Category Archives: Media

Join Ricochet: A new take on independent media.

Have you joined yet?

No? So, you’re good with corporate media spinning things for you, against your personal, community, national and ecological interests?

Oh. Ok. :)

Ricochet is an audacious response to a difficult context. Independent and in the public interest, Ricochet will provide a space dedicated to investigative journalism and high-profile opinion. Published in two distinct editions, English and French, Ricochet will illuminate the cultural and political diversity of this country.

via Ricochet: le journal nouveau genre. A new take on independent media. | Indiegogo.

People Should Stop Attacking The Margaret Wente

It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t read Naomi Klein’s new book about climate change.

It doesn’t matter because the internet of things.

It doesn’t matter because most of what’s important in the world is in the comment section of news stories, not the stories themselves. We all know journalists are biased anyways.

She is a public intellectual and deserving of respect. Maybe you’re all just jealous. Or lazy.

Look, it’s easy:

Stephen Harper wrote a book about hockey in Canada, A Greater Game. It’s a sociological book about hockey’s place in our culture. It doesn’t matter that Stephen Harper doesn’t believe in sociology. In his book he talks glowingly about French Canadian hockey stars so he can improve the party’s chances in Quebec in the next election. He also talks about how important it is to privatize the CBC by making sure they didn’t bid on renewing the theme song to Hockey Night in Canada, and then didn’t bid to keep the entire Hockey Night in Canada franchise. So now Rogers runs hockey in Canada. He described why that was really important. He ended his book with a review of the great young NHL prospects from his riding in Calgary-Nose Creek.

So if you get over your laziness and jealousy of Margaret Wente, go to and start your own blog, you too can contribute meaningfully to the national discourse instead of wasting so much time attacking the National Post‘s greatest columnist.

How @Dicks Sporting Goods Can Advance Feminism, So Easily

Dick’s Sporting Goods, in the all-too testosterone world of sports, released a catalogue with virtually no women in it. Except for cheerleaders and a girl watching men play sports.

A 12-year-old calls them out on this because even 12-year-olds get equality.

Dick’s sent a FOAD brush off letter back [see below].

Here’s what Dick’s ought to do now.

  1. Recognize that there is profound sexism in sports.
  2. Recognize that they have been a part of that.
  3. Seek out organizations that promote equality in sports.
  4. Partner with them to promote equality.
  5. Open up their catalogue and advertising process to expanded stakeholder input.
  6. Help be part of the solution to sexism in athletics.
  7. Revel in the earned media, because they’re already suffering in it, so they may as well learn from their sexism, solve their own internal problems and make the world a better place.

There. That wasn’t so hard!

A 12-year-old girl is winning support online after she questioned a sporting goods catalogue over its infrequent use of women in a recent publication.

McKenna Peterson lives in Phoenix but grew up in Regina. Her family moved to Arizona two years ago where McKenna is an avid basketball player.

She wrote to Dick’s Sporting Goods this week about their Basketball 2014 catalogue, questioning why so few women appeared on its pages.

“There are NO girls in the catalog,” she wrote, although she immediately corrected herself by noting there was one image of a woman — as an observer sitting in the stands at a men’s game.

“And there are some cheerleaders on some coupons,” she added.

Peterson’s letter went on to talk about the value in the equal portrayal of men and women in sport.

“It’s hard enough for girls to break through in this sport [basketball] as it is, without you guys excluding us from your catalog,” she wrote. “Girls buy stuff from your store.”

Where are the girls? Youngster asks of Dick’s Sporting Goods catalogue – Saskatchewan – CBC News.

While Canada’s Free Press Gets Beheaded…

When one corporation owns most of the English language newspapers in Canada, the free press is essentially dead, not that it’s been much of anything but comatose for a while.

Switch to non-corporate media:

Worried that the PostMedia buy out of Sun News means you won’t have any options for news? Here’s a handy (imperfect, incomplete) list of websites to check out. (If you have any independent news sources I missed – I’m sure I did – message me and I’ll update…)
Alright, third and last version for now (unless I decide to do something else with it…). Thanks for all the feedback everyone (and apologies to anyone I missed). Want to give more suggestions for an eventual “something else”? email me at

Troisième, et dernière version (pour l’instant). Merci pour tout vos commentaires – et désolé si je vous ai oublié. Si jamais vous avez d’autres commentaires ou d’autres ajouts à suggérer, vous pouvez me contacter à

Thanks for all the shares! Merci pour tout les partages!

via Tim McSorley – Timeline Photos.

Just How Many BC Government Comms Staff Are There?

crowded_factory.jpgBelow are all the job titles of all the comms staff in the BC Government Communications and Public Engagement bodies as of last week. Count with me! :)

There are 278 people!

278. That’s more than a few. The records include folks in these two areas:

Government Communications: which tends to the day-to-day communications
functions, including strategic communications, media relations and issues management; and
Strategic Initiatives Division: which largely consists of technical experts who provide
corporate online and data services to government.

But don’t take my word for it; count for yourself. I might be off by a few. My eyes get a bit blurry counting them all.

This part is very curious:

There are over 15 online editors in the “Media Monitoring Services” section alone. With two more online editors in the mega-gravity well, International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism/Intergovernment Relations Secretariat.

But 278, really? Really?

  1. Is that high or low compared to other provinces/states?
  2. What are their job descriptions?
  3. Do they troll in Twitter, Facebook, the comments section at the CBC and other websites?
  4. How many sock puppets do they each manage, if any?
  5. Or do they just clip newspaper articles and count hashtag usage, and benignly report the data to the ministerial staff?
  6. Do they do partisan work for the BC Liberal Party, or do they do work only on BC government programs?
  7. Why are Agriculture and Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation so devoid of comms staff compared to all other ministries? I can guess. I bet you can too.
  8. If you could FOI, say, 5 job descriptions, which ones would you choose? [Me: online editor, public affairs officer, media monitoring assistant, and I’m still pondering two more.]
  9. Can you think of how to craft an FOI request to determine how much work various of the 278 staffers do that is for government versus for the political party in charge? Because they’ve had a blurring line problem in the past.

Granted, many of these positions are necessary just for government to function. But 278?

278? Say it with me. 278.

And that includes at least one comms director and one comms manager and generally at least 2 public affairs officers for each ministry. Are they really pumping out that much content and fielding that many requests from media? Remember, there are far fewer journalists in BC bopping around asking questions than there used to be before the great corporate media consolidation/purges!

But it turns out, there are only 4-5 news releases each day coming out of all of government. And while comms does far more than just pump out news releases, I wonder whether they might be a bit, you know, overstaffed?

So. here is the list of comms positions. Enjoy!

2014.07.14 Responsive Records