Media Beat, Aug. 17, 2023

By David Farrell

Conrad Black: An improbable supporter of the CBC

A desultory debate over the principle of public broadcasting, and in particular the performance of the CBC, has been waged in this country for decades and seems to be escalating again as we approach another federal election. Some people have been more vociferous in their criticism of the network than I have, but few have been more consistent. Just as the media has changed radically in the 50 years that I’ve been peripherally involved in this discussion and have intermittently appeared on the CBC, the argument should have evolved, as well. But instead, it tends to be the same stale exchange between people who are not listening to each other, in which one side demands the defunding or the outright sale of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the other side recites rather tired pieties about national identity. There is some truth in the arguments espoused by both sides… – Conrad Black, National Post


Blocking of news in Canada by Meta affects media outlets that don’t produce news

The blocking … is affecting satirical websites and university radio stations

The Beaverton, which describes itself as a "satire and parody publication," was blocked by Meta on Facebook and Instagram a week ago after the technology conglomerate mistakenly lumped it in with news providers in Canada. Its readers, however, could once again see its content online by Thursday. – CBC News

Meta is not the biggest threat to Canadian newspapers

Broadcasters would be the biggest winners under C-18 if Meta and Google complied with the law by negotiating with news outlets to compensate them for using their content. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has estimated that fully three-quarters of the $329-million in annual compensation Meta and Google would be required to pay would go to the CBC, Bell, Rogers, Quebecor and other broadcasters. – Konrad Yakabuski, The Globe and Mail

Alberta’s CKUA Radio gets a tsk-tsk from the CRTC for regulatory violations

Despite terms of licence breaches, the regulator imposed no sanctions and renewed the broadcaster’s licence. – Jonathan Bradley, Western Standard


Global refugee statistics

  • 100 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of conflict, persecution, human rights violations and violence. Now, humanity is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.

  • Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar account for two-thirds of people displaced across borders.

  • 42 percent of forcibly displaced persons are children under the age of 18. – The UN Refugee Agency

More and more asylum seekers are coming to Canada. Is it enough to stem a global tide of refugees?

Canada processed almost 60,000 applications from asylum seekers looking to take refuge here so far this year — the highest count in almost a decade. – Vanessa Balintec, CBC News

Top 10 origins of asylum seekers coming to Canada

The homeless refugee crisis in Toronto illustrates Canada’s broken promises

Canadians live in a time of threadbare morality. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Toronto’s entertainment district, where partygoers delight in spending disposable income while skirting refugees sleeping on sidewalks. The growing pile of luggage at the downtown corner of Peter and Richmond streets resembles the lost baggage section at Pearson airport but is the broken-hearted terminus at the centre of a cruel city. – Alexa Gilmour, Broadview

There is no housing crisis

… The highest-paid CEOs in Canada earn the equivalent of the annual income of average workers in just one morning. People need to work, and if the jobs available are low paying, they have no choice but to accept them. The wages these workers take home represent but a small portion of the total value of their work; executives and shareholders pocket most of that value. This is legal and widely accepted, which doesn’t mean it is not exploitation. On the contrary, it is exploitation because laws, institutions, and moral norms allow some people to enrich on the backs of others. Unless tightly regulated, labour markets enable exploitation. – Ricardo Tranjan, The Walrus



SiriusXM sued by SoundExchange over US$150M royalty underpayment claimVariety

Musk's X delays access to content on Reuters, NY Times, social media rivalsReuters


A strike scripted by Netflix: The writers are trying to roll back changes that the streaming service already made a new normal – James Surowiecki, The Atlantic

Student project creates an accessible database of Canada's first newspapersU of T

CNN lineup changes give Christine Amanpour an anchor roleLos Angeles Times

Times obituary writer Damian Arnold on how to make a living out of death: If you’re not on the books already, you might have the good grace to die early in the morning. Or late at night. And ideally, if you can, with some warning. Especially if you’re a big deal. – Killian Faith-Kelly, Press Gazette

Gary Slaight
Slaight Comms.

Gary Slaight


The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Walk of Fame, Champagne & More

In this week's bulletin, Gary Slaight, Myles Goodwyn, and a tale of champagne, caviar and karaoke.

A Chip Off The Old Block

On Dec. 2, Canada's Walk of Fame’s Silver anniversary honoured a prominent list of Canadians at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre, among them being Gary Slaight, who joins father Allan to become the first to have a familial name already on the distinguished list of honourees.

Allan and Gary set up The Slaight Family Foundation after selling Standard Broadcasting in 2007 for a billion-plus dollars and became the founding partner of the WoF back in 2008.

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