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Judge rules against Trump global media chief after firings – StCatharinesStandard.ca

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WASHINGTON – A federal judge has ruled against the head of the agency that runs the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded news outlets who was accused of trying to turn it into a propaganda vehicle to promote President Donald Trump’s agenda.

The ruling effectively bars U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack from making personnel decisions and interfering in editorial operations.

Pack, a conservative filmmaker, Trump ally and onetime associate of former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, made no secret of his intent to shake up the agency after taking over in June.

He proceeded to purge the leadership at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and the Open Technology Fund, which works to provide secure internet access to people around the world. The director and deputy director of VOA resigned just days before the firings. Pack also dismissed their governing boards.

His moves were criticized by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress who control the agency’s budget.

The lawsuit was filed last month in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by five executives who had been fired or suspended. They accused Pack and his senior advisers of violating the “statutory firewall” intended to protect the news organizations from political interference.

After the suit was filed, Pack announced he had rescinded the “firewall rule” issued by the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In a statement posted on his agency’s website, he said the rule wrongly prohibited him from directing broadcast operations and “made the agency difficult to manage.”

In her ruling late Friday, Judge Beryl Howell imposed preliminary injunctions that prevent Pak from making personnel decisions about journalists employed by the agency, directly communicating with them and conducting any investigations into editorial content or individual journalists.

In July, Pack had ordered an investigation into the posting of a video package featuring now President-elect Joe Biden on a VOA website. He called the segment “pro-Biden” and said his staff was weighing disciplinary action against those responsible.

Fourteen senior VOA journalists sent a letter to management in August protesting Pack’s actions, including the dismissal of foreign journalists and his comments denigrating VOA staff, which they said were endangering their colleagues and the international broadcaster’s credibility.

“The court confirmed that the First Amendment forbids Mr. Pack and his team from attempting to take control of these journalistic outlets, from investigating their journalists for purported ‘bias,’ and from attempting to influence or control their reporting content,” Lee Crain, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

The global media agency did not immediately respond to a written request for comment on the ruling.

VOA was founded during World War II and its congressional charter requires it to present independent news and information to international audiences.

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Julie Courtemanche gets a bigger gig at V7 Media – Media In Canada

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Julie Courtemanche gets a bigger gig at V7 Media

The new position supports CEO Joseph Leon’s strategic objectives, including M&A opportunities.

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The new position supports CEO Joseph Leon’s strategic objectives, including M&A opportunities.

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Session 1 of Media and Journalism track of 3rd Virtual Global WHO Infodemic Conference – World Health Organization

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World Health Organization (WHO) and BBC Media Action and Internews,are pleased to invite you to participate in the media and journalism track of the 3rd Virtual Global WHO Infodemic Conference entitled “Whole-of-Society
Challenges and Solutions to Respond to Infodemics.” The WHO defines an Infodemic as “an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – occurring during an epidemic, making it hard for people to find trustworthy
sources and reliable guidance when it is most needed.

The objective of the conference is to bring together all segments of society to find a truly multi-sectorial approach to managing Infodemics.  Your media and journalism experience is needed to help ‘repair’ and ‘prepare’ the
media’s response to the Infodemic. No matter your role in the media industry, your opinion can help shape the future of journalism during the next pandemic.

Session descriptions

Topic: The Challenge: Infodemics & the Media – learning from the past
Date: 2 December 2020 14:00 – 16:00 CET
Your participation in this session will help identify challenges and lessons learned
from the 2020 Infodemic.
 
Part 1 (14:00 – 15:00 CET) is a roundtable discussion between global leaders in media and journalism.

  • Hussein Al Sharif, Maharat Foundation (Lebanon)
  • Imogen Foulkes, Geneva Correspondent, BBC (Switzerland)
  • Asha Mwilu, Founder and editor at large at Debunk Media (Kenya)
  • Palagummi Sainath, People’s Archive of Rural India (India)
  • Moderator: Ida Jooste, Internews

Part 2 (15:00 – 16:00 CET) will include invitation only “Repair Cafe” breakout sessions. Participants (you) will be randomly chosen to participate through separate calendar invites.

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Cavani apologizes for social media post, says opposes racism – Yahoo Canada Sports

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The Canadian Press

Veteran Canadian centre back David Edgar to retire at end of the year

Veteran defender David Edgar, who became a Newcastle United favourite with a highlight-reel goal as a teenager and went on to captain Canada, has announced his retirement effective the end of the year.The 33-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., is currently with Canadian Premier League champion Forge FC in the Dominican Republic for Tuesday’s Scotiabank CONCACAF League quarterfinal against Haiti’s Arcahaie FC in Santo Domingo.A Forge win Tuesday would mark Edgar’s swansong. Should the team lose, he could play in one final game — a play-in match later in December to gain entry into the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.The six-foot-three centre back won 42 caps for Canada, making his senior debut in February 2011 against Greece, and captained his county five times. His last appearance was in a friendly against New Zealand in Spain in March 2018.At the club level, Edgar left Canada at 14 to join Newcastle’s academy. The seventh Canadian to feature in the Premier League, he made his debut in England’s top tier on Dec. 26, 2006, against Bolton. He turned heads for the senior side at the age of 19 with a long-range rocket in a 2-2 tie with Manchester United on Jan. 1, 2007.Edgar went on to make more than 100 appearances for Burnley, also playing for Birmingham City in England with loan spells at Swansea, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United. He returned to North America in 2016 to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps, Nashville SC and Ottawa Fury.While with the Whitecaps, he underwent surgery In January 2017 to repair the posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments as well as the meniscus in his right knee after being hit by a car on holiday in Scottsdale, Ariz., in December 2016. After a short stint with England’s Hartlepool, he signed on with Forge in August 2019, helping the Hamilton side to back-to-back CPL titles.Canada coach John Herdman, who worked with Edgar in his first camp in charge of the, Canadian men, called Edgar “a real leader of men.”“What stood out was his selflessness and willingness to support those young players coming through the system, but at the same time to give everything he had on and off the field to be ready to compete for his country,” he added.Costa Smyrniotis, Forge’s director of football, called Edgar “a true professional who has brought valuable leadership qualities to our young group at the club.””He has played an important role in our continued success here in Hamilton and will forever be part of the Forge FC family,” he added in a statement.Edgar has made 26 appearances (23 starts) with Forge, including 21 in CPL play and five CONCACAF League matches. Edgar represented Canada in three FIFA World Cup qualifying cycles and two CONCACAF Gold Cups as well as CONCACAF Nations League qualifying. He was third in voting as a nominee for the Canadian Player of the Year Award in 2014.He scored international goals against Cuba, Jamaica, Uzbekistan and El Salvador, adding three assists in Canadian colours.At the international youth level, Edgar was a Canadian U-20 Player of the Year Award winner in 2006. Edgar was 15 when he made his debut in the Canadian youth program with coach Ray Clark and was the first Canadian selected to three FIFA U-20 World Cups, starting with UAE 2003 when Canada reached the quarterfinals.On his 19th birthday — May 19, 2006 — he scored the opening goal in a 2-1 win over Brazil in Edmonton, Canada’s first victory at the men’s youth level against the South American powerhouse.Edgar is currently enrolled in the National Teams Education Program, which supports the coach education of its current and former national team players.—Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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