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Why not just let journalists worry about journalism?: A bilingual discussion

April 19, 2012 in debates

          Thomas (TL) – The short answer is because they are no longer the gatekeepers to the news. The 20th century model of the mass media speaking to a mass audience has fragmented and broken down. Accelerated by the Internet, there are now opportunities for everyone to become part of the news. The Internet has changed the model from one-way communication into a two-way discussion. That has massive implications for journalism as it means members of the public can become agenda-setters and producers of news; they can perform acts of journalism. When Sohaid Athar tweeted about the raid on the Bin Laden compound in Abbotabad was it an act of journalism? Of course. Does that make [...]

The CRTC and the Local Programming Improvement Fund: A Primer

April 11, 2012 in debates

      On Monday, April 16th the CRTC will begin hearings to evaluate the progress and impact of the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF), implemented in 2008/2009 to stem the evacuation of local programming amongst Canada’s “non-metropolitan” television stations. It is fortuitous timing then that the Journal Strategies Conference should parallel the LPIF hearings, since both are concerned with the future of news and information in our country. Indeed, while Journalism Strategies seeks to address the “role of professional journalism in our democratic lives,” the primary goal of the LPIF is to “ensure that viewers in smaller Canadian markets continue to receive a diversity of local programming, particularly local news programming” (CRTC 2008-100, par.359) With this in mind, we [...]

Tuition hikes in Quebec: student media mobilizes

April 5, 2012 in debates

        This translated post originally appeared on the site J-Source on March 20, 2012. Translated by Rhiannon Russell. The turmoil of the student movement, which started this spring, upsets the relative tranquility of our campus. It seems, in any case, to have boosted student media that, with front row seats to the events, have covered them intensively and often ingeniously using the means at hand – today, the Internet and social media. For craftsmen of newspapers, radio, and other campus media, the labyrinth of student association acronyms and procedural jargon isn’t a secret. Specialists in student life, they’re also members of this community, so it’s not always easy for them to handle heated situations at a healthy distance. [...]

Technological change, citizen journalism and public policy: a possible combination?

April 3, 2012 in debates

      At the end of March, academics, consultants, journalists, and architects of public policy gathered in London to attend the fourth annual POLIS Journalism Conference: Reporting the World. Panel discussions tackled issues such as: How journalism should respond to the rise of the demonstrators around the world who are becoming more experienced with different media platforms? How social media is transforming the world news is covered? How can data journalism further and reveal information the authorities keep secret? Has the European media, in light of the Euro crisis and the collapse of the European dream, been unsuccessful in covering the failure of the democratic system? During the panel on media coverage of revolutions – led by Richard Sambrook [...]

Guest Video: Community TV in Canada: A Proud History

March 21, 2012 in debates

“This video captures the democratic spirit and sequence of events that led to the establishment of Canada’s community television policy in the late 1960s.  Canada was the first country to formally recognize and give both policy and funding support to community television (as opposed to community radio, which had existed much earlier.)  The points it makes are as relevant today as they were then… the irony is that this sector is all but defunct now, as a result of a decade of neglect by that same (formerly visionary) CRTC.” – Cathy Edwards -  Spokesperson, Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations

Social Media, Legacy Media, and the Future of Policy Debate

March 14, 2012 in debates

        On March 5, the NGO Invisible Children uploaded a video to Youtube campaigning for the capture and arrest of Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord charged with conscripting tens of thousands of child soldiers for his Lord’s Resistance Army.  Promoted by celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey, KONY2012 was watched over 70 million times over the course of a single week, a record-breaking number of views for an advocacy video.1 During the same time period, over 500,000 viewers purchased Invisible Children’s “action kits” (a packet containing a bracelet, t-shirt, brochures and posters), raising $15 million for the organization. U.S. President Barack Obama and ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo praised Invisible Children’s efforts and expressed their [...]

Guest Video: Kai Nagata on how to fix the CBC

February 27, 2012 in debates

Kai Nagata offers his take on how the CBC should tackle the future: abandon television and move online.  

The Egyptian Revolution and its Lessons for Journalism

February 20, 2012 in debates

      At this time a year ago, the Egyptian people were considering their country’s future after a popular revolution that toppled the autocratic regime that had governed the country for decades. Though it was just one chapter in the story of the Arab Spring, Egypt’s Tahrir Square became the focal point of media coverage of events happening across the Arab World. The world watched. It watched on television. It watched on YouTube. And tweets from the ground complemented traditional newspaper articles. Even as news editors were deciding whether to dispatch correspondents, the events on the ground in Egypt were being coordinated via Facebook and images of violent repression of protests were tweeted to audiences around the world. It [...]