Connect with us


LILLEY: Media companies don't need a taxpayer handout to survive – Smash Newz



LILLEY: Media companies don't need a taxpayer payout to survive

It’s a bizarre time to work in the media. We all use more news as we live out our pandemic lockdown lives, but fewer people pay for that news.

I’m not talking about the lack of newspaper subscriptions, I’m talking about the lack of ads in all papers. The lack of ads on radio and television stations, all of which are adjusted.

Ads that most media rely on to survive dried out as the economy began to shut down.

It was at the same time that the public began to search news organizations for more information on the decisions the government made and how those decisions would affect their daily lives.

We all read more stories, watch the news conferences live and listen to innovators and commentators on the radio.

Yet, the media that creates and pays for this content has less revenue at the time when it is needed most.

This is not a shout in my eye moment; I worry about any job in the sector, even at my competition. However, this is a column that should question how the government can help without picking the pocket.

Here are four easy steps the Trudeau government could take to help the media survive the long term:

– Adjust the playing field when it comes to taxing foreign tech giants

– Stop spending so much of the government’s ad money on social media platforms

– Following the UK’s lead with the BBC, ads are streaked from the CBC’s website

– Follow the lead from countries like France and Australia and force tech giants to pay for the content they need.

All of these proposals would be simple policy shifts that do not require taxpayer subsidies for traditional media, but would help strengthen the financial future of original content creators.

Companies like Facebook and Google sell a lot of ads in Canada, but have one distinct advantage: They don’t charge VAT, whether it’s GST or HST.

In Canada’s largest media market, Toronto, it gives them a 13% discount, even if everything else matches price and target audience.

There is no reason why these companies should not be forced to levy and levy the same tax as any other media company operating in Canada.

The federal government spent a little more than $ 43 million on advertising in print, television, radio, billboards and digital in 2018-19. More than 53% of that money went to digital business, and most went to Facebook, Google and other technology giants.

Little went to Canadian publishers no matter who they were.

It is not as if Canadian content creators do not have large audiences for their coverage of news, sports and entertainment. It is precisely that over the years – especially the last five years – the government has focused on digital and tech giants.

A few years ago, the British government made the decision to ban ads on the BBC’s domestic audience website. If you visit the BBC website from Canada you will see ads but not within the UK.

This freed up market opportunities for the private media companies that do not take government money.

Finally, there are the bold moves from France and Australia to force the tech giants to pay publishers for content companies that Google and Facebook use to generate so much of their revenue.

For years, news organizations have complained that tech companies act as pirates and take content that news companies have paid for and generate profits without even offering a stake.

Now France and Australia will force them to pay content creators.

That kind of bold move, especially if done in consultation with Americans, would change the landscape for the better, without an extra penny coming from taxpayers.

There is a public interest in keeping news businesses alive, and tech giants should too.

Without original content creators, what would you have left on Facebook except for your Aunt Marge posting six-year-old memes?

It’s time for bold ideas. It’s time for action, and it’s time for a level playing field.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link


Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck pictured kissing as ‘Bennifer’ returns



Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have been pictured exchanging passionate kisses, apparently confirming weeks of fevered rumors that they have rekindled a romance that dominated celebrity media almost 20 years ago.

Paparazzi photos printed in the New York Post on Monday showed the two actors kissing while enjoying a meal with members of Lopez’s family at Malibu’s posh Nobu sushi restaurant west of Los Angeles on Sunday.

Representatives for Lopez, 51, declined to comment on Monday, while Affleck’s publicists did not return a request for comment.

Lopez and “Argo” director Affleck, dubbed “Bennifer,” became the most talked about couple in the celebrity world in the early 2000s in a romance marked by his-and-her luxury cars and a large 6.1-carat pink diamond engagement ring. They abruptly called off their wedding in 2003 and split up a few months later.

The pair have been pictured together several times in Los Angels and Miami in recent weeks, after Lopez and her former baseball player fiance Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement in mid-April after four years together. Monday’s photos were the first in which Lopez and Affleck were seen kissing this time around.

Celebrity outlet E! News quoted an unidentified source last week as saying Lopez was planning to move from Miami to Los Angeles to spend more time with Affleck, 48, and was looking for schools for her 13-year-old twins Max and Emme.

Max and Emme, along with the singer’s sister Lydia, were also photographed walking into the restaurant in Malibu on Sunday.

Lopez married Latin singer Marc Anthony, her third husband, just five months after her 2004 split with Affleck. Affleck went on to marry, and later was divorced from, actress Jennifer Garner.


(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Continue Reading


TikTok debuts new voice after Canadian actor sues




After noticing a new female voice narrating the videos on the popular video-sharing social networking service, users of TikTok were baffled as to why. It actually turns out that the Canadian actress behind the old voice filed a lawsuit against the platform for copyright violation as her voice was apparently being used without her permission.

Bev Standing, a voice actor based in Ontario, is taking China-based ByteDance to court. TikTok’s parent company has since replaced her voice with a new one, with Standing reportedly finding out over email after a tip-off from a journalist. On the matter, Standing said: “They replaced me with another voice. I am so overwhelmed by this whole thing. I’m stumbling for words because I just don’t know what to say.”

TikTok is said to be considering a settlement for Standing outside of the courts, but nobody knows whether or not this is true. According to legal experts, the fact TikTok now has a new voice on the popular social media app suggests they acknowledge Standing’s case and potentially understand that she may have suffered as a result of the company’s actions.

Thanks to the emergence of the powerful smartphone devices of today, alongside taking high-quality images for Instagram, getting lost down YouTube wormholes, and accessing popular slots like Purple Hot, people are turning to relatively new platforms like TikTok. The service has 689 million monthly active users worldwide and is one of the most downloaded apps in Apple’s iOS App Store. This latest news could harm the platforms future, although many of its younger users potentially aren’t aware that this type of scenario is unfolding.

For Bev Standing, the ordeal is a testing one. She wasn’t informed of the voice change, there is no mention of it in TikTok’s newsroom online, and the development is news to her lawyer also.


This all comes after her case was filed in a New York State court in early May after the voice actor noticed a computer-generated version of her voice had been seen and listened to around the world since 2020. Speculation is rife as to how TikTok managed to obtain the recordings but Standing believes the company acquired them from a project she took part in for the Chinese government in 2018.

(Image via

The Institute of Acoustics in China reportedly promised her that all of the material she would be recording would be used solely for translation, but they eventually fell into the hands of TikTok and have since been altered and then exposed to a global audience.

According to Pina D’Agostino, an associate professor with Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and an expert in copyright law, the fact that the hugely popular social media platform has now changed Standing’s voice could result in a positive outcome for the distraught voice actor. She said: “It’s a positive step in the way that they are mitigating their damages. And when you’re mitigating, you’re acknowledging that we did something wrong, and you’re trying to make things better.”

When assessing social media etiquette and how both companies and users should act, this type of news can only do more harm than good. Not only does it make the company look bad, but it could have an effect on revenues and, ultimately, TikTok’s reputation.

With a clear desire to move on and put this whole process behind her, Bev Standing is eager for the case to be resolved and get back to the daily work she loves and has been doing for a large part of her life. TikTok has until July 7 to respond to her claim.


Continue Reading


Nigeria orders broadcasters not to use Twitter to gather information



Nigerian television and radio stations should not use Twitter to gather information and have to de-activate their accounts, the broadcast authority said following the move to suspend the U.S. social media giant in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigeria’s government on Friday said it had suspended Twitter’s activities, two days after the platform removed a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish secessionists. Nigerian telecoms firms have since blocked access to Twitter.

International diplomats responded with a joint statement in support of “free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria”.

Buhari, who was Nigeria’s military ruler in the 1980s, has previously been accused of cracking down on freedom of expression, though his government has denied such accusations.

Twitter has called its suspension “deeply concerning” and said it would work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on the platform to communicate and connect with the world.

The National Broadcasting Commission, in a statement dated June 6, told broadcasters to “suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately”.

“Broadcasting stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source of information gathering,” it said in the statement, adding that “strict compliance is enjoined”.

The statement comes two days after the attorney general ordered the prosecution of those who break the rules on the ban.

The foreign minister on Monday held a closed door meeting in the capital, Abuja, with diplomats from the United States, Britain, Canada, the European Union and Ireland to discuss the ban.

It followed the statement by their diplomatic missions on Saturday in which they criticised the move.

“These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue…. as well as share vital information in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said in their statement.

Nigeria’s information minister on Friday said the ban would be “indefinite” but, in a statement late on Sunday, referred to it as a “temporary suspension”.

The minister did not immediately respond to phone calls and text messages on Monday seeking comment on the altered language.


(Reporting by Camillus Eboh and Abraham Achirga in Abuja; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Continue Reading