Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: July 10, 2017

CRTC Broadcasting decisions:

2017-240 Rogers Media Inc.
Various locations in Ontario and Alberta
APPROVED - Applications to renew the broadcasting licences for the commercial radio stations set out in the decision

2017-241 Various licensees
Various locations
APPROVED - Applications to renew the broadcasting licences for the commercial radio stations set out in the decision

Broadcasting order:

2017-239 Bell Canada – Local Network Interconnection and Component Unbundling - File number: Tariff Notice 7536

The CRTC is adrift

Never over the last 50 years have the CRTC’s decisions been as hotly contested. Over the last two months, no fewer than five appeals to federal Cabinet have been launched, requesting the cancellation of decisions made by the departed chair of the Commission, Jean-Pierre Blais. There is no precedent in the history of the CRTC for such an avalanche of Cabinet appeals and such a degree of general exasperation — (former CRTC Commissioner) Michel Morin, CARTT.ca

Fake news: You ain’t seen nothing yet

Earlier this year Françoise Hardy, a French musician, appeared in a YouTube video.

She is asked, by a presenter off-screen, why President Donald Trump sent his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to lie about the size of the inauguration crowd. First, Ms Hardy argues. Then she says Mr Spicer “gave alternative facts to that”. It’s all a little odd, not least because Françoise Hardy (pictured), who is now 73, looks only 20, and the voice coming out of her mouth belongs to Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to Mr Trump.

The video, called “Alternative Face v1.1”, is the work of Mario Klingemann, a German artist. It plays audio from an NBC interview with Ms Conway through the mouth of Ms Hardy’s digital ghost. The video is wobbly and pixelated; a competent visual-effects shop could do much better.

But Mr Klingemann did not fiddle with editing software to make it. Instead, he took only a few days to create the clip on a desktop computer using a generative adversarial network (GAN), a type of machine-learning algorithm. His computer spat it out automatically after being force fed old music videos of Ms Hardy. It is a recording of something that never happened.

Mr Klingemann’s experiment foreshadows a new battlefield between falsehood and veracity. Faith in written information is under attack in some quarters by the spread of what is loosely known as “fake news”. But images and sound recordings retain for many an inherent trustworthiness 50 years... — continues inThe Economist

RIP

Claude Hall, an American journalist, and a writer for and longtime radio-TV editor of Billboard, died July 7, All Access Music Group reports. No age is given. Hall is perhaps best known for having coined the term "easy listening" in 1965 in describing the sound of WPIX-FM, a radio station then heard in metropolitan New York City. He authored the e-book "Radio Wars," which was published in 2012.

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