Defining New Media: An Industry Association Perspective

In an industry marked by change, speed, and rapid growth, many have been challenged to define new media. So frequently has the question of meaning come up that the very project to define it has become something of a cliché. Does new media mean multimedia, the Internet, software, high technology? For most, the absence of clear definition is a problem. In a recent study from January 2001, Stephane Dion wrote:

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CNM People

Charles Dalfen has been appointed chairperson of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission effective January 1, 2002. Dalfen’s no stranger to the organization, having served as its vice-chair from 1976 until 1980. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters was quick to applaud the appointment, though some telecommunications firms will likely look askance at the announcement, having been quietly pushing to have the top job at the commission filled by a person with more experience in that field. Dalfen is a senior partner in the Torys law firm, where he chairs the communications law group, and advises clients on domestic and international telecommuications and broadcasting law. During his career, he has also managed regulatory and licensing matters for clients involved in the radio, television, cable TV, satellite and related fields. He has also served as legal advisor to the former federal Department of Communications. He replaces David Colville, who has served as acting chair since the departure of Françoise Bertrand on February 15.

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CNM Short Takes

New Calgary news site launched by CTV affiliate CFCN
A new information portal for Calgarians has been launched by Bell Globemedia featuring news and community information at www.cfcnplus.ca. The site is the result of a content partnership between CTV affiliate CFCN and calgaryplus.ca. A media release by Globemedia indicates that demand for online content is high in the city given a 65% penetration rate for Internet access.

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NewMIC incubator expands beyond first-year expectations, launches new fund

The Vancouver-based New Media Innovation Centre (NewMIC) has launched its second phase of initiatives to accelerate the development of research projects with commercial potential by funding a company under its new product development fund. The $400,000 kitty for startups in ventures related to the centre’s seven research clusters is the latest initiative by NewMIC to supplement a greatly expanded role in new media research and development. President and CEO Alan Winter tells Canadian NEW MEDIA that the timing for a first investment is right now that the centre’s research clusters and first lab are operating at full speed.

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U8TV counting on new revenue streams as second season kicks off on Life Network

Popular Internet/television show U8TV: The Lofters is heading into its second season having exceeded the producers’ expectations for audience numbers in the first, and with new revenue streams secured to balance hard times in the advertising market.

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CBC touts new Internet and television show as “open-source” programming

CBC Television executives are hailing a proposed new web/TV series as "open-source" programming for an audience of tech-savvy Canadians that will not only watch, but shape, the show. Executives for the as-yet unnamed program say they’ll pilot a new series this winter that airs digital content solicited from the creative community in preparation for a fall launch.

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Iceberg, Bonzaroo merge to create near-dominant Canadian Internet radio force

Two of Canada’s largest Internet radio organizations have merged in a move that could create a dominant player on the country’s virtual airwaves. On November 19, Iceberg Media.com Inc., Toronto, announced that it had bought the assets of CHUM Ltd.’s Bonzaroo.com in an all-share deal that puts that initiative’s significant resources and technology under the same corporate umbrella as Iceberg and its investors Standard Broadcasting Corp. and Newfoundland Capital Corp. (NewCap).

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B.C. retailers applaud self-regulatory approach to video game classification

British Columbia retailers are lauding a new self-regulatory approach to classifying video games that adopts the international Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) system, much to the relief of those who were worried about the government adopting a B.C.-only guide. Since the introduction of legislation mandating a restrictive ratings system last April (CNM, April 19/01), a new conservative government headed by Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell has apparently decided to extend the industry more flexibility than the previous NDP government, which first introduced the new laws.

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CCR Update

Charles Dalfen to head CRTC
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced today the appointment of Charles Dalfen as chair of the CRTC, effective Jan. 1, 2002. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters was quick to applaud the appointment in a statement. Dalfen, a former vice chair of the CRTC in the late 1970s, is currently a senior partner with the Torys law firm in Toronto, and is chair of the firm’s Communications Law Group. More details.

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