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Spotlighting women in media across the CFL –



Like Beyonce said, who runs the world? Girls. Which really is the truth.

Today is International Women’s Day, where we take the opportunity to celebrate the incredible women that surround us in our lives. Whether it’s our mothers, sisters, coworkers, neighbours or anyone in between, we take this day to relish in their accomplishments.

It’s also a chance to acknowledge the women who came before us that paved the way and those in front of us that will be looking for guidance to achieve their dreams.

To celebrate this year, I wanted to shine a light on the women in and around the CFL that cover our league so greatly. These are the ones that are on broadcasts, are writing for digital publications or newspapers or facilitate media appearances for their teams’ players, helping to tell their stories.

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Let’s start in the West Coast and make our way across the country.

Karen Surman was the BC Lions sideline reporter before the unfortunate cancellation of TSN1040. But when she was on air, she was one of the best in the business. There’s no way she’ll be a free agent for very long. Next up is Gemma Karstens-Smith who is a reporter for The Canadian Press based in Vancouver. Karstens-Smith also covers the Lions but she does so with her exquisite writing. And don’t forget about Alex Ruiz, who is the Lions’ Manager of Digital Platforms and Social Media, and is top-notch at ensuring BC’s fans are as close to the team as possible on their social channels.

As we continue, we arrive in Calgary, where two exceptional women cover the Calgary Stampeders. First is Alanna Nolan, who not only is absolutely amazing at her position as the Stamps’ host and reporter, but she also doubles as the host for the Calgary Flames. Another reporter for The Canadian Press is Donna Spencer, who uses her incredible way with words to report on the club, bringing fans close to their favourite team and players.

Moving on to Edmonton, Quinn Phillips is a reporter covering the Edmonton Football Team for Global. Phillips’ storytelling ability is always on full display as shines a light on the Green and Gold.

Now travelling to Saskatchewan, where there are two women that I want to focus on in Regina. The first is Arielle Zerr, the Director of Communications for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. After transitioning from a radio reporter covering the Riders, Zerr is now an integral part of Saskatchewan’s coverage in the media. She’s the one facilitating Zoom conference calls, sending press releases and making sure the players are in the right spot for any appearances. Second is Claire Hanna, who is the woman on the sidelines on TSN during Roughriders broadcasts, covering the team all week in practice and then bringing those stories to life on game day.

Now onto Winnipeg, where Judy Owen does a fantastic job holding down the fort for The Canadian Press covering the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. And last, but certainly not least, is Sara Orlesky, who covers the Bombers and the Winnipeg Jets for TSN. Sara’s incredible on-air presence is top notch and has been my inspiration as I started getting into sports journalism.

If there’s one thing that unites all of these women across the country is excellence, as they all do a phenomenal job covering the league that we all know and love.

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Facebook will fuel further unrest-whistleblower



Facebook will fuel more episodes of violent unrest around the world because of the way its algorithms are designed to promote divisive content, whistleblower Frances Haugen told the British parliament on Monday.

Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, was appearing before a parliamentary select committee in Britain that is examining plans to regulate social media companies.

She said the social network saw safety as a cost centre, lionised a start-up culture where cutting corners was a good thing and said it was “unquestionably” making hate worse.

“The events we’re seeing around the world, things like Myanmar and Ethiopia, those are the opening chapters because engagement-based ranking does two things: one, it prioritises and amplifies divisive and polarising extreme content and two it concentrates it,” she said.

She said the algorithms pushed users towards the extreme. “So someone centre left, they’ll be pushed to radical left, someone centre right will be pushed to radical right,” she said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hit back against Haugen’s accusations, saying earlier this month: “The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical.”

Reuters, along with other news organisations, viewed documents released to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress by Haugen.

They showed Facebook had known that it hadn’t hired enough workers who possessed both the language skills and knowledge of local events needed to identify objectionable posts from users in a number of developing countries.


(Reporting by Kate Holton and Paul Sandle; Editing by Keith Weir)

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Australian regulator 'concerned' about Facebook's approach to media law – Reuters



A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

SYDNEY, Oct 25 (Reuters) – The Australian regulator behind a law forcing large internet platforms to negotiate licencing deals with media outlets said on Monday he was “concerned” about Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) cooperation, seven months after the rule took effect.

Under the News Media Bargaining Code, the social media giant and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google must negotiate with news outlets for content that drives traffic to their websites or face possible government intervention.

“Google is still negotiating and finalising deals with more news media companies and seems to be approaching this exercise in the right spirit,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

“We are concerned that Facebook does not currently seem to take the same approach.”

Since the controversial law was passed in March, Facebook and Google have struck licencing deals with most of Australia’s largest news outlets, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O) and the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

But some smaller publishers say Facebook, in contrast to Google, has declined to negotiate with them.

Academic publisher The Conversation and foreign language broadcaster SBS were both denied discussions. As reported first by Reuters, Facebook said in an email to publishers in September it had concluded deals to pay Australian companies for content on its “Facebook News” channel. read more

Facebook was not immediately available for comment on Monday. The company told Reuters in September that content deals were “just one of the ways Facebook provides support to publishers” and it continued to have discussions about alternatives. read more

The media law allows for the government to intervene if a platform fails to negotiate with a media company, a condition that has not yet been invoked.

Sims said a planned federal government review of the law next year would “examine closely the performance of all parties and whether the government’s expectations have been met”.

Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Jane Wardell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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‘Dune’ Opens to $40 Million at the Box Office. Strong Enough for a Sequel?



Dune,” an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic, opened to $40.1 million at the North American box office. It’s a respectable start given the ongoing pandemic and the film’s unconventional theatrical debut. In addition to playing in 4,125 domestic theaters, “Dune” (like all Warner Bros. movies in 2021) premiered simultaneously on HBO Max, which might have taken a chunk out of overall ticket sales.

In a milestone for the studio, “Dune” landed the biggest three-day tally for Warner Bros. since the company began its day-and-date strategy on HBO Max. “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which scored a then-pandemic record $31 million in April, previously held that high-water mark. In the months in between, anticipated movies such as “The Suicide Squad,” the LeBron James sports comedy “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and the musical adaptation of “In the Heights” failed to live up to box office expectations while being offered concurrently on HBO Max.

“I’m smiling,” Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein said on Sunday morning. “Exhibitors are thrilled. The best part is, fans are loving what they’re seeing. They’re loving the big-screen experience. It’s been a winner of a weekend for movie-lovers.”

Directed by Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Blade Runner 2049” and “Arrival”) and starring Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin, “Dune” is the first chapter in an expected two-part saga. Villeneuve and the cast of the movie have said they would like to make the follow-up to complete the story about warring political dynasties that clash over access to a vital planet. The question now: will ticket sales to start be enough to justify a sequel? Given the film’s hefty $165 million price tag, including the millions spent to market it as a cinematic event, it’s unclear if box office revenues alone will be enough to warrant a return to the desert land of Arrakis. In that case, “Dune” will have to perform very well on HBO Max to convince the studio it should inject another $165 million to complete the star-studded interplanetary tale. Legendary Pictures co-financed “Dune” in addition to producing and developing the movie.

In an interview with Variety this week, WarnerMedia chair Ann Sarnoff said plans for the sequel will be based on “the entirety of what ‘Dune’ can do for the company, including HBO Max.” She added, “The story in itself sets up for a sequel. The production is so amazing and the storytelling is so compelling that it’s not going to be judged on box office alone.”

Avid fans of Herbert’s seminal 1965 novel sought out “Dune” on the biggest screen possible, with premium formats such as Imax, Dolby and 4DX accounting for 50% of domestic ticket sales. Imax alone contributed $9 million, representing 22.5% of the market share, marking the company’s largest opening weekend since the pandemic.

Also new to theaters this weekend, Disney’s animated adventure “Ron’s Gone Wrong” tanked with $7.3 million from 3,560 cinemas in North America. The family movie, centering on socially awkward middle schooler Barney and his malfunctioning robot friend (Zach Galifianakis), has been well received by audiences (it has an “A” CinemaScore), which could be a promising sign for its theatrical run. Despite playing only in theaters, “Ron’s Gone Wrong” placed fifth on box office charts behind holdover titles “Halloween Kills,” James Bond entry “No Time to Die” and comic book adaptation “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.”

In a distant second place, Universal’s slasher sequel “Halloween Kill” collected $14 million in its second weekend in theaters, plummeting 71% from its opening. It has generated $73 million in North America to date, a win for the $20 million-budgeted horror film. Already, the studio has announced that franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis will return for the follow-up “Halloween Ends,” scheduled for Oct. 14, 2022.

MGM’s “No Time to Die” landed at No. 3 with $11.8 million, boosting its domestic total to $120 million. Sony’s “Venom” sequel secured forth place, bringing in $9.1 million between Friday and Sunday. After four weeks, the anti-hero adventure, starring Tom Hardy, has made $181 million.

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