CANADALAND

CANADALAND

Canada

Hosted by Jesse Brown. New shows every Monday and Thursday.

Episodes

SHORT CUTS #124 - Quote Governor General Unquote  

Governor General David Johnston issued a mea culpa over his radio interview in which he refers to Indigenous peoples as immigrants.

Postmedia did not issue mea culpas for poorly-researched racist screeds in its Vancouver and Toronto outlets. Instead, they continue to rattle the cup in front of the federal government for bailout money.

Finally, the National Post issued a mea culpa for years of Conrad Black columns by announcing they would stop publishing their Monday edition of the paper.

 

(Producers' note: Jesse Brown would like to issue a mea culpa after misstating the name of one of the lead characters of TV sitcom Three's Company, while Short Cuts guest David Berry's mea culpa comes over misstating that 'Sufferin' Succotash' was a catchphrase of Foghorn Leghorn. It was, in fact, Sylvester the Cat.)

Ep. 188 - The Images Are Merciless  

Iraqi photojournalist Ali Arkady thought he was documenting the "good guys" -- the non-sectarian forces fighting Daesh for the preservation of Iraq. Instead, Arkady witnessed abuse, torture, and murder committed by the Emergency Response Division.

 After fleeing Iraq with his family, Arkady partnered with the Toronto Star and ABC News to have his work see the light. He joins Jesse Brown on the phone from an undisclosed location in Europe alongside Mitch Potter, one of the three Star reporters who helped write this essential exposé.

SHORT CUTS #123 - Out Of (Teen) Vogue  

Breitbart News has convinced concerned Christian families that Ontario’s new child protection laws will bring forth a queer totalitarian state, where parents opposing or denying their children’s gender identity will have them forcibly removed from their homes.

After tweeting about almost being published in Teen Vogue on June 2, Toronto-based freelance writer, Roslyn Talusan’s call-out of the magazine went viral and led to dozens of writers flooding her inbox with similar stories of being strung along after having successfully pitched personal stories and essays approved by editors of Conde Nast’s supposedly progressive, feminist magazine.

The Liberal government is moving forward with an amendment to the Criminal Code,  as a result of the Jian Ghomeshi case. The change will, for the first time, ensure that a complainant’s text messages, e-mails and video recordings with sexual content or a sexual purpose can be kept out of trials.

Freelance writer and editor at Femsplain, Roslyn Talusan joins Jesse.

Ep. 187 - We Got Played  

Or did we play ourselves?

This most recent Conservative leadership race highlighted a number of deficiencies in Canadian media. Namely, why did the guy with virtually no chance of ever becoming Prime Minister, who skipped debates and ran much of his campaign from Boston, receive so much more press coverage than the guy who actually won the leadership? Did media just go for the low-hanging fruit, or did we allow ourselves to be manipulated by an expert huckster?

CBC.ca's Opinion Producer Robyn Urback has some opinions of her own and joins us for the episode.

SHORT CUTS #122 - Imagine If Your Daughter Was Eaten By Otters  

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland stands up to the sole remaining global superpower like a newborn kitten taking on Galactus.

Somewhere between 10 and 5,000 freedom-loving citizens descend on Parliament Hill to rail against Trudeau, refugees, Islam, you name it. Of course, close to 10,000 attended the most recent pro-marijuana rally, proving that Canadians love pot far more than they fear Sharia law.

Finally, Scott Gilmore pens a tone-deaf piece for Macleans highlighting conditions on First Nations reservations and the solution is for the rest of us to ... care?

Ep. 186 - End Of The CanLit Hustle  

McClelland & Stewart was the publishing house that, at one time, served as the home for the likes of Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Leonard Cohen and others. In 2000, under the direction of building magnate Avie Bennett, it was broken apart and sold to the University of Toronto and to Random House Canada. It's now entirely owned by a foreign company.

Elaine Dewar, author of the new book The Handover, joins us to explain the seeming sleight-of-hand that put this institution in foreign hands.

Avie Bennett died this past weekend at the age of 89.

SHORT CUTS #121 -Parkdale Class War!!  

The Conservatives have a new, dimpled, leader, Nova Scotians have more of the same, and British Columbians have an unprecedented lefty hybrid. How effective was media coverage of these three electoral events?

Plus, Toronto Life's recent tone-deaf spurt of house porn has led to, if not riots in the streets, then at least a whole lot of snark on social media.

Journalist Katie Toth joins us.

Ep. 185 - Travel Journalism's Dirty Little Secret  

One cardinal rule of journalism is that reporters never accept incentives, be that meals, gifts, or - God forbid - money, from the subjects on whom they're reporting. This applies across the board except, we now know, in the travel section.

Travel writers used to diligently follow this standard but, as newspapers and magazines were increasingly unable or unwilling to foot expenses, these journalists were forced to find alternative sources to fund their trips. This meant cozying up to hotel chains, airlines, and tourism bureaus.

If travel writers are being subsidized by the tourism industry, can the readers trust the stories? Bert Archer is arguably Canada's most prolific travel writer and teaches the practice and ethics of travel writing at the University of Toronto. He believes journalists can maintain their editorial independence - but must walk a careful line.

SHORT CUTS #120 - The "Trust" Committee  

This week, The Guardian continued its exemplary coverage of Canadian university student unions.

Hamilton police arrest two journalists attempting to cover a traffic fatality.

And the Toronto Star wants you to trust it.

This week's Short Cuts comes to you from scenic Hamilton and the studios of CFMU. The Public Record's Joey Coleman joins Jesse and suggests new ways to report on traffic deaths, and how local newspapers need to up their game when it comes to investigative reporting.

Ep. 184 - Jason Kenney Is A Charming Man: Inside Alberta's Weird Conservatism  

The Texas of the north. Racist rednecks, gun nuts, and pickup truck enthusiasts. That's the Alberta stereotype portrayed in much of the rest of Canada, but how much of that is accurate and how much is due to lazy media that falls back on clichéd tropes? After all, Alberta gave us the first big-city Muslim mayor, the first provincial cabinet with gender parity, and hell, led the charge for women's suffragism (okay, that was a century ago, but still...).

Despite the province's increasingly young and multicultural population, some still believe that the only real Albertan is a conservative Albertan. And that extends to the two men - Jason Kenney and Brian Jean - who inked a proposal to merge the Conservative and Wildrose parties last week. Are they, and their policies, reflective of a new, diverse Alberta?

Joining Omar to unpack Alberta's multifaceted conservative history is Calgary journalist and author Sydney Sharpe, whose 2016 book, Notley Nation: How Alberta's Political Upheaval Swept the Country, documented the historic 2015 provincial election which saw the NDP sweep aside the governing Tories after an unprecedented 40-plus-year run. 

Also in studio is Duncan Kinney, former journalist and current Executive Director of Progress Alberta.

SHORT CUTS #119 - Changing Of The Guard  

Hal Niedzviecki and Jonathan Kay have left their jobs. Steve Ladurantaye's been shifted to a lesser role at CBC. And no, we're not finished talking about this yet.

Ryan McMahon joins Jesse in Winnipeg to talk appropriation.

Ep. 183 - Why Your Rap Lyrics Could Land You In Prison  

When it comes to rap, where does artistic licence end and confession begin? According to prosecutors in at least 30 cases from the last decade, it starts when the artist is charged with a crime and the lyrics are parsed for clues to a case or for proof of bad character.

Many of these defendants are convicted of their crimes, but should their music be a permissible tool? What is the threshold? And does the practice intentionally or unintentionally tap into the unconscious biases of jurors with the fate of young black and indigenous men in their hands?

This roundtable discussion on the inclusion of rap as criminal evidence brings together three experts: University of California, Irvine criminologist Adam Dunbar, University of Toronto sociologist Jooyoung Lee, and lawyer Hilary Dudding, whose case, R. v. Campbell, could effect future trials in Canada.

They join guest host Omar Mouallem for the episode.

SHORT CUTS #118 - The Hermit Kingdom Of British Columbia  

British Columbia had an election where everybody won - or at least got an 'I Participated' ribbon.

Also, Rebel Media wades into the French election like a skunk splashing around a backyard kiddie pool.

Finally, black activist and journalist Desmond Cole takes leave from the Toronto Star after the corporation suggests they'd appreciate it if he wouldn't mind being a little less active and a lot less black.

The National Observer's Sandy Garossino joins us.

It Was Illegal To Print Their Names: Alberta's Lost Children  

Since the late 1990s nearly 800 children in Alberta government care have Veteran Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons has been shining a light on this crisis since from the start. 

In November 2016, Simons published a story that shocked the province. It was a story about a four-year-old girl named Serenity. Let down by a wide range of government and non-governmental services, Serenity was the victim of horrific abuse and neglect. 

Simons' article, Her name was Serenity. Never forget it. spurred the Notley provincial government to convene an all-party committee to investigate the multiple failings of Alberta's child welfare system.

Her tireless coverage earned Simons honourable mentions from the National Newspaper Awards and the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom.

She speaks with guest host Omar Mouallem for the episode.

 

 

SHORT CUTS #117 - Blatch Got Served  

Is the media complicit in popping Harjit Sajjan's balloon?

Also, National Post columnist Christie Blatchford and her parent company, Postmedia are facing a substantial libel suit.

Finally, in the art world, what constitutes cultural appropriation and what's merely blatant plagiarism?

National Magazine Award multiple nominee and May's CANADALAND guest host Omar Mouallem joins us.

Ep.181 - Desmond Cole: Celebrated And Resented  

On April 20, Toronto Star columnist and Newstalk 1010 host, Desmond Cole, gave a powerful deputation at a Toronto Police Services Board meeting. He then stood in protest, calling on the board to restrict police access to ‘carding’ data. The meeting eventually adjourned, and Cole was escorted out by police officers.

For almost five years now, Cole has been using his platform as a journalist to report on and push back against ‘carding’—which disproportionately affects Black people—by the Toronto Police.

Coleformer host of CANADALAND COMMONSjoins Jesse Brown to discuss recent criticism he’s received from fellow journalists and the public, how mainstream media has failed to highlight the damaging effects of carding, and his new CBC documentary The Skin We’re In, which explores anti-Black racism in Canada.

SHORT CUTS #116 - To Hell With Weed, We Have A Fentanyl Crisis  

The Prime Minister showed up at Vice to talk about the Liberal government's marijuana legalization plan, but is blindsided when members of the audience demanded he address the opioid overdose epidemic going on across the country.

Reporters Without Borders released their annual World Press Freedom Index this week. Canada placed 22nd. Two years ago we were in eighth place. What caused this dramatic decline?

Finally, the CBC is scoring some of that sweet Canada150 cash to commission programming it should probably already be making with the $1-billion it receives annually, and J.J. McCullough tries his hand at a nuanced comparison of Canadian and Turkish political systems, but most people just dismiss him as a crackpot.

Tom Henheffer, Executive Director of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression joins us.

Ep.180 - Who Buys A Newspaper Chain In 2017?  

...The Chronicle Herald's Mark Lever, that's who.

After pleading poverty for nearly 16 months while his reporters, editors, and photographers are strike, he came up with the bucks to buy 28 Atlantic Canadian newspapers from the floundering Transcontinental chain. This gives his company an effective monopoly in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

We speak with long-time Nova Scotia journalists (and former Transcontinental reporters) Stephen Kimber and Parker Donham about the rationale behind the purchase and whether this benefits news consumers in Atlantic Canada.

SHORT CUTS #114 - Trump V. Milk  

The scandals continue piling up on B.C. Premier Christy Clark's administration, yet it doesn't seem to be getting a ton of press. Maybe that's because so many of them are now working for her party.

Meanwhile, south of the border, President Trump no longer wants to 'tweak' NAFTA, but would rather stick it to our cows. Our precious, precious cows.

 

Ep.179 - Post-Postmedia  

The largest newspaper chain in Canada is in its death throes. As Postmedia staggers, bleeding, toward insolvency, we need to ask what its loss means for public discourse in Canada.

Former Postmedia stars Kady O'Malley and Stephen Maher join Jesse to try to envision a post-Postmedia future in Canadian journalism.

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