Media Beat: November 23, 2018

By David Farrell

Canada to offer tax credits and incentives to media

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday that the package is worth nearly $600 million Canadian over the next five years. Details of the program won’t be available until the next federal budget.

Most of the expense will be for a new tax credit for media organizations to support the labour costs of producing original news content. A temporary tax credit will also be created for subscribers to digital news media sites.

Non-profit media organizations will also be allowed to apply for charitable status. That will enable them to issue tax receipts for donations. – AP

‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’

Globe and Mail readers respond to news of federal support for Canadian media sector. Among the comments: “This is all wrong. Media outlets receiving government funds might as well be called ‘TASS’ as in Soviet days. Goodbye independent journalism. Why not make it a permanent 50% tax credit on subscriptions, allowing for taxpayers who are footing the bill to select the media outlets that deserve the support?” – Shannon Busta, The Globe and Mail


Canada's largest media union welcomes help for local news

The union representing 12,000 Canadian journalists and media workers welcomes Finance Minister Bill Mourneau's announcement of $600 million in aid for financially struggling news organizations.

"The new labour tax credit for local journalism is what's been needed to help save local news," said Jerry Dias, Unifor's National President. – CNW

Ottawa didn't get bang for its buck on rural broadband: auditor general

Concerns over bid transparency, 'last mile' and wide exclusion areas among issues raised just as CRTC to start new funding round for rural broadband. – Emily Jackson, Financial Post

Freeland gives big boost to Halifax broadcasting manufacturer

Canada’s foreign affairs minister spent part of a day this week talking with a relatively unknown Nova Scotia company with a big footprint globally.  Nautel builds radio transmitters and SONAR systems for export around the world and operates from Hackett’s Cove, a small community within the HRM. Headquartered in Hackett’s Cove, it has more than 16,000 customers in 177 countries around the world, employs more than 200 employees and has a research and development team of 50 engineers. – Elizabeth McSheffrey, Global News


Federal review of broadcasting and communications faces stiff headwinds

When expert witnesses appeared before a Senate committee in October to discuss changes to communications legislation, they did not expect to field a series of angry attacks on public broadcasting.

That, however, is what happened.

It is a sign that two parallel processes aimed at a long overdue modernization of laws governing the entire spectrum of communications from over-the-air television to the internet could face a rocky road. – Karl Nerenberg, Rabble

The Top 10 podcasts of 2018

Unlike film, television or music, there’s a low barrier to entry in the podcasting world: All you need is a microphone and someone to speak into it. Perhaps the ease and intimacy of podcasting is what drives so many people use the medium to ask uncomfortable questions. For many, 2018 was a year of conflict and upheaval, a year that left us wondering: How did we get here? Several shows tried to whisper the answers in our earbuds: Slow Burn and The Wilderness looked to presidents past in order to explain our current political divisions. Several years into the true crime boom, investigators on Serial and In the Dark focused on local cases to trace historic, systemic problems in our criminal justice system. – Eliana Dockterman, Time


What’s next for podcasting?

Today, effectively all of the industry’s revenue is from advertising — at least in the United States. However, we’re seeing the first steps being taken toward paid subscriptions and exclusive content. – Eric Peckham, TechCrunch

Layoffs at Torstar

After the media firm reported a loss of $18.8M in its Q3, in large part attributable to a 13 percent decline in revenue, the company that runs Canada's largest newspaper by circulation is laying off more than a dozen employees who work on its free commuter papers. The company says those affected are mostly involved in editing and production and are all based in Toronto with work moved to its Star editorial department, its copy-editing centre in Hamilton and its pagination centre in north Toronto. – CP


Tanya Tagaq
Katrin Naleid

Tanya Tagaq

Tv Film

Tanya Tagaq Plays a Pivotal Role in 'True Detective' Season Finale

The Inuk artist provides vocals for the HBO series' soundtrack, and her song "Submerged" scores a pivotal moment in the season finale on which she appears as an actress.

The new season of True Detective wrapped up this weekend, and timed with the tense final episode, HBO also released the show's gripping soundtrack. Inuk artist Tanya Tagaq, one of the most celebrated contemporary musicians in Canada, contributed to seven songs on the soundtrack as well as making appearances in the show herself.

Subtitled Night Country, the fourth season of the HBO detective show takes place in the fictional town of Ennis, Alaska. It stars Jodie Foster and Kali Reis as Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro, two police officers trying to figure out how the recent bizarre deaths of six scientists are linked to the murder of Iñupiaq activist Annie Kowtok. Through its mystery framing, the show explores themes like colonial violence, environmental destruction, and missing and murdered Indigenous women.

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