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You Down With O-T-T? Direct-to-consumer options at sports media forefront – rdnewsnow.com

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“There is so much choice out there that has never existed (before),” said Keith Pelley, a longtime Canadian sports media executive who’s now CEO of golf’s European Tour. “That’s the reason why (1970s variety show) Donny & Marie had a 60 share. It was because there was very limited choice.”

Many sports consumers still pay for traditional cable while others pick and choose online packages — direct-to-consumer, or over-the-top (OTT) — and subscribe by the year, month, week, or even the day, depending on the event and the outlet. Broadcasts are available on laptops, digital media players, desktops, smartphones, and of course, old-school television.

The game has changed over the last few years and more developments can be expected as the domestic sports broadcasting scene evolves.

“I always say A, B, C: Always be changing. If you’re not, then you definitely run the risk of falling behind,” Pelley said from Surrey, England. “But there’s no question that you know what (viewers) want, they want unlimited choice. But also you have to understand that different demographics want different things.”

Former Sportsnet president Scott Moore, the CEO of media company Uninterrupted Canada, predicts that direct-to-consumer options and sports betting will be the two biggest developments that will impact sports broadcasts over the next five years.

Moore, speaking at the recent PrimeTime sports management conference in Toronto, said direct-to-consumer is a game-changer with its “ultimate bandwidth.”

“Every sport, every game, every contest can be broadcast and broadcast in multiple ways to multiple different end points,” he said. “So if you’re a consumer, you can watch on your big-screen TV, you can watch on your tablet, you can watch on your phone. You can watch the English broadcast, you can watch the Punjabi broadcast, you can watch the Japanese broadcast.

“Soon you’ll be able to watch a broadcast that is brought to you by regular commentators, you’ll be able to watch a broadcast that’s all about sports betting, you may be able to watch a broadcast that is specifically targeted to high-end stats geeks.”

Moore added that in traditional prime time there can be limited shelf space, but an unlimited schedule really opens things up.

“So that’s the one area that I think is just going to have an explosion effect on sports media,” he said. “The other is sports betting. Sports betting, as it becomes legal in Canada — and I believe it will be legal in Canada in the next two years — will impact every part of the sports ecosystem.”

Moore’s successor at Sportsnet, Bart Yabsley, said the live nature of sports is tough for other forms of entertainment to match.

“It has the ability to draw millions and millions and millions,” Yabsley said in a recent interview. “We all saw what happened during the Blue Jays’ run (in ’15 and ’16). We all saw what happened during the Raptors’ run (last spring). There’s almost nothing else like it.”

Sportsnet landed the national hockey rights in 2013 with a monster $5.23-billion, 12-year deal with the NHL. The network also has rights to the Toronto Blue Jays, Grand Slam curling, Rogers Cup tennis, IndyCar and the Canadian Hockey League.

The Toronto Raptors’ rights are split between Sportsnet and TSN, which also boasts a solid lineup with regional NHL rights, the world juniors, CFL, Season of Champions curling, golf and tennis majors along with Formula One and NASCAR.

Moore, who like Pelley has worked at both Sportsnet/Rogers and TSN, said when it comes to evolution, smart legacy players with strong brands have the best chance to succeed.

“They’re the ones who not only have the brand, who have the audience, who have the following, but if they’re on top of the evolutionary technological changes, they can still win. It’s not going to be just the upstarts,” he said. “And I think if you look at some of the upstarts that have come out in the business as it relates to sports — Twitter, Facebook, Amazon — have been abject failures at revolutionizing the way traditional sports are broadcast.

“They’ve all tried to do traditional broadcasts and they’ve all failed at them. And the legacy players are back doing most of the broadcasts and using those other platforms as additions to their broadcasts.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2019.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

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7 Montrealers you need to follow on social media

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Here are some of the most in-touch, thoughtful and downright cool Montrealers you should be following on social media.

Former Bachelor star Vanessa Grimaldi is best known around Montreal for her contributions to special education programs across the city.

We’re living through generation social media — there’s no way around it, and while the benefits and pitfalls that come along with social media are constantly being debated, being mindful about who you choose to follow is one of the simplest ways to ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform.

Looking to freshen up your feed with a new curation of Montreal-based YouTubers and Instagrammers? Here are some of the most in-touch, thoughtful and downright cool Montrealers you should be following on social media. From high-end fashion influencers to uplifting and inspiring personalities, these local social media stars are sure to breathe some fresh air into your feed.

Vanessa Grimaldi

@vanessagrimaldi30

Former Bachelor star Vanessa Grimaldi is best known around Montreal for her contributions to special education programs across the city. As the founder of No Better You, an organization that provides the necessary tools to help give students in the special needs community a voice, Grimaldi’s personal Instagram offers an insider’s glimpse into the happenings around the city with a distinctly positive and uplifting lens.

Nalie Agustin

@nalieagustin

Documenting her life online since 2013 when she was received a cancer diagnosis in her early 20s, speaker and wellness advocate Nalie Agustin offers an unfiltered look into what it really means to be a cancer thriver and twentysomething in Montreal. Whether it’s a glamorous speaking event abroad or a visit to the doctor’s office, Agustin’s refreshing honesty and positive approach to life will inspire you to live every day with gratitude — no matter what the universe may throw your way.

Audrey Rivet

@audreyrivet

While Instagram is increasingly becoming a spot to share longer, more meaningful blog-style captions rather than just esthetically pleasing images, Audrey Rivet seamlessly integrates the two. Her “beige-tinted” Instagram feed is a visual feast of destinations in and around Montreal while her honest captions and stories — including topics surrounding mental health, body image and social justice issues — provide a welcome dose of depth and realness.

Josiane Konaté

@petiteandbold

A self-proclaimed “skin care enthusiast and visual storyteller,” Josiane Konaté is the founder of Maison Petite & Bold, a curated online marketplace that offers head wraps, home decor and various other lifestyle items made in West Africa. Aside from her role as owner and curator at Maison Petite & Bold, Konaté’s colourful and bilingual feed is full of timeless fashion inspiration, parenting realness and happenings around the city.

Tiffany Lai

@lai_tiffany

At first glance, Tiffany Lai’s Instagram feed appears to be an artfully arranged curation of interior decor, fashion and travel highlights — but look beyond the esthetics and you’ll quickly find the YouTuber and Instagrammer’s musings centre just as much on mental health, self-care and educating her followers on what it means to be anti-racist (particularly when it comes to promoting awareness around cultural appropriation in the restaurant industry).

Grece Ghanem

@greceghanem

Born and raised in Lebanon, Grece Ghanem has lived many lives, to say the least. The microbiologist-turned-personal trainer and Instagram style icon has been profiled everywhere from Vogue to Harper’s Bazaar — and for good reason. The fiftysomething content creator is redefining what it means to be a style icon in the digital age by way of an artful blend of enviable style, joie de vivre and self-confidence.

Katie DiCaprio

@mtlkatie

Katie DiCaprio is a marketer, podcast host and entrepreneur with a penchant for keeping it real on Instagram. Known as @mtlkatie on social media, DiCaprio has garnered attention for her unfiltered take on the greater influencer and marketing world; specifically for her ability to pull back the veil on little-known industry terms, feed esthetics and strategies that the average social media user should be aware of when they’re considering who to follow and what content to consume.

Source: – County Weekly News

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Is the Media Getting Better at Covering Suicide?

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Mental health advocates have long criticized the mainstream media for getting it wrong when reporting suicide. These criticisms are based on a historical corpus of research indicating that suicide was frequently reported in an inappropriate manner in the media. Common issues include glorifying or romanticizing suicide and giving excessive detail about the suicide method used. A recent review paper indicates that such coverage could contribute towards “copycat suicides.”

Indeed, one well-publicized U.S. study found a 10 percent increase in suicide mortality after the 2014 death of Robin Williams, which was partially attributed to inappropriate media coverage. Similar increases in suicide mortality were witnessed in Canada and Australia after the death of this well-known celebrity.

As such, mental health advocates take the view that working with the media is an important suicide prevention activity. This has led to initiatives in a variety of countries including Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. Here in Canada, concerted action to improve media reporting of suicide is steered by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, which has organized several activities to improve media coverage of suicide.

One of these activities is the creation and dissemination of best practice guidelines to promote the Responsible Reporting on Suicide, contained in a glossy booklet called Mindset. Over 5,000 copies of Mindset have been distributed to reporters and journalism schools across Canada in recent years, and Mindset is freely available on the internet.

Mindset encourages journalists to write about suicide in a manner that avoids content that may contribute to copycat suicides. This includes avoiding glorifying or romanticizing the suicide and omitting details about the suicide method used. Similarly, Mindset encourages reporters to include content that can foster positive behaviours such as educational information, quotes from experts, and suicide helpline numbers.

In other words, Mindset balances recommendations to avoid certain potentially harmful content, with recommendations to include certain potentially helpful content. These recommendations overlap considerably with Responsible Reporting on Suicide recommendations produced by other organizations in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K., as well as by the WHO.

Given this situation, it is important to assess the media’s adherence to these recommendations, as low adherence may contribute to copycat suicides, while high adherence may play a role in suicide prevention. As such, my colleagues and I recently examined adherence to Responsible Reporting on Suicide recommendations in a large sample of Canadian news articles published between April 2019 and March 2020. The results of this study were published this month in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, and they reveal some interesting findings.

On the one hand, there was high adherence to many recommendations. For example, over 90 percent of articles did not glamourize suicide or give a simplistic explanation of suicide. Moreover, over 80 percent of articles did not include sensational language or use discouraged words.

On the other hand, there was low adherence to other recommendations, especially those related to content that is potentially helpful. For example, less than 1 in 4 of the articles quote an expert, include help-seeking content, or educational material. Furthermore, around 40 percent mentioned the suicide location or the method, which is discouraged in the recommendations.

Interestingly, articles about a high-profile suicide or about a murder-suicide had the lowest rate of adherence to the guidelines. With regards to high-profile suicides, only 7 percent include help-seeking information, and 2 percent include attempts to educate about suicide. Similarly, around 70 percent of articles about murder-suicide detail the method used, while around 30 percent use sensational language. In contrast, articles focused on suicide policy, research or events had the highest rate of adherence.

In sum, this study revealed that a substantial proportion of articles adhere to many suicide reporting recommendations, especially recommendations to avoid or omit certain content. However, several recommendations are commonly underapplied, especially those related to the proactive inclusion of potentially helpful content, indicating room for improvement.

Interestingly, these results overlap considerably with another just-published study led by Steven Sumner at the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), which also found a scarcity of positive protective elements in news articles about suicide, particularly in U.S. news articles

To conclude, the media has a vital role to play in suicide prevention, and we should be thankful for their efforts to date. But more can be done, and this will require renewed collaboration between journalists, researchers, and suicide prevention experts. This can include targeted engagement with newsrooms, journalism schools, and individual journalists. Such efforts may further improve suicide prevention and ultimately help those in need.

Readers can obtain 24-hour emotional support from national telephone helplines including the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566 (1-866-277-3553 in Quebec); and the U.K. Samaritans on 116 123. Readers elsewhere can obtain local helpline numbers and suicide prevention resources via the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

To find a therapist, visit the Psychology Today Therapy Directory.

Source: – Psychology Today

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Social media use linked with depression, secondary trauma during COVID-19 – Science Daily

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Can’t stop checking social media for the latest COVID-19 health information? You might want to take a break, according to researchers at Penn State and Jinan University who discovered that excessive use of social media for COVID-19 health information is related to both depression and secondary trauma.

“We found that social media use was rewarding up to a point, as it provided informational, emotional and peer support related to COVID-19 health topics,” said Bu Zhong, associate professor of journalism, Penn State. “However, excessive use of social media led to mental health issues. The results imply that taking a social media break may promote well-being during the pandemic, which is crucial to mitigating mental health harm inflicted by the pandemic.”

The study, which published online on Aug. 15 in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, included 320 participants living in urban districts of Wuhan, China. In February 2020, the team gave the participants an online survey that investigated how they accessed and shared health information with family members, friends and colleagues on social media, specifically WeChat, China’s most popular social media mobile app.

The team used an instrument created to measure Facebook addiction to assess participants’ use of WeChat. Using a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, the survey assessed participants’ views of WeChat in providing them with informational, emotional and peer support. The survey also assessed participants’ health behavior changes as a result of using social media.

Statements related to informational support included, “I use WeChat to gain information about how to manage the coronavirus epidemic,” and “If I have a question or need help related to the coronavirus epidemic, I can usually find the answers on WeChat.” Statements related to emotional support included, “My stress levels go down while I’m engaging with others on WeChat,” and “The health information on WeChat helps me alleviate feelings of loneliness.” Statements related to peer support included, “I use WeChat to share practical advice and suggestions about managing the coronavirus epidemic,” and “I have used some of the information I learned from WeChat friends as part of my management strategies for coping with the coronavirus epidemic.”

The survey also investigated participants’ health behavior changes related to the use of WeChat, asking them to rate statements such as, “The health information on WeChat has changed many of my health behaviors, such as but not limited to wearing face masks, using sanitizer, or washing hands.”

To assess depression, the researchers used a 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale in which participants rated statements such as, “I couldn’t seem to experience any positive feeling at all,” and “I felt that life was meaningless.”

According to Zhong, secondary trauma refers to the behaviors and emotions resulting from knowledge about a traumatizing event experienced by a significant other. Using the Secondary Trauma Stress Scale, the researchers asked respondents to rate statements such as, “My heart started pounding when I thought about the coronavirus epidemic,” and “I had disturbing dreams about the coronavirus epidemic.”

“We found that the Wuhan residents obtained tremendous informational and peer support but slightly less emotional support when they accessed and shared health information about COVID-on WeChat,” said Zhong. “The participants also reported a series of health behavior changes, such as increased hand washing and use of face masks.

More than half of the respondents reported some level of depression, with nearly 20% of them suffering moderate or severe depression. Among the respondents who reported secondary trauma, the majority reported a low (80%) level of trauma, while fewer reported moderate (13%) and high (7%) levels of trauma. None of the participants reported having any depressive or traumatic disorders before the survey was conducted.

“Our results show that social media usage was related to both depression and secondary trauma during the early part of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan,” said Zhong. “The findings suggest that taking a social media break from time to time may help to improve people’s mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Other authors on the paper include Yakun Huang and Qian Liu of Jinan University.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Penn State. Original written by Sara LaJeunesse. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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