These are the stories we’re watching this week. Here is your Weekly Wire:
- White House press secretary Sean Spicer held the newly-minted Trump administration’s first, and impromptu, official press briefing Saturday. Depending on who you ask, though, it was closer to a press lecture. Spicer spent his time at the lectern denouncing claims that the crowd for President Trump’s inauguration was smaller than President Obama’s eight years ago despite evidence to the contrary. (Trump’s advisor, Kellyanne Conway, later said Spicer used “alternative facts.”) Some critics lamented the bizarre briefing for officially killing a tradition of press access to the White House, while others think doing away with the White House press corps altogether could prompt better coverage from news organizations.
- The Public Policy Forum is releasing its report on news media in Canada this week. The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age focuses on the decline of traditional print publications amid the rise of digital-only outlets, fake news, and how media disruption affects Canadian democracy. PPF president and CEO Edward Greenspon said in a press release that the study had found Canadian news organizations are “reaching, or perhaps have already reached, a crunch point.” CBC published a preview of the report back on January 11, which suggests imposing better copyright protections on Google and Facebook, and providing news organizations with tax credits.
- Speaking of public forums, Greenspon will also be a panelist at an event hosted by the Canadian Journalism Foundation this Thursday. The discussion will focus on the changing ways Canadians are getting their news, and features Ryerson journalism professor April Lindgren, who’s currently studying local news poverty across Canada, along with former pollster and public-opinion researcher Allan Gregg. You can follow CJF on Twitter for live coverage of the event, or look out for Steph Welscher’s take on RRJ.ca.
- If you’re tired of hot takes about journalism, rest assured our editor-in-chief Justin Dallaire serves his at nice, reasonable room temperature. On Wednesday, Justin will be joining Ontario Newswatch’s editor-in-chief, Susanna Kelley, and Media Co-op board member David Gray-Donald for a conversation about “the state of journalism and where we go from here.” The event is hosted by Why Should I Care, a civic engagement group which aims to foster thoughtful discourse around issues impacting local communities.
To see more frequent updates from the RRJ, please follow us on Twitter. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more in-depth news analysis. We’ll be back with your next Weekly Wire on Monday, January 30.