Northern News Services Limited, often referred to as NNSL, has been bought by B.C.-based Black Press Media.
Black Press owns several community newspapers and news websites in B.C., Alberta and Yukon, according to a joint news release issued Friday.
NNSL publishes two newspapers weekly in Yellowknife, along with the Hay River Hub, Inuvik Drum, Kivalliq News, Nunavut News and News/North. News/North has been in publication for 75 years.
The deal, which is set to close on March 31, means Black Press will own all of NNSL’s community newspapers and two news sites, NNSL.com and Nunavutnews.com, based in Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Black Press also announced it’s buying Canarctic Graphics, a full-service commercial printer based in Yellowknife.
Rick O’Connor, president and CEO of Black Press Media, says the company’s experience with northern newspapers has been “favourable” since it bought Yukon News in 2013.
“We are very pleased to purchase these companies from the estate of company founder, Jack (Sig) Sigvaldason,” O’Connor said in a statement.
“We look forward to supporting these newspapers, their associated digital operations and printing plant, as we move forward out of the pandemic.”
O’Connor told CBC he thinks there is strong support in the territories for private media from both the territorial governments and residents.
“When you combine the relative remoteness with the need for communication and the support that you get from all levels of government for this type of product, we just feel it’s a really good opportunity for us as a company,” he said.
The owners of NNSL reached out to Black Press in February 2020 to gauge the company’s interest, according to O’Connor.
“Of course, everything kind of went on hold for several months after that. And we picked up discussions in the fall again, and came to an agreement,” he said.
O’Connor told CBC the plan is to keep all of NNSL’s newspapers and sites running. He says the company plans to better understand its operations over the span of the year before it considers “strategic changes.”
‘Good future’ for community media
“We bring a level of support on the digital side that I think will help them,” O’Connor said. “Previous to this, they didn’t have any digital staff in Yellowknife, they were contracting that work out … We can also help them with some of our software approaches and accounting support, that sort of thing.”
“My philosophy is that the editorial direction is set in the territory, by the editorial staff. We give them that license … and we work with them to support them in a number of areas that make the operation more efficient.”
He says there isn’t a plan to change the branding of its newly acquired papers, though there may be some changes to the websites.
“In general, it’s business as usual,” he said.
He says Black Press Media audiences are “higher than they’ve ever been.
“All [of us] in the media have a monetization problem, and how to figure out how to deal with Google and Facebook. So I do think that once we sorted out some of those issues, I do think there is a good future for community media,” he said.
“I’ve always felt that if you’re isolated or on an island, media becomes even more important.”
NNSL president ‘confident’
Black Press Media operates 80 community newspapers and news websites in Western Canada, and nine daily newspapers and news websites in Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii. Black Press also owns Central Web, which prints many newspapers and magazines in Edmonton and Calgary, including the tourism publications produced by NNSL.
“These papers and digital platforms provide an extremely valuable service across the North, connecting audiences and advertisers alike,” said O’Connor.
“We are impressed with the NNSL Media operation and staff and look forward to partnering with them in the years ahead.”
Karen Sigvaldason, president of NNSL Media and Canarctic, said she’s assured the company’s traditions will continue with Black Press.
“My father, Sig, believed passionately in the strong role of NNSL and Canarctic in serving the people of the North,” Sigvaldason said in the joint news release.
“I am confident that Black Press Media will continue that tradition.”
David Black, Black Press chairman and majority owner, says its newest acquisitions are a good “fit” with their print and digital strategy.
“We are very pleased to acquire these community newspapers and printing operation.”
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck pictured kissing as ‘Bennifer’ returns
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have been pictured exchanging passionate kisses, apparently confirming weeks of fevered rumors that they have rekindled a romance that dominated celebrity media almost 20 years ago.
Paparazzi photos printed in the New York Post on Monday showed the two actors kissing while enjoying a meal with members of Lopez’s family at Malibu’s posh Nobu sushi restaurant west of Los Angeles on Sunday.
Representatives for Lopez, 51, declined to comment on Monday, while Affleck’s publicists did not return a request for comment.
Lopez and “Argo” director Affleck, dubbed “Bennifer,” became the most talked about couple in the celebrity world in the early 2000s in a romance marked by his-and-her luxury cars and a large 6.1-carat pink diamond engagement ring. They abruptly called off their wedding in 2003 and split up a few months later.
The pair have been pictured together several times in Los Angels and Miami in recent weeks, after Lopez and her former baseball player fiance Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement in mid-April after four years together. Monday’s photos were the first in which Lopez and Affleck were seen kissing this time around.
Celebrity outlet E! News quoted an unidentified source last week as saying Lopez was planning to move from Miami to Los Angeles to spend more time with Affleck, 48, and was looking for schools for her 13-year-old twins Max and Emme.
Max and Emme, along with the singer’s sister Lydia, were also photographed walking into the restaurant in Malibu on Sunday.
Lopez married Latin singer Marc Anthony, her third husband, just five months after her 2004 split with Affleck. Affleck went on to marry, and later was divorced from, actress Jennifer Garner.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
TikTok debuts new voice after Canadian actor sues
After noticing a new female voice narrating the videos on , users of TikTok were baffled as to why. It actually turns out that the Canadian actress behind the old voice filed a lawsuit against the platform for copyright violation as her voice was apparently being used without her permission.
Bev Standing, , is taking China-based ByteDance to court. TikTok’s parent company has since replaced her voice with a new one, with Standing reportedly finding out over email after a tip-off from a journalist. On the matter, Standing said: “They replaced me with another voice. I am so overwhelmed by this whole thing. I’m stumbling for words because I just don’t know what to say.”
TikTok is said to be considering a settlement for Standing outside of the courts, but nobody knows whether or not this is true. According to legal experts, the fact TikTok now has a new voice on the popular social media app suggests they acknowledge Standing’s case and potentially understand that she may have suffered as a result of the company’s actions.
Thanks to the emergence of the powerful smartphone devices of today, alongside taking high-quality images for Instagram, getting lost down YouTube wormholes, and , people are turning to relatively new platforms like TikTok. The service has 689 million monthly active users worldwide and is one of the most downloaded apps in Apple’s iOS App Store. This latest news could harm the platforms future, although many of its younger users potentially aren’t aware that this type of scenario is unfolding.
For Bev Standing, the ordeal is a testing one. She wasn’t informed of the voice change, there is no mention of it in TikTok’s newsroom online, and the development is news to her lawyer also.
This all comes after her case was filed in a New York State court in early May after the voice actor noticed a computer-generated version of her voice had been seen and listened to around the world since 2020. Speculation is rife as to how TikTok managed to obtain the recordings but Standing believes the company acquired them from a project she took part in for the Chinese government in 2018.
The Institute of Acoustics in China reportedly promised her that all of the material she would be recording would be used solely for translation, but they eventually fell into the hands of TikTok and have since been altered and then exposed to a global audience.
According to Pina D’Agostino, an associate professor with Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and an expert in copyright law, the fact that the hugely popular social media platform has now changed Standing’s voice could result in a positive outcome for the distraught voice actor. She said: “It’s a positive step in the way that they are mitigating their damages. And when you’re mitigating, you’re acknowledging that we did something wrong, and you’re trying to make things better.”
When assessing social media etiquette and how both companies and users should act, this type of news can only do more harm than good. Not only does it make the company look bad, but it could have an effect on revenues and, ultimately, TikTok’s reputation.
With a clear desire to move on and put this whole process behind her, Bev Standing is eager for the case to be resolved and get back to the daily work she loves and has been doing for a large part of her life. TikTok has until July 7 to respond to her claim.
Nigeria orders broadcasters not to use Twitter to gather information
Nigerian television and radio stations should not use Twitter to gather information and have to de-activate their accounts, the broadcast authority said following the move to suspend the U.S. social media giant in Africa’s most populous country.
Nigeria’s government on Friday said it had suspended Twitter’s activities, two days after the platform removed a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish secessionists. Nigerian telecoms firms have since blocked access to Twitter.
International diplomats responded with a joint statement in support of “free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria”.
Buhari, who was Nigeria’s military ruler in the 1980s, has previously been accused of cracking down on freedom of expression, though his government has denied such accusations.
Twitter has called its suspension “deeply concerning” and said it would work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on the platform to communicate and connect with the world.
The National Broadcasting Commission, in a statement dated June 6, told broadcasters to “suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately”.
“Broadcasting stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source of information gathering,” it said in the statement, adding that “strict compliance is enjoined”.
The statement comes two days after the attorney general ordered the prosecution of those who break the rules on the ban.
The foreign minister on Monday held a closed door meeting in the capital, Abuja, with diplomats from the United States, Britain, Canada, the European Union and Ireland to discuss the ban.
It followed the statement by their diplomatic missions on Saturday in which they criticised the move.
“These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue…. as well as share vital information in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said in their statement.
Nigeria’s information minister on Friday said the ban would be “indefinite” but, in a statement late on Sunday, referred to it as a “temporary suspension”.
The minister did not immediately respond to phone calls and text messages on Monday seeking comment on the altered language.
(Reporting by Camillus Eboh and Abraham Achirga in Abuja; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Alex Richardson)
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