A new coronavirus variant, C.1.2, has been detected in South Africa and a number of other countries, with concerns that it could be more infectious and evade vaccines, according to a new preprint study by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform. The study is awaiting peer review. – The Jerusalem Post (via Warren’s network)
The specialty channel has a heavy schedule of live concerts, music docs and the like this month, heralded by the premiere of Metric: Dreams So Real, a concert doc filmed on the band’s 2016 global tour. Other billings include Coldplay Live in São Paulo, The Sapphires, Detroit Rock City, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Buddy Holly Story, Elvis…on Tour, Blue Hawaii and King Creole, Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas, Love Me Tender, Purple Rain, Paul Simon in Concert, Bona Vista Social Club, and Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine. The full schedule can be found here.
Telus has been on a tear over the past year, relatively speaking. The stock is up about 21 per cent since last August, a substantial figure for a utility like Telus which has delivered a gain of about 140 per cent over the past ten years, not including the always attractive dividend which currently sports a yield of 4.3 per cent.
That 21 per cent return over the past 12 months compares favourably to rivals BCE and Rogers Communications who have returned about 14 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, over that time span.
But Bill Harris, partner at Avenue Investment, who spoke on BNN Bloomberg, sees growth potential in Telus, even though the stock may not be a buy at the moment.
“The interesting thing is in this particular window — we think it’s actually already priced into the market, as Telus has done well and it’s priced in — is where BCE and Rogers felt that they had to have content and then you’re selling your content on your platform, Telus has gone out and said that data analysis and AI are going to be part of the future,” Harris said. – Jason MacLean, CanTech Letter
Interested creators are invited to pitch a locally reflective original idea for a short documentary, web pilot series or digital short for the opportunity to receive a grant. Online applications are open September 1 to October 6, 2021.
In addition to the funding, successful creators will receive customized career training, filmmaking mentorship, and distribution of their projects on select Telus platforms. No previous experience in film production or other creative endeavours is required to submit an application.
Large Canadian broadcasting and telecommunication enterprises collected significant amounts from the federal government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) in 2020 and will likely receive more for 2021. According to CRA, Rogers and BCE alone received more than $200M in wage subsidies. – Denis Carmel, CARTT
On September 20, Canadians will be going to the polls: Here are the positions of the major parties on arts, culture, and heritage. – BC Alliance for Arts + Culture
VaxiCode Verif is a reader application that scans data contained in the QR code, including a cryptographic signature to verify the code’s authenticity. That reader could scan a QR code uploaded to the VaxiCode application or to a paper version of the code, or to a photograph or PDF of the code. – The Canadian Press
Last week, it was Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ dapper drummer. Unlike so many of these events that have suddenly occurred during “inconvenient” hours – over weekends, at night, etc. – the announcement that Watts had succumbed at age 80 came during the noon hour ET this past Tuesday. Perfect, right?
But as usual, I saw the outrage on Twitter and Facebook, aimed at Classic Rock stations that made no announcement about Watts’ death, nor played any Stones songs. Stations that heavily voicetrack and/or use midday talent from out of the market, were especially likely to have missed the moment. – Fred Jacobs, Jacobs Media
The most recent Share of Ear study from Edison Research finds that 12% of all AM/FM radio listening is via streaming, while 88% of listening is done to a traditional, over-the-air radio signal.
AM/FM radio content in the U.S. is now available through a variety of digital apps and devices, making radio listening possible on computers, smartphones, smart speakers, and through radio station websites, apps, and third-party apps. Although streaming AM/FM content continues to see small amounts of incremental growth each year, and at 12% is the highest measure yet, the largest amount of listening goes to the over-the-air (OTA) signals from devices such as car radios and clock radios.
Vice Media officially nixed plans to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), at least for now, The Information reports. However, Vice did raise an additional US$85M from existing investors. A portion of those funds are earmarked for costs associated with the company’s 2016 acquisition of UK-based studio Pulse, since it must continue investing to retain a majority share of the company. Vice co-founder Shane Smith will no longer control a voting majority of Vice, though he’ll remain as board chairman. The digital media company was $20M in the red last year, down from a $100M loss in 2018. So investors hope the new round will be a bridge to sustainable profitability. – AdExchanger
Capital flows out of Hong Kong banks reaching Canada rose to their highest levels on record last year, with about C$43.6B in electronic funds transfers (EFT) recorded by FINTRAC, Canada’s anti-money laundering agency, which receives reports on transfers above C$10,000.
The outflows represent only 1.9 per cent of Hong Kong’s total bank deposits in 2020. But, at the same time, the FINTRAC data captures only a fraction of total legal inflows into the Canadian economy because many transactions are not included, such as transfers via cryptocurrencies, between financial institutions. – Sarah Wu & Nicholas Saminather, Reuters
Over half (53.9%) of businesses reported that they could continue operating at their current level of revenue and expenditures for 12 months or more before considering closure or bankruptcy, compared with over two-thirds (68.5%) of businesses that reported the same in the second quarter. Similar to the second quarter, 6.8% of businesses reported that they could continue for less than 12 months. Less than one-fifth of businesses in accommodation and food services (16.9%) reported that they could continue to operate at their current level of revenue and expenditures for less than 12 months before having to consider closure or bankruptcy, down from the previous quarter (22.8%).
Almost half (49.4%) of businesses reported that they could continue to operate at their current level of revenue and expenditures for 12 months or more before considering laying off staff, down from the over three-fifths (61.6%) of businesses that reported the same in the second quarter. Meanwhile, more than one in six businesses (17.7%) reported that they could continue for less than 12 months before considering laying off staff. Businesses in accommodation and food services (34.5%), in arts, entertainment and recreation (33.7%), and in manufacturing (24.3%) were most likely to report that they could continue operating at their current level of revenue and expenditures for less than 12 months before considering laying off staff. – Statistics Canada
Over one-quarter (27.8%) of businesses anticipated that some of their workforce would continue to primarily telework once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The businesses most likely to anticipate having some of their staff primarily telework were those in information and cultural industries (53.4%); professional, scientific and technical services (51.5%); and finance and insurance (44.8%). Of the businesses anticipating staff to telework, almost one in six (14.7%) foresaw reducing their office space because more of their workforce would be teleworking.
In the hours after Kabul fell to the Taliban, swathes of the mainstream US news media instantly savaged President Biden for losing Afghanistan. In the week since then, he has stayed under an intense spotlight. News organizations have disputed the accuracy of many of his claims about the situation on the ground—a “credibility gap,” Politico’s Playbook newsletter wrote over the weekend, “that is dominating the coverage right now and could threaten Biden’s standing with the public.” The credibility-gap narrative has extended overseas, with American commentators and foreign outlets alike stating that Biden has taken a wrecking ball to global perceptions of US prestige and reliability. – Jon Allsop, Columbia Journalism Review
Fox News is driving political violence in the US, a media watchdog warned, after the primetime host Tucker Carlson predicted “revolt” against the Biden administration.
In a Monday night monologue targeting the White House and military leaders over the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Carlson demanded resignations. He also said: “When leaders refuse to hold themselves accountable over time, people revolt. That happens.
“We need to change course immediately and start acknowledging our mistakes. The people who made them need to start acknowledging them or else the consequences will be awful.” – Martin Pengelly, The Guardian
America’s media giants in March hitched their wagons to the NFL for another decade. Next week, they’ll find out whether that US$105B was money well spent.
The new NFL season, which begins Sept. 9, will provide a crucial stress test of the popularity of TV’s biggest attraction. Last year, NFL regular season viewership fell 7%, marking the first drop in three years. But it was hard to tell if fewer people watched because of declining interest in the sport or due to Covid-related disruptions, including an unusually crowded sports calendar, games played without fans and players sidelined by the coronavirus.
Now, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and Amazon.com Inc. will get a clearer picture of what they will be paying for through 2033: an entertainment property largely immune to the pressures facing the rest of TV or one that’s also starting to slip. – Gerry Smith, Bloomberg News
New York Times Co. is putting 18 newsletters behind a paywall, going toe to toe with rival offerings from Twitter, Facebook and Substack Inc. in an effort to boost subscribers.
The company leads the newspaper industry, with more than 8M total subscriptions. – Gerry Smith, Bloomberg
It’s another smart move for Liberty Media which owns 77% of SiriusXM, a third of Live Nation and some 7M shares of iHeartMedia, so it’s expected that further cross-pollination between the two media platforms will materialize. In short, it’s not just about the music.
Both parents and adult children often fail to recognize how profoundly the rules of family life have changed over the past half century. – Joshua Coleman, The Atlantic
City of Brandon – September 18th Media Release – City of Brandon –
For the last 24 hours:
Stolen Vehicle Recovered:
At about 9:30 AM Friday morning, a vehicle stolen from Winnipeg was located unoccupied in the 300 block Louise Avenue, by a member on patrol. The vehicle was seized and towed to BPS where it was subjected to a forensic examination.
Fire in Apartment Complex:
At 1:12 PM Friday, a resident of an apartment within 1400 Pacific Avenue reported fire alarms were sounding in his unit. Members attended and found an active fire within the suite, which was quickly extinguished. Investigation revealed that the fire was caused accidentally when the tenant set a bag of groceries on the stove, incidentally turning a burner on, which ignited some of the contents of the grocery bag.
Arrest Warrants Executed:
A 41 year-old male was arrested on the strength of an arrest warrant on Friday evening after being checked in the 1000 block Victoria Avenue. A police records checked showed he was wanted for failing to attend for identification. He was processed and released to appear in court on a later date.
A 33 year-old female rom Winnipeg was arrested for possession of property obtained by crime after a vehicle was stopped on the TransCanada Highway. An arrest warrant, held by the Winnipeg Police Service for the noted offence, was returned during a records query. The accused was released from custody to appear in court in Winnipeg on December 14th.
An unendorsed warrant for arrest for a 36 year-old Brandon man was executed just before 2:00 AM this morning. The male was wanted for failing to comply with conditions of an undertaking. He was held in custody and will appear before the court today.
Boissevain RCMP arrested a 61 year-old male resident of Hartney, MB on the strength of an arrest warrant held by BPS, for failing to attend court. The accused was later released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court on November 29th.
Ste Rose RCMP arrested a 43 year-old male during the course of an investigation and learned that BPS held an endorsed warrant for arrest for failing to attend for identification. The accused will appear before the court today on all charges.
Failing to Comply with Orders:
A 22 year-old female was checked by police in the 0-00 block 10th Street just before midnight Friday night. She was found to be bound by an undertaking that included a daily curfew condition, which the accused was breaching. She was processed and released to appear in court on December 16th.
A 47 year-old male was also arrested for violating a curfew condition of a release order. At 4:20 AM this morning, the accused was located in the 0-00 block 9th Street, well outside of his 9:00 PM – 8:00 AM curfew. He too was processed and released to appear in court on December 16th.
Four males were held overnight under the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act after being located in separate incidents, and being intoxicated to the point they were unable to safely care for themselves. They will be released once they are more sober.
RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY:
Acting Staff Sergeant D. Lockkhart, #101
Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, www.brandoncrimestoppers.com or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.
CRIME STOPPERS 204-727-TIPS
How the party platforms compare on future of CBC, media supports – CBC.ca
The media, including broadcasting and streaming, were the topic of much debate in the months leading into the election.
Of particular interest to the public was Bill C-10, which was introduced by the Liberals and would have required many digital media companies to promote Canadian content. The bill was controversial, and it did not become law before the election was called.
Debates have raged during the Liberal government about whether Canada’s media industry should receive government support as ad revenues fall, and whether CBC/Radio-Canada should change its programming and funding model.
The parties have made some significant pledges when it comes to media and the public broadcaster. Here are the highlights:
If the Liberals are re-elected, their platform pledges to introduce legislation that would require digital platforms, such as Facebook, to share a portion of revenue generated from news content with Canadian news outlets.
“This legislation would be based on the Australian model and level the playing field between global platforms and Canadians news outlets,” the platform says.
Similarly, the Liberals are pledging to reintroduce legislation to change Canada’s Broadcasting Act. They’ll make it a requirement for foreign web giants, such as YouTube and Netflix, to promote Canadian content.
The Liberals are also promising to extend insurance coverage related to the COVID-19 pandemic for media production stoppages. They also say they’ll double the government’s current contribution of to the Canada Media Fund to support Canadian television production.
When it comes to CBC, the Liberals want to “update CBC/Radio-Canada’s mandate to ensure that it is meeting the needs and expectations of today’s Canadian audiences with unique programming that distinguishes it from private broadcasters.”
They say they’ll provide $400 million over four years to CBC with the aim of making the public broadcaster less reliant on private advertising during news and current affairs programs.
At a press conference in Aurora, Ont., on Monday, Justin Trudeau said his party will always support the media.
“I am happy to stand here and defend the work that media does as an essential part of our democracy,” he said. “We will always be there to support and thank members of the press for doing the important work of bringing things forward, of challenging all parties and anyone who wants to lead this country, and holding leaders to account.”
Like the Liberals, the Conservatives are also proposing that Google and Facebook pay royalties for Canadian news content — adding that they will look at best practices from countries that have taken a similar approach, such as Australia and France.
They’ll also do a “full review” of the CRTC’s mandate, with a focus of “ensuring that it better reflects the needs of Canadians and doesn’t prevent Canadian broadcasters from innovating and adapting to changes in the market.”
They’re promising to repeal Bill C-10, which was the Liberal effort to require web giants to promote Canadian content. Instead, they are promising an alternative approach that would require digital streaming services to reinvest a “significant” amount of their Canadian revenue into making original Canadian programs.
The Conservatives are pledging to end the media bailout initiated by the Trudeau government in 2019, when it set aside nearly $600 million over five years to support media outlets.
“While we support Canadian media outlets, they should not be directly receiving tax dollars,” their platform reads. “Government funding of ‘approved’ media undermines press freedom, a vital part of a free society.”
When it comes to CBC, the Conservatives pledge to review the mandate of CBC English TV, including CBC News Network, and also English digital news. The platform adds that the review would look at the viability of a “public interest model like that of PBS in the United States, ensuring that it no longer competes with private Canadian broadcasters and digital providers.”
They’re also proposing a separate legal and administrative structure for Radio-Canada, while also ensuring the French-language broadcaster does not charge user fees for its streaming services or operate a sponsored content department.
At an announcement in Saint John earlier this week, O’Toole said he does not believe CBC should compete with the private sector in certain areas.
“The public interest mandate is critical in terms of rural communities being connected, in terms of keeping Canadians informed, and that’s the public interest side I like,” he said.
“What I don’t like is competition with the private sector that is holding on by a thread … in English television and in digital, competing and hollowing out jobs in the private sector, leading to less choice, less options, less voices.”
He also reaffirmed that his government would end public financial support for media outlets.
“We also have to look to end the direct government supports to media, but work with them to try and make sure they transition to the digital space, to this new media environment,” he said. “We need to balance the playing field with the American web giants, and we will do that, while protecting freedom of speech and Internet freedom.”
The NDP are also promising changes to the Broadcasting Act, with an aim of creating “a level playing field between Canadian broadcasters and foreign streaming giants,” according to its platform.
The platform says the party will make Netflix, Facebook, Google and other digital media companies pay corporate taxes and contribute to Canadian content in both English and French.
“Most Canadians now get their news from Facebook, and Netflix is the largest broadcaster in the country,” the platform says. “But despite the Liberals promising to take action, these web giants still don’t pay the same taxes or contribute to funding Canadian content in the same way traditional media do.”
The party says it will put a priority on partnering with independent Canadian producers and on increasing funding for TeleFilm and the Canada Media Fund, although it doesn’t say how much.
The NDP is pledging to increasing funding for CBC and Radio-Canada “to help reverse the damage of decades of funding cuts under both Liberal and Conservative governments.” The platform doesn’t specify an amount.
But in an interview with the advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, Singh said he’d look into bringing funding for the public broadcaster to levels seen in other countries.
“I want us to get to a point where we’re not among the lowest funded in the world. We need to be competitive with what other jurisdictions are doing. … We want to have properly funded, well-funded public broadcasting,” he said. “I’m definitely prepared to increase [funding].”
The People’s Party has said during the campaign that it would end the media bailout “to guarantee that Canada has a free and independent press,” according to a news release from the party.
With regard to CBC/Radio-Canada, the People’s Party would either defund and privatize it, or it would change the funding model to a partly donor-driven one like those with NPR and PBS in the United States.
“What we need are free and independent media, not media that are dependent on the government for their survival and profitability,” PPC Leader Maxime Bernier said in a statement.
The Green platform says the party is in favour of regulating social media platforms and streaming services through the CRTC “as envisioned in Bill C-10.”
The party also wants the CRTC to reserve more bandwidth for independent and non-profit stations, and it is pledging to create an independent commission to study the concentration of media ownership in Canada.
With respect to CBC, the party says it will “provide a stable base-funding” for CBC’s English and French operations, but additionally wants to see programs in Indigenous languages and programming that encourages learning of Indigenous languages.
Social media strategies played important role in pandemic election: experts – CTV News
Bakhtawar Khan excitedly waited, her friend holding two cellphones and a camera, for her turn to get a photo with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
The 20-year-old, like most people showing up to political rallies across the country, wanted to share the image with friends and followers on social media.
“I feel like a lot of people are telling me not to vote for NDP because it will be a split with the Liberals,” Khan said. “But the way I look at social media, I don’t think it will be true this year.”
Khan, like people across the country, says she gets all her political and election information from social media.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been spending even more time on their social media and all the political parties are hoping to take advantage to tap directly into their voter base. But just because someone likes or shares a political post doesn’t necessarily translate at the polls.
Experts across the country are watching to see which party’s social media strategy paid off the most on election day.
Half of Canadians, regardless of age, use Facebook weekly to get news on current events and politics, said Oksana Kishchuk, a consultant with Abacus Data.
Social media has become a vital player in building support. It’s not just about posting either, she said, as parties have to consider good photos, snappy clips and current trends.
“Mastering these techniques will be important,” Kishchuk said.
As election day comes closer, she says all three main parties are taking the strategy of “target and spend.” In the last week or so, each has spent $400,000 to $600,000 on advertisements on Facebook and Instagram. The Liberals and NDP are using that cash to share messages focusing mainly on their own strengths, while the Conservatives have put a focus on Justin Trudeau, she said.
The most recent polling by Abacus shows Liberals in the lead with their social media strategy, Kishchuk said, but impressions of Singh and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole rose significantly during the election.
In particular, Kishchuk said she’s interested to see the outcome of the New Democrats focus on TikTok to connect with younger voters.
“Very few (users) are using TikTok as a main source for news,” she added.
Tori Rivard says she joined the app because of Singh after seeing “a lot of hype” from the leader through her friends’ social media accounts. Now, she is excited about the party and even showed up to a campaign stop in Ontario.
“I think it’s super important especially with millennials and gen Z because social media is how we get all of our information pretty much,” Rivard said. “So (Singh) being engaged on there makes us more likely to seek out more information elsewhere.”
Tamara Small, a professor of political science at the University of Guelph, said she thinks TikTok as a campaign strategy is more of a “stunt” and will be less influential at the ballot box.
“As a tool of persuasion, it’s a bunch of people who cannot vote, and a bunch of people who, if they can vote, don’t likely vote,” she said. “So, thank goodness it’s free because you wouldn’t want to spend money there.”
Small also cautioned that social media can get party faithful excited but has less impact on flipping people’s partisanship.
“The whole thing is a big echo chamber,” she said.
“If you are going to go on social media you are unlikely to follow the leader of the party that’s ‘the worst’ because why would you do that to yourself.”
Social media is a double-edged sword for political parties, said Kim Speers, a professor at the University of Victoria. It has the potential to garner new support by sharing what the party stands for
“It also has the potential to decrease support if negative (information) is found on a current candidate’s social media account or if the messaging is or can be negatively misinterpreted,” she said.
Both the Conservatives and the New Democrats removed candidates or saw them resign because of their social media history.
All parties are taking a hybrid approach, she said, which includes social media ads, videoconferencing and in-person campaigning. She said NDP are focusing on new social media platforms, the Liberals have a more traditional approach with things like Facebook ads and the Conservatives are using a virtual approach, with online question-and-answer sessions and rallies.
The mix is important, Speers said, because when it comes to social media the parties “may have followers but they need voters more.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2021.
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