Media Beat, Feb. 28, 2022

Media Beat, Feb. 28, 2022

By David Farrell

Ottawa advised to deny Rogers’s takeover of Shaw unless wireless unit sold

A report from the industry and technology committee due to be tabled on Monday recommends if Rogers does not agree to sell Shaw’s wireless business, which includes Freedom Mobile, Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne should reject the merger, according to three sources familiar with the report’s findings. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail

What exactly is Canadian content in the age of the web?

Traditional CanCon laws likely have no place online. They are too rigid, and too difficult to enforce. But funding Canadian stories made by Canadians for Canadians still seems like a noble endeavour — and who better to pay than the tech giants who created this new world? – Navneet Alang, Toronto Star


The Agenda with Steve Paikin: The populist challenge

The so-called Freedom Convoy has put political populism on our radar in Canada as never before. But a new book suggests these kinds of populist spasms aren't the result of a villainous electorate, but rather the condescending, non-empathetic response from mainstream politics and society. To discuss, we welcome Paul Summerville, co-author of "Reclaiming Populism: How Economic Fairness Can Win Back Disenchanted Voters," Miles Corak, economics professor at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York; and Armine Yalnizyan, economist and Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers.

Amanpour & Co: The West is “insane” for thinking sanctions will deter Putin

Journalist Masha Gessen’s latest article in The New Yorker tells of life on the Ukraine-Russia border, where locals talk of misleading propaganda and language divides. Gessen sat down with Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the current crisis -- and what the media gets wrong about Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian Brewery in Lviv appeals on social media for Molotov cocktail donations

The Pravda (Truth) Brewery, a quirky yet business-savvy outfit, have appealed on social media not only for donations to help the Ukrainian Army, but also to make donations for the materials to construct the famous petrol bomb, and if not they are encouraged to the bring ingredients to the brewery themselves. – Jez Fielder, euronews

Putin and social media

I try to stay as far away from politics as possible in this newsletter. But sometimes...


One can only hope that Putin gets his ass kicked for his horrifying and brutal attack on Ukraine. I'm rooting for a disaster. One thing that hasn't been a disaster for the little prick has been his use of social media to further his ends

When the history of this era is written, it will be acknowledged that the Russians have done a very good job of stealthily using social media to influence public opinion in the West, and help create a deep divide in U.S. society. Sadly, the advertising and marketing industries have been unwitting accomplices.

Algorithms, informed by tracking, have been instrumental in the manipulation of social media to drive a wedge into the U.S. and other Western countries. If you have questions about how tracking is part of the oxygen that powers social-media-driven extremism, please read the presentation I made last summer to members of the British Parliament here. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian newsletter

The insanity of a war that never needed to be

American constitutional lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald articulates the sheer insanity that has provoked Russia to invade Ukraine and the Americans' dangerous game that baited them there.


Harry and Meghan: The irrelevance of a couple so into themselves

2016: Randy Newman’s ‘Putin’

Khrstyna Solovity’s song in support of the Ukrainian army

Having been inspired by the Maidan revolution (or Revolution of Dignity) that saw the ousting of now-exiled president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Ukrainian singer-songwriter Khrystyna Soloviy penned the song ‘Trymai’ (‘Hold Me‘) which went viral with 38 million views and found Soloviy fame.

Last week, she released the song ‘Ya Nesu Myr’ (‘I Bring Peace’) in reaction to the Russian threat. – Andrew Trendell, NME

All the stories nominated for the 2022 National Magazine Awards

Creative awards aren’t limited to that entertainment tetrad known as the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Advertising professionals dream of Clios; the off-Broadway theatre world, Obies. And in the world of magazines and long-form journalism, there’s the National Magazine Awards, commonly known as the Ellies.


While the winners of the NMAs are announced in an April ceremony each year, the American Society of Magazine Editors announced this year’s finalists last week. – Peter Rubin, LongReads

Russian regulator warns local media over coverage of Ukraine war

Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has ordered media outlets in the country to remove reports describing the continuing attack on Ukraine as an “assault, invasion, or declaration of war” – or face being blocked and fined.

In a statement on Saturday, the government agency accused several independent media outlets of spreading “unreliable socially significant untrue information” about the shelling of Ukrainian cities by the Russian army and civilian deaths. – Al Jazeera

Facebook bans Russia state media from running adverts

The move came hours after Moscow said it was limiting access to Facebook amid fact-checking disputes and invasion of Ukraine. – Al Jazeera

FCC to probe domestic Russian-owned media and telecom companies

The FCC is on the hunt for companies it oversees that may have ownership ties to Russia, in a prelude to possible clampdowns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The internal assessment, which has not been previously reported or publicly announced, was launched this week by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, according to a person familiar with the matter.  

It follows mounting scrutiny of Russian-backed programming on US airwaves, social media and other channels as the war in Ukraine unfolds. It also comes as President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a range of new sanctions against Russia. – Brian Fung, CNN

Use of ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ in the New York Times increased over 400% since 2012. Why?

Analyzing 27M news articles published in 47 popular news media outlets between 1970 and 2019, we find that there was a rapid uptick in the use of words related to prejudice and discrimination beginning in the early 2010s. These shifts occurred in left- and right-leaning media alike.

Moreover, the changes are not limited to print media. Using data from the Stanford Cable TV News Analyzer, we found that the major shifts observed in print media seem to have been mirrored in television news coverage as well. – David Rozado, Musal al-Gharbi & Jamin Halberstadt, The Guardian


Vice Media secretly organised $20M Saudi government festival

When social media influencers turned up at the Azimuth music festival in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert they were promised a festival of musical and gastronomic excess, all subsidised by an arm of the Saudi government.

What attendees did not know was that the pricey music festival was secretly organised by youth media company Vice, as part of the media company’s ongoing push to make money in the Middle Eastern state despite the country’s poor human rights record.

The lineup was topped by French electronic musician Jean-Michel Jarre who appeared alongside rapper Tinie Tempah. High-end chefs from restaurants such as New York’s Michelin-starred Contra and London’s Annabel’s were flown in to cook for guests. British contemporary artists Lauren Baker joined the conceptual studio Shuster + Moseley to provide special art displays. – Jim Waterson, The Guardian

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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