June 24, 2011

Brain Candy, Journalism Edition

By Kyle Crawford
An accumulation of some interesting things from the world of journalism: 1. Jose Vargas: Pullitzer Prize-winning, Washington Post Journalist, Jose Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times this week. In his piece, Vargas explains how he evaded the law and worked as an undocumented immigrant in the United States. Vargas won a Pullitzer in 2007 for ... [More]

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May 13, 2011

Brain candy: the journalism edition

By Alison Loat
A few interesting events and publications in journalism-land: 1. Meet the minds behind Canada's new media start-ups: On Tuesday May 17, the Canadian Journalism Foundation is hosting a fascinating panel featuring the founders of four online media organizations: The Tyee, Open File, The Mark and IPolitics, 6:30 pm at the University of Toronto. Tickets, or information on how to follow online, a... [More]

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January 18, 2011

The World According to Birgitta Jónsdóttir

By Alex Derry
Last week Birgitta Jónsdóttir kicked off the second series of the Samara/Massey journalism seminars.  Many thanks to Samara volunteer Alex Derry, who summarized her remarks below.  CPAC recorded the event, which can be watched in full here. *** Like many of Canada’s MPs, Birgitta Jónsdóttir never aspired to be a politician. As a single mother, a writer... [More]

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January 12, 2011

Tonight: Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer Birgitta Jónsdóttir in Toronto

By Alison Loat
Tonight is the first of the Samara/Massey journalism seminars of 2011, featuring Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an early WikiLeaks volunteer and now a a member of Iceland’s Parliament. She has led a movement in her country to take the most far-reaching steps towards advancing free speech, freedom of the press and transparency in government of any country in the world.  This ini... [More]

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January 8, 2011

Birgitta Jónsdóttir to speak at the first Samara/Massey journalism seminar of 2011

By Alison Loat
Tuesday January 11 is the first of the Samara/Massey journalism seminars of 2011. Building on the success of last year's series, this program seek to provide examples of innovations in public affairs journalism, and to create a gathering space for journalists and others interested in public affairs storytelling to exchange ideas and learn from one another. Below are the details on our first eve... [More]

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January 3, 2011

Most-read blogs of 2010

By Alison Loat
Here are our top-read blog posts of last year (excluding those annoucing the release of our MP exit interview reports, our Democracy and Guess Who contests): 1. "The risk is a debate that erodes public confidence in the importance of our census," on the media's coverage of the decision to change the census. 2. "Money on the side," a gentle reminder that MPs have lives outside of politics, and th... [More]

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November 17, 2010

"Technology is a trap to get us focused on entirely the wrong thing"

By Alison Loat
Last night the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) hosted Mark Lukasiewicz, the vice president of NBC News Specials and Digital Media, who was in Toronto talking about the future of broadcast news. A former CBCer, Lukasiewicz worked at the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail before decamping to the U.S., where he's held a bunch of important positions in journalism. Lukasiewicz was "optimistic ... [More]

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November 16, 2010

What's next for broadcast news? (and come to Samara!)

By Alison Loat
Tonight, Tuesday November 16, we're hosting a reception at Samara after the Canadian Journalism Foundation's event with Mark Lukasiewicz, the vice president of NBC News Specials and Digital Media. A former CBCer, Mark also worked at the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail before decamping to the U.S., where he's held a whole bunch of important positions in journalism. Mark, who recently coordinat... [More]

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November 3, 2010

Government, not politics: A new model for political journalism? (part II)

By Grant Burns
Courtesy thelastminute via flikr NB. This is the second part of a two-part post on new models for political journalism. In my last post, I highlighted how Bloomberg Government (BG), a subscription-based news service that will offer a more in-depth coverage of policy and politics in Washington, D.C., could have a transformative influence on political journalism in Washington.  According t... [More]

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October 21, 2010

Government, not politics: A new model for political journalism?

By Grant Burns
NB. This is the first part of a two-part post. Bloomberg News has announced its intent to move into the Washington media market by launching Bloomberg Government, a subscription-based news site which will take a unique approach to producing political news stories by employing both journalists and public policy experts. This is a significant development for both political journalism and the futur... [More]

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October 5, 2010

Peter C. Newman: "If you talk to enough people, eventually you get the truth."

By Grant Burns
Image: Aaron Vincent Elkaim for The Toronto Star On October 4th, the Literary Review of Canada hosted Peter C. Newman at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, where he spoke to a crowd of about 150 people in anticipation of his contribution to this month's edition of the magazine. Newman, the author of such classic works of Canadian journalism as Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years and The Cana... [More]

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September 30, 2010

Avoiding the pack or broadening the conversation?

By Grant Burns
Embassy Magazine, Canada's foreign affairs news weekly, published an interesting article this week about the close relationship between the Prime Minister's Office media relations team and Canada's ethnic media. Effectively, Carl Meyer discloses that private meetings between the Prime Minister, his cabinet and invited news outlets, like the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, take ... [More]

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September 22, 2010

"One way to provide a welcome antidote to a public's cynicism to the political system"

By Alison Loat
Yonge Street Media, an online publication here in Toronto, published a lovely piece on Samara today.  It's a great overview of what we're working on, why we're doing it, how we approach our work and the difference we hope it will make.  We'd be grateful if you took a few minutes to read it, and pass it along if you think others might be interested in our work.  You can follow its a... [More]

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August 17, 2010

Census, media and the public debate: a response

By Grant Burns
The response to the essay I posted yesterday has been fascinating. From the comments on the Samara blog to those on Aaron Wherry's Beyond the Commons post and all places in between (well, just Twitter, really), I've read the reactions of supporters, detractors and those who've used my argument as a point of departure. I thank anyone who's jumped in for their contributions. This is an importan... [More]

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August 9, 2010

Brain candy, journalism style

By Alison Loat
An accumulation of some interesting things from the world of journalism: 1. Wikileaks: Unless you've been trapped under something heavy, you've no doubt heard about this anonymous leak-publishing site and its publication of multiple gigs of classified information on the Afghan mission. Tons of fascinating questions for transparency, war in the information age, journalism in general and the Afghan... [More]

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June 7, 2010

Bits and pieces

By Alison Loat
Lots of interesting articles to keep up with these days: On democracy and society: An extremely thoughtful piece on balancing citizen participation with delegating expertise in a democracy, by Mike Ananny, a new media PhD student at Stanford.  Here's another good one, on the rise and fall of GDP as a good way to measure social progress.  I'm also trying to sort out my views on this piec... [More]

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May 27, 2010

Minding the inkwell

By Grant Burns
On May 25, 2010, the Canadian Journalism Foundation hosted a panel, “Keeping an Eye on Journalism”, about the role of the ombudsman in Canadian journalism.  Jeffrey Dvorkin, former NPR News ombudsman, moderated the panel, which consisted of John Racovali, The National Post’s assistant managing editor, Kathy English, The Toronto Star's The Toronto Star’s public edi... [More]

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May 21, 2010

Signs of optimism

By Grant Burns
Hearing news executives talk about the future of journalism is pretty standard these days. But hearing them talk about why the future’s bright for journalism is far less so. Much has been written about the crisis in the news business. Newspapers have cut their staffs. Some have closed their doors. Circulation is declining, and the web has destroyed advertising revenues. Unsurprisingly, pes... [More]

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May 19, 2010

Who's watching journalism?

By Alison Loat
Our friends at the Canadian Journalism Foundation are hosting a panel entitled "Keeping an eye on journalism" on Tuesday May 25 in Toronto, and have kindly waived their entrance fee for friends of Samara. From their website: "Wikis, bloggers, media critics...or ombuds? Which is better? Is the watchdog function more effective inside or outside a media organization? The New York Times, the Toront... [More]

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May 11, 2010

New media: OpenFile.ca

By Alison Loat
These are exciting times. Just over a year ago, The Mark News launched in beta.  The Mark, an online opinion journal, provides a forum for lots of voices to contribute to the public debate.  In the same vein as OpenParliament.ca and Datadotgc.ca it's a great example of how the web has enabled greater citizen engagement in the Canadian democracy. Yesterday saw another example, the launc... [More]

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