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Reckoning With Ghosts of Social Media Past – The New York Times

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Send questions about the office, money, careers and work-life balance to workfriend@nytimes.com. Include your name and location, or a request to remain anonymous. Letters may be edited.

My social media presence from high school and college includes everything from photos of theme parties and Halloween costumes I now understand as cultural appropriation, to banter with friends in which we casually invoked racist or sexist stereotypes.

While I could dismiss this as youthful ignorance, it doesn’t change the fact that my behavior a decade ago was harmful. Would it be selfish to remove the evidence of my mistakes? Or would it be worse to have processed the toxic nature of these posts and allowed them to stay up? I am not seeking credit or absolution, but I want to do the right thing.

— Anonymous

When a public figure is taken to task for their social media history, I wonder why they did not do themselves the favor of cleaning up their online presence as their public profile grew. I am never sure if they are so comfortable with their past behavior that they don’t think it should be erased or if they are so clueless about how fame functions that they don’t consider the ways in which their past will come to light.

That said, you ask an important question. The short answer is: Clean up your social media. If there are people to whom you need to make amends, do so. You’re an adult now, so act like one. We have all made mistakes, and sometimes there is glaring evidence of those mistakes. You are doing the necessary work of interrogating your past and I commend you for taking responsibility and not merely dismissing your actions as “youthful ignorance.” You were young and ignorant, yes, but that doesn’t make the behavior less toxic.

You aren’t making some noble gesture by leaving your checkered past in plain sight for anyone to stumble upon. You aren’t hiding anything by deleting social media posts from a decade or more ago. By cleaning up your online presence, you are demonstrating an awareness that social norms change and that you, like nearly everyone, harbor or once harbored prejudices.

What’s important is taking stock of who you are and how you behave both on and offline, now. Do you hold yourself accountable for what you say and do? Do you hold the people around you accountable when they say racist or misogynist or other bigoted things? Do you advocate for marginalized people as much as you advocate for yourself? Flagellating yourself over your social media history doesn’t accomplish anything. Actions speak far louder than words. Do the work, every day, of being actively anti-racist and feminist. Forgive yourself for your past and honor a promise to yourself that you will never be that person again.


I manage two men who are younger than me. They have a lot of potential and a genuine passion for the work we do. But they won’t ask me for help. From their work product, it’s obvious that they struggle. They hide any problems from me until the last minute, and then turn in work that is far below my expectations. To work around this, I generally tell them that the deadline is a week before it actually is, and when they turn in a terrible first draft, I work through it with them. Or I just redo it.

Am I doing the right thing? How do I give them the confidence to ask me for help?

— Anonymous, San Mateo, Calif.

Your employees are grown-ass men in a professional environment. Stop babying them! It is not your job to do their job in addition to yours. Potential and passion are well and good, but competence is just as important. Mentorship is not synonymous with mothering. You are enabling their refusal to ask for help.

Be honest about what they are doing well but also how their work product is falling short. Establish a timeline for them to improve and identify consequences you follow through on if they don’t learn how to collaborate with you and produce better work. Make it clear (even though you already have) that you are not only their leader, you are also a knowledgeable and willing resource to help them become stronger and more effective employees. That is all you can do. If their masculinity is so fragile that they cannot ask for help and improve their work, I assure you there are other people on the job market who will not need to be work-parented. I do not say this lightly but if they cannot rise to the occasion, find employees who will.


I’m employed at a consulting organization. The founders are three middle-aged white men who come from family money. Employees are nearly entirely women, many of color, single and in their late 20s-early 30s. There are a handful of other employees, people of color, in their late 30s-early 40s with young kids.

Everyone’s salaries and bonuses are transparent. Performance reviews are done with care. The founders provide benefits linked to their values. But there is one major aggression — the founders LOVE white people activities like skiing, sailing, etc., and team building is centered around such activities. Lots of people don’t want to do them. It is seemingly impossible to move into middle management if one does not engage in these team building days.

What would be a good way to change this aspect of the culture?

— Anonymous

I cannot stand mandatory fun — any sort of activity or potluck or other gathering with co-workers that demands your presence either implicitly or explicitly. The expectation that you should work a rigorous schedule and also spend your free time with your colleagues instead of your friends and family is exhausting and ridiculous.

That your founders, who seem like decent guys, don’t understand that not everyone enjoys their very expensive, very white pastimes is willful. They choose not to understand why their employees may not know how or want to alpine ski or sail free solo or whatever because they can cosset themselves in that way.

I don’t know if you can change the culture at your organization — the founders are who they are. But you can be honest about the bias inherent in pairing team building and professional advancement with exclusionary activities that employees may not be familiar with or interested in for any number of reasons including race, class, gender and ability. Even if someone has already raised this, do so again, and suggest more inclusive team building activities. You might also mention how women, for example, struggled to advance in certain industries because of all the business meetings and networking that took place on golf courses and in strip clubs and bars after work when they were taking care of their families. (This is, in fact, still a problem in certain sectors.)

Your founders see themselves as good guys but there is room for improvement. If they are as aligned with their values as you suggest, hold them to that by demanding this very reasonable accommodation.


Roxane Gay is the author, most recently, of “Hunger” and a contributing opinion writer. Write to her at workfriend@nytimes.com.

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Media Beat: August 06, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News

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Dave Charles launches Covid ‘At Home Studio’ system with Glenn Prins

The broadcaster and the engineer, Charles and Prins have created an MRI Home Studio set-up that offers broadcasters a cost-effective, hi-fi option to keep on-air safe at home and deliver professional quality audio streams to keep on-air operations running smoothly and efficiently.

“What we’re offering is a studio in a box solution for radio stations that are doing terrestrial broadcasting, looking for a way to keep their staff safe and at home, and delivering it at an affordable price,” Charles explains.

“Most stations have a lot of the equipment. necessary What we’re doing is showing them how to put it together and make it viable, so they can maintain Plan B, and Plan B is providing a way for radio stations to have all their broadcasts done from home studios with professional sound and tech support. We have a couple of engineers who will talk you through the set-up and are on call if and when needed,” he continues.

“Radio station may have two-thirds of the stuff needed to set up a home studio, but what they don’t have is the clean feed audio that gives you that professional quality audio and we are offering that. It’s not the typical zoom audio that sounds compressed. And if they have a need for programming consultancy, we can certainly talk about that as well, but the bottom line is  we want to make sure they can get to where the shows and news reports can be done from home with the same audio quality and frills they have in the station studios, and all packaged in a very affordable way.”

The package all-in is priced at about C$8,000.

Call Glenn Prins at 705 717-3111 and get all the details you require on MRI Home Studios. – David Farrell

Stingray launches with six new US partners

Up to 10 free music channels are now available on Comcast Xfinity, Distro TV, Freecast’s Select TV, Channel Plus on LG, MX Player and XUMO, boosting the web service’s audience reach potential in the market by over 40 million. Stingray currently counts 400 million subscribers in 156 countries.

Separately, Stingray Group Inc. says revenue in its fiscal Q1 ended June 30 fell by 35 percent to $52.3M as the impact of the pandemic hit revenue from radio operations. However, management is optimistic that its global media business will be able to resume rapid growth as the impact of the pandemic fades and new services come out in Canada, the United States and further abroad. – Sources: Stingray & The Canadian Press

NordStar officially takes possession of Torstar

Now that the deal is closed and the company is going private, Torstar’s new owners are focusing on the future of the company.

Job one? Listening to their new employees.

“We will be going into the office and sitting down and listening and hearing perspectives on what we need to do. We will listen to everyone,” said Bitove in an interview Wednesday afternoon. Bitove said he and Rivett will meet with executives and editors in a series of small, socially distant get-togethers and will also be holding a digital town hall for all Torstar employees. – Josh Rubin, The Star

Crave makes TIFF list

Among the lineup of 50 titles participating in this year’s festival are four Crave-supported films: the Crave original documentaries Inconvenient Indian (from Michelle Latimer) and The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel (from Joel Bakan and Jennifer Abbott), as well as the feature films Falling (from Viggo Mortensen) and Beans (from Tracey Deer), which received funding through Bell Media’s The Harold Greenberg Fund. – Media release

Renowned hockey photographer Dave Sandford on life inside the NHL bubble

I received the same 47-page document that the players got. The rules and procedures are the same for everyone, players and staff. There’s a nice outdoor area right outside (Rogers Place, the Oilers home rink) we call The Yard. Tim Hortons has been giving us free coffee and doughnuts and sandwiches. There’s basketball, a golf simulator and a giant screen outside, so guys are out there watching games. In one restaurant on Friday – the night before the playoffs – there was NHL staff, players from opposing teams, coaches and GMs, referees and linesmen, all dining out under one roof. I said, this feels like the Twilight Zone. – Patrick Maloney, London Free Press

Embracing the challenge of remote broadcasts

The crews at AT&T SportsNet and Penguins Radio Network are working hard to call playoff hockey from home. – Michelle Crechiolo, Penguins team reporter

Now that hockey is back people are fighting over Don Cherry, again

With everything happening in the world are we really still arguing whether Don Cherry should still be on the air? There is nothing sad about an adult male being held to account for their words. Hell hath no fury like a white man who feels other white men are being marginalized. – Jody Brimacombe, Fresh Daily

After 100 Podcasts, New Orleans’ Pelican JJ Redick widens his range

In recent years, the NBA star has added another dimension to his public persona by hosting his own podcast. He has interviewed athletes and chefs, authors and bankers, politicians and actors. For a self-described introvert, Redick thinks of it as an exercise in personal development — and as a way for him to connect with an even broader audience.

“It’s given me a medium to express myself,” he said.

Now, Redick hopes to expand his platform. – Scott Cacciola, The New York Times

McClatchy newspaper chain now owned by a New Jersey hedge fund

Chatham Asset Management has a growing presence in the news industry. In 2016, it took a majority stake in Postmedia, one of Canada’s largest newspaper companies. Since that deal went through, 1,600 Postmedia employees have been laid off, and more than 30 of its publications have been shut down. Chatham is also the principal owner of American Media Inc., the parent company of The National Enquirer and other supermarket tabloids. – Marc Tracy, The New York Times (subscription)

RAIN News: Podcast summit excerpt

The Insider Interviews podcast, created and hosted by marketing strategist and journalist E.B. Moss has posted a new episode featuring a live chat with RAIN president Brad Hill, and an excerpt of the recently produced RAIN Global Podcast Leadership Summit. (See/hear the YouTube version below.)

All episodes of the Insider Interviews podcast, plus subscription links, can be found hereRAIN News

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Contemporary music SuperStudy 2 webinar

Coleman Insights’ test list is generated by compiling the most consumed songs from the past year by streaming, sales and radio airplay as measured by MRC Data/BDSradio. The company tested these songs with 1,000 people ages 12-54 across the US and Canada utilizing Coleman Insights’ FACT360 Strategic Music Test platform. Due to the cancellation of this year’s Worldwide Radio Summit, the findings were released via webinar.  The research findings start getting interesting at the 16-minute mark.

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RIP

Edmonton’s hockey and media communities’ paid tribute to longtime local broadcaster Tim Dancy on Monday after news of his death emerged. The former play-by-play commentator for the Edmonton Oilers later spent time in that same role for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He went on to work for other media companies like Shaw and 630 CHED. – Phil Heidenreich, Global News

Peter Rakobowchuk, a journalist with Canada’s national news agency whose high energy delivery was instantly recognizable to decades of listeners, has died.

More widely known by his radio moniker Peter Ray — a supervisor early on told him it sounded smoother — the irrepressible Rakobowchuk had been undergoing chemotherapy for liver cancer. He was 71.

Pete Hamill, journalist and author who captured the spirit of New York, dies at 85

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Former Catholic school board chair issues apology about social media posts – GuelphToday

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Marino Gazzola, who agreed to resign as chair of the Wellington Catholic District School Board on Tuesday following social media posts the board said had a racist and discriminatory tone, has issued an apology.

Late Wednesday the board posted a letter from Gazzola on its website.

“On my personal Facebook page, I recently posted some items that members of the community found offensive.

“They were NOT intended to be, or to reflect, the opinions of the Wellington Catholic District School Board of The Board of Trustees.

“On reflection I realize and acknowledge that posting these items was a serious error in judgment, for which I take full responsibility and am profoundly sorry. Moving forward it will be my personal mission and goal to become more understanding and inclusive, and work constantly towards being a positive influence amongst those with whom I interact and work.

“Please accept this letter as my most sincere apology and deep regret for any hurt these posts may have caused in our community.” 

Gazzola has declined to comment on the matter to the media.

The board also updated its notice on the matter Wednesday, adding that because Gazzola is an elected official, the board has no jurisdiction to remove him from the board completely.

On Tuesday the WCDSB announced that Gazzola had agreed to resign as chair of the board of trustees, a position he has held for the past 17 years. He has been a member of the board for 30 years overall.

A special in-camera board hearing was held on July 30 where the board “moved to disassociate themselves from the actions of the chair.” The following day, “by mutual agreement,” Gazzola resigned.

Exactly what the social media posts said, along with when and where they were posted, remains unknown.

The school board was asked if there were complaints about Gazzola’s social media, if the board had a code of conduct for trustees and what the process was moving forward to choose a new board chair. They have not yet responded.

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China's major state banks start internal testing of digital wallet application: media – SaltWire Network

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s major state-run commercial banks are conducting large-scale internal testing of a digital wallet application, moving a step closer to the official launch of a home-grown digital currency, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Thursday.

The state-backed newspaper cited sources saying employees at state banks in cities including Shenzhen have started internally testing the app to transfer money and make payments.

The move is in line with a key task for the second half of this year set by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which in statement on Monday said the country should actively and steadily promote the development of a state digital currency.

In April, the PBOC’s digital currency institute told Reuters it was implementing internal closed trials of a digital currency electronic payment (DC/EP) system in four cities and that it intended to pilot the system at future Winter Olympics venues.

The central bank set up a research team six years ago to explore the possibility of launching a digital currency to cut the cost of circulating paper money and boost policymakers’ control of money supply.

Government officials last year said the digital currency was “almost ready” but have said little about a launch timetable.

(Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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