Media Beat: May 11, 2023

Richard Flohil in London: Tattlers blazing coronation headlines

As a lot of you know, I used to be a newspaper reporter. 

Media Beat: May 11, 2023

By David Farrell

Richard Flohil in London: Tattlers blazing coronation headlines

As a lot of you know, I used to be a newspaper reporter. 

I was 16 when I got my first job, as an apprentice (no journalism schools back then) on the daily newspaper in York. I was pretty good at it, won an award, and came to Canada in ’57 figuring I’d bring my expertise to the newspapers in Toronto (the Globe, the Star, and the old long-gone Toronto Telegram). Alas, the papers already were staffed by UK-trained reporters, and I would end up editing trade magazines (Electrical Contracting and Maintenance, Canadian Woodworker, Furniture and Furnishings….).


But printing ink is still in my veins, so I look at British newspapers, now I’m in London, with horror. 

In the days since the coronation, the papers here have gone crazy. The Daily Mirror (which calls itself “Newspaper of the Year”) this morning devoted its first EIGHTEEN pages to stories and four-colour pictures of Saturday’s event, before ANY mention of the fact that the conservatives took a severe beating in local council elections across the country, the National Health Service is falling apart, and the latest shoot-‘em-up in Texas.

And only the Mirror had front-page lines such as “Granny would be proud” and “Wills’ tribute to Dad” — the sort of populist rubbish that’d make you want to throw up in your mouth… The paper also came with a 16-page “souvenir supplement” with still more coronation overkill — "Our Coronation,” read the headline. “Intimate pictures from the day that touched us all…”

The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express are equally awful, and Rupert Murdoch owns The Times… I have yet to buy any of them at the corner store.

The Guardian, of course, is at the other end of the royalist spectrum. Their front page headline this morning was “The Coronation: was it magic or just an empty conjuring trick?” Seven pages in, the first coronation coverage: “Royal catwalk: A fashion show to launch King Charles’ Britain.”


The paper is consistently questioning the institution of the monarchy, and its cost — without suggesting what might replace it. And the editors are still wallowing in remorse that the paper's founders, 200 years ago, were involved in the slave trade. 

That said, there’s enough good stuff to read to last me for weeks when I get home and bring several editions with me…

Deadline tomorrow for Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year award

Past nominees and last year’s runners-up are eligible. Details are embedded in the headline above.

Fox News under CRTC scrutiny

The federal agency tasked with regulating Canada’s broadcasting and television services is mulling a ban on Fox News from Canadian cable packages. – Joshua Chong, Toronto Star

Canada news being blocked on social media

If passed, Bill C-18 would require tech giants to pay Canadian media companies for linking to or otherwise repurposing their content online.

The bill is currently at the committee stage in the Senate.

Meta has previously said it could lead the company to stop linking to news in Canada.

The company says less than three percent of what people see in their Facebook feeds are posts with links to news articles and that many of its users believe that is already "too much" news. – The Canadian Press


Why are the Conservatives so obsessed with the CBC?

What does it matter what Poilievre thinks of the CBC? It matters because he is setting party policy based on the idea that the CBC is a de facto Liberal mouthpiece. It matters because, as part of the mandate of a future Conservative government, he wants his base to support a plan that would likely kill the corporation. – Tom Jokinen, The Walrus

AI machines aren’t ‘hallucinating’. But their makers are

Generative AI will end poverty, they tell us. It will cure all disease. It will solve climate change. It will make our jobs more meaningful and exciting. It will unleash lives of leisure and contemplation, helping us reclaim the humanity we have lost to late capitalist mechanization. It will end loneliness. It will make our governments rational and responsive. These, I fear, are the real AI hallucinations and we have all been hearing them on a loop ever since Chat GPT launched at the end of last year. – Naomi Klein, The Guardian UK


Tucker Carlson announces his new home on Twitter

And here’s Tucker’s ethos for busting alleged media silence

Facebook resistance to paying for news links ‘deeply irresponsible’: Trudeau

His remarks came during a media scrum, a day after Facebook’s parent company Meta told the federal heritage committee it will block news on Facebook and Instagram if Bill C-18 requires platforms to pay Canadian media companies for linking to or repurposing their content. – The Canadian Press

Fox reports $54m loss for first three months of 2023

The company says the loss is mostly ‘due to charges associated with legal settlement’ in the Dominion case. – Edward Helmore, The Guardian UK

Facebook has 3 billion users. Many of them are old.

Facebook has consistently declined to disclose user demographics, which would shed some light on how it is faring among young adults. But outside researchers say their numbers are declining. The same is true for teenagers — although Facebook seems to have stepped back from actively recruiting teens amid concerns about social media’s effects on their mental health. – Barbara Ortutay, AP

Dildo man photographs huge ice penis using drone

A man from Dildo, NL, captured the penis-shaped iceberg and set off a viral frenzy. – Gizmodo & TMZ

Israel’s Orwellian occupation in Hebron

Do Arab men hate women?

Are Arab or Muslim societies inherently patriarchal? And how does the narrative of Islam as sexist play into geo-politics and Western stereotypes of the Middle East?

Make ChatGPT work for you with these browser extensions

If the AI bot is going to stick around, you may as well get the most out of it. – David Nield, Wired

The Vietnamese military has a troll army and Facebook is its weapon

Force 47 abuses Facebook's safety tools to silence government critics at home and anywhere in the world. – Danielle Keeton-Olsen, Rest of the World


New York Times to get around $100 Million from Google over three years

The deal covers distribution, subscriptions, marketing and ad products. – Alexandra Bruell, WSJ

The deadly word, freedom: Brian Eno and Ha-Joon Chang

Musical innovator and artist Brian Eno joins forces with award-winning author and economist Ha-Joon Chang on this episode of Studio B Unscripted. As co-founder of EarthPercent, Eno focuses his artistry and years of activism on galvanizing the music industry and beyond to find creative techniques for tackling climate change. In his best-selling books, including Kicking Away the Ladder and Bad Samaritans, Chang busts one mainstream economic myth after another and in his latest book, Edible Economics, one ingredient at a time. They explore creativity, taste buds, artificial intelligence and climate change, offering successive takedowns of the status quo and paths to a fairer society. – Al Jazeera

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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