Ryan Lochte has been getting a lot of attention for his new reality show What Would Ryan Lochte Do? and the response – especially of the news media – has not been all that favourable…which is understandable since he says things like “If you’re a man at night, you have to be a man in the morning.”
The confusing one liners of the Olympic gold-medalist landed him on Anderson Coopers “The Ridiculist” after an internet genius mashed up his catch phrase with Usher’s smash hit “Yeah.”
I think this video is proof enough that Ryan Lochte needs to stay in the pool and off the television – and keep his mouth shut as often as possible.
Total babe on guitar, her boyfriend on the drums, and her brother on bass. Seems like an odd dynamic, but it must be working – and the proof is in the pudding. The Balconies’ self-titled debut is not only undeniably catchy, but extremely eclectic while maintaining an original approach to indie rock. I caught up with the young Toronto band just as they returned from their tour of east-coast Canada
Request announced last week the release of its new iQ System, a central media system for music, video and information.
The iQ System features a media server and 16-channel amplifier designed to pump sound throughout the house. The amplifiers are controllable with the tabletop and in-wall control touchscreens featured with the system. The system can store up to 800 CDs worth of music that can be viewed by name, title, artist, genre and cover art.
The Intelligent Media Client (IMC) featured with the system allows for online streaming of content and DVD movies. The IMC also has a slot-loading DVD drive and can archive movies that can be recalled and played anywhere in the house via ReQuest’s graphical user interface.
The iQ System has four built-in widgets that can automatically access the network and internet to show information throughout the house. The system has six webcams that can be programmed to show various locations throughout the house. Also, any publicly available webcam can be shown on the display, such as traffic reports or ski slope conditions.
Media giant St. Joseph Media, publisher of FASHION, Toronto Life, and several other glossy national mags, is suspending publication of Gardening Life and Wish Magazine.
Wish launched in 2004 with a circulation of around 72,000, and was the “Canadian woman’s Shopping List for Life”, with tips, deals and trends about fashion, food, beauty and home. Gardening Life launched in 1996 with a similar circulation, and pegged itself as “Canada’s best source for garden solutions, inspiration, and products”, geared towards long-time gardeners as well as beginners.
According to Masthead Online, SJM president Douglas Knight said in a letter to staff:
“The global financial crisis has triggered such a sharp decline in advertising markets that prudent media companies around the world are evaluating their portfolios and making tough decisions about those brands least able to withstand the downturn.”
CBC.ca reports that about 20 jobs will be lost. SJM will maintain the 20-Minute Supper Club, which was a feature of Wish, with a plan to launch a stand-alone website and an annual 20-Minute Supper Club magazine in 2009. Toronto Life will add a home and gardening supplement to its content.
A judge denied media request to get access to sealed documents in the R. Kelly child-pornography trial.
“Of paramount concern is that the defendant gets a fair trial,” Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan wrote. “The torrent of media interest in this case has prompted entry of the order which prevents the serious and imminent threat that this case would be tried in the media.”
Arguing that the public has a constitutional right to observe the court proceedings, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press and Chicago Public Radio asked for access to records of the closed-door hearings in the case.
Although judge Gaughan acknowledged the need and importance of media coverage in covering criminal justice, he said his ruling is “narrowly tailored” to preserve Kelly’s rights to a fair trial, citing the 2004 ruling in the Michael Jackson criminal case as precedent.
Kelly, who has pleaded not guilty, is charged with videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl.
Microsoft has decided to enter the MP3 hardware market. While companies have partnered with Microsoft to develop their own iPod-killers using Microsoft?s Windows Media format, none have succeeded in putting a blemish on Apple?s stronghold. So Microsoft will take a page out of Apple?s books and create a player that will run only their format.
Microsoft is rumoured to have been showing the new player to record companies the last few weeks, toting a bigger screen with a higher screen resolution as well as WiFi capabilities to download music without being attached to a computer, and to allow users to connect to networks with other users and compare tastes and interests.
The player is expected to be released around Christmas, and Microsoft is said to be putting extensive marketing dollars behind it. One of their biggest draws is rumoured to be a free download promotion. Their media software will actually scan a users iTunes folder and look for purchased music, and then offer the user the opportunity to download it free. As if Microsoft hasn?t done enough copying from Apple already, now they?re going to copy your Apple playlist. Microsoft will still pay the required amount to the record labels.
Microsoft responded by saying they have nothing to announce, and that the information of this product is based on rumours and speculation.
It seems, for whatever reason, that hockey will always be Canada’s dominant sport; as such, it demands a certain amount of attention from Canadian media outlets – which is something we non-hoser sports fans have come to accept. However, broadcasters, analysts, and sports writers alike can’t continue to overlook the other major sports; such as basketball.
Generally speaking, the basketball IQ of the Canadian media is terrible, at best. Their hockey-centric tunnel vision is compounded by the fact that this lack of knowledge doesn?t prevent them from sharing uninformed, ignorant opinions with their audiences about basketball.
Those in the know can discern a well-versed hoops-junkie from a hockey analyst who?s out of his element, but unfortunately fair-weather basketball fans are lured in to believing what these ?experts? have to say.
My solution? A modification of the old adage, ?if you don?t have anything informed to say, don?t say anything at all.?
Canadian television programs like Off The Record are problematic as, at some point, the guests must discuss things outside their Neanderthalic Ice Capades world. This is where the problems arise.
Case and point, a few days ago Rob Babcock, GM of the Raptors, was on Off The Record answering loaded questions posed by the host Michael Landsberg, while at the same time being berated by moronic small-talk that, in this context, passes for the majority of the show?s content.
Babcock kept his cool, toeing the company line and answering questions without even a hint of trepidation or anger towards the other guests. Commendable. He even got his own jabs in, most notably a funny dig towards Toronto sports writer and Raptor-hater extraordinaire, Dave Feschuk.
But why continue with the pattern? Surely someone must notice that in a show where basketball and Rob Babcock are the key topics, having more than one knowledgeable basketball mind is a good idea!
Zack Werner and Fred Patterson are the targets of this particular rant. They threw in some player names, some painfully obvious commentary — but nothing that went beyond the surface. Nothing that would lead any informed viewer to believe that these goons have watched more than one or two Raptors games this season (and that is me being nice; I?d be shocked if they have watched even one from start to finish). Yet there they were, arguing with Babcock, a man with more basketball knowledge than either could ever aspire to have; taunting him, telling him to his face that his team sucks, the Vince Carter trade was bad, he?s not handling the roster properly, his drafting is suspect, etc etc.
All of that might be accurate, but who are they to say? Where could they have possibly obtained this knowledge if they don?t follow the team regularly? The answer: from other uninformed sports analysts too busy listening to themselves talk to understand the damage they are doing to basketball in Canada.
This is not to say things are always rosy in Canadian basketball. Usually it?s far from. But I urge the Canadian media to leave the curling to the curlers, leave the hockey to the hosers and, for the love of God, leave the basketball to the ballers. Canada has enough intelligent basketball minds to discuss, analyze and critique the game – we don?t need help from you sub-zero saps.
A couple days ago I stomped down the stairs into the living room. My mission: turn off the horrible music that my mom was listening to. As I huffed into the kitchen getting ready to lecture my mom on what should be considered good music, she laughed and asked me if I was going to turn the radio off. Surprised, because she usually yells at me when I even attempt to lower her music while she relaxes after a hard day of work with a Guiness in one hand and red wine in the other, she told me ?You can tell CBC is in a lockout, listen to this,
they?re playing crap.?
And so I decided not to turn off the radio that was playing some tune that nobody alive could identify. My mom listened on, if only out of loyalty to a station that she has listened to every day for the past twenty years.
I?ve started thinking about my memories of the CBC. I remember when I went up to my family?s cottage on Georgian Bay and listened to Jasper, Gracie and Tom on the Dead Dog Caf?. I also vaguely remember a radio show about some cat who was a detective, I think. I loved it.
As I grew older, Peter Mansbridge became a familiar face and I always looked forward to his coverage on the Olympics, both summer and winter.
During my broadcast classes at Ryerson, we had to study and analyze the program content for CBC Radio One and CBC The National. I remember how much fun I had comparing the CBC to other news programs, delighting in sharing my opinions on why I think the CBC needs to aim more shows towards the younger generation or why I unconditionally accept everything Peter Mansbridge tells me.
Most of the aspiring journalists in my classes at Ryerson see CBC as the pinnacle of their future careers. If they end up at CBC, they know that they have made it in the world of journalism. CBC is the word of God. And now, because of the lockout, that image is in great danger of being shattered, if it already isn’t.
The lockout is only hurting CBC, but when it does end, what will it’s image be, and will viewers and wanna-be journalists still look up to it as their number one source for news?
Already competitors are trying to lure CBC faithfuls to watch their programs. CTV bought ads in the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail featuring their alternative to The National with Peter Mansbridge: the Atlantic edition of The CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson on CTV Newsnet. And you can bet other broadcast stations are closing in for the kill.
CBC is turning out to be the big loser. What with advertising dollars down the tube, angry employees and viewers who are becoming fed up and are turning to other news sources, CBC’s identity will need a makeover.
On August 15, CBC management locked out about 5,500 Canadian Media Guild members, the people responsible for the programming of one of the most watched news shows in Canada.
The lockout was a slap in the face to the Guild members who voted to strike after the CBC attempted to create a two-tiered workforce of permanent and temporary employees.
The Guild says that it is not opposed to hiring employees under individual contracts but emphasizes,?Our position is and always has been: permanent people for permanent work.? The two-tiered system that the CBC is proposing is a huge threat to the Guild because it means that one group has fewer rights and benefits than the other, and both groups end up suffering the consequences.
When the lockout ends, the employees probably won’t be any better off than before. Look at the NHL lockout that just finished not so long ago. It took 310 days to resolve but are the players any better off? Well if you think that a team salary cap, a 24 per cent salary rollback and two-way arbritation means “better off” then by all means, they are definitely better off.
Whether disgruntled and wary hockey fans are willing to forgive and forget remains to be seen, but the NHL clearly sees a need to win them back; they’ve lowered ticket prices for starters.
Will CBC fans and employees be forgiving? With so many other broadcast stations available, each of them vying for a spot in viewer’s and worker’s hearts, it will be tough to win the public back.
I have a feeling that my journalism classmates will be looking at the CBC in a new and unflattering light.
I visited the website tenbyten.org a few days ago and was discouraged by what I saw. Murder. Terrorism. Nuclear. Attack. Bomb. The list unfortunately goes on.
For those of you who aren?t familiar with the site, tenbyten is a snapshot of 100 pictures that correspond to the top stories from international news sources (BBC World Edition, Reuters and the New York Times International News) and is updated every hour. There are no editors who choose which keywords or stories go on the site. Thus there is no bias, no criticism or comment about the stories that are on the site.
The website says ?10×10 (‘ten by ten’) is an interactive exploration of the words and pictures that define the time. The result is an often moving, sometimes shocking, occasionally frivolous, but always fitting snapshot of our world.?
The pictures are supposed to reflect the top and most important stories in the world, when in fact it reflects the stories that the media think is the most important in the world.
Every hour the stories supposedly change, but the themes of these stories remain the same.
It seems that the news has become a murder/kidnapping show. Where?s the love? I?m trying not to be too idealistic about this world and I know that in reality there is a lot of violence surrounding us, but why does the media choose to bombard us everyday with mainly stories about crime? Is it really just because there are so many wars going on or is the media selecting crime stories (purposely or not) to get more readers and thus more advertising? Maybe it?s not as simple as that.
?The more outlandish the crime, the greater media attention it will get,? says Cecil Greek, a professor at Florida State University, in his lecture on crime and the media. Also ?Disasters- This includes actual and averted ones, and both natural and accidental disasters. Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, plane crashes and fires are examples. Disasters allows opportunities for heroism. Firemen, disaster crew workers, and ordinary citizens who respond heroically become newsworthy in such situations. 9/11 made NYPD and NYFD into international heroes.?
The ?depressed press? as columnist William Safire puts it, believes that ?bad news is newsier than good news,? which suggests that the media publishes more stories on crime when it could be reporting on something else, purely because more people want to read it. People like reading bad news rather than good news because it more exciting. It seems that bad news is ?real? news and good news is not important and not news-worthy.
I am not suggesting that the media should stop snooping around to reveal crime that has occurred, for example in governments. The media?s job is to question and dig up information that people and governments should be held accountable for. However the media is over-reporting crime and not giving enough attention to more worthy stories such as the social conditions that lead to crime.
Back to tenbyten. The website allows us to click on a picture and involve ourselves into the story more deeply. ?This allows us to dart in and out of the news, understanding both the individual stories and the ways in which they relate to each other,? says the site. We are supposed to be shocked at the diversity of the pictures; where a photo of a nuclear warhead site, a photo of Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah?s couch is supposed to sit beside it. Unfortunately that diversity is rare. Instead there is nuclear warhead sitting beside a soldier holding an AK sitting beside toxic fumes, sitting beside Saddam Hussein, sitting beside?
Some critics argue that crime does not dominate news, it just appears that way because we are more likely to remember stories about crime. That may be true to an extent but when I look back at top stories and when I look at tenbyten which displays the international top stories every hour side by side, I see that there is little truth in these claims. Crime is entertainment to the public and the media does exploit this knowledge. Look at the number of crime TV shows and true-crime books written by journalists themselves.
I do not think that it is as simple as saying that the media is increasing the coverage of crime to increase profits. There are passionate and dedicated journalists who understand which stories are newsworthy and which are not. News values should play a more important role than profits. The issue is in the hands of the journalists and editors who shape our knowledge of the news. It is up to us to decide how we analyze the importance of the news they give us.
In the wake of huge catastrophic events such as the London bombings, the tsunami in Southeast Asia, 9/11, the recent Air France plane crash at Pearson International Airport and countless others, a pattern has begun to emerge in the media.
The funny thing is- the media this time seems to be coming from ordinary people (non-practicing journalists) taking on the role of reporter and photographer instead of just an eye-witness.
Are citizens becoming the new media? And if so, what implications does this have and how does it affect the news that is being presented to the public?
After the terrorist plane crashed into the World Trade Centre, September 11, 2001, dozens of photos, footage and written eye-witness accounts began popping up everywhere from newspapers, television, magazines and the Internet.
When the London Underground suicide attacks occurred on July 7, murky photos taken by passengers on the Underground trains were on the front cover of major newspapers such as the Times of London and the Guardian. In the United States, photos snapped by cell phones were captured on CNN, ABC News and Fox News.
More recently with the Air France plane crash at Pearson International Airport, newspapers were asking witnesses to send in their photographs and stories. The Toronto Star even asked on August 2, ?Do you have photos of the incident? Email them to us here?. In a later update, they ask for stories as well.
And the Star benefited greatly from the submissions, even posting clear and up-close photos of the crash; photos that no Star photographer caught. Or if they did, they weren?t showing them on the website.
Despite criticism (In North America, at least) for not being real journalism, bloggers are posting photos as well as eye-witness accounts.
But are blogs really different from a newspaper website? There is of course the argument that blogs are not edited, but Stephen Glass proved that no one was editing or fact checking the New Republic, and Jayson Blair proved that no one was doing likewise for the New York Times.
Blogs give readers the opportunity to read honest, moving stories that they might not find in the sometimes stale newspaper story.
MSNBC.com even has a section called ?Citizen Journalist? that asks for witnesses of big news events to send videos, photos and stories of their experiences.
Accepting eye-witness accounts is not really new; newspapers do sometimes accept photos from people during tragic events that their professional on-staff photographers missed, but never before has there been such a high demand for citizen journalism.
It?s clear that increasingly, there is a need for amateur journalists when the pros aren?t around where the action is. Even though they most likely do not have formal training or experience in photography or journalism, their contributions are valuable to the media for that reason. The photos and story are real, raw and powerful. These amateurs don?t conform to a certain house style, they don?t have expectations put on them from an editor.
The big question is: Will there be a need for professional journalists?
In a time where readers are questioning the so-called ?objectivity? that journalists claim to have, citizen journalism is on the rise because it seems more real and passionate than what pro journalists are writing about today.
Maybe the category of ?professional journalist? will phase out and the media will only be comprised of editors and fact checkers. A newspaper could end up very embarrassed if they publish a fake news story or a photo-shopped photograph.
It is an encouraging thought that newspapers are changing the way news is presented and shifting the boundaries between what is ?real? and citizen journalism. Whether pro journalists will be left without a job is questionable but by publishing stories and other media by non-journalists, the notion of traditional journalism has changed, for the better.
It’s so sad. Toronto Life has been resurrected as an elitist, materialistic, self-absorbed magazine that only caters to the wealthy or wannabe-wealthy and doesn’t hold any meaning for regular Torontonians.
Many of the front pages flip into advertisements that are large enough to be pinups on your wall- Hummers (August 2005 issue) and a bottle of wine (June 2005 issue) are some examples.
The advertisements are clearly geared towards the fortunate who can afford to spend at least $30,000 on another Hummer, who enjoy reading such fine literature like ?I have a bed made of Buttermilk pancakes? (it was vouched for by Vogue so it must be good!), who employ private brokers from TD Waterhouse and who shop at Tiffany?s for reasonably priced (snicker) watches.
Many of the feature stories are about rich people. Take the story ?Angrily Ever After? by Michael Posner: The basic premise of the story is about Louise Hockey-Sweeney, a once rich and fabulous socialite who got divorced from her millionaire husband and lost everything. ?Everything? includes her Bentley, her $8,000 a month house and her $2-million yacht. And now, poor woman, she lives in ?a single room on the seedier side of Cabbagetown.?
The author is falling over himself fawning over the treasures and precious heirlooms, the Bechstein grand pianos and the Jaguar XK8, trying to cram as many dollar digits that the word count will allow.
Amidst the text is a glamour shot of Ms. Hockey-Sweeney; her long dyed blonde hair spread across the ground and a smug look on her face, revealed in the upward twist of her right eyebrow, the half open mouth and the unfaltering blue eyes. In your dreams, she mocks.
In our dreams is exactly where most Torontonians will be able to own 6,000 square-foot houses, be able to vacation in our $400, 000 Muskoka cottage/palace, be able to afford a wedding planner for $75,000 and attend Brazilian Balls. However if you were reading the new Toronto Life for the first time, you would think that a typical reader is a Rockefeller.
There is hardly and space dedicated to the average reader- or average person who lives in Canada. As a result, most readers can?t relate to any of the content or issues that are being discussed. The articles hold no meaning and do not reflect the people of Toronto.
Take the June 2005 cover story of ?the city?s most powerful couple? Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, ?whose net worth is estimated at $758 million,? crowed author Marci McDonald. What does that figure mean to the rest of us? I can?t even comprehend a million dollars let alone $758 million. It means nothing to me and I really could care less how much Reisman and Schwartz are worth. There must be more important and interesting people to write about. But I guess that?s the flaw- how does the editorial staff of Toronto Life decide who is interesting and who is important? Judging by the articles, it seems that the people who have the most money are the most important and therefore front-cover worthy. Those with money deserve the space and publicity, according to Toronto Life.
McDonald recites million-dollar facts at the reader as if having an extravagant lifestyle and hobnobbing with celebrities are the most important goals in life. ?They cultivated a lifestyle so extravagant that most book buyers [Reisman is CEO of Indigo books] could only conceive of it in the pages of an airport potboiler,? McDonald gushes. They are untouchables, in a league of their own and us, the readers, can only fantasize over having such a perfect life. Or if you?re like me, stick my finger down my throat and gag.
Please, bring the old Toronto Life back! The Toronto Life I once knew and loved went into the lives of people who were making a real difference for Torontonians. People who were making a change were being profiled, not people who were making millions.
Toronto Life wasn?t afraid of going into the homes of the ?working-class? and asking their opinions and ideas. The Toronto Life I knew liked to go into bars and not be afraid to talk to the local yokels.
As Toronto Life reader Eric Schwarz put it in a letter to the editor: ?Aside from the occasional ?Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap,? Toronto Life is for the rich. In the June issue, you quote a wedding planner who says that ?weddings have become simpler,? at $60,000. Then there?s fashion for dogs, Chanel faux pearls at $2,275, a profile of Victoria Jackman and, of course, Heather and Gerry. I don?t want to read about how the rich live. I want to read about how the interesting live.?