the shows 24.7 and #ONfr.  They follow a reorganization at 24.7 that resulted in the loss of another CMG position last March. Cuts in 2016 resulted in the loss of programs BRBR and Carte de visite. “These cuts at TFO have produced a chronically stressful environment for CMG members and they are unhelpful in terms of our professional growth and the development of our talents,” said Rao. While it was a struggle in 2015 for CMG to win an annual increase of 1.25 per cent for members at TFO, executives were given significant pay raises in 2017, including a 35.5-per-cent increase for CEO Glenn O’Farrell, who received a salary of $331,997. CMG is concerned that management is allocating fewer and fewer operational resources to the internal production of programming. These decisions will have [...]

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Offsite Insight

18.02.21 The Canadian Press – Laws must change, politician says after NL man acquitted of FHITP slur
18.02.15 J-Source.ca – Global News cuts staff across Canada as they undertake reorganization
18.01.19 J-Source.ca – The CRTC’s ‘Big Telecom’ blind spot

17.11.01 Media Matters – Trump’s secret weapon for 2020 keeps quietly gathering steam
17.06.20 Globe and Mail – Trudeau government to revise CBC’s board selection process

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