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Media companies ask Trudeau government for fairness – Toronto Sun

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Canada’s major publishers have a message for the Trudeau government, if you want an independent media in this country, stop looking for ways to funnel government money to newspapers and think of adopting the changes that countries like France and Australia have put in place.

The top executives behind Postmedia as well as the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, La Presse, Quebecor, Black Media, Brunswick News, Le Devoir and Glacier Media have all signed on to a letter calling on the federal government to fix the biggest issue facing the industry, two main social media giants using media content to drive traffic and suck up the ad revenue while not paying for the content that makes their money.

“Google and Facebook dominate digital advertising around the world, 80% of digital advertising around the world flows to Google and Facebook,” Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod said. “They are a duopoly, in the truest sense of the word.”


Postmedia’s President & CEO Andrew MacLeod and Executive Chair Paul Godfrey speak to a shareholder, after Postmedia held their Annual General Meeting at their Bloor St. E. headquarters on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

Stan Behal /

Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

MacLeod joined other top media executives in calling on the Trudeau government to act in the ways that governments in Australia and France have.

“That means paying for copyrighted content and sharing the advertising dollars and data that flow from it,” the open letter signed by the major media executives reads.

Right now when content from the Toronto Sun, or any of the newspapers, is served up on Google News, Facebook News or other similar platforms, that content, paid for by the original publishers, sees ad revenue directed to the tech giants but not the companies that paid for it.


The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels on March 23, 2010.

Virginia Mayo /

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Google and Facebook are just platforms, they aren’t creating content, they aren’t paying for content,” MacLeod said. “Content that other publishers generate are the fuel that drives their platform.”

For years publishers have been complaining they pay for the content that the tech giants make their money from.

“We encourage the Federal Government to follow the advice of its own expert panel set up to review the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts, which recommended similar measures,” the open letter states.

Those similar measures would include telling platforms such as Facebook and Google to share data and ad revenue that they earn from serving up original content from Canadian publishers that they do not pay for.

“The model exists. The need is clear. Let’s apply those principles of fairness in Canada, and do it now,” the letter states.


In this file photo taken on Aug. 28, 2019 the logo of U.S. online social media and social networking service Facebook is displayed on a tablet.

DENIS CHARLET /

AFP via Getty Images

MacLeod said if the federal government wants the Canadian media industry to survive, then they need make sure everyone is playing by the same rules.

“The federal government has to level the playing field,” he said.

Right now a company spending their ad dollars with any Canadian media outlet based in Toronto, the country’s biggest media market, will pay 13% more than they do with Google, Facebook or any of the tech giants because the tech companies are not required to charge or collect the HST.

“Not only do we not have an advantage, it’s the opposite,” MacLeod said.

Foreign companies can charge less simply on the taxes they must charge while also profiting off of content they did not create.

blilley@postmedia.com

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China media, Hong Kong government bristle at Trump's pledge of curbs, sanctions – Cape Breton Post

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By James Pomfret and Stella Qiu

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s state media and the government of Hong Kong lashed out on Sunday at U.S. President Donald Trump’s vow to end Hong Kong’s special status if Beijing imposes new national security laws on the city, which is bracing for fresh protests.

Trump on Friday pledged to “take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory”, and to impose sanctions on unspecified individuals over Beijing’s new laws on the Asian financial centre.

But China’s state media pushed back, saying this would hurt the United States more than China.

“The baton of sanctions that the United States is brandishing will not scare Hong Kong and will not bring China down,” China’s Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, wrote in a commentary. It used the pen name “Zhong Sheng”, meaning “Voice of China”, often used to give the paper’s view on foreign policy issues.

The Global Times wrote, “China has already prepared for the worst. No matter how far the U.S. goes, China will keep its company.”

A Hong Kong government spokesman expressed regret the United States continued to “smear and demonise the legitimate rights and duty of our sovereign” to safeguard national security.

In a sign of diplomatic manoeuvring, the U.S. government said it would put one of its prime Hong Kong properties up for sale – a luxury residential complex worth up to HK$5 billion ($650 million).

A spokesman for the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong said this was part of a global programme that “reinforces the U.S. government’s presence in Hong Kong” through reinvestment in other areas.

China and Hong Kong officials have justified the laws that will be directly imposed by China to restore order to a city that has been wracked by sometimes violent anti-China, anti-government protests over the past year. They said the laws will only apply to a small number of “troublemakers.”

Protesters, however, have said they are railing against China’s deep encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms despite Beijing’s promise to grant the city a high degree of autonomy under a so-called “one-country, two systems” formula since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

More protests are planned in the coming weeks.

Countries including the United States, Canada and Britain have expressed deep concerns about the law, with Britain saying it may grant expanded visa rights to large numbers of Hong Kongers.

Demosisto, an advocacy group led by prominent young Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong, said the security law will be “the death of freedom in Hong Kong”.

A senior Hong Kong official, Erick Tsang, said he couldn’t care less if he were sanctioned by the Washington. “I wouldn’t even go to Canada, just in case they try to catch me” there, Tsang told local radio.

Details of the laws remain unclear, even to Hong Kong officials, but are expected to be enacted by China’s parliament this summer. The laws will outlaw secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong, and will be imposed without any local legislative scrutiny.

(Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom and Stella Qiu in Beijing; Writing by James Pomfret; Editing by Christopher Cushing and William Mallard)

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China media bristles at U.S. moves on Hong Kong over national security push

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s state media lashed out on Sunday at possible retaliatory moves by the United States to impose sanctions and end Hong Kong’s special status if Beijing imposes new national security laws, as the city braces for fresh protests.

The state-backed China Daily said U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to “take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory”, and to impose sanctions on unspecified individuals, would hurt the United States, and unite Hong Kong with mainland China.

“China has already prepared for the worst. No matter how far the U.S. goes, China will keep its company. If Trump’s plan continues, Washington will soon run counter to the interests of most Hong Kong people,” the state-run Global Times tabloid wrote.

“The extreme tactics of a superpower like the U.S. are nothing less than chronic suicide.”

A Hong Kong government spokesman expressed regret the United States continued to “smear and demonise the legitimate rights and duty of our sovereign” to safeguard national security.

In a sign of diplomatic manoeuvring, the U.S. government said it would put one of its prime Hong Kong properties up for sale – a luxury residential complex worth up to HK$5 billion ($645.09 million).

A spokesman for the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong told Reuters this was part of the U.S. government’s global reinvestment programme that “reinforces the U.S. government’s presence in Hong Kong” through reinvestment in other areas.

China and Hong Kong officials have justified the laws that will be directly imposed by China to restore order to a city that has been wracked by sometimes violent anti-China, anti-government protests over the past year.

Protesters, however, have said they are railing against China’s deep encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms despite Beijing’s promise to grant the city a high degree of autonomy under a so-called “one-country, two systems” formula since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

They have said more protests are planned in the coming weeks.

Countries including the United States, Canada and Britain have expressed deep concerns about the law, with Britain saying it may grant expanded visa rights to large numbers of Hong Kongers.

Demosisto, the advocacy group led by prominent young Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong, said the security law will be “the death of freedom in Hong Kong”.

Details of the laws remain unclear, even to Hong Kong officials, but are expected to be enacted by China’s parliament this summer. The laws will outlaw secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong, and will be imposed without any local legislative scrutiny.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong insist the legislation will target only a small number of “troublemakers” who threaten China’s national security.

(Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom and Stella Qiu in Beijing; Writing by James Pomfret; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Edited By Harry Miller)

 

Source: cape-breton-post

Edited by Harry Miller

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Tainted water series from Global News, media consortium wins Canadian Association of Journalists award – Globalnews.ca

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A nationwide investigation that exposed the prevalence of lead contamination in drinking water has been honoured by the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Tainted Water received the group’s award for data journalism during a ceremony hosted via Zoom on Saturday.


READ MORE:
Inside the investigation that exposed lead-laced drinking water in Canada

The series was produced by the Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIJ) at Concordia University, along with Global News and outlets such as Le Devoir, the Toronto Star, the Regina Leader-Post and the National Observer.

“We are incredibly honoured to be recognized alongside our partners and the IIJ with such a prestigious award,” said Chris Bassett, Global News’ national director for content and editorial standards.

“This series had an immediate impact across the country and was a collaborative effort supported by many outstanding journalists across the country to expose an issue impacting the health and safety of thousands of Canadians.”

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In total, more than 120 reporters were involved in the project, which was published and broadcast during the fall. More than 220 hours of interviews were recorded by members of the consortium and the journalists filed over 700 access-to-information requests.

READ MORE: Investigation into lead in Canada’s drinking water spurs calls for action across country

The investigation found that, out of 12,000 tests conducted by 11 cities, 33 per cent exceeded safe lead levels as defined by Health Canada.

The findings sparked immediate action from leaders. In Quebec, the government announced it would adopt stronger standards for acceptable lead content, in line with Health Canada guidelines. The mayor of Montreal vowed to test the water at more than 100,000 homes and accelerate a program for replacing lead pipes.

Halifax extended an offer to replace lead pipes on private property for free. And in Alberta, at least 50 school divisions contacted the provincial health authority asking for support or information regarding lead testing in the weeks following the investigation.

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

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