April 27, 2010

The changing political and media order?

By Alison Loat
Two piece this past weekend for those interested in the ways in which politics and journalism intersect in our 2.0 world.  Both have that "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" air about them. First, from the New York Times magazine, a profile of the author of Politico's agenda-setting Playbook.  This early morning email tipsheet is what "some of America's most influent... [More]

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April 20, 2010

Watch the CEO of the first online-only news organization to win a Pulitzer talk about the challenges and road ahead

By Alison Loat
Last week, online news may have officially entered the mainstream when the non-profit investigative newsroom, ProPublica, won a Pulitzer Prize for its piece on the controversial deaths in a New Orleans hospital following Hurrican Katrina. Although ProPublica collaborates with mainstream news organizations to syndicate its work, this marks the first time a news organization that operates solely on... [More]

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April 15, 2010

And on that point...

By Alison Loat
For all the whinging about complacency lately, this week has produced not one but two important citizen-led public projects aimed to bring transparency and accessibility to government. Earlier this week we saw the launch of OpenParliament.ca. Today, the launch of Datadotgc.ca.  In the words of its founder, it was created because "as citizens, we want our governments to open up and share the... [More]

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April 14, 2010

We the people...

By Alison Loat
Former Clerk of the Privy Council (that's like the CEO of the federal public service) Alex Himmelfarb wonders if we "get the politics we deserve." Canadians seem happy, Himmelfarb notes, to "focus close to home" and "on the short term." Rather than engage in a much-needed public debate on how we should handle issues like healthcare, poverty and climate change, we seem content to put off tough publ... [More]

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April 14, 2010

Which provinces dominate our public debates?

By Alison Loat
Yesterday I stumbled upon OpenParliament.ca, a fabulous new resource that does much to make Parliament more meaningfully public. About a decade ago, when I was working with several hundred other Canadians on how cities can attract and retain young talent, one of our team members, a municipal employee, had hired someone to compare the number of times the words "urban" and "rural" were used in Parl... [More]

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April 14, 2010

8 roles for journalism in the 21st century?

By Alex Derry
Many thanks to Samara volunteer Alex Derry, who reported from the recent Samara/Massey seminar.  His first post on the event is available here. ------ Earlier this month, Kathy English posed three key questions about the future of journalism, in light of Pew’s 2010 State of the News Media report: 1. What ethical values about journalism will guide new media? 2. Will legacy media coop... [More]

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April 12, 2010

OpenParliament.ca

By Alison Loat
Lovers of politics and lovers of data may have found their nirvana in this handy website. OpenParliament.ca is a volunteer effort of Michael Mulley, who created it because he thinks "Parliament's goings-on are important and because [he believes] that public information should be meaningfully public, which today means shareable and computer-readable."  Here here. The site lets you track publ... [More]

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April 8, 2010

Dispatch from the State of the News Media seminar (I)

By Alex Derry
Many thanks to Samara volunteer Alex Derry, who reported from this week's Samara/Massey seminar. - - - As the most respected barometer of journalism in North America, the goal of the PEJ's 2010 State of the News Media report is “to help both the journalists who produce the news and the citizens who consume it develop a better understanding of the what the press is delivering, how the media... [More]

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April 8, 2010

Will more MPs cure what ails us?

By Alison Loat
I added my two cents to the discussion, started here by Alan Broadbent and reinforced here by Andrew Potter, that argued that more MPs would help "reclaim the House of Commons" and "make for more accountable government."  By enlarging the size of party caucuses, so the argument goes, we'd both loosen the grip of the Prime Minister and create more safe seats.  The prior would allow for m... [More]

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April 7, 2010

The State of the News Media

By Alison Loat
Our brains are still digesting last night's fabulous talk by the director of the Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, Tom Rosenstiel.  Rosenstiel was in Toronto presenting some of the findings and discussing the implications of Pew's annual State of the News Media report. We'll have video and written summaries available on our website in the coming week or so.  In the mean... [More]

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April 5, 2010

What now? Who knows?

By Alison Loat
  Kathy English, The Toronto Star's public editor, previews a number of the questions raised in this year's State of the News Media report, that will likely come up for discussion in tomorrow's Samara/Massey journalism seminar. For more information, please contact us.

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April 2, 2010

Weekend reading

By Alison Loat
It'll be a journalism-filled long weekend of reading: 1. In advance of next week's Samara-Massey journalism seminar, the 2010 State of the News Media report. 2. A piece on Iceland's attempt, supported by its Parliament, to tranform itself into a free press haven, complete with protection for journalists who aspire to do investigations free from threats from politicians or lawyers. 3. Some recen... [More]

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April 1, 2010

Author of the Pew Center's annual State of the News Media report to speak in Toronto next Tuesday

By Alison Loat
Samara, in partnership with Massey College, is hosting Tom Rosensteil, the director of the Pew Centre's Project for Excellence in Journalism in Toronto on Tuesday April 6th.  This is the seventh year that Mr. Rosensteil and the PEJ have released the State of the News Media report, which chronicles and analyzes the "revolution occuring in how Americans get information." Mr. Rosensteil will pr... [More]

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April 1, 2010

Inquiring minds

By Alison Loat
Thank you for your many responses to this week's political guess who. The most common response was Paul Martin.  The correct answer is Ed Broadbent.  Congrats to the author of Pundits' Guide for being the first to answer correctly. Stayed tuned for more of what will be a semi-regular feature.  Next time, prizes will be involved!

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