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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Shooting the Messenger: a global survey on credibility attacks against reporters - A global survey is under way as part of an investigation into the harassment and credibility attacks journalists face, the likely sources of those attacks, and their impacts. The Global Reporting Centre, based at the University of British Columbia, is conducting the study — Shooting the Messenger: Credibility Attacks Against Journalists — in collaboration with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and with support from PEN Canada. Chris Tenove, lead researcher on the project, told PEN Canada they are looking at “efforts to threaten, discredit, harass, and otherwise undermine journalists globally when they are trying to do their jobs. … For years, CPJ has been tracking murders, disappearances, and jailings of journalists. Those blunt tactics continue, but they are now complemented by information campaigns against journalists. These might include spreading false claims about journalists or news outlets, making anonymous threats, or exposing private information about journalists and their family members, and these tactics are often paired with surveillance. Prominent journalists targeted in this way include Rana Ayyub in India, Ronan Farrow in the U.S., and Maria Ressa in the Philippines.” Working journalists over 18 years of age are encouraged to participate. The survey is available in English, French, Hindi, Portuguese [...]
CBC/Radio-Canada building Union slams CRTC ruling that allows CBC to cut TV news - In a stark reversal of decades of support for mandated hours of news production, the federal broadcast regulator announced Wednesday it would allow the CBC to cut back on television news programming. Many fear the decision could lead to CBC cancelling television newscasts. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) cited the range of other options available in metropolitan areas as a reason for the change. The Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213), which represents most of the public broadcaster’s workers, called the decision unreasonable. It fears the CBC will use this to cut down on television production in favour of spending on online content. The CMG said that, if this happens, it could result in permanent damage to Canada’s media environment, and an unfair exclusion for thousands of Canadians who — for a variety of reasons, including lack of resources — access television rather than online news. The ruling was contentious even at the CRTC, where it was supported by three of five commissioners, with the two dissenters submitting strong arguments opposing it. “Under the guise of modernization,” the CRTC has chosen to allow the CBC to “kill original production, even after a difficult two years when Canadians [...]
CWA Canada: Online News Act ‘lacks safeguards’ - The Online News Act, which would compel tech titans to share advertising revenues with Canadian media outlets, has been welcomed by CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, but with some major caveats. Following a technical briefing on Bill C-18 after it was tabled in the House of Commons in early April, O’Hanlon said the Act would benefit media organizations, both private and public, including the CBC, which employs thousands of CWA Canada members. However, “we are concerned about a lack of safeguards on several important issues that we raised in our submission to the government last year,” he said. Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said Bill C-18 would require tech giants like Google and Facebook “to make fair commercial deals with outlets for the news and information that is shared on their platforms.” Media outlets of any size would be able to bargain collectively to level the playing field and have recourse to final offer arbitration. Online advertising revenues in Canada were almost $10 billion in 2020, with two digital platforms taking in 80 per cent of that. It’s a market imbalance the legislation aims to correct. Noting that almost 450 news outlets have closed since 2008 and a third of [...]
Factual TV workers Otto Chung and Denise O'Connell Cineflix workers to get $2.5M in deal negotiated by unions - Hundreds of current and former workers at factual TV company Cineflix will share $2.5 million in a deal to settle a class action negotiated by two of Canada’s top media and entertainment unions. The news follows three years of negotiations between the company, law firm Cavalluzzo LLP, and unions CWA Canada and IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees). The suit was brought by Cavalluzzo in 2018 on behalf of the workers for years of unpaid overtime, vacation pay, and holiday premiums. Cineflix, one of Canada’s biggest factual TV companies, produces shows such as Property Brothers and Mayday. Cineflix had a choice between paying $2.5 million or paying $1 million and signing a collective agreement with the unions. The company informed Cavalluzzo last week that it had chosen the first option and the money has been placed in trust to pay workers. The settlement does not prevent Cineflix workers from forming a union and negotiating a collective agreement. The draft collective agreement with Cineflix would have meant a slew of improvements, including to wages, benefits, and work hours. Anna Bourque, who was the representative plaintiff in the class action, said the settlement is a win-win for workers. “I think it [...]
Online hate is damaging journalists, democracy: report - The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) have released Poisoned Well, the troubling findings of an industry roundtable on journalists and online hate.  “Freedom of the press is integral to a healthy democracy,” says Natalie Turvey, CJF President and Executive Director. “The online abuse suffered by too many journalists today goes well beyond critical discourse and, in many cases, harms their safety and well-being in the workplace. This report is a call to action to our industry, government officials and the broader Canadian public.”  The CAJ and Carleton University held the roundtable on Oct. 21 in response to repeated instances of Canadian journalists, particularly women and racialized media, being targeted with online hate and harassment. Freedom to Report As the so-called truckers’ convoy drags on and disrupts, journalists and crews are once again being subjected to abusive treatment by those who now feel emboldened and entitled  to break free of the restrictive measures which have ensnared all of us for the past two years.  Commentary by Kim Trynacity, CBC Branch President, Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213) Commissioned by the CJF, the report shares the findings of that roundtable with the broader public. The four-hour [...]

Link to the full Broadcasting news archive on CWA Canada

Offsite Insight

18.12.06 J-Source – When not to publish graphic images

18.11.15 Global News – CRTC won’t yet rescind order that lets Canadians watch U.S. Super Bowl ads

18.11.14 Rabble.ca – Federal review of broadcasting and communications faces stiff headwinds

18.11.01 Financial Post – ‘It’s not a tax’: CRTC chair defends proposal for internet providers to contribute to Canadian content

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