Media files

Jul 292013
Rolling Stone Cover.

Complaints about Rolling Stone's  Tsarnaev profile reveal underlying stereotypes.

by Dr Ronald Crelinsten

The controversy over the cover of the current issue of Rolling Stone reveals a lot about how we think about people who commit acts of terrorism and violence.

The lead story is about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two brothers who allegedly placed pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last April. The thrust of the story is how a “good person” became a monster despite all outward appearances that he was a good kid like everyone else. The cover picture is that now-iconic photo of Tsarnaev as a doe-eyed, tousle-haired youth, looking softly at the camera with a look of gentle innocence.

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Jul 082013

Authors appeal court decision that allows wholesale digitization of copyright works.

by John Degen

At the end of June, a group of authors and author organizations from around the world filed their reply brief  in the appeal of a ruling in the HathiTrust digital library dispute. Last October, Judge Harold Baer of the US District Court ruled that the unpermitted scanning and storing of copyright protected works was excused by the US fair use provision in large part because he saw that work as transformative. To an author, that's a lot like saying by taking your bike, I am transforming it into my bike, but let's leave it to the courts to carry on consideration of what is fair and what is not.
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Jun 242013

Barrie Advance editor published account of PMO's effort to manipulate coverage.

by John Gordon Miller

Why do Canada's news media fall so easily for the political spin-doctoring being dispensed by the Prime Minister's Office? It's almost as if Stephen Harper can seize the news agenda these days by simply dragging a mildly odiforous and vaguely crimson herring across the path of reporters. Away they go.

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Jun 102013

Stephen Harper should have known that longtime journalists would pad their expenses.

by John Gordon Miller

No journalist should ever be appointed to the Senate.

I could have told Stephen Harper that years ago, before he decided that Mike Duffy would make a dandy senator representing PEI (which is only his home address when he's at the cottage) and Pamela Wallin would be just a peachy choice to represent her native Saskatchewan (which is actually even further away from her current home address in downtown Toronto).

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May 232013

The Young Turks deconstruct the statistics behind West's new song, New Slaves.

from The Young Turks and Saturday Night Live

Rap star Kanye West has a new song with a message about private prisons and the disproportionate numbers of black men inside them, as well as the punishments they have to face. Will he shine a light on the corrupt private prisons system?

Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola (TYT University), and Cara Santa Maria discuss West's song.

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Kanye West performs New Slaves on Saturday Night Live

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May 202013

Ethical considerations seem overlooked in the Star's rush to print.

by John Gordon Miller

So this is what passes for "news judgment" in the age of instant information? Give us a break. Beneath an advertising wrap-around for President's Choice proclaiming "Get fired up for the weekend," the Toronto Star's front page today featured what it said was an "exclusive" — Mayor Rob Ford in crack video scandal.

Except it wasn't an exclusive. News of the video was posted earlier on Gawker, a New York-based celebrity gossip website.

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May 152013

Coverage of so-called EI 'reform' replete with attacks on seasonal workers, misinformation about EI.

by Nick Fillmore

National business journalists and columnists have bought into Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s  view that folks in the Atlantic region are backward and have a defeatist attitude.  Their coverage, usually framed in disrespectful language, promotes untested economic ideas that, if adopted, would seriously damage the economy – and the people – of the region.

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May 052013

National and international reports both slam Harper government's communications policies.

by Samantha Powers

According to Reporters Without Borders’ recent World Press Freedom Index,  the Conservative government has not created the "most transparent government in Canadian history." Canada fell 10 spots to barely hang on to 20th place, due to greater obstruction of journalists in the field and a growing threat to the confidentiality of journalists' sources.

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Apr 302013

The Writers' Union of Canada urges educators to respect copyright by paying their royalties.

from The Writers' Union of Canada

[Editor’s note: On April 8, Access Copyright filed a lawsuit against York University, citing several cases of copyright infringement.]

Since the summer, when the Copyright Modernization Act received Royal Assent and the Supreme Court of Canada issued decisions on two copyright cases on fair dealing, some voices in the media have given exaggerated, speculative advice to educational institutions as to the value and necessity of collective licenses. In question is the extent of fair dealing – reproduction of copyright material requiring no authorization or payment.

Some of these voices, whose antipathy towards payment for use of copyright material and collective licensing is well-known, have made broad proclamations asserting that educational institutions no longer need licenses from a collective society for the use of copyright material. Some of their sweeping assertions take the form of legal opinions, purporting to provide clear guidance to educators and administrators on what can be copied without a licence.

Our members – the creators – are being adversely affected by these sweeping assertions. It is important to set the record straight.
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