The Big Issue
The antics of all the candidates even inspired National Post illustrator Steve Murray to run for office, albeit several days too late to qualify (watch his gracious concession speech). Since he's already drawn many of the candidates, J-Source asked him what excites him about drawing Ford as mayor. "Cartoonists generally love shortcuts," Murray said. "A Mulroney chin, a Reagan hairdo, these things are gold for quick identification. Ford has kind of a, um, jolly ... rubenesque ... kind of, uh, pleasantly round ... He's fat, okay? He's fat and that's easy to draw. I don't want to lose my job, but really, if my job is to draw a fat guy, I'm going to make him fat. Miller had big hair, a bit of a death-face and bad teeth, so that's what you play up. Ford is plump, reddish, with weird brow folds and strange little teeth. It's not a political statement to draw him that way, it's a cartoonist's statement. If Smitherman won I would have gladly drawn that weird bullet-head (like one of those Mario video game bullets) with those little beady eyes that have forgotten how to smile."
At least the media swarm was good for local taxi drivers. And it did no harm to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who effectively stage-managed the country’s horrible mine safety record into a good news story. Meanwhile, the families didn’t spend all their time weeping photogenically – they also took time out to launch lawsuits against both the company and the government for ignoring miners’ warnings about impending disaster.
Perhaps some missing-in-action journalism of
outrage is to follow? With Canada as the leading
foreign investor in Chilean mining, including some highly controversial projects,
there’s more to the ‘make-it-local’ story than our precision rescue
In Canada, Strauss has been linked to the Calgary School, a group of academics who have helped reshape Conservative policy, although its members deny the connection. The most widely published Strauss critic is Shadia Drury, currently at the University of Regina.
Now Salutin’s explusion from the pages of the Globe and Mail has left media watchers combing through Salutin’s last words for clues to the decision, with suspicion zeroing in on the column Stephen Harper: The Last Straussian. Outraged Salutin fans have launched a Reinstate Rick Salutin campaign, and a Supporters of Rick Salutin Facebook Page. In many memories, it hasn't been long since the departure of columnist Heather Mallick raised the question: Who's next, Rick Salutin?” For some it's the last straw: I will never buy another copy of the Globe and Mail again, wrote one Facebook contributor. Surprisingly, the most nonplussed response came from Salutin himself, who seemed neither shocked nor awed by his own sacking.
Despite arrests, threats, beatings and death, Iranian journalists continue to push the envelope. The threat of a “creeping media coup” has spurred further crackdowns in recent months. In August, the Iranian judiciary sentenced Badrolsadat Mofidi, head of the Iranian Journalists Association, to six years in prison. Now there are confirmed reports that Canadian Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan may face the death sentence.
This won’t be the first arrested journalist with Canadian connections. Others include Iranian-Canadian Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari, documentary filmmaker Mehrnoushe Solouki, a University of Quebec student and landed immigrant, and Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kasemi, who tragically died at the hands of her captors.
What’s amazing is that Iran’s citizen and professional journalists, including cartoonists, keep going. Globally journalists have shown solidarity with petitions and awards, including a George Polk award for the anonymous ‘Neda video’ shooters, and an International Press Freedom Award for Iranian journalist Jila Baniyaghoub. On a practical level, the daily struggles of such journalists inspired Canadian students to create Tehran-To.ca, a multimedia news portal covering post-election Iran. Such expressions of support are important to the survival of independent journalism in Iran, which is bloodied but not bowed.
In a friendly $3.2-billion takeover, BCE upped its 25% stake in CTV to 100%, buying out the Thomson family's Woodbridge.Co., Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Torstar Corp. (Torstar's stock went up 25% on the announcement.) BCE will control CTV's 27 television stations, 34 radio stations, 30 specialty channels and several websites. The Globe and Mail will be controlled by the Thomson family once again. An analyst writing for the Toronto Star writes that Canada is "in the midst of an industrywide convergence trend that is changing the way subscribers receive (and pay for) new content."
This isn't the first time BCE has tried its hand at content generation. In 2006 the company sold most of its majority stake in CTV after its convergence strategy fell apart. It remains to be seen how the BCE deal will shape the media landscape in Canada, but there's little doubt it will. For one, it renders the fee-for-carriage debate somewhat moot. A Globe writer notes that "With CTV (to be) owned by Bell, and CanWest (to be) owned by Shaw, expect a lot more [free online] content to be locked up and available only to their own customers."
There are already signs that the news may be beneficial to mobile start-ups too. Industry Canada is considering removing foreign ownership caps on telecommunications companies, while keeping them in place for broadcasters. BCE's acquisition means that now most of Canada's largest telecommunications companies own broadcasters, so would still be governed by the same ownership restrictions.
In a thoughtful segment, Al Jazeera's Listening Post asks: What is it about the images of this disaster that has failed to evoke the same compassion as others have done? Even the celebrity news website Jezebel has noted the quiet reaction. In this New York Times report, the relationship between media coverage and international response is clear. A column in the Guardian argues a steady drip of terror-obsessed media coverage has affected how people feel. Yet Huffington Post columnist Ethan Casey feels blaming the media is a cop-out for a recession-distracted western audience with narrow attitudes about the Islamic world.In the immediate aftermath, social media is helping spread the flow of information, reports Saman Sheikh. An awakening world is sending more reporters to the scene, aided by citizen journalism reports. But, clearly, the wall-to-wall coverage we’ve seen in the past is not part of the picture this time around. BBC's ‘Have Your Say’ forum asks: Should it be? Meanwhile, here at J-Source, an over-long silence has been broken. What are your thoughts? Who out there is working on the story? What decisions are being made in terms of coverage?
(Photo: Pakistan flood damage / Monica Smith, US Army)
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