Media Beat: July 06, 2020

By David Farrell

Canadian news media lobbying for regulatory change

The advocacy body for the news media industry is lobbying the feds on copyrights and remuneration rights for news media organizations.

Erin Finlay of Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP registered last week for News Media Canada to lobby on those provisions in the Copyright Act.

The lobbying org has been vocal in its call for more robust supports from Ottawa to help the industry weather the COVID-19 pandemic and address longer-term structural issues, as more and more media outlets move away from a reliance on advertising to subscription-based models. – Marco Vigliotti, iPolitics

Study finds right wing extremism flourishing online in Canada

Canadians are promoting right-wing extremism in thousands of conversations that are openly taking place on the internet, a new study finds.


On Friday, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a British-based think tank, released the findings in a 46-page report titled An Online Environmental Scan of Right-Wing Extremism in Canada.

“We identified 6,660 right-wing extremist channels, pages, groups and accounts,” the study says. The Canadian activity reaches an audience of millions of people, it said, and includes a network of 6,352 Twitter accounts, 130 public Facebook pages and groups, and 32 YouTube channels. – Colin Freeze, The Globe and Mail

Aussie broadcasters want content quotas scrapped

Media owners in Australia are pressing for regulation which forces them to produce a certain amount of Australian drama, children’s shows and documentaries to be scrapped.

Industry body Free TV, which has members including Seven West Media, Ten and Nine, has submitted to the government’s options paper, Supporting Australian Stories on our Screens, asking for the deregulation of quota obligations, as well as robust production support and incentives.

The group argues that they need greater flexibility to meet audience demand and compete with streaming services such as Netflix. – Mariam Cheik-Hussein, Ad News

Netflix to shift $100 million of cash into Black-owned banks

Netflix Inc. will shift as much as $100 million U.S. to lenders that serve the Black community, making it the largest company yet to pledge cash to historically underfunded financial institutions.


The online TV giant will start by shifting $25 million into the Black Economic Development Initiative, a new fund that will invest in Black-owned financial institutions serving low-income communities, and $10 million to Hope Credit Union. Going forward, the company will steer two percent of its cash on hand, which currently amounts to about $5 billion, to financial organizations that directly support African-American communities. – Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

RIP: Michael McCabe

The former President and CFO of the CAB died in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 27, 2020, at age 82.

For thirteen years, Michael McCabe was an important part of Canada's broadcasting scene. When he was appointed President and CFO of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) in 1988, the industry was on the precipice of unprecedented change. Michael led all private broadcast sectors - radio, television and specialty and pay services - through numerous successful initiatives before the Government, the CRTC and other industry stakeholders.

Through the strategic plans Taking The Lead and 2001's Future Plan both developed under the McCabe leadership, broadcasters were able to convince the government to recognize broadcasting as an important tool to achieve Canada's cultural objectives.


A professional in public policy and communications before coming to the CAB, Michael McCabe held senior positions in the public and private sectors, including serving as Executive Assistant to former Liberal Finance Minister Mitchell Sharp - as Executive Director, CFDC (Telefilm Canada) -as Assistant Deputy Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs - and as Chairman of Policy Research for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

In 1999, he received the Western Association of Broadcasters Broadcaster of the Year Award, and in 2000 was named by Canadian Women In Communications as Mentor of the Year.


In December 2001, Michael McCabe stepped down from the CAB.

On October 30, 2001, at the final General Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters which he chaired, Michael McCabe was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame.

For further reading, his obituary is published in the Globe and Mail.

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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