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Media hungry for clicks descends on Queen’s funeral. ‘It’s something I’ve always sort of dreaded and anticipated’ – Fortune

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NEW YORK (AP) — When word came that Queen Elizabeth II was close to her death, media organizations around the world sprang to life, dispatching reporters to a royal castle in Scotland and breaking out coverage plans decades in the making.

At age 96, the queen’s passing was hardly a surprise. Still, the British royal succession is a media event on steroids that will culminate in Monday’s live coverage of funeral services from Westminster Abbey.

“It’s something I’ve always sort of dreaded and anticipated and worried about,” said Deb Thompson, assistant London bureau chief for CBS News in the United States, recalling nights spent obsessing over the details.

So far, it’s all gone smoothly and she pronounces herself awed by the spectacle.

Woe to those who didn’t plan ahead, however.

The director of U.K.’s Foreign Press Association said the organization has been inundated with requests for accreditation from television and radio broadcasters all over the world. The association tries to help them navigate government and royal protocols.

“You’d have thought the royal weddings reached the maximum level of interest, but no,” said director Deborah Bonetti. “It’s a tsunami of people who have no idea what to do in order to broadcast these proceedings from London.”

Even accredited journalists are fighting for positions, “so if you’re just flying in … you’re unlikely to get one,” she said.

Within Britain, the well-rehearsed coverage of remembrances and ceremonial events has been deferential to a fault, said Steven Barnett, communications professor at the University of Westminster. Critical reflection on the queen’s life or the monarchy’s role in modern society — of which there has been coverage around the world — has almost entirely been banished to social media, he said.

In a circling of the wagons, The New York Times was criticized in Britain for an article that talked about the “hefty” price tag of a royal funeral being paid for by state funds at a time many Britons are hurting financially.

“There are no depths to which the @nytimes won’t stoop to in its anti-British propaganda,” journalist Andrew Neil, a former editor at the Sunday Times in London said on Twitter.

In the United States, the coverage has mostly focused on the passing of an era, and the solemn services, said Marlene Koenig, who manages the Royal Musings blog from her Virginia home.

“It has been respectful,” she said. “I won’t use the term reverential. We have to remember the British monarch is very much a part of our history and heritage.”

Mourners who sought to pay their last respects to the queen as her coffin was lying in state this week were met with a crowd of reporters, microphones and video cameras as they waited to enter Westminster Hall and again as they left.

Why did they come? What did the moment mean to them? How did it feel to see the coffin? Reporters asked to check the wristbands of people in line to get a sense of how many were waiting.

On Thursday, the media’s desire to show as much as it could of mourners passing by the monarch’s coffin conflicted with the control-conscious palace’s desire for dignity and decorum.

The palace issued a list of rules for video coverage that included, for example, no depiction of the royal family “showing visible signs of distress” or “any inappropriate conduct” by members of the public or otherwise.

When one of the ceremonial guards beside the queen’s coffin fainted, the BBC cut off its live feed, and the use of video that showed what happened was restricted, even though still pictures showed up on newspaper websites.

Many news organizations had long-term agreements on where their journalists would be placed for the signature events. NBC News, for example, is using the same location it used to cover King Charles III’s wedding to Diana and Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.

“The Brits do pomp and circumstance like no others,” said Tom Mazzarelli, executive producer of NBC’s “Today” show in the U.S.

American broadcasters have been all-in on queen coverage, too. Television networks are sending their biggest news stars to anchor Monday’s funeral coverage: Robin Roberts and David Muir of ABC News; Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt and Hoda Kotb of NBC; Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell of CBS.

Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 was watched by a huge audience: 33 million in the United States alone on a Saturday morning.

Even without royalty, funerals of major figures symbolize an era’s end and are often big television draws. Former President Ronald Reagan’s prime-time burial in 2004 had 35 million viewers, the Nielsen company said.

The queen’s death received major coverage elsewhere in the world, often dictated or complicated by Britain’s relationships with the countries where it was shown.

In Hong Kong, a former British colony turned over to China in 1997, most local news outlets ran reports on the British ceremonies. But some television channels have been careful reporting on the city’s own tributes to the queen.

The Now TV network edited a Facebook post and news report that showed Hong Kong residents leaving flowers at the British consulate to remove an interview with one resident who said a long line of people waiting to pay respects to the queen “shows what people want.”

Local media reported the pro-Beijing head of news at Now TV ordered the changes. The network did not give an explanation.

Heavy coverage of the queen’s death in India, once Britain’s largest colony, quickly faded. For older residents, the British royal family represents a painful part of history, but to most Indians they’re just another celebrity family.

In Syria, where President Bashar Assad considers Britain part of a coalition funding insurgents in the country’s 11-year conflict, state TV gave little attention to the news.

Co-hosts of the major morning TV shows in Australia, a constitutional monarchy where the queen was sovereign, traveled to London to cover the events. Regular guests of the programs were required to dress in dark clothing.

Widespread coverage in Japan often drew parallels to the increasingly controversial state funeral plans later this month for the assassinated former leader Shinzo Abe.

British ceremonial events are “catnip for television networks,” said Mark Lukasiewicz, a veteran American network executive now dean of Hofstra University’s School of Communication.

But after more than a week, they have their limits, said Barnett, the British professor.

“It’s gotten to the point where a lot of people are thinking, ‘we’ve kind of had enough now,’” he said.

___

Sylvia Hui, Samya Kullab and Jill Lawless from London; Bassem Mroue from Beirut, Lebanon; Mari Yamaguchi from Tokyo, Japan; Zen Soo from Hong Kong; Krutika Pathi from New Delhi, India; and Rod McGuirk from Canberra, Australia contributed to this report.

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Sense of continuity the theme of Raptors media day – Global News

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TORONTO – At this time last year, Nick Nurse had no idea what kind of team he had or how the season might play out, and the Toronto Raptors coach admitted as much.

Gone was longtime leader Kyle Lowry, rookie Scottie Barnes’ was still unproven, and the team had no true centre.

Fast forward a year, and continuity was a theme of Monday’s traditional Raptors’ media day.

“I was sitting up here a year ago and we didn’t have any idea who we were, identity-wise … For the most part, we played really good basketball after we kind of clicked into that mentality,” Nurse said. “I feel confident in knowing who we are quite a bit more than a year ago at this time.”

In what was intended to be a rebuilding season, the Raptors went a solid 48-34 last year, and saw Barnes win rookie of the year. They were eliminated by Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs, and headed into their longest off-season in five years.

Amid a frenzy of player movement around the league, the Raptors had a relatively quiet summer, going with the status quo instead of a major shakeup. Fourteen players returned, making Toronto the league’s top team for roster stability.

“We made a commitment to grow,” team president Masai Ujiri said. “We’re a young team, a young growing team. That’s all we talked about last year, lots of players who can make a jump. Even our veterans are young veterans in the league, with Freddy (VanVleet), Pascal (Siakam), O.G. (Anunoby), we’ve always wanted to preach patience.

“We want to win. We’re expecting to win. Honestly, we can’t react to what’s going on in the league. Yeah, we see other teams. We study all of that. But in terms of our plan, it’s to grow our young players and continue to develop and see (where) that takes us.”

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Media day, held in a sunlight observatory in a posh hotel near the Raptors’ practice facility, had a sense of normalcy — finally — after a couple of seasons rocked by COVID-19. The pandemic hit the Raptors hard, forcing them to relocate to Tampa, Fla., for a season, and then playing much of last season in front of no fans at Scotiabank Arena.

“It’s really good to see us coming back from a normal summer again,” Ujiri said. “Hopefully we get through this winter and we have a bit of back to normal.”

The Raptors were scheduled to board a flight to Victoria immediately after media day, marking the first time camp has been held in an alternate Canadian city in three years. It was in Tampa in 2021, and Toronto last season.

“We want to feel the love of the people of Canada because we know of the support,” Ujiri said. “It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been able to do stuff like this.”

The Raptors have exhibition games Oct. 2 in Edmonton versus Utah, and Oct. 14 in Montreal against Boston.

While Tuesday marks the first official day of camp, most of the players gathered in Los Angeles weeks ago, prompting Clippers star Paul George to heap praise on them during one of Rico Hines’ famous scrimmages.

“Shout-out Toronto, man. Y’all came and y’all represented,” George said. “It’s crazy, I saw y’all on YouTube the first week, came and played the second week, now it’s Week 3 … and y’all still here. I’d be disappointed, coaches, if y’all ain’t come out hot to start the season.”

Nurse, who’s added Hines to his coaching staff for this season, was thrilled to see the players connect weeks before camp opened.

“I just kind of sense a little urgency, I sense some togetherness and I sense some real intensity this summer, and I think those are all three really good words going into a training camp,” Nurse said. “I think the team’s shaping the identity that showed up a little bit late last year. They know who they are and are looking to expand it. It was a good summer.”

One change Nurse has planned for this season is lightening VanVleet’s load. The guard stepped admirably into Lowry’s shoes as team leader, but logged am onerous 37.9 minutes, and the 28-year-old was walking like an old man by season’s end, his body battered before the playoffs even began.

VanVleet blamed himself on Monday.

“Just with the adrenalin and the way that the season was going and the last push that we made to get to that position that we were in, I think that I kinda zoned out a little bit in terms of listening to my body,” VanVleet said. “Definitely had to listen to my body. We lost and I had to go to the doctor and all those things to plan out the rest of my summer. I had to get stronger. I had to make some changes and I did those things, and I feel great.”

Barnes could lighten some of his load. The six-foot-seven, 225-pound sophomore had Twitter in a frenzy when the Raptors listed him as a guard/forward.

“I’ve always been a point guard, I always had those point guard things,” Barnes said. “I feel like I can do it all, no matter what it is. I can play any position, so I don’t really try to limit myself to one position.”

Barnes, who said he chose to attend Florida State because of their promise to let him play point guard, averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 35.4 minutes per game in his first season, starting all 74 games he played.

Ujiri called the versatile Barnes “one of those players of the future.”

“I don’t know how to describe him,” Ujiri said. “I don’t know what position that guy plays. He’s one of those guys who just plays basketball and is an incredible basketball player.”

The Raptors will practise at the University of Victoria. Their first pre-season game in Toronto is Oct. 9 versus Chicago. They open the regular season Oct. 19 at home against Cleveland.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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NBA Media Day 2022: Best moments from around the league – NBA.com

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Stephen Curry poses with the four NBA championship trophies he has won with Golden State.

NBA Media Week tipped off over the weekend with the Wizards, Hawks, Bucks and defending champion Warriors — all teams competing overseas in preseason NBA Global Games — holding their Media Days.

The rest of the league returned on Monday with live coverage on NBA TV.

> Full Schedule: NBA Media Days 2022

Here are some of the best moments, portraits, interviews and more from NBA Media Day 2022.


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NBA media days – The best quotes from around the league as teams kick off the 2022-23 season – ESPN

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NBA training camps and the 2022-23 season are right around the corner, and players and coaches are set to preview their team’s upcoming campaigns with their respective media days this week.

For some teams, this year’s media day will be the first introduction of some of their big offseason additions. These include the Atlanta Hawks‘ new shooting guard Dejounte Murray, the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ new shooting guard Donovan Mitchell and the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ new center Rudy Gobert. Each of which will meet with reporters for the first time as a member of their new respective squads.

This year’s rookie class will also make their NBA media day debuts. First overall pick Paolo Banchero will get some facetime with Orlando Magic beat reporters fresh off his Summer League performance as he prepares for his first NBA training camp.

The same goes for Jabari Smith Jr. of the Houston Rockets, Keegan Murray of the Sacramento Kings and a handful of other coveted rookies that will be expected to help their teams right away this year.

Then there are some veteran teams that will have some serious questions and concerns to address heading into the season. The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, who bear the pressure of being serious win-now contenders this year, got plenty of the media’s attention last year for all the wrong reasons.

LeBron James and Russell Westbrook will have to explain to Lakers reporters why they will bounce back from last year’s losing campaign.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will have to answer for their spree of off-the-court distractions and offseason of near departures in their first media appearances since their first-round playoff exit last season.

Here’s what players are talking about as media days kick off across the league:

Sept. 25


Giannis says Steph is ‘the best player in the world’

For Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the debate about the best player in the NBA is simple.

He doesn’t consider himself the current best player in the league because his team fell short of winning the championship last season. So, he was ready to cede that accolade to Warriors star Stephen Curry instead.

“I think the best player in the world is the person that is the last man standing,” Antetokounmpo said Sunday afternoon at Bucks media day. “It’s the person that takes his team to the Finals, the finish line and helps them win the game. … that’s how I view it. I believe the best player in the world is Steph Curry.”

Antetokounmpo, who was named the No.1 player on ESPN’s NBArank, acknowledged that he is one of the best players in the league and could have made the claim for the top spot after the Bucks won the 2021 NBA Finals. But after Milwaukee lost in the second round of the playoffs last season in a seven-game series against the Boston Celtics, he fell short of the claim.

Antetokounmpo also finished third in the voting for NBA MVP after averaging 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists last season, but he pointed out how individual awards failed in comparison to the thrill of winning the NBA Finals.

“The feeling I felt, it was a nice feeling,” he said. “I got jealous of Golden State, seeing them in the parade and the ESPYs. You know that feeling now. You know what is getting stripped away from you.”

— Jamal Collier


Can the Warriors run it back? ‘They want to experience that again’

Following their 2021-22 NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors repeated several times that this title felt different because of their journey through the hardships of the past three seasons. Their fourth championship in eight years was a statement: The dynasty wasn’t over.

Now, the champs are prepared to prove themselves all over again.

“I don’t think it’s the same chip [on our shoulders]. I’d be lying to you if I told you it was. But there are chips. There are chips. There’s no shortage of chips, I can tell you that,” Draymond Green said Sunday. “It may not be quite, ‘Oh, man, people don’t think we can do it again.’ That opinion is as far from relevant as it can possibly be.”

Added Steph Curry: “It’d be dumb to try to naysay us and actually think people are going to take you seriously. But we also know a lot goes into winning a championship and it’s not a guarantee every year, no matter how much of a chip on our shoulder we have. You just kind of embrace the work and the motivation.”

The Warriors feel they still have plenty to motivate them: For the first time in three seasons, they are starting the season fully healthy. They want to show their 2022 title wasn’t a fluke. Perhaps most importantly, their star core knows its championship window won’t remain open forever.

“I mean, the guys coming back who have won it for the first time, I just know they want to experience that again,” Klay Thompson said. “And, I mean, for me personally, and probably Steph and Andre [Iguodala] and Draymond, you think of the players who have won five championships, it’s such a short list. And to have the opportunity, just the opportunity, to be able to do that is so special.”

— Kendra Andrews

Sep. 24


Can Murray and Trae take the Hawks to the next level?

The Hawks are hoping that pairing Murray with their franchise point guard Trae Young can push their backcourt to a championship level. Murray, coming from the San Antonio Spurs, will be playing a major role on a postseason contender for the first time since 2019 when the Spurs made a first-round exit.

Murray and Young know their chemistry will be key to Atlanta’s success, and Murray weighed in a bit about what the team’s approach will look like when he’s on the floor.

“You’re gonna see the ball moving. I think that’s the No. 1 thing — playing the right way. A lot of excitement, playing defense, and like I always said, I love defense and I believe the best offense is getting a stop and getting out and running,” Murray told reporters.

“I’m just excited. We’ve got a lot of weapons around us, dudes that can do a bunch of things. It starts on the defensive end and it will translate to the offensive end, and it will be exciting.”


Porzingis is motivated by his NBArank fall

The Wizards are coming off their fourth straight losing season, but the trade for Kristaps Porzingis at last year’s trade deadline at least gave the franchise a potential franchise piece to build around going forward. Porzingis was on a statistical decline the last few years ever since tearing his in 2018. But had a productive 17-game stint with Washington at the end of last season, in which he averaged 22.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists, which were reminiscent of his lone All-Star season in 2017-18.

Porzingis came in at No. 86 in this year’s ESPN NBArank, which was his lowest since his rookie season in 2015, and admits that he is using the ranking as motivation this year.

“Especially this year, I’m coming in with a chip on my shoulder because of the ESPN rank.” Porzingis told reporters. “I use it as gasoline, as energy. I’m looking forward to reminding everybody what I can do on both ends of the floor.”

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