Media Beat: February 23, 2023

By David Farrell

Google tests blocking news content for some Canadians in response to government bill C-18

The company said Wednesday that it is temporarily limiting access to news content for under four per cent of its Canadian users as it assesses possible responses to the bill. The change applies to its ubiquitous search engine as well as the Discover feature on Android devices, which carries news and sports stories. – TheCanadian Press

CSIS found specific Chinese interference in Canada’s election. What happened next?

… the foreign interference wasn’t just comments, tweets or propaganda. There were breaches of the elections laws, including illegal cash contributions to candidates, having businesses hire international students who were assigned to full-time volunteering for a candidate, and illegally returning a portion of a donation so the donor was not out of pocket after claiming a tax credit. – Campbell Clark, The Globe and Mail


Lawyers working on Rogers Shaw merger could nab bigger share of $100M-plus fee jackpot

… in a rare twist, the lawyers are expected to pocket more of the total fees than the bankers, who normally benefit the most from outsized transactions, sources say. The deal is among the biggest fee events in Canadian M&A history, and a source familiar with the situation told Reuters it would land banks involved with 5 per cent to 10 per cent of their annual investment banking fees. – Maiya Keidan & Divya Rajagopal, The Globe and Mail

Postmedia CEO 'not sure it's the right time' for local ownership of Montreal Gazette



Knives Out at the Montreal Gazette

Newsroom will lose 25 per cent of its staff and most of its photo department as signs point to a serious cash crunch at Postmedia. – Christopher Curtis, The Rover

Beyond the Rogers-Shaw deal: How, in public firms, the few hold power over the many

It is one of the great myths of the Canadian corporate and investing scene that shareholding is becoming more diffuse and, therefore, more Canadians now own more corporate stocks than ever before. In other words, whatever the competition challenges among the largest corporations, there is a steady move to opening up corporate power to everyday people and, as such, more competition for control. Democracy seems to be on the march.


However, whatever the basic corporate ownership figures disclose on the surface, there is a reverse and contradictory process taking place beneath that surface. – Allan C. Hutchinson, The Globe and Mail

After going gray, Lisa LaFlamme found herself the focus of the story

… “The most comments I ever received were not for months in Baghdad or Afghanistan, or any story, but when I let my hair grow gray — bar none,” Ms. LaFlamme said. “And I will say this, 98 percent positive, except a couple of men and a woman — it’s funny that I can actually remember that — but they were summarily destroyed on social media because women do support women.” – Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times

New policy requiring CRTC to improve telecom competition, lower rates comes into force



'La nuit s’achève' album cover


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Awards news

The Grand Théâtre de Québec and its partners, the City of Québec, Solotech and De la Létourneau, are awarding the inaugural Bourse Karim-Ouellet to singer/songwriter Valence (Vincent Dufour). The prize was created last Sept., in memory of the late Quebec City-based singer-songwriter Karim Ouellet. It awards a $7,500 cash prize, plus consulting and publicity services from communications firm, and the opportunity for a paid performance at the Grand Théâtre de Québec in 2024. Applications for next year’s Bourse Karim-Ouellet open on Aug. 30, with a Dec. 1 deadline.

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