Media Beat: Nov. 23, 2023: Bill C-11 Hearings, Naked Attraction & More
A compendium of news about media in Canada and beyond.
Noted journalist and former CRTC vice chair Peter Menzies forcefully argues that the Commission is stepping into a minefield as it pushes companies such as Netflix and Disney+ to step up and contribute to the Canadian Media Fund. The arguments for and against started in Ottawa on Nov. 20 as the regulator attempts to modernize the Broadcasting Act, a promise that Trudeau’s Liberals announced at the dawn of his first term in 2015. Its reach has antagonized Meta, which declined to accept the government’s terms for paying news media in Canada and subsequently cancelled coverage on its platforms. Google continues to negotiate terms and is one of 127 intervenors in the hearings that are scheduled to last three weeks.
For recently appointed CRTC chair Vicky Eatrides, the hearings could prove to be a trial by fire. Menzies’ eloquent framing of the issues is contained in a news feature posted on The Hill Times.
Having pushed back license renewal hearings in order to deal with a crowded regulatory agenda and a backlog of working files, the CRTC finds itself in the uncomfortable position of having Bell Media question the authority to do so by filing an application with the Federal Court of Appeal. In it, the company states the regulator "acted without jurisdiction" and did not provide Bell with notice of its intent to make the decision, nor an opportunity to make submissions in advance.
The lack of a hearing, Bell suggests, prejudices its appeal to waive local news and Canadian programming requirements for its TV stations. – The Canadian Press has all the details.
The NY-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that as of Nov. 22, 53 journalists and media workers (camera and tech crews) have been killed in the Israel-Gaza war since hostilities began on Oct. 7.
Remember Naked News, the Canadian production featuring nude females reading syndicated news content? Perhaps not, but it caused a stir and a kerfuffle in its day. Now Naked Attraction, a longstanding Brit TV reality dating show, has made it to American TV. In it, contestants can rise to the occasion by picking a partner from a pool of six who slowly shed their clothing with their faces exposed last. Then the table turns with the chooser slowly shedding his or her attire. It’s all a bit silly, but the reality dating drama has an audience, and the first six seasons are now available for streaming on Max or for free with a seven-day trial on Prime Video. So far, the series is unavailable in Canada.