By Julie Gordon
OTTAWA (Reuters) – When the Bank of Canada launched its new $10 bill in 2018, it hid a Space Invaders-like video game called Inflation Busters inside the bill’s web page, a fun diversion that caught on with a wider audience than usual for a central bank.
The throwback game, along with the Bank of Jamaica’s reggae music videos and the European Central Bank’s podcast series, is an example of how global central banks are getting creative in delivering their messages directly to the public they serve.
It’s a push that has become increasingly important amid the COVID-19 crisis and the rise of misinformation, a point made by the Bank of Canada’s governor, Tiff Macklem, at a major central banking symposium in late August.
Since starting the job in June, Macklem has used his platform to gently prod his fellow central bankers on building public trust and has spoken out on income inequality, a hot-button topic not normally discussed by central bank governors.
“These are really pretty big issues and important issues, and I take my hat off to Macklem for raising them,” said David Dodge, who was governor of the Bank of Canada from 2001-2008.
While reggae songs and video games are all the rage, the Bank of Canada’s everyday outreach is not likely to be trending anytime soon. Instead of “going viral,” the goal is to use non-traditional avenues to build credibility with a broader audience, including Canadians who get much of their information from social media.
“I think it’s incumbent on us to really ensure that as many Canadians as possible understand what we’re trying to achieve,” Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Lawrence Schembri told Reuters in an interview on the central bank’s engagement strategy.
“It’s a multi-pronged effort to broaden the base of our audience and to tailor the messages for them,” he said, “but at the same time ensure consistency across the different vehicles we’re using to communicate.”
The idea is that if Canadians better understand what the central bank does and how the economy works, monetary policy will be more effective, he said.
The strategy involves simplified explainers, videos and animations, along with direct outreach to diverse community groups, university student challenges, and some splashier efforts like the banknote campaign.
Longer term, the central bank wants to tap more directly into schools, particularly those serving indigenous and under-privileged youth, Schembri said.
LET’S TALK INFLATION
The Bank of Canada has, for the first time, also asked Canadians for their input as it reviews its 2% inflation target, along with alternative monetary policy frameworks, ahead of the policy renewal next year.
“In the past, a lot of our communication has been unidirectional – from us to our audiences,” said Schembri. “One of the things that we have really tried to do with this engagement for the inflation target renewal is really listen.”
While many Canadians are not even aware of the current monetary policy framework, let alone why the central bank would consider changing to a new one, more than 8,500 people have responded to the inflation survey.
Still, that’s just a fraction of the nearly 600,000 who have so far watched reggae star Denyque’s inflation dubplate on the Bank of Jamaica’s Twitter feed.
“From a communications perspective there’s a big win in going viral,” said Josh Greenberg, a media and communications expert at Carleton University who consulted on the Bank of Canada’s $10 bill engagement strategy. “But going viral usually requires a commitment to a level of irony and self-deprecation that I would argue is unbecoming of a central bank.”
(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Leslie Adler)
Trump calls India, China air ‘filthy’; social media weighs in – Al Jazeera English
US President Donald Trump describing the air in India and China as “filthy” has triggered mixed reactions on social media, with many amused or embarrassed by the statement.
Trump made the remarks on Thursday night as he denounced Democratic rival Joe Biden’s plans to tackle climate change during their second and final presidential debate ahead of the November 3 election.
At the debate in Nashville, Trump renewed his criticism that global action on climate change was unfair to the United States.
“Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia, look at India – it’s filthy. The air is filthy,” Trump said at the debate in Nashville.
“India is filthy”
Wow. Wonderful. Great way to win over Indian Americans, Trump.
— Wajahat “Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic” Ali (@WajahatAli) October 23, 2020
Trump charged that Biden’s climate plan was an “economic disaster” for US states such as Texas and Oklahoma which produce oil.
Biden said climate change is “an existential threat to humanity”.
“We have a moral obligation to deal with it,” he said. “We’re going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years.”
Oh dear! @realDonaldTrump called India “filthy.” They are NOT going to be happy.
— Annie Gowen (@anniegowen) October 23, 2020
Trump ‘stating the obvious’
Reacting to Trump’s comments, Vishnu Som, a journalist working for India’s NDTV network, said the US president was “stating the obvious” and the country’s air is “sadly filthy”.
Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of The Print news website, said there was “no point in being outraged”.
“Every year about 15 of the 20 cities with the filthiest air in the world are in India. We’ve also done little to address this,” Gupta posted on Twitter.
Our air IS filthy. Every year about 15 of the 20 cities with the filthiest air in the world are in India. We’ve also done little to address this, except pass the buck around. No point being outraged when Donald Trump speaks that truth. Our air is an awful global embarrassment
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) October 23, 2020
Trump’s remarks came as air pollution levels in parts of the the Indian capital, New Delhi, soared to “severe” levels on Friday.
The city was blanketed in noxious haze as smoke from agricultural burning, vehicle fumes and industrial emissions – combined with cooler temperatures and slow-moving winds that trap pollutants over the city – turns air in the city into a toxic soup every winter.
New Delhi was the world’s most polluted capital city for the second straight year in 2019, according to Swiss-based group, IQ AirVisual, that gathers air-quality data globally.
India was also home to 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities, said the study released earlier this year.
More than 116,000 Indian infants died from air pollution in the first month of life, and the corresponding figure was 236,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a State of Global Air 2020 study released on Wednesday.
Still, some on social media condemned Trump’s comments, calling it “a humiliation”.
“Wow. Wonderful. Great way to win over Indian Americans, Trump,” wrote US-based journalist, Wajahat Ali.
Modi had spent ₹3.7 crores on flowers & covered up the slums to beautify Trump’s route for the ‘Namaste Trump’ rally in Ahmedabad.
But Trump called India ‘filthy’ in the Presidential debate today!
Will Modi respond? Be rest assured, Modi won’t say a word against his BFF Doland
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) October 23, 2020
The planet has already warmed by approximately 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels, enough to boost the intensity of deadly heatwaves, droughts and tropical storms.
But Trump has been repeatedly accused of downplaying the threats posed by climate change.
In 2018, he pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, which aims to cap global warming below 2C (3.6F).
The US president’s remarks came on the heels of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to New Delhi next week to hold talks aimed at covering bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, according to the Indian government.
During the first presidential debate too, Trump had spoken critically of India, questioning its coronavirus data amid criticism of his handling of the pandemic.
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) October 23, 2020
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook – Campbell River Mirror
Black Press Media has joined Canada’s news media publishers in calling for all political parties in Parliament to support the adoption of Australia’s approach to combat the monopolistic practices of Google and Facebook.
The two American web giants control the lion’s share of online advertising dollars and distribute newspaper content without compensation in Canada, as in democracies around the world. The model being implemented in Australia counters these monopolistic practices and levels the digital playing field – at no cost to taxpayers and without user fees or other charges.
In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues. They use their monopoly control not just to divert advertising from news media publishers, but also to divert millions in advertising revenue that they place on news media sites. Even when advertisers pay specifically to advertise on news media sites, Google and Facebook keep most of that revenue, while gathering and using data on news media site readers and advertisers for their own purposes.
Black Press Media CEO Rick O’Connor stated, “It is vital that we establish the principle that the content we produce and that is subsequently picked up and carried on the platforms such as Google and Facebook should be compensated by the platforms so that we can continue to provide the journalism that our local communities want.
“This is a principle that is only recently being accepted by the platforms, thus the need to work in concert with the rest of the industry to fight for local journalism.”
The recommendation that Canada adopt the Australian model is contained in Levelling the Digital Playing Field, a report commissioned by News Media Canada and prepared by global advisory firm FTI Consulting, which conducted an in-depth analysis of actions taken in democracies around the world to address the same challenge.
News Media Canada represents more than 90 per cent of news media readership in Canada including daily, regional, community, and ethnocultural news publications.
“A strong, diverse and independent news media is valued by Canadians and crucial to our democracy,” said Jamie Irving, vice-president of New Brunswick news publishing company BNI and Chair of News Media Canada’s working group.
“Publishing real news costs money, and Google and Facebook – two of the biggest companies in the world – cannot continue to be allowed to free-ride on the backs of Canadian news media publishers who produce news content, without fair compensation. The time to tackle the global web giants, as the federal government indicated in September, is now.”
Key elements of the Australian model include:
- An effective approach that requires no new government funding, consumer taxes, or user fees.
- Publishers, with the approval of government, form a collective bargaining unit to negotiate compensation for the use of their content and intellectual property. It is only through this government approved collective approach that the immense monopoly power of the web giants can be countered, and the digital playing field levelled.
- A code of conduct to ensure that the web monopolies do not use new algorithms and other proprietary technology to expand their market domination and entrench unfair competitive practices.
- Enforcement. Under the Australia model, the web giants are subject to fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars for a single infraction. Penalties of this scale are the only effective ways to rein in companies of this unprecedented size and power.
- Comparable context. Both Canada and Australia publishers are facing significant challenges from the web giants. Canada and Australia share strong regional identities, and similar parliamentary and legal systems.
The government of Canada announced in its speech from the throne on Sept. 23, “The government will act to ensure their revenue is shared more fairly with our creators and media, and will also require them to contribute to the creation, production and distribution of our stories, on screen, in lyrics, in music and in writing.”
News Media Canada is calling on the government to tackle the web giants and adopt the Australian model in Canada.
The CEO members of the following companies are leading the discussions with the government of Canada including Glacier Media, Black Press, Torstar, Postmedia, Globe and Mail, La Presse, Quebecor and Brunswick News.
Canadian-owned Black Press operates more than 80 print and website publications in B.C., Alberta and the Yukon.
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.
The Canadian Ethnic Media Association Celebrates its 42nd Annual Awards for Journalistic Excellence in a Vibrant Virtual Production – Canada NewsWire
TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2020 /CNW/ – The Canadian Ethnic Media Association is proud to present its 42nd Annual Awards for Journalistic Excellence on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Undaunted by the limitations imposed by the devastating Coronovirus, Covid-19, which have made traditional celebratory gatherings at ballroom dinners and receptions impossible, a vibrant Awards presentation will be conducted within the framework of CEMA’s first-ever virtual production.
CEMA Chair, Madeline Ziniak, is pleased the organization was able to surmount the unprecedented challenges of this year to continue this much sought-after annual recognition of Canada’s multicultural community media. “The 42nd Awards of Journalistic Excellence continue to platform Canada’s best in the ethnic media landscape and to emphasize its importance to Canadian audiences”.
The historic awards presentation will emanate from CEMA’s Website: www.canadianethnicmedia.com, by way of links to the viewer’s choice of either its Facebook Page or YouTube, at 8 p.m. EST, in Ontario. Viewers across the country will be able to watch the winners’ at-home acceptance speeches, remote artistic performances, and special guest messages at the following local times:
Newfoundland (Newfoundland Standard Time)
9:30 p.m. NST
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (Atlantic Time)
9:00 p.m. AST
Quebec and Ontario (Eastern Standard Time)
8:00 p.m. EST
Manitoba and Saskatchewan (Central Standard Time)
7:00 p.m. CST
Alberta (Mountain Standard Time)
British Columbia (Pacific Standard Time)
5:00 p.m. PST
In addition to recognizing the outstanding work of ethnic journalists across Canada, the virtual production will also feature the unveiling of CEMA’s new logo – a contemporized re-imagining of the legacy emblem that has been symbolic of reportage since the organization’s inception in 1978. The new logo pays homage to the fundamentals that inspired CEMA founder Sierhey Khmara Ziniak to rally the country’s first collective of ethnic writers and journalists, while it also salutes today’s technical and philosophic advancements in newsgathering and dissemination.
The Awards presentation is the pinnacle of a very busy year for the Canadian Ethnic Media Association. CEMA has worked tirelessly to advocate for ethnic media operations suffering large advertising revenue losses, while trying to keep their communities abreast of the virus, in their primary languages of comfort. CEMA proactively took their plight to the country’s three levels of government, making the case for the importance of ethnic media in Canada.
Also during this year, notably the 5th Anniversary of the CEMA Media Directory, the association responded to the consistent demand for access to the Directory from all sectors, public and private, by undertaking the massive job of refreshing its listings to ensure complete and confirmed accuracy.
The year 2020 will be remembered by many for what they could not attempt and achieve; for the sickness, loss of life and livelihoods that plagued their families and friends; and the economic instability that forced some to abandon their dreams and ultimately close their businesses. Despite the challenges presiding over this year, CEMA, always a determined, forward-thinking force, chose to rise to the occasion. CEMA found a way to be true to its mandate, pay respect to its momentum and continuity, and to celebrate the best work of its contemporaries. It is calling its national membership and those interested in journalistic excellence to participate in a fresh and ambitious initiative – an historic virtual presentation of the 42nd Annual CEMA Awards for Journalistic Excellence. This special online production opens viewing access to interested parties right across the country.
The Canadian Ethnic Media Association is happy to welcome the return of Ontario Creates as the Sponsor of the 42nd Annual Awards for Journalistic Excellence. Ontario Creates is an agency of the Government of Ontario that facilitates economic development, investment and collaboration in Ontario’s creative industries including the music, book, magazine, film, television and interactive digital media sectors. ontariocreates.ca
The first virtual presentation of CEMA’s Awards for Journalistic Excellence is produced by Stan Papulkas of Edmonton, Alberta. Stan is a veteran independent television producer who has many years experience working with Canada’s multicultural and multilingual television programmers.
SOURCE Canadian Ethnic Media Association
For further information: Averill Maroun, Canadian Ethnic Media Association, Marketing and Media Relations, Phone: 905 881-3955, E-mail: [email protected]
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