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EDITORIAL: Be wary of government social media meddling – Toronto Sun



It would be nice if everyone was nice online. But they’re not.

Every day, too many Canadians toss needless barbs at each other on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The anonymity provided by these forums make it all that much easier to say things to people that you’d never say to their faces.

It’s a shame that so many people choose to say mean and cruel things. Sometimes they even say downright offensive, intolerant and bigoted remarks. That’s wrong.

This holiday season, we’d all do well to reflect on our social media use to determine if we’re holding ourselves to a high enough standard.

For those who are content to keep up the slagging, bah humbug to them and we hope they get a lump of coal in their stocking.

Here’s the question though: Is it the job of government to wade into online offensiveness?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clearly thinks so. He is once again firing up his cabinet with the notion that they need to police the Internet to eradicate online “hate”.

As Brian Lilley explained in a recent column, Trudeau has tasked new Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault with cleaning up the online realm.

Guilbeault’s mandate letter calls on him to “create new regulations for social media platforms, starting with a requirement that all platforms remove illegal content, including hate speech, within 24 hours or face significant penalties.”

They don’t go on to define their terms though. What is hate speech? Is it just speech the Liberals hate?

There are already laws on the books about defamation, libel, making threats against people and more. These are as they should be and they apply to the online realm. How much broader does Trudeau plan to take things?

The mandate letter continues: “This should include other online harms such as radicalization, incitement to violence, exploitation of children, or creation or distribution of terrorist propaganda.”

If Trudeau wants to get public support for this, he’s going to have to define his terms thoroughly and do it soon.

It’s always wise to be wary of governments meddling into matters of speech.

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Turkey prepares second indictment of six Khashoggi murder suspects: media –



ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish prosecutors have prepared a second indictment in connection with the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, naming six new Saudi nationals as suspects, broadcaster CNN Turk and other media said on Monday.

Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen at the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2, 2018, where he had gone to obtain documents for his impending wedding. Turkish officials believe his body was dismembered and removed from the building, while his remains have not been found.

Twenty Saudi nationals are already on trial in an Istanbul court for Khashoggi’s killing. CNN Turk said the indictment against the six suspects, including two consulate workers and four other Saudi nationals, was sent to the court to be combined with the main case.

Two of the suspects, a vice consul and an attache, were facing life jail sentences for premeditated murder with monstrous intent, the broadcaster said.

The four others, who CNN Turk said had arrived in Istanbul on Oct. 10-11, 2018, more than a week after the killing, were charged with destroying, concealing or tampering with evidence, which carries a sentence of up to five years in jail.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office did not immediately provide comment on the media reports.

A Saudi court this month jailed eight people for between seven and 20 years for the murder, four months after Khashoggi’s family forgave his killers and enabled earlier death sentences to be set aside.

(Reporting by Daren Butler and Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Dominic Evans and Andrew Cawthorne)

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Media Beat: September 28, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News



The mystery of modern media

There was a time, not that long ago, when advertisers could reach just about everyone pretty easily. All it took was a lot of money, and a simple media buy on a handful of TV, radio, and print outlets. Back then, harnessing the power of mass media was not a guarantee of success, but it was almost always a key component.

It helped create enormous brands like McDonald’s, Coke, Pepsi, Nike, Apple, Ford, Chevy, AT&T, Tide, Crest, Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, Toyota, Tylenol, Kleenex, Budweiser… OK, I’ll stop.

Things are a lot more complicated these days. Media has fractionalized into much smaller entities while media consumption has increased significantly. It is not nearly as easy as it once was to reach mass audiences. While you once only had to choose among 3 or 4 video (TV) options, today you have hundreds. While you once had a few dozen print options to analyze, today there are literally millions of websites serving a similar function. A media strategist’s job is far more daunting.

One of the results of this change in media reality has been a change in media strategy. Whereas brand builders once believed that wide reach was essential to building a dominant brand, this belief has gone out of fashion. It has been replaced by the belief that the most effective use of media is one-to-one, personalized messages.

I would like to offer, for your consideration, an alternative point of view.

It is beyond question that it is much harder for brand builders to reach mass audiences these days. But I would like to question the presumption that because reaching mass audiences has become more difficult, pivoting to a personalized, one-to-one media strategy is the correct response.

In other words, have we recognized the disease but prescribed the wrong medication? The fact that online media technology now allows us to tailor messages to individuals, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better idea. The fact that it’s more convenient doesn’t necessarily make it more suited to the job of building brands.

And the fact that mass reach is much harder to achieve does not mean that it is a bad strategy. It just means that it takes more work and perhaps it takes a more sophisticated strategy – and more sophisticated strategists – to execute properly.

Sadly, we have taken media strategy in the opposite direction. Despite the extraordinary complexity of the digital media ecosystem we have substantially tethered our media strategists to the most crude and unsophisticated aspirations — high click rates and low CPMs. You can sit in media meetings for months listening to highfalutin’ jargon, you can suffer endless data analyses, you can scrutinize this-ographics and that-ographics, but in the end when the reports come in and the chips are on the table, most likely it’s going to come down to the crudest, least sophisticated and least challenging of outcomes — clicks and CPMs.

This is evidence that the principles of brand building have been subsumed by the practices of the direct marketing industry. – Continue reading The Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman’s blog feature here

Radio Lessons #113 – 5G

Conspiracy theorists would have you believe that 5G spreads Covid-19, causes cancer, kills birds, and ruins your soufflé. It doesn’t, but let’s clear up some of the nerdy sciency stuff on how it works.

A quick history lesson first. The first iPhone was 2G (as in the second generation), it was slick but it primarily did voice calls. Then came texts, sexts, and other greater smartphone functionality. So, developers focused more on the data side of phone usage and 3G was born. Data hungry customers wanted more and more of it and they wanted it faster and faster than ever – leading us to where we are today, 4G / LTE.

Now with 5G is more than just data speed. A 5G cell tower can handle up to 100 times the users of a 4G tower and if the provider is operating in the upper end of the frequencies, there will be lightning speeds available for users. So yes – it’s faster. No – it doesn’t give you Coronavirus. And being connected is everything today.

The same could be said for radio. And now more than ever.

Listeners are not seeking out your brand anymore for their most beloved Pearl Jam song, or the new Sia hit. They can access their favourites in seconds in seconds on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube or a myriad of other digital music providers. Radio’s primary function has shifted. This pivot was unavoidable with the tide of change driven by the technology shifts of the last few years as well as the ubiquity of abundant music platforms. But it’s been Covid-19 that was the catalyst for a greater, wholesale change to both listening habits and audience needs.

Music is no longer the principal audience magnet.

It’s still important to get it right, but the playlist’s role now is to set the tone of the party. It’s no longer the whole party. Now, the content between the songs is the glue – some of it is the brand value of the imaging and promotions but most importantly it’s the human connections, that compelling in-the-moment content, and the memorability of your on-air teams that will define your success and pave our future. Today is the day for radio, as an industry, to double down on talent. It’s time to revisit strict song counts and relax inflexible time constraints on handcuffed talent. We should be ready to experiment with adding voices – more callers in music shifts and more multi-person shows beyond just breakfast.

Talent has always been the difference-maker but now they are our only point of difference.  2G or 5G, text, or voice. People need people. So, let’s deliver! – Ronnie Stanton Media

The ongoing history of ‘Strombo’

As one of a handful of hosts at Apple Music Hits, Stroumboulopoulos says the “Hockey Night” gig led him to reevaluate his professional choices. “Once you do ‘The NewMusic,’ your own talk show and hockey, you’ve sort of finished the game as a host in Canada.” – Jonathan Dekel, The Star

Cogeco shrugs off $3B investment proposal from Rogers tied to acquisition bid

Rogers Communications Inc. says it will spend $3 billion in Quebec over the next five years if it emerges victorious in its bid for the Canadian assets of Cogeco Inc., but the Montreal-based cable company and takeover target remains unswayed. – Geoff Zochodne, Financial Post

Emmys up ‘Schitt$ Creek’ as viewership plummets

One-third of Sunday night’s three-hour Emmy telecast on ABC was devoted to a TV show, “Schitt$ Creek,” that averaged just 375,000 total viewers per first-run episode in its sixth and final season earlier this year.

According to trade press reports on Monday, “The 72nd Emmy Awards” on ABC Sunday night drew only 5.11 million total viewers from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern — down from the 6.9 million the show attracted a year earlier.

The highlight of the show was watching “Schitt$ Creek” win all of the first seven categories announced during the Emmys’ first hour.

It was possibly the first and only time this had ever happened… – Adam Buckman, TVBlog

Edison Research maps radio’s vulnerability in streaming era

Online music listening is trending away from radio to other platforms, in-home radio ownership amongst topline music format listeners is weak, and YouTube continues to be the dominant discovery home for most all music fans.

Penske Media paid US225M for majority ownership of PMRC

Just days after Penske Media Corp. and MRC announced they were entering a joint venture to bring their Hollywood magazines under one roof, news is out that Penske paid about $225 million to control 80% of the new company, called PMRC.

MRC will own the other 20% or so, according to the New York Post, which first reported the news.

PMC will bring Variety, Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide together with MRC’s The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Vibe under PMRC. Its day-to-day operations will be led by PMC. – Sara Guaglione, Media Post Weekend

Judge blocks Trump’s WeChat ban

Citing the First Amendment, US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler blocked an order that would have forced app stores to stop offering the Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat.

Beeler said in a 22-page ruling issued Saturday that WeChat “is irreplaceable for its users in the U.S., particularly in the Chinese-speaking and Chinese-American community” and added that the government had not shown that banning the app was necessary to address the potential security concerns. – Wendy Davis, MediaPost

State-run Russian radio is looking to expand in the U.S.

Two years after Russian state media began radio broadcasts in Washington D.C, Radio Sputnik has made its way to Kansas City. Sputnik officials are negotiating to start broadcasting in other cities. – Chris Haxel, NPR

Wenner to advise Rolling Stone makeover

Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner may stay affiliated with the magazine after his initial three-year deal with Penske Media that kept him on board finishes at the end of the year. The deal kept him on board as “editorial director” of the magazine, although it was a largely honorary title.

Wenner, who co-founded the mag in 1967, is in negotiations with CEO Jay Penske for a contract extension, sources close to the company tell Media Ink. – Keith J. Kelly, New York Post


Harold Evans, the Brit journalist who uncovered Bloody Sunday, the Thalidomide scandal and a KGB spy at the heart of Britain’s Secret Service, died Sept. 23. He was 92. – Niall O’Dowd, Irish Central

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'Information is power': Social media page keeps track of COVID-19 exposures in schools – CTV News Vancouver



When it comes to possible COVID-19 exposures in schools, who gets notified depends on the health authority where the exposure happened.

The discrepancy and lack of consistency compelled one Lower Mainland parent to take it upon herself to ensure others can easily access that information.

“I was super frustrated and I said, ‘Something really needs to be done. If I need to know this information, I’m sure others do, too,’” Kathy Marliss told CTV News Vancouver.

Marliss started a Facebook page called “BC School COVID Tracker”, which keeps tabs on possible exposures and confirmed cases at schools.

“Information is power; information is valuable. And it just gives parents that sense of comfort to say, ‘OK, you know what, I know what’s happening. I can make some informed choices,’” she said.

Fraser Health Authority and other regions are posting all school exposures, but Vancouver Coastal Health isn’t posting cases when the risk is low and all close contacts have been successfully traced.

“The decision to post notifications, we will do that when there’s a broader group of students who may have been exposed,” VCH’s chief medical health officer Dr. Patricia Daly explained to CTV News Thursday.

Since only certain exposures are being posted, parents, teachers and concerned residents are sharing information by anonymously sending a private message to Marliss’ page.

The page was started less than a week ago, and through the power of crowdsourcing, it has identified 51 B.C. schools with possible exposures and a total of 57 exposure events.

“It sends a really clear message that the health authorities, the government aren’t doing what needs to be done,” Marliss said.

Patti Bacchus, a former long-time chair of the Vancouver School Board chair, has been calling for greater transparency and consistency with the reporting policy.

“When you don’t get that information, and you’re hearing it through the back channels or through Facebook, you start to question, ‘What else aren’t they telling us?’ And that’s just not a good place to be,” Bacchus said.

She said it’s no surprise parents have taken matters into their own hands, but cautions it could lead to misinformation.

“People want information and I think it’s critical that they have that. But I think it’s also risky. And I think that’s why it’s important for the official bodies, the public health authority, (to) be keeping people informed in a timely way with up-to-date, accurate information,” she said.

Marliss would also like to see public health officials make the information available, but until then, she is busily updating her Facebook page several times a day.

She said the secrecy further stigmatizes those who test positive for the disease.

“I don’t think we need to know who has COVID. I don’t think we need to know which class necessarily has COVID, we just need to know if it’s in a school,” she said. “I think instead of us trying to hide it, we should be seeing if those people need support, and how we can help them, and not ostracize them from the schools.” 

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