Media Beat: December 03, 2020

Bruce Allen’s Reality Check: The Weeknd shunned by the Grammys

Next is now

Pictured: Fresh from the printer, the cover from the premiere edition of Next, Michael Hollett's followup to Now Magazine. The glossy four-colour mag is to be distributed in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto starting next week. More to come on Monday.

New broadcast bill could spell the end of Canadian ownership requirements

The current Broadcasting Act begins with a declaration of Canadian broadcast policy, identifying at least 20 different priorities that range from access to both English and French programming to the role of the CBC. At the top of the list is Canadian ownership, affirming “the Canadian broadcasting system shall be effectively owned and controlled by Canadians.” Yet Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s bill discards the provision and removes any reference to Canadian ownership and control in the law. – Michael Geist, The Globe and Mail

Just ribbing

 …Snobbery is a comfort mattress for those who are already well endowed with comfort. Sneering at people facing a hard time and on the edge of making it through this business is a cheap amusement.

Before anyone dumps on “third-rate” rib joints: try starting one, running it and see it going to ruin, under a regime that lets great corporations thrive, some protests but not others receive benediction and a bended knee, and try a little empathy. – Rex Murphy, National Post

Conrad Black: The civil war in the American media

In order to formulate his views on the impact of technology on politics and the news cycle, historian Conrad Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, takes the audience back 40 years to the mid-point of the Watergate crisis and Richard Nixon's trial by the national media and public opinion. From there, he analyzes the growth of "vapid" network newscasts and the media-based "civil war" that is now being waged south of the border. Technology is not the issue, he says - the problem is rooted in modern American history. The following address was made in 2018 at Moses Znaimer’s IdeaCity forum in Toronto.

Who are the highest-paid US newscasters?

Broadcasting the news has taken a hit in the information age, as more and more media consumers get their news from digital platforms rather than turning on Fox, CNN or some of the other "alphabet" TV news networks.

Even so, being a news anchor is still a lucrative career. In 2019, the big news media broadcasters earned dizzying salaries in the US. In fact, the top 5 raked in salaries that topped US$100M. – Brian O’Connell, The Street

Moderna’s modern-day miracle: A vaccine in 2 days

Traditional vaccines are made from a weakened or a dead virus, which prompts the body to fight off the invader and build immunity. These vaccines take time to develop as scientists have to grow and inactivate an entire germ or its proteins.

But Moderna's mRNA technology used synthetic genes, which can be generated and manufactured in weeks and produced at scale more rapidly than conventional vaccines. – Katie Dangerfield, MSN News

The crisis of democracy for America is not over

Biden has earned more votes than any other presidential candidate in history—with Trump a close second. As in 2016, tens of millions of Americans will look at the results knowing that their compatriots voted for a candidate whose campaign was premised on their mere presence in the United States being an existential threat to the country. For many of them, the sense of relief they find in a Trump defeat will be coupled with the understanding that much of the electorate does not recognize them as truly American, and that the faction that supports Trumpism has not only grown, but grown more diverse than it was in 2016. The outcome is ultimately bittersweet—not only because of the institutional obstacles to any lasting change, but because America’s rebuke of Trumpism was paired with a reminder of the ideology’s lingering potency. That the president spent the last few weeks of the campaign making his own supporters sick with a deadly disease, simply to feed his own ego, did not begin to dampen the devotion they showed him.

With Biden’s victory, American democracy has earned a reprieve from its most immediate threat. But the tasks Biden faces when he assumes the presidency are daunting. – Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

Silly headlines: Elon Musk wants to steer Tesla towards higher profits

 While the company has never reported positive net income on an annual basis, shares have skyrocketed approximately 1,160% over the past five years as investors drove up the stock on the belief that profits would come at some point down the road. Although Tesla reported its fifth consecutive quarter of profitability in Q3 2020, Musk appears to sense that shareholders are yearning for more. – Motley Fool

As silly: Best 75-inch TV for 2020

No TV I've ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. The 2020 TCL 6-Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming that helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It's also a solid choice for gamers with a new THX mode that combines low input lag and high contrast. As if that's not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favourite. U$1597 on Amazon, $1400 at Best Buy. – CNET

The US health care system has always been unequal, but Covid-19 has revealed it to be absurd

Free markets are powerful tools to efficiently distribute resources. But they are not magic—especially right now. A functional market can’t spring up overnight for a disease that didn’t even exist last year. Worse still, markets have no concern for the public good. The US health care system may be a free market, but it’s not a fair one. Covid makes this terribly clear. – Wired

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