Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: July 13, 2020

Canada’s tech sector is becoming a global leader

Over the past five years, 80,000 new tech jobs have been created in Toronto alone, more than San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. combined. Other Canadian cities are emerging hotbeds of talent, too. Of the major cities in North America, Vancouver demonstrated the greatest year-over-year gains with 43% growth in tech jobs. Ottawa is tied with the SF Bay Area to lead North America in tech talent concentration at 10%, three times the Canadian average. The growth is not just concentrated in big cities: Hamilton and Waterloo are two of the fastest-growing “opportunity markets” in North America with 52% and 40% growth respectively in tech job creation.

The success of Ottawa-based e-commerce titan Shopify is heralded as Canada’s current-day quintessential talent magnet and in recent weeks has become Canada’s most valuable company in any sector, at a $121B market capitalization. Coming up from behind Shopify, many of Canada’s most promising technology companies have been founded by Canadians returning home after experiences in Silicon Valley, such as Andrew D’Souza of Clearbanc, Ray Reddy of RITUAL, and Michael Katchen of Wealthsimple, to name a few. – Various, M

Quebec adds teeth to proposed privacy laws update

A proposed overhaul of Quebec’s privacy laws would make the provincial privacy watchdog the first Canadian privacy regulator with powers to directly impose administrative monetary penalties on organizations for non-compliance.

The privacy regulator, the Commission d’accès à l’information (CAI), can impose administrative monetary penalties on private sector offenders of up to $10 million or two per cent of a company’s worldwide turnover for the preceding fiscal year. The bill also empowers the CAI to launch penal proceedings for breaches of the Act, with the minimum fine being $15,000 and the maximum up to $25 million or four per cent of the worldwide business revenue, whichever is greater. – Luis Millan, The Lawyers Daily

Postmedia revenue down more than 25%

The company, which owns the National Post and other publications, reported a net loss for the three months ending May 31 of $13.8M or 15 cents per share, up from a net loss of $7.7M or eight cents per share in the same quarter the previous year.

Revenue in Q3 totalled $112.4M. That’s down $44.6M, or 28.4 percent, from $157.1M in the same quarter last year.

Print advertising fell $23.7M or 36.6 percent to about $41M in the quarter … – Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

NordStar raises bid for Torstar ownership

Canadian investment firm NordStar Capital LP has upped its bid for Torstar Corp in response to a rival offer for the media conglomerate.

NordStar, led by Paul Rivett and Jordan Bitove, has amended its agreement to purchase the owner of the Toronto Star and other community newspapers, saying it will now pay $60M instead of the initially agreed-upon $52M. – The Canadian Press

India lodges protests with Canada against ‘anti-India’ TV show

India has lodged a strong protest with the CRTC against a Canadian channel for what it claims was broadcasting a television show that incited violence and hatred against India.

PTN24, a television that is headquartered in Montreal, broadcast a religious program on April 24 that the claimants suggest glorified terrorism in Punjab.

Sources in Indian High Commission in Canada said, "While the individuals responsible for making these inflammatory and bigoted speeches are culpable, Channel PTN24 also stands in violation of multiple Canadian laws and basic policies of the CRTC.  — Big News Network

Mark Elliot gets his headstone

Lack of funds had meant that Elliot, born Nils Johanson, in an unmarked grave since his death from complications arising from pneumonia on Jan. 11, 2019. He was 65. After 18 months, a GoFundMe campaign has raised the requisite amount for a headstone to be placed at his gravesite in Niagara Falls. Installation of the tablet will be completed once covid restrictions are lifted.

Philippines largest broadcast channel shut down for criticizing PM

While freedom of the press is guaranteed under the constitution, the Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, according to the US-based charity Freedom House.

And according to press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, "Private militias, often hired by local politicians, silence journalists with complete impunity". – BBC News

The hidden trackers on your phone explained

The data your device’s app sends to a third party can be used to build a profile of the app’s user, which advertisers can then use for targeted ads. You likely don’t even know what data is leaving your device, how it can be used to track you, or where it’s going. Location data gets the most attention because it feels the most invasive (as the New York Times put it, “Your apps know where you were last night, and they’re not keeping it secret”), but there are plenty of other ways to track you or make inferences about who you are to target ads to you. Companies want to put their SDKs in as many apps as possible in order to collect as much information from as many people as possible. Even developers may not know (or care) when and how their users’ privacy is being invaded. – Sara Morrison, recode

Mad money investors pump up whacky Dogecoin market

In the zany world of cryptocurrency, Dogecoin could be considered the equivalent of a junk penny stock.

That hasn't stopped get-rich-quick thumpers from promoting the gamble. Boosters believe if they can persuade enough people to buy in, then they can sell out for a profit before the price comes tumbling back down.

It is a classic game of speculation or pump-and-dumping. Buy low, manipulate the price upward, sell, and leave some other sucker “holding the bag,” as it were.

Unlike Bitcoin, Dogecoin has no cap on its supply. – Robert Hackett, Fortune

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