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Polish ruling party loses majority amid rift over media bill – The Daily Courier

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s ruling right-wing party lost its parliamentary majority Wednesday after a small coalition partner announced that it was leaving the government amid a rift over legislation it views as an attack on media freedom.

The media bill, which is scheduled for an afternoon vote, would prevent non-European owners from having controlling stakes in Polish media companies. It is viewed as a crucial test for the survival of independent media in the former communist nation, coming six years into the rule of a populist government that has chipped away at media and judicial independence.

After a deputy prime minister who is the head of the Agreement party expressed his opposition to the bill and other government plans Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki fired him from government on Tuesday. Agreement party leader Jaroslaw Gowin had said he viewed the legislation as an attack on media diversity.

Gowin’s party said Wednesday that it was formally leaving the governing coalition, meaning that the ruling Law and Justice party has lost the support of Agreement’s 13 votes in parliament — and the slim majority it held in the 460-seat Sejm, the lower house of parliament. Agreement was viewed as the most moderate partner in the conservative three-party coalition that has governed Poland since 2015.

A vote was expected nonetheless on the media amendment at the center of the dispute, with Law and Justice expecting to pick up the needed votes from opposition lawmakers, including some from far-right nationalist groups.

The European Union has accused the Law and Justice-led Polish government of defying the EU’s democratic values. But the 27- member bloc has had few tools for altering either Warsaw’s course, or that of authoritarian Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, under whom media diversity has been sharply curtailed.

The bill is widely viewed as a effort to silence an independent, U.S.-owned television broadcaster that is critical of the government. If it passes, it would require American company Discovery Inc. to sell its controlling stake in TVN, a network with many channels that operates Poland’s all-news station TVN24 and has a flagship evening news program watched daily by millions.

Critics say they fear the bill, if passed, would mark a huge step away from democracy, and the ideals fought for by Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement in the 1980s.

“A vote for taking over TVN will be a vote for an anti-Western dictatorship with impunity for thieves,” Radek Sikorski, a former Polish foreign minister, said. “We all know it, and so do the PiS (Law and Justice) lawmakers. I did not think they were capable of such a betrayal of the ideals of Solidarity.”

Protests against the media amendment were held in dozens of cities and towns in Poland on Tuesday. Speakers voiced their fear that eliminating TVN as an an independent voice would bring back a level of censorship that many Poles still remember from communism.

“I am afraid that there will be censorship, that it will be followed by the lack of democracy, simply a totalitarian state,” protester Lucyna Kiderska said in Warsaw. “Slowly, slowly we will come back to the past.”

___

Rafal Niedzielski contributed to this report.

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Social media strategies played important role in pandemic election: experts – CTV News

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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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Five Thoughts on Negotiating Through the Media, PTOs, Player Personalities & More – Silver Seven

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On Changing Expectations

Last offseason, if you’ll recall, the Ottawa Senators made some veteran acquisitions. They added the likes of Erik Gudbranson, Derek Stepan and Austin Watson, while also bringing in Alex Galchenyuk and Cedric Paquette. Effectively, Pierre Dorion “ruined” any opportunity a prospect had to make the roster out of camp by filling it with players who DJ Smith would almost certainly opt to play over someone with little to no NHL experience.

Fans were, understandably, frustrated.

Why add replacement level (or worse) players instead of giving Erik Brännström, Logan Brown and/or Alex Formenton a chance to cement a role on the roster from the start?

This offseason, interestingly, the Senators haven’t done much of anything. Yes, they brought in Nick Holden and Michael Del Zotto but, for a team claiming to be stepping in to the next phase of the rebuild, that doesn’t amount to much of an impact. After talk of looking to add a first line centre and a top four defender – of which, it’s very possible Dorion believes he accomplished with the aforementioned additions – the offseason has been pretty quiet.

Fans are, understandably, frustrated.

Why not make additions to the team that ended last year with a 9-2-1 record in their final 12 games? Why not take this group to the extra level by spending the abundance of assets in the cupboard on someone who can do so.

Funny how things change, isn’t it? This time last year we were clamouring for the Brännström’s, Brown’s and Formenton’s of the lineup to get a shot at cracking the roster but this year, many fans have expressed some frustration that Ottawa hasn’t done much. If they had, players like Egor Sokolov, Ridly Greig and Jacob Bernard-Docker wouldn’t have a spot to fight for.

As we see the future of the Ottawa Senators hitting the ice this week for development and rookie camps, with reports of players like Sokolov, Grieg and Angus Crookshank standing out, you can sense a cool down from Sens fans across Twitter on their desire for incoming additions.

A long offseason is finally coming to an end, the anxiety around the roster is slowing down, let’s get to it.

On Negotiation Through the Media

Over the past four seasons, after plenty of public messes in the realm of player negotiations, Dorion’s most used phrase might now officially be “we don’t negotiate through the media.” While it can be frustrating as fans, particularly when we’re all waiting not-at-all-patiently for news of a long term extension for Brady Tkachuk, it’s in the best interest of the organization to ensure as much of this stuff happens behind closed doors as possible. After all, a team like the Senators can’t afford any more negative media attention than they tend to generate for themselves outside of contract negotiations.

On this topic, however, there has appeared to be plenty of negotiation through the media – just not by Dorion himself. Over the last few weeks, TSN’s Shawn Simpson and PostMedia’s Bruce Garrioch have essentially been reporting one-sided updates – Simpson from Tkachuk’s side, Garrioch from Ottawa’s. The question is, how much of this is each camp trying to leak some information to tip the scales on their favour and how much of it is just genuine reporting of what each journalist has heard?

It’s incredibly possible that Simpson doesn’t report too much from the Sens side simply because he doesn’t have a deep, trustworthy source to keep him in the know. Similarly, it’s possible (read: incredibly likely) Garrioch’s information comes directly from the team and he doesn’t have much in the way of a network within the NHL Agents community.

It’s hard to ignore, though, how regularly these two indirectly spar on Twitter. For every Garrioch article, there tends to be a Simpson subtweet. For example, Garrioch recently penned a piece updating on the Tkachuk contract negotiations, claiming Tkachuk not being at camp on day one would have an impact on his chances of making the Olympic team. The next morning, Simpson tweeted this:

At the end of the day, I like that Dorion tries to keep things under wraps as much as possible but it’s really hard to take those words too seriously with how frequent these types of pieces and interactions happen. I don’t blame Garrioch, Simpson or any other media member for releasing to the public information they find out. Not one bit. That’s their job!

But the Sens definitely negotiate through the media, Dorion just doesn’t reveal information himself with a microphone in his face.

On Player Personalities

Thomas Chabot and Tim Stützle attended the NHL media event in Toronto this past week and it was a refreshing reminder of how gosh darn likeable the new era of Ottawa Senators are.

It was great to see both players interacting with the media, answering questions, playing fun games and, of course, drawing the teams logo from memory. It’s a good thing they’re both good at hockey so they don’t have to try their hands at the starving artist career – they’d be quite hungry, I suspect.

This summer we also got the chance to see a number of players hop on The Wally and Methot Show and get a glimpse into their personalities, as well. From Josh Norris to Brady Tkachuk to Egor Sokolov, we had the pleasure of getting to know these people better, not just the players, and, for me, that felt incredibly relatable.

Many joke on Twitter about Ottawa trying to rebuild their team based on vibes and it seems to be true. Maybe it’s because we have more mediums to get to know them better or maybe it’s because the dust is settling and the black cloud above the organization appears to be dissipating, but overall I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season and a big part of that is feeling more connected to the people under the uniforms.

On Professional Tryouts

We’re getting to the part of the offseason, right before camp, where teams are starting to announce players who will be attending camp on professional tryouts (PTO). Over the past week, we’ve seen Tobias Rieder heading to Anaheim on a PTO, Artem Anisimov to Colorado, Mark Jankowski and Jimmy Vesey to New Jersey and more.

With the idea that Ottawa was expected to add more to its roster than they have, I’d think we’ll see at least a few players invited to the main camp next week on PTOs. As the blueline is relatively busy already, if the Sens are going to bring anyone in, you’d think it’ll be up front.

Looking through the list of free agents on CapFriendly, a few names popped for me. The first name was Alex Galchenyuk. I know, I know. Why revisit this? At the end of the day, Galchenyuk is a player you can toss onto your third line and second power play unit and get something done, in a pinch. He’s someone who’s played up the lineup and down the lineup and while his skillset is a much closer match to a top six role than a bottom six role, bringing him in on a PTO certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Another familiar face would be Tyler Ennis. I loved Ennis when he was on the Sens. He was the perfect energy player, rarely out of position and can certainly be trusted with extra responsibility from time to time.

If we’re going down the familiar face rabbit hole, neither Bobby Ryan nor Zack Smith have contracts for the upcoming season but… I think those years are behind us.

Joseph Blandisi recently didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Montreal Canadiens. He spent last years shortened AHL season in Laval, where he wore an A and compiled 21 points in 28 games. He’s a 27 year old centre with 101 games of NHL experience that I’m sure could either push the kids to compete or, at worst, get a contract and head to Belleville to provide veteran leadership as a player who’s cleared the 200 game mark in the AHL as well.

None of these names are fancy or shiny, but PTOs rarely are. Nonetheless, I think we can expect a name or two to surface over the next week and I’d be happy to see any of Galchenyuk, Ennis or Blandisi join the Sens when main camp opens up.

On Logan Brown

I’d like to start this thought of by saying I’ve always been a fan of Logan Brown – likely more so than the average Sens fan.

There are a lot of knocks on Brown’s game and his development. There are claims that he doesn’t work hard enough or move his feet but the only thing lazy related to Brown is that narrative. That’s not the real problem.

The real problem has been his health. This isn’t news, even the most casual of Sens fans knows that Brown hasn’t had a full, healthy season since before he was drafted. If you don’t know this about Brown, you’d be shocked to learn he hasn’t been able to crack the NHL roster yet. After all, he’s a 6’6” centre with the softest hands and he’s put up 0.84 points per game at the AHL level.

As Development Camp has come and gone and Rookie Camp is kicking off, Brown is nowhere to be found. Without a contract, it’s been stated that if Brown can’t be moved, he’ll be off to Europe until another NHL team is ready to give him a shot.

It saddens me to say, but it’s time to cut ties and move Brown for whatever you can. He’s not going to play another game in the Senators organization and, even if it’s just a mid round pick two years in the future, Pierre Dorion should be looking to get something – anything – for the 2016 11th overall pick.

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Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week – Summerland Review – Summerland Review

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Happy Friday! Fall is definitely starting to make its way into the region, so in case you were busy enjoying the cooler weather this week, here’s what happened in the news to catch you up before your weekend begins.

False B.C. fur farm ban announcement a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’: activist

A fake news release was sent out to media outlets on Tuesday (Sept. 14) morning, announcing that the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries was banning fur farms, phasing them out over the next five months and providing support for mink farmers.

But that announcement was confirmed to be false when the real agriculture ministry sent out a memo saying that they are not, in fact, banning fur farms.

Kelowna animal rights activist Amy Soranno said it was a rollercoaster of emotions and that finding out the announcement was fake was upsetting.

“There remain a plethora of reasons why a ban should indeed be implemented for environmental, human, and animal concerns,” she said.

Princeton man calls 911 after restaurant customer is refused breakfast

A Princeton man called 911 on Monday (Sept. 13) after he saw someone being turned away from a local restaurant as the vaccine card regulations kicked in.

Princeton RCMP’s Sgt. Rob Hughes said the caller wanted it known that he was outraged that someone didn’t get their breakfast.

Hughes said the man blamed Liberal leader Justin Trudeau for the country “falling apart.”

COVID crisis puts strain on Vernon hospital: physician

A record number of patients suffering from COVID-19 is straining resources at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, according to a doctor who works there.

He said that in order to take care of and accommodate COVID patients, they’ve had to put non-emergent surgeries on hold.

At baseline, VJH only has 10 ICU beds, with nine COVID patients taking up the beds. The hospital is taking care of around 32 COVID-positive patients and has put the hospital at 30 per cent over capacity.

Okanagan offender Curtis Sagmoen allegedly terminated from LNG site in Kitimat

Convicted offender Curtis Sagmoen had been allegedly hired, then let go, by LNG Canada at its Kitimat site after locals brought forward their concerns about the new hire.

LNG Canada released a statement about the situation after Kitimat’s City Centre Mall was vandalized with the words “LNG Canada hires serial killers.”

Sagmoen has been found guilty of two separate charges involving offences against a sex worker, and he also pleaded guilty to assault in an unrelated incident involving a sex worker in Maple Ridge in 2013.


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