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Media Beat: October 08, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News



The only surprise was the fly

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Call me cruel but last night’s debate was about as exciting as shopping for a face mask and the only surprise was the uninvited fly that stuck to Mike Pence’s thatch as if it were at home in the swamp.  

Pence was calm, deliberate, ice-cool and lacquered down. A caricature of every smooth-talking, back-slapping, oily politician on The Hill. Prepped, preened and put on display with his Colgate smile, steely eyes and ever so smartly packaged in an expensive cookie-cutter suit.  

Kamala Harris was a letdown for me because I expected her prosecutorial skills to dazzle us; instead, her body language was weak, her charisma lacking and her civility undercut her opportunity to slay the dragon.

Maybe she’s a heavyweight in her element, but Wednesday night she was a lightweight who failed to strike the thunderbolt so many in America and around the world wanted to witness. A once-great nation that is now awash in fear and loathing and reaching a tipping point where the unthinkable can happen. This is a time when greatness needs to show itself and instead, we had two opposing candidates playing it safe as the walls come crumbling down.

Oh, sure, Kamala promised change. But all politicians promise change. What she failed to do was to thrust Merlin’s sword into the heart of the beast and dazzle us with a fiery condemnation of the pervasive ills that are more virulent in America today than the virus that has the White House caged.

Pubcaster cuts 130 people due to budgetary shortfalls

The impact to the news division, current affairs and local news affects 58 positions, but most were dealt with by retirement and attrition. – Tyler Dawson, National Post

Broadcasters unify with ‘HireBIPOC’ initiative

Canada’s broadcasters and industry leaders have a plan to “eradicate systemic racism in the media and entertainment industries” with HireBIPOC, an industry-wide initiative to change hiring practices and enhance opportunity for an inclusive workforce. With 500 members registered, the online roster includes 20+ Canadian media organizations. – Media release

Quebec announces $50M bailout plan for theatres, other venues

On Friday, the provincial government announced that it will give the cultural promoters 75 percent of the revenue from tickets the venues would have sold if the lockdown hadn’t happened. In other words, they’ll pay out 75 percent of the revenue from ticket sales in the year-earlier period. The program will run for six months, from Oct. 1 to March 31, 2021. – Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette

Levi’s buying back your old jeans

Used clothing is a hot market and Levi’s has cottoned on to the idea of buying back pairs of old jeans for re-sale. It’s also an ecologically sound thing to do, which fits in with the brand’s corporate ethos. Basically how it works is you return the frayed cottons to any Levi store, they give you anywhere between $35 and a $5 credit, depending on the whether the item is re-sellable. – Sarah Mahoney, Media Post

Shopper preferences swinging toward austerity

Shoppers have been primarily driven to make purchases based on health and safety concerns throughout the pandemic. However, a second layer of consumption behavior has been emerging from those experiencing (and anticipating) financial restraint. A new Nielsen survey of US shopping trends breaks down the numbers. – Nielsen Insights

Brands shifting big dollars into influencer marketing

Influencer marketing agency Takumi, which surveyed 3,500 consumers, brands, and creators in August. Per The Drum, Takumi’s findings indicated that 73% of businesses are putting more financial resources into influencer marketing now than they were before the pandemic. – James Hale, Tubefilter

Facebook’s Portal adds support for other platforms

Facebook has announced it’s bringing a number of new features and services to its family of Portal devices, including support for Netflix and Zoom. The company will also introduce easier ways to launch Netflix and other video streaming apps with one-touch buttons on its new remote. – Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Intentional deep fake US election ads

Two political ads will broadcast on social media today, featuring deepfake versions of Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Both deepfake leaders will be giving the same message: that America doesn’t need any election interference from them; it will ruin its democracy by itself.

What are they for?

Yes, the ads sound creepy, but they’re meant for a good cause. They’re part of a campaign from the nonpartisan advocacy group RepresentUs to protect voting rights during the upcoming US presidential election, amid president Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting and suggestions that he may refuse a peaceful transition. The goal is to shock Americans into understanding the fragility of democracy as well as provoke them to take various actions, including checking their voter registration and volunteering for the polls. It flips the script on the typical narrative of political deepfakes, which experts often worry could be abused to confuse voters and disrupt elections. –Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review.

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Mainstream media the top amplifier of White House disinformation

Mail-in voting is being unfairly undermined—and researchers say it’s the US media, not social platforms or foreign powers, doing the most damage. – Patrick Howell-O’Neill, MIT Technology Review

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The Media’s Hunter Biden Conundrum – The New York Times



The 2020 presidential contest has been surrounded by dramatic events, by plague, protest and economic collapse, but as a campaign it’s been remarkably devoid of twists and turns. The polling has been mostly stable, the challenger has run the virtual equivalent of a front-porch campaign and mostly suppressed his own pugilistic instincts, and the incumbent has been unsurprisingly himself.

Which makes it fitting, maybe, that the most interesting controversy of the campaign’s final week is a news media meta argument about how a story should be covered. That story is based on the claims of Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of Hunter Biden and James Biden, respectively Joe Biden’s son and brother, and on a trove of emails and text messages of uncertain provenance. There are new details about the son and brother’s attempts to cut deals in China based on their family brand, but the key allegation is that Joe Biden himself was pulled into his son’s Chinese negotiations.

On Sunday, my colleague Ben Smith produced the fascinating back story on the story: how the scoop was supposed to go to The Wall Street Journal, with Trump allies mediating, but then another Trump ally, Rudy Giuliani, handed some of the same emails to The New York Post, with a strange back story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, which in turn led to a Post story, accusations of Russian disinformation and an attempted social-media blackout of The Post. Meanwhile, Journal reporters were unable to pin down if Joe Biden had any role in the deal, Bobulinski threw the story to the wider press, and only right-wing outlets ran with it. In the end, both the Journal and this newspaper covered the story in a dry and cautious fashion, describing the Bobulinski allegations while also stressing the lack of definite evidence of the former vice president’s involvement in any deal.

If you’re still with me after that tangle, you can see that this isn’t a subject that lends itself to straight-ahead polemics. But let me try to perform punditry and draw out three provisional conclusions.

The first is that the decision by Twitter to attempt to shut down the circulation of the New York Post story, which looked bad when it was made, looks even worse now that we have more of the back story and more evidence in view. At this point we can posit with some certainty that The Post’s story was not some sort of sweeping Russian disinformation plot but a more normal example of late-dropping opposition research, filtered through a partisan lens and a tabloid sensibility, weaving genuine facts into contestable conclusions. It was, in other words, analogous to all kinds of contested anti-Trump stories that various media outlets have run with across the last four crazy years — from the publicity around the Steele dossier’s wilder rumors to the tales of Michael Cohen’s supposed Prague rendezvous to the claims that Russians hacked Vermont’s power grid or even C-SPAN.

In none of these cases did social-media minders step in to protect the public from possible fake news. As Matt Taibbi and other gadfly press critics have pointed out, it’s hard to come up with any reasonable social-media rule that would justify the suppression of The Post’s story that couldn’t just as easily be applied to all the pieces of conspiratorial Trump-Russia reportage that didn’t pan out, or the Julie Swetnick allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, or various scoops based on technically illegal leaks. That capriciousness is a bad sign for the project of harnessing social media giants to filter out disinformation; it suggests that any filter would inevitably feel partisan, partial and obviously reverse-engineered.

In this case the intended reverse-engineering was basically, “don’t let 2016 happen again,” with “2016” being a stand-in for how the media covered the WikiLeaks revelations and the late-October surprise of Jim Comey reopening an F.B.I. investigation into Hillary Clinton based on material from Anthony Weiner’s laptop. But in neither of those cases was Russian “disinformation” crucial: The hindsight critiques revolve around how much play mainstream outlets gave those stories relative to others, and around Comey’s own self-interested and inconsistent decision-making. And there is no clear logical chain that runs from “the F.B.I. director made bad choices because he assumed Clinton would win and The New York Times gave those choices too much front-page space” to “we need to censor late-breaking allegations that appear in right-wing media on the chance that they might have been ginned up by the Russians.”

Especially because of the second conclusion that we can draw from this episode, an insight I’m stealing from Smith’s piece: The power of media gatekeepers (like this newspaper) to shape political coverage is still significant, and just because some charge or scoop circulates in the right-wing ecosystem doesn’t mean that it has any impact beyond the realm of people who are already voting for Donald Trump.

This is an important point because so much liberal analysis of why we might need things like Twitter blackouts assumes that mainstream media institutions have no power anymore — that “the elite level of national news, the places that have traditionally set the agenda,” as Hamilton Nolan wrote recently for The Columbia Journalism Review, have seen their power simply dissolved by technological change.

But that’s not exactly right. The internet has certainly created new spaces for eccentric ideas and conspiratorial narratives to flourish, and the transformation of the Republican Party into a populist formation with its own distinctive media ecosystem has weakened the power of national newspapers to influence Republican politicians. But the G.O.P. speaks for a minority of Americans and fewer and fewer American elites, and the internet has also expanded the audience for certain media institutions at the expense of the rest of the media industry, giving them arguably more influence over the non-Fox News-watching portion of the public than in the recent past. This means institutions like The Times or the Washington Post have a different kind of power than they did 30 years ago, but they have power all the same — including the power to contain almost any story that initially circulates on the right, and to shape the way the non-right-wing portions of the country receive it.

This, in turn, makes it reasonable for conservatives to fear the concentric circles of tech and media power — the possibility that social-media censorship, carried out “neutrally” by companies overwhelmingly staffed by liberals, will expand its reach with the vocal support of an increasingly consolidated and liberal group of mainstream-media gatekeepers.

But it also makes it reasonable for people who are not conservatives to worry about what stories they might be missing, if those same gatekeepers have an incentive to treat anything that originates outside those concentric circles as some combination of disinformation and partisan distraction.

Hence my third conclusion — that for those who feel this worry, the Hunter Biden controversy provides a clarifying case study. On the one hand, the new information is not the Biden-slaying blockbuster suggested by the New York Post headlines and some Trump supporters. But neither does it fit the description offered by NPR’s managing editor for news last week, explaining why they were only covering it as a media story: “We don’t want to waste our time on stores that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”

In fact, it’s not a distraction to have new insight into a potential First Son’s business dealings — especially given that the saga of the younger Biden is a prime example in how a milder-than-Trump form of corruption pervaded the American elite long before Trump came along, with important people and their families constantly finding ways to get rich in the shadow of the Pax Americana without ever taking anything so crass as a bribe.

It is not a coincidence, as some of my Times colleagues note in their story, that “the countries that Hunter Biden, James Biden and their associates planned to target for deals overlapped with nations where Joe Biden had previously been involved as vice president.” Nor is it a coincidence that the areas of Hunter Biden’s particular interest, China’s and Russia’s near abroad, were particularly important foreign policy zones under recent Democratic presidents. And given that pre-Trump American foreign policy in these regions was a conspicuous failure — with China tilting totalitarian and Vladimir Putin outmaneuvering the West — the fact that Biden’s nearest relative was trying to influence-peddle in both places is a useful reminder of why the establishment that’s likely to reclaim the White House next week lost power in the first place.

More specifically, Bobulinski’s story and the email evidence both suggest that Joe Biden took at least enough interest in his son’s dealings to have a meeting during the Trump presidency with his business partners. This isn’t proof that he partnered with Hunter or profited in any way, but it seems like evidence that he wasn’t particularly worried about keeping his son’s sketchy salesmanship at arm’s length. That seems like information worth knowing: not a scandal on a par with some of Trump’s, not a front-page bold-type screaming headline, but something that belongs in the pages of a newspaper, because it’s interesting news.

This is the problem with Twitter’s censorious choices, and with an expanding mainstream-press definition of what counts as disinformation and distraction. They compromise the first duty of an independent press, which is to ground any moral crusading in the most capacious possible portrait of the world as it actually exists.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email:

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTOpinion) and Instagram.

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Some Alberta nurses worry proposed social media policy would muzzle health advocacy and criticism – Global News



The United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) has concerns with proposed rules its governing college has drafted regarding social media standards for nurses.

The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) says one of its jobs — under the Health Professions Act (HPA) — is to produce standards of practice to help members in different work situations.

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David Kay, chief professional conduct officer for CARNA, said the college posted a draft social media policy for nurses on Sept. 30 for consultation.

“CARNA supports the HPA process that invites regulated members, stakeholders such as AHS, Covenant Health, unions and the public to provide their insight on the drafts,” Kay explained in an email to Global News.

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“CARNA takes the consultation process seriously.

“The comment process is typically 30 days. When the consultation process is over, CARNA considers all the comments received, reviews them and makes revisions, as necessary.”

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But the union, which represents more than 30,000 registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and allied workers in Alberta, has raised several issues with the proposed social media standards.

UNA spokesperson Cameron Westhead says the union “strongly opposes them” and is worried about their impacts on nurses’ freedom of speech and the ability to advocate for good health policy.

The draft policy reads, in part, that when using social media during online conduct, the member must:

  • Post only professional and ethical content;
  • Not post opinions, comments or information that could harm a client, person, employer, another health professional, colleague or organization;
  • Review past online presence and remove any posts that could be considered unprofessional, controversial or problematic;
  • Not post opinions, comments or information that could harm their reputation or that of a member, the college or the profession;
  • Direct any complaints about a client, person, employer, another health colleague, organization, regulated member, the regulatory college or the profession through appropriate channels;
  • Cease any online activity and remove any online content that could negatively impact the public’s perception of or trust in the regulated member or the profession.

But the nurses union argues the new standards are “an intrusive overreach.”

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The UNA says the social media rules would likely “place a chill on the willingness of nurses to lend their knowledge and experience to be advocates within public discourse on policies surrounding health and the socioeconomic determinants of health [that are] not in the public interest.”

Click to play video 'War of words between United Nurses of Alberta and province over collective bargaining'

War of words between United Nurses of Alberta and province over collective bargaining

War of words between United Nurses of Alberta and province over collective bargaining

“The draft social media standards conflict with the right of nurses to freedom of expression, a right that was recently affirmed by the courts in the Strom decision,” UNA said.

“As per this decision, criticism of the health-care system by front-line workers is in the public interest and should not be unreasonably restricted as these draft standards attempt to do.

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“Any social media standards must take into account the implications of this court decision.”

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Saskatchewan Court of Appeal quashes fine against nurse who made critical Facebook post

A few weeks after her grandfather’s death in 2015, Carolyn Strom, a registered nurse from Prince Albert, Sask., wrote on Facebook that some unnamed staff at his long-term care facility in Macklin, Sask., were not up to speed on delivering end-of-life care. Strom made the post as a private citizen but the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association found her guilty of professional misconduct.

However, on Oct. 6, 2020, Saskatchewan’s highest court overruled the disciplinary decision and the $26,000 fine levied against Strom. The judge ruled that criticism of the health care system is in the public interest and when it comes from frontline workers it can bring positive change.

Click to play video 'Saskatchewan Court of Appeal quashes fine against nurse who made critical Facebook post'

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal quashes fine against nurse who made critical Facebook post

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal quashes fine against nurse who made critical Facebook post

In a letter to CARNA, the union shared its “serious concerns with the draft standards,” saying they “inappropriately extend into the personal lives of nurses to restrict their freedom of expression” and would “severely restrict the ability of nurses to fulfill their duty to advocate for quality practice environments and meet the professional obligations set out in the foundational practice standard indicators and CNA code of ethics.”

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The letter, signed by UNA president Heather Smith, says:

“While CARNA has the responsibility to protect the public from harm, fulfilling this duty must be balanced with ensuring that CARNA is not unnecessarily and unreasonably restricting the rights of their members.

“UNA suggests that the social media standards are unnecessary given that unprofessional conduct can already be addressed through existing practice standards.

“Given that nurses have a professional obligation to question health policy, advocate for improvements to practice environments and have a charter right to express themselves, barriers to these must be carefully avoided.”

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Toews and Shandro say they won’t lay off Alberta nurses during pandemic

Toews and Shandro say they won’t lay off Alberta nurses during pandemic

Members of the nursing college had until Oct. 25 to provide feedback on the proposed changes.

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Kay would not say how much feedback CARNA received on the issue, but said: “CARNA will ensure the feedback being obtained is given thoughtful review and consideration.”

He said it would be “premature” to provide a date for when the proposed standards might be implemented.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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China retaliates against news media in latest feud with US



BEIJING — China has ordered six U.S.-based news media to file detailed information about their operations in China the latest volley in a monthslong battle with the Trump administration.

A foreign ministry statement issued late Monday demanded that the bureaus of ABC, The Los Angeles Times, Minnesota Public Radio, the Bureau of National Affairs, Newsweek and Feature Story News declare information about their staff, finances, operations and real estate in China within seven days.

The announcement came five days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said six Chinese media would have to register as foreign missions, which requires them to file similar information with the U.S. government.

The six were the third group of Chinese media required to do so this year. Each time, China has responded by forcing a similar number of U.S. media to file about their operations.

The ministry statement said China was compelled to take the step “in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the United States.”

Pompeo, in making his announcement, said the targeted Chinese media are state-owned or controlled, and that the U.S. wants to ensure that “consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The media is one of several areas of growing tension between the two countries as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China over trade, technology, defence and human rights.

The U.S. ordered the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston earlier this year, and China responded by shuttering the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

The Associated Press

Source:- OrilliaMatters

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