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Media Advisory – Junior Astronauts: Quispamsis winner in New Brunswick – Yahoo Canada Finance

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The Canadian Press

Crews battling Black Hills wildfires gaining control

NEMO, S.D. — Firefighters on Tuesday began to gain control of wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota that have forced the evacuation of more than 400 homes and closed the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Three separate wildfires were burning near Rapid City, with the largest near Schroeder Road in the Nemo area. That fire has burned nearly 3.3 square miles (8.1 square kilometres). But officials said they expected to contain about half of the fire by the end of the day. “It’s not over yet, but we’re in a pretty good spot,” said Gov. Kristi Noem, who travelled to Rapid City to help oversee the fire response. The Schroeder Road fire has crossed into two neighbourhoods near Rapid City, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. At least one home has been destroyed, as well as several other structures. No injuries have been reported. “There was quite a firefight last night,” said Rob Powell, the firefighting official overseeing the response. As winds died down throughout the day, firefighting crews worked both on the ground and from aircraft to contain the fire. Two smaller blazes were burning southwest of Rapid City, including one inside the grounds of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The monument, as well as surrounding roads, were closed. One fire has burned an estimated 117 acres (47 hectares) and is 30% contained; the other is about 10 acres (4 hectares) and 10% contained. The fire near Mount Rushmore threatened 15 structures, including park facilities and private homes, but none have been destroyed, according to Great Plains Fire Public Information Officers Travis Mason-Bushman. He said the fire was near main access roads to the monument but wasn’t close to the visitor centre. “It did not grow much overnight,” he said. “The challenge is that it’s burning in some pretty steep and rugged terrain. We need to bring in hand crews.” About 60 firefighters responded to the fire, as well as a South Dakota National Guard Black Hawk helicopter that was dumping water. On Monday, multiple fires burst up across the region as winds in some places reached as high as 81 mph (130 kph). Firefighters initially responding to the Schroeder fire found “a fast-moving ground fire in extreme fire danger condition,” officials reported. They immediately called for assistance from firefighters around the region, with about 250 responding. The governor noted that it was “really early” in the year for wildfires and that battling them had taxed nearly all available resources. Officials said they do not have the firefighters to tackle any more large blazes and were instead trying to snuff out smaller ones quickly. “We’re probably one of the first in the nation for 2021 facing this kind of a situation,” Noem said. Rapid City officials said they would not open up evacuated neighbourhoods on Tuesday, but hoped to allow people to return to their homes early Wednesday. Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said his family was among those who were evacuated. “I watched a neighbour’s house go up in flames. So it touches all of us,” Thom said Monday. The Associated Press

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DeFiance Media Launches To Cover Blockchain-Based DeFi Business And Culture – Forbes

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DeFiance Media, a video-news startup focused on coverage of the business and culture of the fast-growing decentralized finance (”DeFi”) sector, has launched with a presence on OTT and digital broadcast services reaching 65 million homes in the United States and abroad, and a new website providing enhanced coverage.

“We’re not taking the ‘Bloomberg for crypto’ approach” of some competing services covering parts of the blockchain world, Scarpa said. “None of them went on TV. We’re only streaming (video). If you look at mass media, and the way they’re portraying the decentralized narrative, there’s a real hole (in coverage) there, for covering it in a positive way.”

The 24/7 channel will feature a mix of original programming from notable personalities, third-party creators such as Hardcore Finance, news from across the world of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens and related areas, as well as related areas such as biotech, the artists and creators using NFTs, artificial intelligence, “connected living,” alternative energy, and “regenerative culture.” Other programming will come from partnerships with high-profile blockchain and cryptocurrency conferences.

“Our job is really more akin to a Huffington Post in terms of curation for these contributors,” Scarpa said. “We enable them to goose their personal brands. That’s our job, to increase carriage, to amplify their voice, promote what their doing.”  

Scarpa said he was “adamant” about including cultural coverage of the blockchain space, particularly with NFTs, where many musicians, artists and other creative talent are eagerly jumping in.

“They’re in the space now, they’re artists doing really interesting work,” Scarpa said. “They’re really the cultural fabric of the community. If we were only a financial network, DeFiance wouldn’t be broad enough to be something providers want to carry.” 

Scarpa, whom I’ve known socially for many years, served as New York bureau chief in the early days of CNET, which undertook in the 1990s to cover the emerging internet and tech industry in a focused way. Scarpa said he is taking inspiration for DeFiance from the approaches CNET took to industry coverage back then.

Services carrying the startup’s content include aggregators such as Local Now, Select TV, NetRange, Glewed TV, as well as Twitter and Amazon

AMZN
-owned Twitch. The services reach a combined 50 million U.S. households and another 15 million outside the country.

Initial shows include Bitcoin: Culture Conversations, whose episode feature interviews of former Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, venture capital stalwart Tim Draper, actor Adrian Grenier and skateboard icon Tony Hawk, and musicians Blond:ish and Fab Five Freddy. Weekly programs will be hosted by Patrick Tsang, Sarah Austin, Matt McKibbon, Ted Moskovitz, Mike Matsumura, Alex Chizhik, Shimon Lazarov, Steve McGarry, Siraj Raval, and Freya Fox.

The company hopes to make money several ways: with ad-revenue shares from carriers, branded entertainment/sponsored content, events, content licensing to Getty Images and similar outlets, and transactional markets, among other potential opportunities.

DeFiance is based in Puerto Rico, and has a studio in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, Scarpa said. But in keeping with its core subject matter, the operation is heavily decentralized, with contributors and programming coming from numerous cities.

The company has been raising a seed round of about $2 million, Scarpa said.

It counts among its investors and advisers a number of notables in the blockchain world and related areas, including investor Brock Pierce, who is long-time chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation; Eric Pulier, founder of Vatom; Doug Scott, founder of gaming culture company Subnation; Hong Kong investor and podcast host Patrick P.L. Tsang; Good Human co-founder and former Warner Bros. Entertainment VP James Glasscock; and Craig Sellars, co-founder/CTO of cryptocurrency services company Tether. Sellars and Pulier are credited as pioneering creators of the technologies behind NFTs.

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NASA Invites Media to Next SpaceX Cargo Launch to Space Station – NASA

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NASA Invites Media to Next SpaceX Cargo Launch to Space Station  NASA



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How HuffPost Canada's digital impact and untimely demise changed Canadian news media – Poynter

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Mel Woods found out they no longer had a job from a group chat.

The Vancouver-based journalist was working as HuffPost Canada’s only worker in the western region of the country, covering viral and trending stories as an associate editor, up until the outlet’s unceremonious March 2021 demise. BuzzFeed bought HuffPost in November 2019 and, just two weeks after the newsroom’s decision to unionize, closed HuffPost Canada and left 23 staff without their jobs.

It’s another data point in a long list of recent closures and contractions on the Canadian media landscape.

Many of those laid off have landed positions elsewhere. Woods now plies their trade at Xtra — a Toronto-based outlet focused on 2SLGBTQ+ perspectives — and others have surfaced as staff at The New York Times, CBC and Politico, among others. Some left for public relations gigs, and others are currently working as freelancers. The announcement of the closure just one week from the meeting, Woods said, left some staff scrambling.

“For somebody who was suddenly unemployed, it was a very, very busy week because we had to sort out what happened and when, and what the unionization played into it, what severance played into it and why it had happened because it caught all of us by surprise,” Woods said.

HuffPost’s union, CWA Canada, had never faced a closure in its history. President Martin O’Hanlon said the ceasing of operations points to BuzzFeed’s lack of understanding of the Canadian media landscape.

“I don’t think it says a lot about the Canadian media industry, per se, I think it says a lot about BuzzFeed. And I think it tells you that BuzzFeed is just interested in America, and in making as much profit as possible,” O’Hanlon said. “… They don’t give a damn about Canadian journalism is the bottom line.”

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for BuzzFeed said: “BuzzFeed announced a restructuring of HuffPost in March in order to break even this year and fast-track its path to profitability. As part of these changes, we made the difficult decision to close HuffPost’s Canada and Quebec operations. The incredibly talented teams there have made enormous contributions to the political and news ecosystems in Canada — from extensive, award-winning coverage of the federal election, to relentless reporting on how COVID-19 exacerbated a long-term care crisis, and a powerful investigation of how mental illness is responded to as a crime. We know this decision was painful for everyone affected, but we are confident that these journalists will continue to do powerful and impactful reporting in the years to come. We continue to do everything we can to ensure their transition is a smooth one.”

The announcement certainly wasn’t easy on the staff of HuffPost Canada. The all-hands meeting in which the closure was announced, which Woods said was predicted within the staff to be announcing a new U.S. editor-in-chief, had the password “spring is here.”

But the closing of HuffPost Canada is more than another sad story to add to the layoffs seen at other newsrooms in Canada, most publicly at Global and Postmedia. HuffPost’s Canada’s coverage won awards posthumously. Woods won an award from RTDNA Canada for examining gender and transphobia more than two months after the outlet officially closed.

The skill and success of the staff was partially due to the culture and the diversity of the newsroom, Woods said.

“The fact of how quickly folks have been snapped up by other places is proof of the respect that was had for our newsroom,” Woods said. “We kind of sprinkled our seeds everywhere.”

Woods likened the HuffPost style that they have taken to Xtra as “serving (readers) their vegetables, but in a good way,” through a metrics and service journalism-focused approach.

Some of those seeds appear to have taken root elsewhere. New approaches to digital journalism in Canada, including what service looks like to staff and readers, is a common thread in discussions with Canadian newsroom leaders.

The Canadian Association of Journalists recently completed data collection for their first diversity survey, modeling their work after the News Leaders Association in the U.S. Meanwhile, CBC made the decision to turn off all Facebook comments on news stories for a month beginning in mid-June, which editor-in-chief Brodie Fenlon attributed to a data-gathering exercise mixed with a want to protect the mental health of journalists. It is a policy that they have since extended to the end of October.

HuffPost Canada’s digital impact, and its dismantling, points toward a future for Canadian journalism that must consider the health of its readers and staff while acknowledging the changing needs of digital media.

CBC’s decision to direct the tenets of service journalism toward its own staff hints toward an industry that is understanding (at a glacial pace) just how worn down it is and how building back means doing so with care. At this year’s Michener Awards, a ceremony dedicated to public service journalism and its impact on society, APTN journalist Kenneth Jackson acknowledged what it means to sit with the impact your work makes, on subjects, readers and staff.

“If you want to do service journalism you can’t fly above it,” he said, “you gotta get down and wear it.”

BuzzFeed appears to have worn its decision, as have the journalists who had to face the consequences.

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