Media Beat: April 27, 2020

By David Farrell

By the numbers: Federal projected spending on direct supports due to covidvirus hits $145B

Ottawa estimates that overall total — including measures to protect Canadians health and safety and to provide business and tax liquidity support as well as the direct support for individuals, businesses and sectors — amounts to more than $817 billion.

But much of that is not spending that will end up on the books. – Karina Roman, CBC News

1.4M jobless Canadians don’t qualify for the CERB or EI, analysis finds

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives estimates more than 900K Canadians earning less than $1,000 a month will now have access to the benefit. However, an estimated 199K Canadians currently making less than $1,000 a month won’t get the CERB because of the $5,000 income threshold. – Jolson Lim, iPOLITICS


Canada’s Independent Artists now have a dedicated Stingray Music channel

Stingray Music has partnered with CIMA to launch a dedicated channel through its official streaming service. This channel will exclusively feature “Canada’s Independent Artists”.

Through a call out to our members, CIMA compiled over 150 songs by companies and their artists who participated in their export missions over the past few years.

Canada's top doctor has many fans — but she's also facing a backlash

Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer, responded briefly to (criticism) on Thursday, only to say that she hadn’t paid them much attention. “My singular focus is to work with all of my colleagues to get this epidemic wave under control,” she said. “I don’t let noise detract me from doing that.” – Maura Forrest, Politico

The only baseball in the world right now is in Taiwan — and they need English broadcasters

With America's pastime shuttered, Richard Wang and Wayne McNeil have been filling the void of U.S. hits, runs and errors. – David K. Li, NBC News

Newspapers are enjoying a surge in popularity, but they're struggling to survive

Thomas Jefferson’s famous preference for “newspapers without a government”, if the alternative is government without newspapers, may be stretching a point. It remains strange that so vital a pillar of democracy as an independent and diverse press should be at the mercy of a private market. Over the years, that pillar has been damaged by chicanery, bias, vulgarity and sensation. Yet for all that and in most democracies, the market has more or less delivered. In the digital age, that is no longer guaranteed. – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian


Gannett wields the axe on newspaper staff

The layoffs follow furloughs and other cost reductions implemented in response to advertising losses caused by the pandemic. Reporters and editors who earn more than $38,000 are taking one week off, unpaid, on a rotating basis. Executives are also taking a 25% pay reduction and Gannett’s operating CEO, Paul Bascobert will take no salary. – Poynter

Here are the newsroom layoffs, furloughs and closures caused by the coronavirus

People desperate for information are more reliant than ever on local media as the coronavirus spreads across the U.S. But newspapers, magazines and digital publishers are feeling the pressure as advertising craters. Poynter has been tracking the implosion since April 6 and updating the cuts daily.

The first-ever YouTube video was uploaded in April 2005 -- exactly 15 years ago

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim posted the 18-second video, titled "Me at the zoo." It has since logged over 90M views. To this day, it is the only video on Karim's channel.

A year after "Me at the zoo," Karim and fellow co-founders sold the platform to Google for a whopping US$1.65B. Now, the platform boasts more than 2B logged-in users visit each month, according to YouTube.  – Leah Asmelash, CNN Business


Russians protest hardships imposed by pandemic lockdown

The spread of “gatherings” are being conducted through Yandex.Navigator, an application run by one of Russia's biggest digital giants. The popular SatNav tool allows drivers themselves to report on the traffic situation on roads in real-time. That feature has allowed users with an axe to grind to tag themselves in politically symbolic locations and write protest slogans in their comments. Many are enraged at the financial losses they have suffered as a result of self-isolation and blame the state for not offering enough support. “No money to pay off loans! What are we supposed to do?” reads the comment in the left-hand screenshot in the image above. “OK, so cancel taxes, loans, and so on,” and “declare a state of emergency or stop restrictions on people,” read those on the centre and right. – Global Voices


Over 100 groups have been promoting a new civil war using Facebook

The Tech Transparency Project (TTP), a research group focused on exposing large platforms’ misconduct and influence, has issued a report that suggests this isn’t just casual dabbling in violent fantasies. The groups have uploaded CIA handbooks, military manuals, a bomb assembly manual. strongholds like “national guard depots, police stations, and factories that produce munitions” as “very solid targets” … – Whitney Kimball, Gizmodo

Millionaires to reap 80% of benefit from tax change in US coronavirus stimulus

The change allows owners of businesses known as pass-through entities to lower their taxes by deducting as much as they want against income unrelated to the business. – Robert Reich, The Guardian

The Walmart radio podcast

“Welcome to the Walmart Radio After-show Podcast with Bo and Antonio. These are 2 guys that started out working in Walmart stores. One is from Pennsylvania and the other is from Texas, now sharing a studio in Bentonville Arkansas at Walmart Home Office, talking to, and entertaining millions of associates and customers all over the U.S. with a LIVE Radio Show in stores while you work or shop. From current events, shout-outs, the coolest products, events around the country, interviews with associates and celebrities and more! This is the biggest retail radio show in the world.”

Jay Leno has Bill Maher laughing in dangerous times

'We're going to slaughter you': The children of Syria's ISIS camp

Sky News’ Mark Stone visits a refugee camp in northern Syria where 70,000 ISIS women and children are living.

ISIS wives speak out: Inside Syria's notorious Al Hol Camp

The New York Times sent a crew to Al Hol camp in northeast Syria to meet wives of ISIS fighters held there. With fewer Kurdish-led forces guarding the camp because of the U.S. withdrawal and the Turkish invasion, the question of what will happen to these women and their children becomes more pressing than ever.


Fears rise about an unstoppable coronavirus outbreak in refugee camps in Greece

The Moria camp on the Aegean Sea island of Lesvos is one of the most densely populated places on Earth, with more than 20,000 people living in a space designed to hold 3,000. That’s about 10 times as many people per square kilometre as the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which had covid-19 rip through its passengers and crew, with 711 out of 3,712 people eventually becoming infected. Ten of those on the ship died. – Mark MacKinnon, The Globe and Mail

A critical analysis of refugee life in camps in the era of a covidvirus

In the face of this dangerous pandemic, there is a population that is at risk of ‘walking alone’. The population in question is the refugee population in refugee camps.

It is estimated that there are about 25 million refugees and asylum seekers across the globe. The majority of these refugees and asylum seekers are hosted by third world countries, many of whom are in Africa. – Johanne Mhlanga, Nehanda Radio

Fears coronavirus may spread like wildfire in world's refugee camps

As the coronavirus forces the world’s big cities and wealthiest countries into lockdown, a potential humanitarian catastrophe threatens tens of millions of people crowded into refugee camps and makeshift settlements for displaced people from Bangladesh to Syria and across Africa, where healthcare and clean water is often scarce, sanitation is poor, illnesses are rife and social distancing is almost impossible.


“God forbid, if the virus gets into the camps, it would have a catastrophic effect,” Mahbub Alam Talukder, Bangladesh’s refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, told Reuters.

The United Nations says almost 70 million people uprooted by war and persecution around the world are in acute danger.

Syrian refugee children stories: Life as a refugee

After eight years of war, more than half the population of Syria has been forced to flee their homes, with 6.2 million people currently internally displaced and 5.6 million refugees. Many Syrian children have lost a close relative or have a parent or sibling, and thousands have been orphaned or separated from their families in the chaos of war. Many have missed years of education, with 2.1 million children in Syria currently out of school. The conflict has devastated the lives of a generation of young people. Below are stories of Syrian refugee children. – Save the Children

A spoonful of Clorox with Randy Raider

Ticked Off Vic: A message to Washington

American stand-up comedian and YouTube star Vic Dibitetto offers a foul-mouthed invective from his car about how Trump’s trillion-dollar bailout sucker-punches small guys like himself. The clip has generated about 3M views since he posted it April 16. – Thanks to Leonard in T.O.

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024


Allison Russell, Charlotte Cardin, DijahSB Shortlisted for 2024 Polaris Music Prize

The Beaches, rapper TOBi, indie experimentalist Cindy Lee, and previous winner Jeremy Dutcher are also amongst the ten artists in contention for the $50,000 prize, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. See the whole list here.

Some of Canadian music's biggest breakthroughs of the last year are facing off for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Charlotte Cardin for 99 Nights, The Beaches for Blame My Ex, Allison Russell for The Returner and Cindy Lee for Diamond Jubilee are among the ten artists shortlisted for the 2024 award, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year.

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