Media Beat: August 23, 2019

By David Farrell

Editor of Your Ward News gets 1 year in jail for promoting hatred

James Sears, 55, was found guilty in January of two counts — promoting hatred against women and Jews — for the contents of 22 issues of Toronto tabloid, Your Ward News.

Evidence was that the free publication was distributed over three years to more than 300,000 homes and businesses in the Toronto area as well as online. 

It consistently portrayed women as inferior and as inviting rape. It also promoted tropes of Jews drinking the blood of Christian children and denied the Holocaust occurred. Those themes continued even after the trial started, Blouin noted.

The Crown had called for the maximum six months on each count for a total of one year for Sears. – Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press


More telcos complain about CRTC decision on wholesale internet rates

Shaw Communications Inc. and Vidéotron have joined major Canadian telecom companies that have expressed concern over the CRTC's decision to lower the prices that smaller internet providers have to pay them to use their networks. – The Canadian Press

Conservatives offer media outlets cheaper access to Andrew Scheer's campaign tour

The Conservative Party is offering media organizations a dramatically reduced price to cover party leader Andrew Scheer's campaign — a fee that's a little less for the entire election period than what the party charged for two weeks in 2015.

The $11,500 fee is intended to encourage media outlets to assign reporters for the duration of the leader's tour at a time when many news organizations are facing serious economic challenges. – Chris Hall, CBC News

Media union won't stop attacking Andrew Scheer

Unifor president Jerry Dias, representing 12,000 media workers across Canada, said in an email to union members on Monday that Unifor will run an “aggressive” campaign to defeat Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in the Oct. 21 election.

“We do not tell members how to vote, but I will be speaking out against the Conservative Party,” said Dias, acclaimed to a third and final three-year term as Unifor’s president at its national convention in Quebec City Tuesday.


This is hardly a surprise.

Dias and Unifor’s national executive board dubbed themselves “The resistance” and “Andrew Scheer’s worst nightmare” in a tweet in November, announcing the start of their election campaign to “stop Scheer stupidity” in 2019. – Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun

Legault calls on Quebecers to do their part to support local media

Premier François Legault is calling on Quebecers to do their part to support the province’s struggling regional media and become subscribers to their local news organization.

Saying Quebecers need to realize that quality information costs money to produce, Legault said a population of 8.4 million can make a difference in the crisis currently rocking media, including Groupe Capitales Médias, which filed for creditor protection on Monday.

“There is a price attached to democracy,” Legault said, arriving for the weekly meeting of the Quebec cabinet. “What I am saying is maybe we underestimate the importance of having Quebec media in our society which informs us well.

“Quebecers are happy to have this for free, but nothing is free in life. Somebody has to pay. We have to pay to get this information from our newspapers and media in general… – Philip Authier, Montreal Gazette


Forget Greenland — this politics prof thinks the U.S. should buy Canada instead

Daniel Drezner, a professor at the Tufts School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts, wrote a tongue-in-cheek op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that Canada is a much better investment.

He spoke with As It Happens guest host Helen Mann about his "modest proposal." Here is part of their conversation. 

Q: Why should the United States buy Canada instead of Greenland?

Because Canada is so much better than Greenland. 

The Trump administration or Trump's defenders, in this relatively absurd real estate venture, have argued that Greenland is certainly desirable because it's strategic with respect to the Arctic and there are lots of natural resources in Greenland that could potentially be exploited.


All of these things are so much more true of Canada than Greenland.

Newspapers are still your go-to source

New information from Newspapers Canada shows that newspapers remain the source for people to turn to when it comes to information on the community, which makes them the destination for advertising dollars.

According to the report, 88 percent of Canadians read newspapers each week in 2019, compared to 85 per cent in 2012. – Estevan Mercury

Coalition pushes for fairer rules to ‘save our culture’

Today, online platforms do not have to comply with the same rules as our retailers, broadcasters and cable operators. They are not required to promote and finance local cultural content. Visit to learn how you can help. This is the pitch made by the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDEC) that is comprised of a long list of acronyms such as the CMPA, MMF Canada, CIMA, ACTRA and SOCAN.

Nine out of 10 videos watched on YouTube were non-English language songs this year

YouTube has released its Top 10 most viewed videos released in 2019 so far and only one out of 10 songs is completely sung in English, with Spanish language music dominating the chart (see below).

In total, five out of the Top 10 are Spanish language songs, while two originated in South Korea, two in India and two in the US, although one of those (Nicky Jam X Ozuna Te Robaré Video Oficial at No.10) is performed in Spanish. – MBW

Weaponizing AM: Bad actors just want to entertain

No one set out to turn the airwaves into a political weapon—much less deputize talk-radio hosts as the ideological enforcers of a major American political party. Instead the story of how the GOP establishment lost its power over the Republican message—and eventually the party itself—begins with frantic AM radio executives and a former Top 40 disc jockey, Rush Limbaugh. – Brian Rosenwald, The Atlantic

Facebook's 'clear history' tool doesn't actually 'clear' anything

The new privacy feature will allow users to "disconnect" their "off-Facebook activity" from their account, meaning their browsing data will be separated from their account information. This will help reduce some kinds of targeted advertisements, but it won't actually remove any of your data from Facebook's servers, or prevent the company from using that data. And Facebook will still track people who don't use its service at all.


In a blog post, Facebook engineers suggested the reason they opted to "disconnect" data rather than allow users to delete it entirely is because deletion would be too time-consuming and possibly unreliable. – Karissa Bell, Mashable

Can music journalism transcend its access problem?

Thirty years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to find megastars such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, U2, and Prince giving time to publications such as Rolling Stone and SPIN. Their successors are more likely to share a revealing post to Instagram, or, like Frank Ocean or Solange, be interviewed by a friend instead. – Jeremy Gordon, Columbia Journalism Review

The Simpsons’ Trumpian nightmare in the White House

President Donald Trump tries to evade “the Squad” — the informal nickname for new U.S. representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley — in a new West Side Story spoof from The Simpsons.

The 90-second clip is fittingly titled “West Wing Story” and boasts a parody of the musical’s famous number, “America.” – John Blistein, Rolling Stone


Charli XCX attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2024 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Charli XCX attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2024 in New York City.

Music News

Charli XCX Tells Fans to Quit Screaming ‘Taylor Swift Is Dead’ at Her Shows: ‘I Will Not Tolerate It’

The message comes shortly after the singer's performance in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

There’s nothing fancy about this request. Charli XCX is asking fans to be civil when it comes to Taylor Swift after the “Boom Clap” singer’s sold-out Partygirl DJ set Friday (June 21) at Club Zig in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

After seeing online that attendees at the show were chanting “Taylor is dead,” the Grammy nominee told her fans that such behavior is not acceptable. “can the people who do this please stop. online or at my shows,” she wrote in an Instagram Story Sunday (June 23) over a message informing her of the “toxic behavior” of some people at her events. “it is the opposite of what i want and it disturbs me that anyone would think there is room for this in this community.”

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