CANADALAND

McClelland & Stewart was the publishing house that, at one time, served as the home for the likes of Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Leonard Cohen and others. In 2000, under the direction of building magnate Avie Bennett, it was broken apart and sold to the University of Toronto and to Random House Canada. It's now entirely owned by a foreign company.

Elaine Dewar, author of the new book The Handover, joins us to explain the seeming sleight-of-hand that put this institution in foreign hands.

Avie Bennett died this past weekend at the age of 89.

Direct download: CANADALAND_186_-_End_Of_The_CanLit_Hustle.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 4:34am EDT

The Conservatives have a new, dimpled, leader, Nova Scotians have more of the same, and British Columbians have an unprecedented lefty hybrid. How effective was media coverage of these three electoral events?

Plus, Toronto Life's recent tone-deaf spurt of house porn has led to, if not riots in the streets, then at least a whole lot of snark on social media.

Journalist Katie Toth joins us.

Direct download: SHORT_CUTS_121_-_Parkdale_Class_War.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 5:17am EDT

One cardinal rule of journalism is that reporters never accept incentives, be that meals, gifts, or - God forbid - money, from the subjects on whom they're reporting. This applies across the board except, we now know, in the travel section.

Travel writers used to diligently follow this standard but, as newspapers and magazines were increasingly unable or unwilling to foot expenses, these journalists were forced to find alternative sources to fund their trips. This meant cozying up to hotel chains, airlines, and tourism bureaus.

If travel writers are being subsidized by the tourism industry, can the readers trust the stories? Bert Archer is arguably Canada's most prolific travel writer and teaches the practice and ethics of travel writing at the University of Toronto. He believes journalists can maintain their editorial independence - but must walk a careful line.

Direct download: CANADALAND_185_-_Travel_Journalisms_Dirty_Little_Secret.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

This week, The Guardian continued its exemplary coverage of Canadian university student unions.

Hamilton police arrest two journalists attempting to cover a traffic fatality.

And the Toronto Star wants you to trust it.

This week's Short Cuts comes to you from scenic Hamilton and the studios of CFMU. The Public Record's Joey Coleman joins Jesse and suggests new ways to report on traffic deaths, and how local newspapers need to up their game when it comes to investigative reporting.

Direct download: SHORT_CUTS_120_Joey_Coleman.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 1:29am EDT

The Texas of the north. Racist rednecks, gun nuts, and pickup truck enthusiasts. That's the Alberta stereotype portrayed in much of the rest of Canada, but how much of that is accurate and how much is due to lazy media that falls back on clich├ęd tropes? After all, Alberta gave us the first big-city Muslim mayor, the first provincial cabinet with gender parity, and hell, led the charge for women's suffragism (okay, that was a century ago, but still...).

Despite the province's increasingly young and multicultural population, some still believe that the only real Albertan is a conservative Albertan. And that extends to the two men - Jason Kenney and Brian Jean - who inked a proposal to merge the Conservative and Wildrose parties last week. Are they, and their policies, reflective of a new, diverse Alberta?

Joining Omar to unpack Alberta's multifaceted conservative history is Calgary journalist and author Sydney Sharpe, whose 2016 book, Notley Nation: How Alberta's Political Upheaval Swept the Country, documented the historic 2015 provincial election which saw the NDP sweep aside the governing Tories after an unprecedented 40-plus-year run. 

Also in studio is Duncan Kinney, former journalist and current Executive Director of Progress Alberta.

Direct download: CANADALAND_184_-_Jason_Kenney_Is_A_Charming_Man.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 3:27am EDT

Hal Niedzviecki and Jonathan Kay have left their jobs. Steve Ladurantaye's been shifted to a lesser role at CBC. And no, we're not finished talking about this yet.

Ryan McMahon joins Jesse in Winnipeg to talk appropriation.

Direct download: SHORT_CUTS_119_Ryan_McMahon.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 7:55am EDT

When it comes to rap, where does artistic licence end and confession begin? According to prosecutors in at least 30 cases from the last decade, it starts when the artist is charged with a crime and the lyrics are parsed for clues to a case or for proof of bad character.

Many of these defendants are convicted of their crimes, but should their music be a permissible tool? What is the threshold? And does the practice intentionally or unintentionally tap into the unconscious biases of jurors with the fate of young black and indigenous men in their hands?

This roundtable discussion on the inclusion of rap as criminal evidence brings together three experts: University of California, Irvine criminologist Adam Dunbar, University of Toronto sociologist Jooyoung Lee, and lawyer Hilary Dudding, whose case, R. v. Campbell, could effect future trials in Canada.

They join guest host Omar Mouallem for the episode.

Direct download: CANADALAND_183_-_Why_Your_Rap_Lyrics_Could_Land_You_In_Prison.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 4:54am EDT

British Columbia had an election where everybody won - or at least got an 'I Participated' ribbon.

Also, Rebel Media wades into the French election like a skunk splashing around a backyard kiddie pool.

Finally, black activist and journalist Desmond Cole takes leave from the Toronto Star after the corporation suggests they'd appreciate it if he wouldn't mind being a little less active and a lot less black.

The National Observer's Sandy Garossino joins us.

Direct download: SHORT_CUTS_118_Garossino.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 4:24am EDT

Since the late 1990s nearly 800 children in Alberta government care have Veteran Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons has been shining a light on this crisis since from the start. 

In November 2016, Simons published a story that shocked the province. It was a story about a four-year-old girl named Serenity. Let down by a wide range of government and non-governmental services, Serenity was the victim of horrific abuse and neglect. 

Simons' article, Her name was Serenity. Never forget it. spurred the Notley provincial government to convene an all-party committee to investigate the multiple failings of Alberta's child welfare system.

Her tireless coverage earned Simons honourable mentions from the National Newspaper Awards and the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom.

She speaks with guest host Omar Mouallem for the episode.

 

 

Direct download: CANADALAND_182_-_Paula_Simons_Omar_guest_host.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 1:05am EDT

Is the media complicit in popping Harjit Sajjan's balloon?

Also, National Post columnist Christie Blatchford and her parent company, Postmedia are facing a substantial libel suit.

Finally, in the art world, what constitutes cultural appropriation and what's merely blatant plagiarism?

National Magazine Award multiple nominee and May's CANADALAND guest host Omar Mouallem joins us.

Direct download: SHORT_CUTS_117_-_Blatch_Got_Served.mp3
Category:media/news -- posted at: 2:41am EDT