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Media Beat: June 29, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News



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Kari Johnson responds to Friday’s column in which Danko Jones calls out Indie 88 for a lack of diversity in its programming.

“I’m surprised at the complaints against Indie 88. Diversity in staff is one thing, and that may be a warranted problem to fix. However, it’s been my experience that attending a music meeting and discussing adds is usually the most UN-racist activity one could ever be in. There’s usually a file download played which has no picture. Or, in the ‘old’ days, a CD, with just a plain printed title. If it’s an established act you would definitely have an idea of who they were and what they looked like if that was going to have a bearing on how you voted for an add. But for a new band or artist, it’s typically a 100% blind audition where you have no idea of anything except whether the song is good or bad. There’s no visible way to tell who’s white, black, indigenous, male/female, red, orange, or any other colour.

“Many times you don’t even know if you’re judging a whole band or a single person with an odd non-person name.

“Perhaps if someone’s song doesn’t get an add, the reason isn’t so sinister. Maybe it’s just not good.”

Corus reports a $752M quarterly loss  

Corus Entertainment, the owner of the Global TV network and 39 Canadian radio stations, reported a $752-million loss in the three months ending on May 31.

That was due to a $786.8-million non-cash charge it placed on its operating statement for “broadcast licences and goodwill impairment”. That amounted to $3.69 per share.

Revenues fell by 24 percent to $349 million compared to the March to May period in 2019.

Radio revenues plunged 52 percent to $17.6 million, whereas TV revenues fell 21.4 percent to $331.2 million. – Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

Elon Musk wants to provide rural Canadians with fast satellite internet service

Billionaire entrepreneur and Tesla electric car impresario Elon Musk recently signalled to telecommunications regulators that he intends to provide super-fast internet service to rural Canadians via satellite.

Musk’s application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, lodged in May via his Hawthorne, Calif.-based company Space Exploration Technologies, has mustered an unusual groundswell of public support. – Peter Nowak, The Star

Canadaland workers unionize

Workers at Canadaland, a Canadian podcast network and news organization, have signed union cards and filed for union certification.

In a news release, issued Thursday, CWA Canada announced it had “filed today with the Canada Industrial Relations Board after all non-management workers signed union cards.”

Canadaland publisher Jesse Brown told PressProgress he welcomed the news and said he was willing to voluntarily recognize the union.

Postmedia print room workers courted for union certification

The Canadian Media Guild has applied to be certified as the union representative of pressroom workers at Postmedia’s Toronto printing plant.

The union, which is a local of CWA Canada, says it filed its application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board on Monday after a majority of the plant’s staff signed union cards. – The Canadian Press

Pandemic playing into Big Tech’s bid to become bigger still

Even with the global economy reeling from a pandemic-induced recession and dozens of businesses filing for bankruptcy, tech’s largest companies — still wildly profitable and flush with billions of dollars from years of corporate dominance — are deliberately laying the groundwork for a future where they will be bigger and more powerful than ever.

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are aggressively placing new bets as the coronavirus pandemic has made them near-essential services, with people turning to them to shop online, entertain themselves and stay in touch with loved ones. The skyrocketing use has given the companies new fuel to invest as other industries retrench. – Mike Isaac, The New York Times

Zuckerberg loses $7B as ad boycott kicks in

Mark Zuckerberg just became US$7.2B poorer after a flurry of companies pulled advertising from Facebook Inc.’s network.

The share-price drop eliminated $56B from Facebook’s market value and pushed Zuckerberg’s net worth down to $82.3B, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That moved the Facebook chief executive officer down one notch to fourth place, overtaken by Louis Vuitton boss Bernard Arnault, who was elevated to one of the world’s three richest people along with Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Top Facebook outrages of 2019

2019 was the year Facebook cemented its position as the world’s most despised company. Here are 29 ways the “move fast and break things” jerk-offs soiled our lives in 2019. Pick your top 10, stick ’em in an old sock and light ’em on fire.

1. January: It was discovered that Facebook-owned WhatsApp was being used to spread illegal child pornography.
2. January: Researcher Aaron Greenspan, former running mate of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard, said that Facebook’s claim of reaching 2 billion people is a lie and said Zuckerberg “may be the greatest con man in history.”
3. January: Zuckerberg writes a Wall Street Journal op-ed defending Facebook and gets roundly roasted for it.
4. January: British health minister threatens to close down social media after a 14-year-old girl commits suicide after seeing disturbing content on Facebook-owned Instagram.
5. February: It was discovered that Facebook was paying kids as young as 13 to install spyware on their phones.
6. February: A committee of Parliament in England denounced Facebook as “digital gangsters” and said, “Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’…”
FebruaryThe Wall Street Journal discovered that people were entering private information into apps and, unknown to them, the apps were feeding the info to Facebook.
8. March: Federal investigators summoned a grand jury to investigate criminal implications of Facebook’s agreement with over 100 tech companies to provide them with information about 100s of millions of FB users without their knowledge or consent.
9. March: Facebook leaves hundreds of millions of user passwords unencrypted.
10. March: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sued Facebook for allowing “advertisers to exclude people from seeing housing ads based on their race, religion, background and other characteristics” 
11. March: In the wake of the massacre of 50 people in New Zealand which was live-streamed on FB, the Prime Minister of Australia threatened to jail social media execs. 
12: April: It was discovered that a Mexican company had stored over 500 million Facebook records in plain sight on the Amazon cloud for anyone to access.
13: April: Bloomberg reported that almost 400,000 crooks have been using Facebook for as long as eight years as a marketplace to buy and sell criminal materials.
14: April: The Daily Beast reported that “Child Brides in Africa Are Advertised on Facebook and Sold to Old Men.” 
15. April: The New York Times reported that “Regulators on four continents are preparing for a long-awaited showdown with Facebook...”
16. May: In an article in the NY Times, Chris Hughes, one of the founders of Facebook, called for its breakup. 
17: July: FTC fines Facebook $5 billion for Cambridge Analytica scandal.
18: August: Netflix airs “The Great Hack” about the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. PBS airs “The Facebook Dilemma,” savaging the company and claiming it has blood on its hands.
19: September: TechCrunch found another unprotected database online which contained the phone numbers and user IDs of 419 million Facebook users. 
20: September: The BBC reported that a study by Privacy International determined that “Intimate data, including when people have had sex, is being shared with Facebook.”
21: September: Massachusetts attorney general found that Facebook lied when they said they suspended 400 apps to remediate after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In fact, they suspended 69,000 questionable apps.
22: September: A study conducted by researchers at Oxford University found that “Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation…Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries.”
23: October: Facebook agreed to pay a group of advertisers $40 million to settle a  suit which claimed that Facebook had inflated its video metrics by as much as 900%.
24: October: Zuckerberg gave a speech at Georgetown University defending Facebook’s policy of airing political advertising they know to be false.
25: October:  BuzzFeed reported “How A Massive Facebook Scam Siphoned Millions Of Dollars From Unsuspecting Boomers.”
26: October: P&G announced that they had built their own database of 1.5 billion people because they don’t trust the numbers of Facebook or Google.
27: November: Aaron Sorkin, writer of the movie “The Social Network,” savaged Zuckerberg’s “free speech” hypocrisy in a NY Times op-ed.
28: December: CNET reported “more than 267 million Facebook user phone numbers, names and user IDs were exposed in a database that anyone could access online.” 
29: December: In response to an inquiry from two U.S. Senators, Facebook admitted it can track peoples’ locations even if they opt-out of tracking. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

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The Worst Social Media App For Sleep Is TikTok – Refinery29



Even within the activities she says are acceptable to do before bed, there’s a spectrum. Schneeberg says you can imagine rating activities on a scale of one to 10, with one being super boring and 10 being super engaging. “You don’t want to be watching or reading a 10. That might be a thriller, for example, or a book your favourite author just published, or a brand-new, binge-able show,” she says. “Try to choose something that’s a five: not so boring that you don’t care, but just interesting enough that drowsiness can sneak up on you and you aren’t lying there worrying about whether you’ll be able to fall asleep. You want distraction — but only at a certain level.”

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Trump allies take aim at his global media chief for firings – 570 News



WASHINGTON — Seven U.S. senators, including two strong allies of President Donald Trump, harshly criticized Trump’s new chief of U.S.-funded global media on Wednesday for firing the heads of several international broadcasters without consulting Congress. They expressed concern that the independent agency may become politicized.

Led by Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the group questioned the leadership of Michael Pack, Trump’s pick to head the Agency for Global Media, which runs the flagship U.S. broadcaster Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and the Cuba-focused Radio/TV Marti.

Democrats have been outspoken in their concerns that Pack, a conservative filmmaker and associate of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, has been brought on board to turn VOA and the other outlets into a pro-Trump propaganda machine with little regard for the independence granted them by their founding charter. Wednesday’s letter was notable in that it was signed by the two powerful Trump allies who are particularly close to the president.

In a scathing letter to Pack, the senators complained he had given lawmakers no reason for the purge of qualified leaders at RFE/RL, RFA, MBN and the Open Technology Fund, a non-broadcast arm of the agency that works to provide secure internet access to people around the world. The director and deputy director of VOA resigned just days before the firings, which also included the dismissal of each of their governing boards.

“The termination of qualified expert staff and network heads for no specific reason as well as the removal of their boards raised questions about the preservation of these entities and their ability to implement their statutory missions now and in the future,” they wrote. “These actions, which came without any consultation with Congress, let alone notification, raise serious questions about the future of USAGM under your leadership.”

Pack was bitterly opposed by Democrats but was confirmed to his position last month on a party line 53-38 vote in the Senate. Rubio, Graham and the other two Republicans who signed the letter, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Susan Collins of Maine, all voted for his confirmation. Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who opposed Pack’s confirmation, also signed.

Pack has defended the moves as necessary to reform the agency, but Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans have taken issue with actions they fear could subvert its non-partisan mission. Conservatives have in particular assailed the firings of former Rubio staffer Jamie Fly as head of RFE/RL and former U.S. diplomat Alberto Fernandez as head of MBN.

A request for comment about the letter was not immediately acknowledged by Pack’s office. But, in a statement issued after the initial criticism of the firings, he said: “Every action I carried out was — and every action I will carry out will be — geared toward rebuilding the USAGM’s reputation, boosting morale, and improving content.”

Regardless of any needed reforms. the senators said it is critical for AGM’s outlets to hold true to their charter of independence and provide global audiences with unbiased and credible news and other programming. This, they said, is particularly important as the U.S. confronts increasing misinformation and disinformation campaigns from Russia, China and Iran.

“We urge you to respect the unique independence that enable USAGM’s outlets and grantees to help cultivate a free and open world,” the wrote. “Given the bipartisan and bicameral concern with recent events, we intend to do a thorough review of USAGM’s funding to ensure that United States international broadcasting is not politicized and that the agency is able to fully and effectively carry out its core mission.”

Matthew Lee, The Associated Press

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Turkey: Erdogan vows social media controls over insults to family – Al Jazeera English



Turkey’s president has vowed to tighten government control over social media following alleged insults directed at his daughter and son-in-law when they announced the birth of their fourth child on Twitter.

Addressing his party’s provincial leaders via a conference call on Wednesday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened new legislation by the year’s end to stringently regulate “immoral” social media.

“Do you understand why we are against social media such as YouTube, Twitter and Netflix? To eradicate such immorality,” Erdogan told members of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

He said his government is determined to introduce legislation that would force social media companies to establish a legal presence in Turkey.

The requirement would mean they could be held financially accountable and forced to respond to Turkish court decisions.

‘Abusing a newborn’

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is married to Erdogan’s daughter Esra, on Tuesday announced the birth of their fourth child, Hamza Salih, on Twitter.

The announcement was followed by insulting messages questioning the paternity.

Erdogan said investigations were under way against those who “attacked” his family by “abusing a newborn”.

“We will keep chasing these cowards who attack a family and the values they believe represented by them through a baby,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish leader blamed global social media companies with headquarters in Western nations for “turning a blind eye” to violations in Turkey.

“We experienced similar attacks in the past. The lack of monitoring on these platforms have a role in the rise of this sort of immoral behaviour,” he said.

“These platforms do not suit this country. We want these platforms to be banned, taken under control.”

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said a number of social media users had been detained overnight for allegedly posting insulting tweets.

Many Turks rallied in support of the president’s family and condemned the insults, including opposition politicians.

History of bans

Ankara regularly clamps down on dissent, most recently on posts about its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is accused of targeting opposition politicians, journalists, academics and lawyers for expressing their opinions online.

Erdogan last week faced a flood of “dislikes” on YouTube while addressing youth before their exams. When the live chat was quickly closed to comments, “No Votes” started trending on Twitter.

Turkish authorities have previously imposed temporary blocks on Twitter and other social media during crises, for example, following an air attack in Syria’s Idlib that killed dozens of Turkish soldiers in February this year.

Although Erdogan’s comments came days after the reported insults on social media, his government has long been considering amendments that would enable it to keep social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in check by forcing them to remove content or risk facing heavy fines and restricted access to their platforms.

Critics fear the move is aimed at further limiting the Turkish public’s ability to access independent news outlets in an environment dominated by pro-government media.

Turkey has blocked access to thousands of websites. In January, the government lifted a more than two-year ban on Wikipedia after Turkey’s top court ruled the block was unconstitutional.

Turkey had halted access to the online encyclopedia after it refused to remove content the government deemed to be offensive.

In December 2015, Turkey’s communications regulator issued an unprecedented fine on Twitter for allowing the publication of content deemed to justify terror.

Erdogan’s aversion to social media platforms dates back to huge anti-government protests in 2013, which were often mobilised by Twitter and Facebook posts.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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