Arthur Kent v Don Martin: A Cautionary Tale as We Head into Election Season

We’re heading into a federal election, and this campaign looks especially nasty. This column is a warning for journalists and political insiders to stay focused on facts and to deal fairly. The alternative is to risk writing a take-down of a politician that could lead to a (admittedly rare, for a column written in a … Read more

Parody sites can be whacked for IP breaches

A web site that parodied the Journal de Montreal has been whacked with a $23,500 judgment for  trademark infringement. The judge took the site’s profits from the parody (plus costs). That means college papers that traditionally do spoof issues must be careful to make sure their parodies don’t look too much like the real thing. … Read more

How long can Jesse Brown keep up his vendetta against a children’s charity? (Hint: It’s not over)

 I was in Toronto in early May for the 2019 Toronto Watchdog Workshop on investigative journalism. The weekend event included several excellent panel discussions including Julian Sheer on Mastering the Investigate Interview, and Writing the Investigative Narrative with Susanne Craig from The New York Times. A draw for me was the final session of the … Read more

Lobby group, unions, journalists’ associations will decide who gets media bailout money

The federal government has announced the organizations that will appoint people to the committee that will decide who’s eligible for bailout money. The lobby group that pushed for the bailout is on the committee. So is the Canadian Association of Journalists, a group that has relatively few members among working journalists, and is mainly made … Read more

Getting rid of CBC News: Is it still Conservative policy?

When he was running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer said he’d get rid of CBC’s public affairs department. For many years, people in the rank and file of the Conservatives, and its predecessor parties, the Reform Party and the Progressive Conservatives, had been advocating for big cuts to the … Read more

More media bloodletting as Globe announces buyouts, CTV cuts newsroom, TVO budget cut

The Globe and Mail has offered buyouts to staffers to try to cut $10 million a year from its payroll. A big buyout, in 2013, saw the paper lose some of its best newsroom talent. Kirk Makin, Canada’s premier justice and legal reporter, left the paper, along with several top investigative reporters like Stan Oziewicz, … Read more

We get letters — Re: Jesse Brown and WE

From a senior school administrator in Ontario: Thank you for your recent article concerning the journalism of Canadaland, especially as it related to its articles about and against Free the Children and WE. I am particularly concerned by what seems to be a blatant and biased attack on the organization and on its co-founders by … Read more

Jesse Brown hits The Rock

Self-professed Shame Wizard Jesse Brown fired another shot into his own foot last week. Then, as he usually does, reloaded and shot the other one. On the May 2 edition of Canadaland Short Cuts, Brown smears Newfoundlanders for taking offence at being labeled ‘Newfies’, calling them overly-sensitive white people, and claiming they “want Newfoundland to be … Read more

Ontario’s SLAPP law is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada

Pointes Protection, the key Ontario Court of Appeal case on Ontario’s Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation law (discussed in an earlier post) is headed to Canada’s top court. Anyone who wants to understand the core of the SLAPP law should read the ONCA’s decision on Pointes, not just for its take on the law itself, … Read more