J-Source rounded up the journalism industry news you might have missed while we were offline from Dec. 20 to Jan. 3. A sample: CBC's Tony Parsons retired; TVO's Steve Paikin was awarded the Order of Canada; and a Canadian journalist working for Al-Jazeera was arrested in Egypt. 

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

J-Source rounds up the journalism industry news you might have missed over the winter holidays.

Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, the English-language bureau chief for Al Jazeera in Egypt and a dual citizen of Canada and Egypt, was arrested in Cairo and accused of being a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Fahmy was arrested along with three of his colleagues: Peter Greste, an Australian journalist, and two Egyptians—producer Baher Mohamed and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy.

Tony Parsons co-hosted his final newscast for CBC News Vancouver’s supper-hour show on Dec. 20. Parsons had been a journalist for more than 50 years, working with Global News and Victoria’s CHEK TV, in addition to the CBC. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with CBC News Vancouver, an organization I have always held in the highest regard. I have enjoyed a long and fantastic career in broadcasting covering some of British Columbia’s biggest stories,” said Parsons in announcing his retirement.

Video courtesy of CBC

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There were several departures at Sun Media. Thane Burnett, a columnist for QMI Agency and the national bureau of Sun Media, left after 26 years with the company. “Yes, I have worries about journalism. We all do. But I believe in storytelling and the need to be informed when there are sirens blaring on the street outside, or when a government is throwing its citizens in prison a half world away,” he wrote in his parting column. Other departures included Chris Malette at The Intelligencer and Bob Boughner at Chatham Daily News. Sun Media also sold five of its Ontario publicationsThe Highlander, Haliburton Echo, Minden Times, Bancroft This Week and Barry’s Bay This Week —to Maple Key Media.  


So who made newsmaker of the year in 2013? “In a concession that, just this once, Toronto may be the centre of the universe, Postmedia senior editors nationwide have chosen Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as Canadian newsmaker of the year.” But that decision came reluctantly. See who Postmedia editors would have chosen as their pick for newsmaker of the year, and why, if it wasn’t for Ford.

Speaking of Ford, Poynter put together four lessons for media gleaned from covering the controversial mayor in 2013.

TVO host Steve Paikin was awarded the Order of Canada “for his contributions as a journalist who engages, informs and educates viewers on a broad range of public policy issues.”  

Geoff Stirling, a broadcasting pioneer from Newfoundland and Labrador, died at 92. Stirling founded the Sunday Herald in 1946 and the province’s first provincial television station, CJON-TV (later known as NTV Network), in 1955, the Canadian Press reported. He also started the first FM radio station in Newfoundland, now known as OZ-FM. Broadcaster Magazine said “it was in television where Geoff Stirling pushed the boundaries of broadcasting. He began innovative and experimental work in 24-hour television, an idea that has become an industry standard today.” Stirling was an inductee of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and was awarded the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Edmonton Journal reporters chose the stories they wrote that left the biggest impression on them in 2013 and explained why they had such an impact.

Preston Manning, former member of Parliament and head of the Reform Party, wrote a column in The Globe and Mail asking for a recommitment on the part of the Parliamentary Press Gallery to stronger positions on ethics. “A great deal of media attention has been paid these past few months to the ethics, or alleged lack thereof, of senators Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy,” he wrote. “Much less attention has been paid to the likelihood that the ethics of both are at least partially rooted in their training and experience as prominent members of the media.” The Toronto Star’s political writer Susan Delacourt responded to Manning, saying his argument missed some key facts.

Did we miss any other news that broke during the holidays? Let us know by emailing us at feedback@j-source.ca.

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.