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Media Coverage & the US Election: How do you get your news? – The Cord



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Although the concept and indicators of fake news are becoming more common knowledge, influential people and communities continue to invest in fake news practices to push their personal agenda. While we often blame social media for the recent proliferation of fake news, mainstream media outlets are not exempt from contributing to the distribution of disinformation. 

This past week has been chaos for media outlets around the world and their audiences as the US presidential election demands constant coverage of voting updates and newsworthy moments of both the Republicans and Democrats and their respective leaders. Whether it’s different counts of electoral votes or Donald Trump claiming a premature victory, media outlets will be covering this election for a while into the future.

While mainstream media outlets like Fox News and CNN held live streams during the thick of vote counting, they displayed different electoral vote numbers confusing the final vote totals. The reason for these differing numbers was due to media outlets making their own predictions of state voting and presenting it as a recorded tally.

Each mainstream news outlet has its own personalized decision desks to analyze voting data released by the Associated Press news agency. These decision desks analyze the ongoing voting activities in relation to the previous elections to note if the record is showing what has been seen in previous years, or if irregularities are arising in the current process.

Therefore, while Fox News called Biden’s win in Arizona earlier with 264 electoral votes before other news outlets (showing Biden at 253 electoral votes), these are merely predictions and estimates backed by data from previous years that show a trend in Republican and Democratic voting by state. However, without this knowledge, there is probable cause for confusion.

While mainstream news outlets have been a common source for news on the US election, social media has also been a major resource for the election audience, allowing election discussions to continue online. 

The major social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, have been scrutinized in the past for not placing proper platform regulations and policies on political content. However, this time around, both Facebook and Twitter have placed disclaimers on all US election-based content, stating that the final polls are not yet official. However, this does not stop people from posting fake news or propaganda.

Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s Twitter pages have been especially active during this period: Biden tweeting about his predicted win and launching into a platform for tackling COVID-19, and Trump claiming a false victory and the rigging of mail-in ballots. 

Notorious for his slanderous Twitter activity, the platform has taken extra steps at limiting Trump’s spread of fake news by removing the like and comment options for Twitter users on some of his flagged tweets. 

However, some social media networks are under fire for not doing enough to tackle false election news. 

YouTube is being criticized for failing to remove a video that wrongly claimed Trump had won the 2020 presidential election, despite a warning that the video contains demonstrably false information. Even though the Google-owned video platform has removed ads produced by the far-right TV channel One America News Network, Google is being accused of profiting off falsehoods.

With this in mind, it is important to be critical of the media outlets we favour as resources for our news, and skeptical of what is being said, how it is said, and the influence it’s trying to have on its audience. 

While social media is on the rise of being a popular media outlet, it holds prime opportunity for fake news to spread intentionally and unintentionally. Social media networks can only do so much to prevent the spread of fake news without breaching democratic principles and invoking an abundance of censorship policies. 

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Social media 'out of control,' says Norfolk mayor – The Sudbury Star



Port Rowan man pleads guilty to threatening Chopp

Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp. File photo

File photo / Simcoe Reformer

Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp says harassment and even threats of violence have been part of her job since being elected in 2018.

“I’m pretty tough, but the constant barrage of abuse that some find amusing has affected my psychology,” the mayor said in an interview last week.

Earlier this month, a 57-year-old Port Rowan man was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm to Chopp.

Dana Robert Dargie was placed on house arrest for 30 days and put on probation for 18 months, during which he is banned from communicating with or going near the mayor. He also can’t go to the municipal building or attend any Norfolk council meetings. And he was directed to get counselling for anger management.

“It’s my understanding that he was warned once to stop and he didn’t,” Chopp said of Dargie.

But Dargie is just one of many people who lash out on social media against the mayor, who has faced controversy over council’s decisions to cut services and staff, among other things.

At a Norfolk council meeting last Tuesday, the mayor was accused by her council colleagues of using bullying tactics and intimidation as the politicians aired their feelings and grievances. Chopp refused to participate in the meeting, gathering her things and leaving.

Along with emails and negative online comments, Chopp is mocked through a parody account on Twitter, which often compares her to U.S. President Donald Trump. She said a members-only Facebook site with 3,000 members seems to have been formed specifically to discuss and denigrate her work and that of Norfolk CAO Jason Burgess, who is the municipality’s fifth CAO in just over a year.

She said she regularly receives inappropriate emails, including some from a “dirty old man,” who has sent dozens of messages, including half-naked photos of himself.

“I never used to believe in blocking people but that has changed in recent times. Social media has become too out of control, too offensive, too damaging and too harassing.”

And that harassment has extended to her family.

Chopp said her parents’ Hamilton-area farm was visited last year by bylaw officers looking for illegal cannabis.

“They realized they had been sent on a wild goose chase the second they stepped onto the farm but said they had so many phone calls and emails telling them to check it out that they finally went.”

A spokesperson for the City of Hamilton confirmed bylaw officers visited the farm and found no violations.

Chopp said that incident is still under investigation and included a “22-page manifesto” from someone named “Harry Smith,” who mailed his allegations to major media organizations in Canada and to Chopp’s employer, Air Canada, where she works as a pilot. The “manifesto” said the mayor is a narcissistic dictator and psychopath, who owns her own plane and runs a marijuana business.

“I think there’s a reason why women, in particular, don’t want to get involved in politics,” she said. “I can give you a list of more than a dozen men I’m allegedly sleeping with. And, if they don’t get off on that one, they call me a lesbian.”

Chopp said she has pondered taking civil action against some of the harassers as the abuse intensifies

She said she hopes Dargie’s conviction will stop others.

“But I don’t think it will,” she said. “Social media has taken on a life of its own and the facts don’t seem to matter.

“Ignoring the keyboard warriors is difficult but I will do my best to soldier on.”


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Media Beat: November 23, 2020 – FYI Music News



You gotta laugh to keep from cryin’

Marketers spend half a trillion dollars a year on advertising. You’d think they’d take the time to understand what the hell they’re doing. There is incontrovertible evidence that they are alarmingly out of touch with the people they are trying to influence.

This week Ipsos Canada released a study on behalf of ThinkTV comparing the beliefs of 300 marketing “professionals”  to the self-reported activities of consumers. The results are striking, if not shocking. Using the data from the Ipsos study, I’ve made a little table.

They think they “understand the consumer.” They don’t understand shit.

While 58% of marketers and advertisers have “smart speakers” in their homes, 19% of real people do. While about 45% of adults in the US are over 50, in ad agencies about 6% of employees are. According to the coo of Ipsos, “Some of these differences really are quite gigantic.” – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

Rogers’ cutbacks reflect today’s challenges

Rogers Sports & Media has made staff cuts at its radio and television properties, that include the cancellation of Breakfast Television in Calgary and Vancouver, as well as the JACK 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver morning show, as reported by Broadcast Dialogue.

“We are modernizing our business to position us for growth as we face the continued effects of a seismic shift in the media industry from traditional to digital and the challenges of the global pandemic,” Andrea Goldstein, Senior Director of Communications, told Broadcast Dialogue in an email. “Today’s changes allow us to prioritize our focus in areas where we have the assets and capabilities to deliver best-in-class multiplatform experiences.”

Rogers mulls next steps as US8.4B Cogeco offer expires

Ultimately, family legacy proved more important for Cogeco, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Butler. “If your whole life is wrapped up into a company that you built over the years, and it’s providing more than suitable compensation, why sell?”

For industry watchers, it’s now a waiting game to see if Rogers sells all or part of its Cogeco investment. “We’ll see if we hear about any next steps by Rogers before or with its 4Q reporting in January,” National Bank of Canada analyst Adam Shine said in an email. – Ilya Banares, Bloomberg News

Telefilm funding process under fire

Established producers would much rather the public agency operate like a “cultural bank” for proven successes, with an annual withdrawal limit of $4 million per company. The Fast Track producers believe Telefilm’s role should be restricted to “the administration of funds” while they, not the bureaucrats, decide what gets made.

The problem, critics say, is that the industry’s leaders in Canada are mostly white men who history shows are not predisposed to telling stories that speak to Canada’s diverse audiences or work with BIPOC filmmakers. Hence, why Telefilm is shaking things up. – Radheyan Simonpillai, Now

Bell Media acquisitions 

Castlepoint Numa Inc. says it has sold its minority interest in Pinewood Toronto Studios to majority shareholder Bell Media. Castlepoint invested in Pinewood Toronto in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis.

Bell Media exercised its right to buy the shares through a right of first offer.

Separately, Bell Media and Grandé Studios have announced a new partnership, Bell Media has acquired a minority investment in the Montréal-based company, which provides production facilities, camera and lighting equipment rentals in Montréal and Toronto, and technical services to the local and international TV and film production industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Doug Putman: The Canadian who keeps buying bankrupt chains

The business world has its share of mavericks and contrarians. Then there is Doug Putman. People scoffed when the 36-year-old Hamilton-area entrepreneur bought bankrupt music retailers Sunrise Records, U.K.’s HMV and For Your Entertainment in the U.S., but he has turned them into profitable, growing chains. Now he’s acquired most of the outlets of insolvent DavidsTea and is reinventing them, turning them into … tea shops. Named T. Kettle, the first locations opened in early November. When he’s not busy turning around failing international chains, he works as president of his family’s business, Everest Toys.

You’ve opened a retail chain in the middle of a pandemic. What were you thinking?

I believe timing is everything. You get presented opportunities but nothing is ever perfect. If we weren’t in the situation we’re in, another retailer wouldn’t be pulling out of 150 stores. People say, “Oh, they couldn’t make it, but you can?” But just because one restaurant fails doesn’t mean you shouldn’t open a restaurant. The opportunity is there because someone has left the market and landlords and suppliers are eager to partner. – Joanna Pachner, The Star

What Trump faces on Jan. 20, 2021

As soon as he becomes a private citizen, Trump will be stripped of the legal armour that has protected him from pending cases both civil and criminal.

Here are some of the most perilous cases that await President Trump when he’s no longer president — and here’s how he could yet use the powers of the nation’s highest office to escape punishment… – Tom Winter, NBC News

Can Trump take on Fox News with a rival media outlet?

The easiest option for Mr Trump might be no Trump TV at all. Instead of starting his own venture, Mr Trump could instead host shows on Fox or other existing conservative media outlets. That could be lucrative for the former president and give him a large, influential platform. “He could easily make $40m a year,” said one former senior Fox executive. – Anna Nicolaou & James Fontanella-Khan in New York and Alex Barker in London, Financial Times

Cable News networks immune from FCC sanctions

Viewers asked the Federal Communications Commission to revoke licenses from CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC — except the FCC doesn’t issue licenses to networks. – WFFA TV

BuzzFeed to acquire HuffPost

BuzzFeed is buying HuffPost, the digital media company created by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and others in 2005.

Verizon Media, HuffPost’s current parent company, also announced an investment in BuzzFeed. It will have a minority stake in the company. – Sarah Guaglione, Media Post

Saudi Arabia reaps the wrong kind of PR as G20 host

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William (Bill) John Morgan arrived from Australia and became a columnist and then editor of the Brandon Sun Newspaper. He moved on to join the CBC. From 1976 to 1980, he was TV Network Program Director, responsible for the pubcaster’s television network schedule, and ultimately for direct creative supervision of the “entertainment” side of CBC Television. In 1980, Bill was appointed Head of Television Current Affairs, where, as well as being the manager responsible for the successful development of The Journal, he was in overall charge of program series such as The 5th Estate, Marketplace, Man Alive, and Emmy and Academy award-winning documentaries like Fighting Back and Just Another Missing Kid. He was also a key planner for the network’s Newsworld (now CBC News Network).

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Fuse expands integrated media operations with senior hire – Media In Canada



Fuse expands integrated media operations with senior hire

Luke Moore brings media and business development experience to the Toronto-based full-service creative agency.




Luke Moore brings media and business development experience to the Toronto-based full-service creative agency.

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