Recent comments

  • Media Musings: Don't tell me there aren't jobs in journalism   17 hours 8 min ago

    And don't forget B2B media, where there is a whole world of different opportunities beyond traditional daily news media.

     

  • Stephen Ward launches new ethics website   19 hours 14 min ago

    I'm wondering if the bias I see in reporting is not a bias by the reporters but a bias by the media enterprises that now include the CBC ,in what looks like more a USA propaganda news outlet, as far as world events are concerned than a news resource covering, not only the outrageous spews from our MP Baird, but from too many rants by leaders of the West then expressing the concerns in world affairs with logic and unbiased reports on the reality of what is happening.

  • Education Matters: Should j-schools teach advocacy journalism?   5 days 23 hours ago

    What about this prediction?

    http://business.financialpost.com/2014/07/15/the-10-most-endangered-jobs-of-2014-mail-carrier-newspaper-reporter-lumberjack/

     

  • Comment les programmes en journalisme préparent les étudiants à devenir pigistes… ou pas   1 week 5 days ago

    Une bonne dose de confiance en soi...

    Si c'est tout ce que l'Université peut m'offrir... Je paye mes cours, pas pour avoir un sac rempli de confiance en moi, mais bien pour avoir des connaissances de bases sur mon futur métier. Je n'avais aucune idée du métier de pigiste, sauf que c'était plutôt difficile et presque innévitable, avant la conférence de Mariève Paradis. Si elle avait pu donner un cours, je l'aurais pris!

  • Has social media finally killed the press release?   4 weeks 10 hours ago

    While I respect your business as an alternative to the press release, isn't it better to compete with 1759 other release, instead of 50,000,000 tweets per day?

  • Ontario Press Council upholds complaint against Windsor Star   4 weeks 5 days ago

    Hi Paul,

    You make an excellent point. We've changed the headline.

    Thanks,

    Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

  • Ontario Press Council upholds complaint against Windsor Star   4 weeks 5 days ago

    I think the use of "holds up" in the headline is incorrect. "Upholds" and "holds up" have two distinct and different meanings. "Holds up" suggests that the complaint has been delayed rather than accepted.

     

  • Ombudsman: Should Brunswick News have taken down its paywall following the Moncton shootings?   5 weeks 2 days ago

    There IS a precedent for this in Canada. The Calgary Herald lifted its paywall during the devastating floods of June 2013. Keeping the paywall in place may have made sense to Brunswick News from a business point of view. It did nothing to enhance the reputation of this newspaper organization as a public trust. With part of north Moncton in lockdown, and people being told not to leave their homes until the RCMP apprehended the shooter, it would have been a nice gesture of community solidarity for Brunswick News to allow readers to keep up with the latest news developments without having to produce their credit cards first. Yes, the Moncton RCMP were active on Twitter during the early stages of the lockdown, but their tweets were few and far between as they closed in on the shooter. Brunswick News emerges from this episode as a corporation that cares more about profit than about serving the interests of its readers.

  • Union memo: Globe wants editorial staff to produce “branded content"   5 weeks 5 days ago

    This is the editor-in-chief who singlehandedly scotched weeks of careful deliberation of the paper's political endorsement  http://canadalandshow.com/article/source-globe-editorial-board-endorsed-wynne-liberals-was-overruled

     

    As I have been saying for years, the consequence of corporate ownership of the media is dilution and compromise of the news, the process, the individual workers.  Forget the days when plucky journos risked life and limb to find and expose an unsavoury truth.  All those publishers are gone.

  • Updated: With a gunman on the loose, should Brunswick News have lowered its newspapers’ paywalls?   5 weeks 5 days ago

    The almost universal scorn heaped on the Telegraph Journal is vox populi. Newspapers need to win the hearts of readers not abuse them. Paywalls are like porous. Everyone but your grandmother knows how to get past them. They do signal readers to look elsewhere for the news.

    Thanks to Twitter, most people had the news before the paper and television in any event. I followed the events Thursday live on CTV live and on Twitter. Twitter was always 30 minutes ahead of any major media outlet.  For example, the midnight capture was Tweeted first by a singer songwriter and then the media caught up.

    Of course, that didn't stop CTV and CBC from bashing Twitter all day for reporting the news.

    Newspapers and TV need to be more competitive not put up paywalls to stories.

  • What's wrong with journalism education?   6 weeks 4 days ago

    Hi,

    I believe it's a hasty generalization to say students understand the web better than the instructors. Many of my students struggle to see and use social media as journalistic tools. But you're right: We educators should be stepping outside the traditional CP/AP/Reuters kind of journalism to at least critically assess newer formats and in particular learn something about why they have been successful in building relationships with their audiences.

    We still, however, must train them to be journalists and devote most of our analysis time looking the best journalism. Today, the top story on Jezebel is about Game of Thrones; the second top story on Jezebel is about a Sharknado 2 movie trailer. I don't think I'll be spending too much time discussing that site with my students.

    Cheers,
    Frank Carroll
    College of the North Atlantic

  • What's wrong with journalism education?   6 weeks 5 days ago

    "What's wrong with journalism education?" - probably take a lot less paper to describe what was 'right'. Well, a check around the CBC and other major Canadian mainstream media might give some clues to anyone who understood what real journalism was supposed to be and do, at least if we assume most of the people working at these major Cdn media organisations had some 'learning' in a Cdn 'journalism' school. If so, one would be led to the conclusion that you apparently graduate all kinds of people who don't really understand what the very idea of 'journalism' is all about. Listening to the CBC these days, or reading the major dailies, you get the impression that they think that gossip is a central part of 'news', witness the utterly pathetic paparazzi-like mobbing of Rob Ford for the last year by pretty much everyone. Or human emotion is 'news' - after any tragedy, almost the first inevitable questions from the excited child-cub-reporters sticking their little microphones in someone's face and asking 'Oh wow! How did you feel when you learned some tragic thing happened and your loved one got killed (or maimed or whatever)?!?' - they seem to think they are doing especially well if they can push someone into crying on camera or tape - such things certainly get lots of air time anyway, though they have nothing to do with real 'journalism'. The tragedy was 'news' sure - but how the 'loved one' reacted is not, it's just more gossip. Please tell me they aren't really learning this stuff in 'journalism school'.

    Maybe when you go on to analyse why the current bunch thinking of themselves as 'mainstream media' are having troubles, you might get this into the equation. Gossip tabs don't have much of a reputation among the 'learned' classes who actually try to turn to the media to learn what is important in their world and country, things they need to know to make decisions about what is going on around them. (You might notice the mainstream media don't actually have a very good reputation these days either (http://www.gallup.com/poll/1654/honesty-ethics-professions.aspx). Perhaps these things are related.)

    Your grads don't seem to understand either that propaganda is not 'journalism', and being a part of the 'corporate government secretariat media' demonizing whoever the US wants to demonize so they can go on their latest regime change mission does not make one a 'journalist'. And more and more, esp on the CBC, they all seem to have the idea that their opinions somehow qualify as 'news', the editorializing in the 'reporting' is really very bad, completely amateurish, almost every day there are examples, the last few years, getting worse all the time (I forget the exact situation, it was something like some CBC person 'reporting' as part of a 'story' of some kind a few years ago that 'the Chinese government is well known for its brainwashing of all its citizens', but I wrote the CBC ombudsperson saying this kind of 'editorialising' is not really very 'impartial' or 'good journalism', and s/he wrote back that, well, if we all know something is true , then it's not 'opinion' or 'editorialising', it's 'fact' - and since it's well known by everyone that the Chinese do, indeed, engage in brainwashing (or whatever it was), that there's no problem with the CBC in reporting it as 'factual'. Completely clueless about the point I was making - as it seems most people running around calling themselves 'journalists' these days are about any of the basic premises of 'real journalism'. (we might note in another story in the CJP this issue that another CBC person is defending the massive imbalance between rightwing-business propaganda by rightwing commentators they feature daily, and the almost non-existent chance for people sort of towards the left to respond, and no regular 'labour-worker POV' segments, ever, at all, as 'balanced'.)
    Kind of ironical in a way that so many young 'wannabe but aren't quite there yet' journalists are complaining the media are not 'internet clued in' enough - they don't seem to understand the two most important things about the net, as regards 'news' - a), twitter, facebook, and the endless number of gossip places you can find might be endlessly entertaining and distracting to the child mind, but they are **not** 'journalism', and b) the net is, however, where the quite substantial number of 'real' journalists can be found - those who don't get any time on the CBC et al any more, who understand what true journalism is, challenging power, rather than being its enthusiastic secretariat, as pretty much all 'reporters' in the Cdn media seem to think their job is these days (clarity explanation - gossiping about the latest Rob Ford 'OMG we caught him drinking again!!!' vid, or all a-chatter about uncovering the Big Scoop!!! that some politician had an affair (OMG!!! giggle giggle) or a $16 glass of orange juice, or Mike Duffy's minor expense cheat, is **not** challenging power, or digging into serious places the rulers of our society don't want dug into, as real journalists do. Check out a place called 'the Real News' ( http://therealnews.com/t2/ ) for some people who understand what 'real' journalism is really all about.
    (well, we know the Twitter followers don't have much time for lengthier comments as who knows WHAT important gossip, sorry 'news', they might be missing, and this is getting to be one of those, so I'll leave it here - but a somewhat more detailed critical look at the CBC and their so-called 'journalism' in a letter I wrote last year - never answered - http://www.rudemacedon.ca/vgi/letters/121121-mcguire-cbc.html )

  • CBC ombudsman: Balancing Kevin O’Leary   6 weeks 5 days ago

    That O'Leary gets so much time on CBC to spew his neo-conservative undermining of the very premises of public broadcasting indicates how much the Corpse is dispirited, suicidal, disingenuous and even disloyal to its founders and the Canadian public.

    To the extent that CBC has any mind of its own (independent of the Conservative trolls on its board, etc.), its apparent belief that catering to its sworn and dedicated enemies (mainly Harperites) will soften their relentless attacks also indicates naiveté -- a refusal to learn from experience.

    Sadly, the outcome is damaging not only to CBC but to the public, the commons, the nation that the public broadcaster should be serving.

  • What's wrong with journalism education?   6 weeks 5 days ago

    Honest question: how can journalism schools lead if students understand the web better than the instructors? Curriculum can take years to change. The world and technology doesn't wait.

    Grantland. Jezebel. The Daily Beast. Fark. Deadspin. All interesting sites that are more popular with younger generations, yet their content is never discussed in class because instructors are usually a) unaware they exist, or b) don't read their content. Technology and web is for the young. They've probably spent more time on them than anything else, and in all likelihood are more literate in that sphere than their instructors.

    Postmedia, G&M, CBC are like the old grandpas and grandmas who try to be "hip" with their new layouts (gimmicks) and click bait (the transformation of Rob Ford from disgraced politician to worldwide celebrity is on them, and I wouldn't call that an accomplishment), but these things get sniffed out easily. Look no further than the Star's feeble attempt at Game of Thrones episode recaps.

    Newsrooms and other agencies would be also wise to NOT give the doom and gloom story about journalism to visiting students. Think ahead, be entrepeneurial and be willing to adapt.

  • CBC ombudsman: Balancing Kevin O’Leary   6 weeks 5 days ago

    Got it. O'Leary gets pretty much daily time to spew his far right crap, and somebody from the CCCP gets a few minutes once or month or so, and that's 'balanced coverage'. We have "business digest' every day, all across the country, and nothing anywhere anytime that I've ever heard that could be called 'worker's perspective' from any kind of labour union perspective - but that's 'balanced' because??? right.

  • Some kittens, boobs and Anna Kournikova got into a story meeting: what happened next will bring you to tears   6 weeks 5 days ago

    http://njnnetwork.com/2014/06/newspapers-going-going-gone/

    The public have voted with their eyeballs - HuffPo has 100 million monthly readers, and BuzzFeed has 60 million. Only USA Today comes close with 60 million.

    The formula used BWMAW - bored white males at work, the largest demographic reading online news. The same two people created both HuffPo and BuzzFeed from intuition and data analytics. Readership spikes at 10 AM weekdays.

    I do hate click bait but that's the formula, especially in the recommended stories section.

  • Education Matters: Should journalism schools take a stand on unpaid internships?   7 weeks 3 days ago

    Good piece on the sticky internship issue. I say they stay. I gained wonderful experience from my internships while at Carleton and know they led to my being hired - as I recently wrote about on my blog: http://bit.ly/1rtSlKs

    As you point, Janice, we could solve this by ensuring the internships are supervised and of short duration. Otherwise the potential for exploitation lurks.

  • Why one journalist made the leap into branded content   7 weeks 5 days ago

    Great point - the financial press has an undoubtedly complicated relationship with corporations.

    But Mr. Delaney's article also brought up the issue that whatever we choose to do as writers (or perhaps any other profession) presents its own moral dialemmas - which can be very complicated.

    In journalism school, for instance, I idealistically believed very strongly that public-service journalism (ie. journalism that helps inform the public) was the most important thing to do with my skills. Deciding to engage in business journalism, which often serves a more elitist group, was a really difficult choice for me.

    Soon after reporting on industries, however, I was a little surprised to find that this work was not only very personally engaging, but also very necessary. Being a respected voice within an industry that informs others can truly lead to changes that can benefit not only corporate elites, but the wider public.

    As my career has progressed, I believe my assumptions around the purpose of journalism have changed, along with a better understanding of the realities and compromises of making a living.

    I think there are a lot of people who may knock "branded content", trade magazines, business reporting, celebrity news, and whatever else they think is beneath them. But the people staffing these jobs aren't necessarily traitors to the principles of journalism. They're just different.

  • Why some journalism grads no longer wait for a job offer   7 weeks 5 days ago

    Rooting for Thomson and WORST.

    There's an element of luck when it comes to making it big in journalism. Good to see some are ignoring the doom and gloom and creating their own luck.

  • The Unknowable Country: Why journalists and governments no longer know what Canadians value   7 weeks 5 days ago

    No doubt all this data -- and more -- is already in the Conservative Party's private database. So why duplicate the effort? The Harper Government has all the data it needs to make rational decisions, and no one else needs to know.

  • Why one journalist made the leap into branded content   7 weeks 5 days ago

    "The work isn’t much different from what I did in my years with Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Globe and the Financial Times." Is that praise of branded content, or criticism of the financial press?

     

  • Education Matters: Should journalism schools take a stand on unpaid internships?   7 weeks 6 days ago

    A couple of things need clarifying here.

    Any Ryerson student enrolled in an internship course who completes the placement successfully will receive an academic credit. The credit is not "compensation" related to lack of payment but rather, as with any course, recognition of the work performed, which includes not only the employer's assignments but weekly journals and a self-reflective essay filed to the academic supervisor. Whether paid or unpaid, these academic-credit internships are legal in Ontario. With more than 130 placements per year, not all of them in commercial newsrooms, it would be hard for us to enforce a salaried-only policy.

    Whether journalism schools should distribute information to students about non-credit opportunities, paid or unpaid, is really a separate issue -- and not always as simple as it might seem. Some unpaid positions may be legitimate volunteer activities with not-for-profit organizations. Others may be legal in some jurisdictions but not in others. Still others may appear legally borderline but turn out to be precisely what a particular student is interested in.

    Two questions arise for the schools. First, do we have an obligation to investigate the legality of offers of work before distributing them? Second, should we arbitrarily withhold knowledge of offers our students might find attractive?

    Speaking personally, I answer "no" to the first question. We lack the time, resources and expertise. We're educators, not labour-ministry inspectors. So we should educate -- make information available to our students about the law on compensation, working conditions, health-and-safety,  employee rights -- and for that matter, data on wage levels and freelance rates. And we should post it where everyone, including employers, can see it.

    My answer to the second question is also "no." We aren't nannies or parents. Our job -- our duty, if you like -- is to help our students navigate the complicated and uncertain terrain of contemporary journalism. We should insist that anyone offering a journalism opportunity make the nature of the work and the terms of engagement clear. We can post our own statement about the issues raised above by Janice Tibbetts. But we must remember that our students are adults, capable of making their own decisions. From us they need information, perhaps guidance -- not crude attempts at labour-market gatekeeping.

    Which in any case are likely to be futile. Most if not all of the offers we're asked to distribute will also appear on journalism job boards or general career sites. Our students visit these places -- and if they don't we should show them how, because good paying jobs appear on them. The idea that we can shelter students from the conditions of contemporary work is simply unrealistic. (In some respects they probably know a lot more about it than we do -- especially the ones working two or three jobs to make rent and tuition.)

    None of the above is meant to deny that unpaid work is a serious issue in Canadian journalism. Too much work and content creation is uncompensated, and too many business models assume the availability of free labour. One of the results may be that a successful career in journalism becomes less accessible to students from low-income or otherwise marginalized backgrounds. As educators and researchers we should direct our energy toward investigating this field, documenting conditions, disseminating the results and speaking out about the consequences -- not necessarily in that order. This would be more productive than devising job-offer policies that may seem righteous to faculty members, but reflect a patronizing view of students and offer no real prospect of affecting conditions in the working world of journalism.

    Paul Knox

    School of Journalism

    Ryerson University

  • Education Matters: Should journalism schools take a stand on unpaid internships?   7 weeks 6 days ago

    Unpaid internships can be a benefit provided the students are mentored, supervised, coached and allowed the chance to improve their writing and build their portfolio. I am troubled by established publishers that elminate entry level positions in favour of permanant internships. Even worse are the smaller operations (typically online operations) that ONLY take on interns, never pay anyone a cent and put students to work writing pointless infotainment pieces about bars and nightclubs.  

    Fortunatley, my prorgam has built valuable relationships with a number of publishers that provide valuable experience to our students. I am happy to report that most editors are enthusiastic about developing young talent and take their responsibilities to students very seriously.  

     

  • Rogers shakes up masthead at business publications   8 weeks 6 days ago

    When will you show a complete round up of the changes at Rogers? I don't believe one mag has the same editor and publisher they did even 6 months ago. 

  • The Golden Age of Journalism? You’ve got to be kidding!   9 weeks 2 days ago

    This is a good essay and you make many important points. But one point that seems to be overlooked is that it's entirely possible that there has never been a golden age of journalism. Failures of journalism abound. If you take the notion of success and failure seriously, then you need to keep score of hits and misses. 

    If one did keep score of hits and misses and developed a metric for assessing the quality of journalism in any given decade, we might discover that journalism is better now than it was in the thirties, or the seventies. I consider that a reasonable hypothesis, by the way. You've mentioned several important contemporary failures of journalism. But the failures of journalism in a Canadian and North American context, of past decades, are serious and extensive. 

    The thing is that journalists and journalistic organizations have always positioned themselves as succeeding in contributing to the public interest. News has always branded itself as adversarial and essential to democracy. 

    But without a metric, who can really say that this is true? If we love the idea of journalism (and I do) than we need to raise the bar for assessing it.

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