YouTube knocking down Canada’s protective cultural wall

Canada’s creative lobby may have turned its back on the world but that doesn’t mean Canadians are joining them in their quest to hide

YouTube knocking down Canada’s protective cultural wallCanada’s creative lobby may have turned its back on the world but that doesn’t mean Canadians are joining them in their quest to hide behind a big wall of regulations aimed at protecting them from foreigners. A recent study by Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design, entitled  Watchtime Canada: How YouTube Connects Creators and…

Elections Canada’s limits on free speech a sign of the times

There’s nothing more fundamental to the democratic ideal than the freedom to speak one’s mind and sound as wise or foolish as that happens to sound

Elections Canada’s limits on free speech a sign of the timesThe news that environmental groups have been warned their speech will be regulated during the upcoming federal election campaign has finally drawn attention to the stifling impact of the nation’s most recent election legislation. This latest twist is due to People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, who has expressed doubts about anthropogenic climate science.…

Telesat, feds partner to bring affordable internet access to the far north

Telesat, feds partner to bring affordable internet access to the far northNot long ago, the romantic notion that low earth orbit (LEO) satellites could make affordable high-speed Internet available in Canada’s many remote locations seemed fanciful at best. It was spoken of frequently at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearing to establish the nation’s basic service objectives in the spring of 2016. Quite a…

What can – and should – be done about CBC

Get CBC out of the advertising business on all of its platforms. And make its content available to other media for free within Canada

What can – and should – be done about CBCSeveral years ago, I by chance encountered a backbench member of Parliament who asked in a very straightforward fashion why we at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) didn’t “do something” about CBC. Mildly startled, I replied that if something was to be “done” about CBC, Parliament should just go ahead and do it.…

A chance to give Canada’s North real communication service

But will the CRTC take advantage of the appointment of Claire Anderson to pursue significant change?

A chance to give Canada’s North real communication serviceIt sounds a little bit like a Jack London novel but it’s true: I was sitting in the bar of the Gold Rush Inn in Whitehorse one day with a buddy when the barmaid asked what two old birds like us were doing in town. Looking around and being careful not to be overheard, we…

Does federal panel pose a threat to net neutrality in Canada?

By early 2020, we’ll know what the members think the government should do to modernize decrepit legislation

Does federal panel pose a threat to net neutrality in Canada?If you want to know how much in extra fees you might be paying or how much Canada intends to meddle with online content to make sure you watch what the government wants you to watch, you should start paying attention now. This week, the government panel reviewing the nation’s broadcasting and telecommunications legislation (known…

Journalism takes another hit in wake of Mueller, Covington fiascos

The damage done to public trust in journalism by not following basic rules of journalism is, at this stage, incalculable

Journalism takes another hit in wake of Mueller, Covington fiascosLast week’s sickening media meltdown means it is back-to-basics time for journalism on this continent. The need for reportorial rehab began when major news outlets repeated a BuzzFeed report – based on unnamed sources – that the Robert Mueller investigation had been told by Michael Cohen that U.S. President Donald Trump directed him to lie…

Lack of competition pushes up your cost to use the Internet

Canada is among the world’s leaders when it comes to restrictive foreign ownership rules, and the digital realm is no exception

Lack of competition pushes up your cost to use the InternetMany of the close to 90 per cent of Canadians who subscribe to home Internet plans will begin to see their monthly bills go up next month by, it appears, $2 to $9 a month. It could be more and if you’re on a locked-in plan you might not feel the impact right away. But…

Can we restore public trust in journalism?

Too many journalists tolerate peers who, through undisciplined abandonment of standards, undermine their craft’s credibility

Can we restore public trust in journalism?It’s long past time that journalists paid attention to the millions of Canadians who don’t trust the news the way we used to. Sure, we could have lost faith because of the #fakenews narrative that has flowed north across the border. Or from learning that many of the characters influencing public reaction to events on…

Baby, it’s too cold outside to simply ban Christmas songs you don’t like

Social and cultural change is most effective when it employs persuasion as opposed to heavy-handed tools such as censorship

Baby, it’s too cold outside to simply ban Christmas songs you don’t likeThe removal from air play of the newly controversial 1940s hit Baby, It’s Cold Outside represents a noteworthy shift in the way media companies defend artistic freedom in the eight years since the Dire Straits song Money for Nothing was banned in Canada. The Dire Straits tune, a monster 1985 hit, was forbidden from broadcast…

Legacy media is in a zombie state, so why waste public money on it?

Leave reporting to independent innovators who build the public trust honestly. Any government subsidy surely undermines that trust

Legacy media is in a zombie state, so why waste public money on it?A little over nine years ago, in the midst of the chaotic collapse of the Canwest media empire, CHCA-TV of Red Deer, Alta., died. It was considered shocking at the time that a legacy TV station (it launched in 1957) could actually close. Other stations – CHEK in Victoria and CHCH in Hamilton – were…

CRTC wants to tax Internet users to subsidize content creators

What does and doesn’t stream over the Internet is none of the CRTC’s business

CRTC wants to tax Internet users to subsidize content creatorsSometime in the not too distant future, everyone who subscribes to the Internet should have to pay more to ensure more secure jobs and incomes for Canadian content creators whose lives have been disrupted by the Internet. That’s the pitch being made by Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator to the federal government as it looks…

The Super Bowl ads get punted in Canada – again

Donald Trump may take the credit, but you can blame CTV/Bell Media and the CRTC

The Super Bowl ads get punted in Canada – againNow that the nation is deep into the seasonal gridiron grind, it’s time to talk money, TV and some serious Canadian angst. No, this isn’t about why the Canadian Football League can’t draw flies in Toronto. This is about the ads, the rights and all the money that makes football a fantasy land for fans…

CRTC scales back its Internet ambitions for remote areas

The commission has released the eligibility criteria for accessing $750 million to expand Internet service to remote areas

CRTC scales back its Internet ambitions for remote areasWhen it comes to Internet service, whether its cellular, Wi-Fi, wireless, fixed or both, the one thing that matters most is speed – or so most Kitsilano condo dwellers would tell you. Because if you live in, say, Lunenberg County or Stony Rapids or Cambridge Bay, the thing that matters most about Internet service is…

Social media is fully weaponized, open discourse be damned

The Eden-like public square was swiftly overrun by a cacophonic rabble dedicated to crushing ideas to which they’re opposed

Social media is fully weaponized, open discourse be damnedThe Internet may very well be the innovation that liberated access to ideas, but the social media it spawned is swiftly evolving into the jackboot that suppresses them. To put what’s happening today to an increasing number of editors into perspective – Ian Buruma of the New York Review of Books is just the latest…
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