Google’s generosity helps save clickbait

Giving it away before countries take

With rumblings of Canada joining Australia in readying legislation to make the tech giants pay for supplying links to content, Google announced a plan to give news outlets $1 billion over three years: a fraction of what governments might seek. Digital publishers Narcity Media and Village Media are the Canadian participants in this program.

The exiled voice of Montreal

Donald Trump’s debate call out to the Proud Boys prompted damage control at Vice Media, because they share a founder in Gavin McInnes. And another Canadian media expat, John Roberts, entered the fray by losing his temper on Fox News over related deflections from the White House—which was soon enough consumed by COVID-19.

The two guys who bought Torstar have given themselves titles. Jordan Bitove will become publisher of the Toronto Star, and Paul Rivett will become company chairman, as announced in a front-page story in which the duo pledge to invest in more journalism. Torstar has also reversed its 24 job cuts at the Hamilton Spectator classified call centre.

Squaring a grand street rebrand

A tweet about “Downtown Canada” trying too hard to look like Times Square caught fire shortly before Toronto city council voted to spend $250,000 on public consultations that may end up rebranding more than Yonge and Dundas. A petition to rename the street due to the pro-slavery views of Henry Dundas has led to tabling four options:

Joyce Echaquan’s family is taking legal action over the slurs she streamed on Facebook. Attention to the story of the Indigenous woman who filmed multiple insults from staff as she lay dying in a hospital in Joliette, Quebec, prompted the province to apologize. The nurse and orderly heard in the video have both been fired.

Finally, your 15-minute binge

Next Stop garnered a burst of press attention thanks to the CBC adding the web series to its platform, even though it’s been on YouTube for months. But the pickup is also seen as sign of faith in the idea that its deadpan depictions of Black life in Toronto can actually be the next Schitt’s Creek. Plus, the entire season lasts for half of a half-hour: