Webinar: Covering Provincial Politics

Photo by Al_HikesAZ via Flickr.

Provincial policy touches every part of Canadian life. Schools, hospitals and police forces rely on provincial governments for funding; employers and landlords have to follow a provincial government’s laws.

Join us for a webinar that will introduce journalism students and less experienced reporters to the basics of covering provincial politics. You’ll learn who the key players are, which areas of policy are widely covered and which get less attention, how to find information and what it’s like to be part of the press gallery covering Premier Doug Ford.

Covering Provincial Politics” is scheduled for Saturday September 7  at  10 am PST / 1 pm EST. It will be led by Emma Paling, who took on the Queen’s Park beat for HuffPost Canada in 2018 after three years as one of the site’s news editors. Emma graduated with a Combined Honours degree in journalism and history from Carleton University in 2014. 

To register for this webinar click on this link. If you’re a CMG Freelance member, enter the code “CMG-FL” when you are asked for an affiliation code. If you’re a CWA Canada Associate Member please enter the code “CWA-AM.” If you are not a member, you can enter the code “SBoard” to register to participate in this webinar for free.

Live viewings of our webinars are open to everyone. We’ll be making a recorded version available to members of CMG Freelance after the event. For information about the price and benefits of CMG Freelance membership please check out the CMG Freelance website.

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 6:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 5-12

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Lessons from the Remaking Game Work panel: Labour issues are quickly becoming the norm in the gaming industry. Cultural Workers Organize brought together a panel recently to explore some of the different approaches to alleviating the ongoing stresses that game workers face…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 11, 2019 at 7:44 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Lessons from the Remaking Games Work panel

by Christopher Demelo 

Labour issues are quickly becoming the norm in the gaming industry. Layoffs, walk-outs, crunch, poor labour conditions and abuses of power are just a few of the ongoing issues that have been reported over the past few years.

Cultural Workers Organize brought together a panel recently to explore some of the different approaches to alleviating the ongoing stresses that game workers face. The July 17 event was held at 32 Lisgar and hosted by TMAC (Toronto Media Arts Center), which has hosted many games-related events in the past

Austin Walker, an Editor of VICE Games and the host of the podcast Friends at the Table, led the event. Before his career as a critic, he studied the intersection of play and labour at the University of Western Ontario, where he was a Research Associate in the Digital Labour Group.

The other panelists were games industry researcher Johanna Weststar; Jennifer R. Whitson, whose research centres on game developers, digital media surveillance and social influences on software development; animator and experimental game designer Sagan Yee, who is Executive Director of the video game arts not-for-profit organization the Hand Eye Society; Dan Joseph, an organizer with Game Workers Unite Toronto, CWA Canada/Canadian Media Guild organizer Katherine Lapointe; and Tannara Yelland, who was co-founder of the Vice Canada union drive.

Austin Walker started the evening off by urging game workers to think critically about working conditions in the industry.
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Posted on July 23, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer July 16-22

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • The Born Freelancer on the True Value of a First Paid Job: Up to that moment in my very young life I had done relevant courses, spent time volunteering at community stations and passionately studied the media. I highly recommend all of these activities. But none of them will ever teach you more than your first paid media job, whatever it is…
  • Media freedom global pledge comes up short says CWA Canada: A media freedom global pledge that emerged from a London conference is laudable, but doesn’t go far enough, said CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, who attended the July 10-11 gathering…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on July 22, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Born Freelancer on the True Value of a First Paid Job

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

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It’s a warm day in July so I’ve selected a sloppy old t-shirt to wear while writing this post.

It’s faded over the years but has served me well. It even has splotches of paint on it from when I removed it off “active wear” duty to “wear when painting walls” duty.

But that’s not why I’ve kept it.

It originates from the first commercial radio station I worked at on-air. (One of my many parallel freelance career threads). It displays the station logo, frequency and call letters from an era when they still branded themselves that way.

I’ve kept it because of the memories it evokes.

It’s a reminder how critical that first paid work experience was to my subsequent career. Up to that moment in my very young life I had done relevant courses, spent time volunteering at community stations and passionately studied the media. I highly recommend all of these activities.

But none of them will ever teach you more than your first paid media job, whatever it is.

It’s a numbers game

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Posted on July 17, 2019 at 8:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Media freedom global pledge comes up short: CWA Canada

media freedom global pledge that emerged from a London conference is laudable, but doesn’t go far enough, said CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, who attended the July 10-11 gathering.

“If you really want to make things better, you’ve got to hit the offenders in the pocket book,” said O’Hanlon. “Do that and things will improve overnight.”

In advance of the Global Conference for Media Freedom co-hosted by the Canadian and British governments, he said the media union had four recommendations for Ottawa that would “have a tremendous impact.”

Chief among them was to form a coalition of progressive governments to establish an agreement on promoting press freedom, as well as an action plan to pressure countries that continue to hinder free expression. “This should include economic sanctions along with individual sanctions against government leaders and officials that would prevent travel and the transfer of funds. We also support the idea of a rapid response mechanism to deal with threats to journalists.”

CWA Canada also called on governments to:
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Posted on July 16, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer July 9-15

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Toronto Remaking Game Work Forum July 17: Join us at a public forum with game developers, media work researchers, and digital labour activists to discuss working conditions and social inequalities in the video games industry and strategies to improve conditions in digital media…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on July 15, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Toronto: Remaking Game Work forum July 17

Studio closures, harassment, crunch time, rumblings of unionization – game labour issues currently have unprecedented public profile.

Join us at a public forum with game developers, media work researchers, and digital labour activists to discuss working conditions and social inequalities in the video games industry and strategies to improve conditions in digital media.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the mezzanine of the Toronto Media Arts Centre (32 Lisgar St). It will be moderated by Austin Walker, the Editor of VICE Games. Six speakers – game workers, union organizers, and researchers – will participate in a moderated conversation, followed by Q&A and refreshments.

This event is hosted by CWA Canada, Cultural Workers Organize, Game Workers Unite Toronto, and Toronto Media Arts Centre.  It marks the launch of “Contested Formations of Digital Game Labor,” a special issue of the journal Television & New Media, currently freely available as an open-access publication.

For more information about the guest speakers, or to register for your free ticket to this event, check out this Eventbrite page.

 

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer July 3-8

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #41 — Ayesha Barmania:  Ayesha Barmania is an independent journalist, radio producer, audio artist and podcast consultant based in Peterborough. They’re the co-host and co-producer of the Peterborough Currents podcast, which was recently nominated for a 2019 Digital Publishing Award…
  • Worker Rights in the Gig Economy: With employment activists working in communities to build better jobs and workers in several app-based jobs voting to unionize, precarious workers in Ontario are developing a better awareness of their situation and working together to change it…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on July 8, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #41 — Ayesha Barmania

In this regular feature, Story Board asks Canadian freelancers to share a few details about their work habits and their strategies for navigating the ups and downs of freelance life.

 

Ayesha Barmania is an independent journalist, radio producer, audio artist and podcast consultant based in Peterborough, Ontario. They’re the co-host and co-producer of the Peterborough Currents podcast, which was recently nominated for a 2019 Digital Publishing Award.

Ayesha took the time to speak with Story Board recently about setting your freelance rates, the advantages of working on passion projects, and the importance of mentorship for emerging journalists.

How did Peterborough Currents come about? 

I live in Peterborough and I was involved in community radio here for a number of years and still am. I was working for CBC Toronto but still was living in Peterborough and pitching a lot of Peterborough stories to CBC and some were getting picked up, but then it hit home for me that there wasn’t really a dedicated current affairs radio or podcast program for the Peterborough area.

So I used some resources with community radio and started this as a podcast called Peterborough Currents. There are all these amazing stories in our community but no one is publishing them as long-form docs. So my co-host Will Pearson and I decided “why don’t we do it?”
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Posted on July 4, 2019 at 9:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,