News and net…

Feb 7, 2017 

ABACUS Data – Mark Blevis & David Coletto
Matters of Opinion 2017: 8 Things We Learned About Politics, the News, and the Internet

Given the flurries around fake news and the struggle of the print media to sustain itself financially, this is a timely report that looks at how the Internet generation learns the news.  The 60 page report offers eight takeaways about the topic and says that our news source is 51% digital.  Print as a source can only claim 1%.  The sourcing is also generational.  “News almost always breaks on Twitter before fanning out to Facebook, online news sites, and the broadcast media.”  Related article: Edmonton Journal – Graham Thompson   Democracy takes a hit: More journalists spinning the news, fewer covering it   Related article: Policy Options – Andrew Potter   De-institutionalization, fake news and the crisis of journalism   Related article: Policy Options – Anita Li   With the news media under attack in the US, Canada has an opportunity to lead with quality, cutting-edge journalism   Related article: Political Options   – George Abraham   Marrying ethnic and mainstream news media would help the industry reflect what Canada really looks like   Related article: iPolitics – Tasha Kheiriddin    Fake news or state news? It’s a false choice

CBC News – Elizabeth Thompson
Government Operations Centre monitored missing and murdered Indigenous women rallies – Charged with alerting government to public safety problems, the GOC also monitored environmental protests

Why would a democratic government monitor peaceful gatherings of Indigenous people and environmentalists?  The surveillance of the MMIW, it seems, began under Stephen Harper in 2015 and continued under the Liberals.  Carried out by a government agency known as the Government Operations Centre, the surveillance disclosure followed queries by NDP MOP Charlie Angus in a question submitted to the house regarding the government activities since 2015.  The GOC said that only rarely does it forward a report on its activity but “Angus said he found it “disturbing” that an operations centre designed to watch for public safety threats was monitoring MMIW demonstrations at all.”

Canada Global Affairs Institute – Peter Jones
Canada and Mediation: Issues and Considerations

The report is a 13 page review of the issues in mediation – there is even a brief executive summary at the beginning of the report.  Mediation is multifaceted, says Jones.  His report looks at the management of conflict, the resolution of conflict or the transformation of conflict.  He also looks at the potential for greater Canadian involvement in international mediation and the justice issues raised.

Toronto Star – Editorial
Star launches legal challenge to end secrecy in Ontario tribunals

The Star has launched a lawsuit seeking to gain access to provincial tribunals that are presently shrouded in secrecy:  alleged human rights abuses, police misconduct, environmental offences and landlord-tenant disputes are among the issues buried in tribune silence.  Here’s the Star’s position:  Tribunals have been appointed custodians of important public records at the taxpayers’ pleasure. We, all of us, own those records. We bought and paid for them in the collective interest of Ontarians.

Toronto Star – Gillian Steward
 Calgary police service rocked by scandals

The Calgary Police Commission was not expecting that Constable Jen Magnus Ward delivered at their usual meeting.  Ward, a 14 year veteran, tendered her resignation with a scathing allegation of sexual harassment in the work place and cover-ups of reports given its supervisors.  The allegations are not new and, with other practices, are raising considerable question about just how progressive the force is.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Daniel Leblanc and Robyn Doolittle  Unfounded: Trudeau pledges action as police unite to reform sex-assault probes