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Around The Dial: Broadcast & Media News Today

News about media and the regulatory environment both inside and beyond Canada’s borders.


Murder Broadcast Live

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Feb 15 Two journalists were shot dead during a live radio broadcast in the Dominican Republic, police and media said. Unidentified attackers burst into the 103.5 FM studio as presenter Luis Manuel Medina was reading the news on air on Tuesday and shot him dead, station employees were quoted as saying by local media. Moments before that the station s director, Leonidas Martinez, was killed in his office, they said.

In a video of the broadcast, which was streamed on Facebook, gunfire is heard as Medina reads the news and a woman s voice is heard calling shots, shots! — Agence France Presse[1]

Radio Has Its Domain Name

In the midst of over 500 activities around the world in celebration of World Radio Day, a major event took place on 13 February in China. Hosted by the Shanghai Media Group, the World Radio Day Forum gathered over 150 participants from 23 countries and regions to celebrate the importance of radio as a medium. The event was also the occasion to launch the first level domain name .radio, which will allow radio stations worldwide to have unique and memorable website names.

India Censors Radio Newscasts

The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the Centre (ruling party) why it was shying away from allowing community radio and private FM radio stations from broadcasting news and asked the government consider to permit them to air news and current affairs programme on the basis of information available in public domain. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar, Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud said that it might not be feasible to give free hand to private radio stations to broadcast their own news as it might create “havoc” in sensitive areas like North-East and Jammu & Kashmir but they should be permitted to take contents of news from newspapers and TV channels to broadcast them. At present 281 private FM channels are operational in 84 cities and the government told the court that it has decided to e-auction 839 more channel in 294 cities. The Centre has so far granted permission for 519 community radio and out of which 201 are operational.

Justifying its decision to ban private FM and community radio stations to broadcast news and current affairs programme the government told the bench that granting permission could endanger “national security and public order”.

“Broadcasting of news by these stations/channel may pose a possible security risk as there is no mechanism to monitor the contents of news bulletin of every such station. As these stations/channels are run mainly by NGO/other small organisation and private operators, several anti-national/radical elements within the country can misuse it for propagating their own agenda,” senior advocate Ashok Panda, appearing for centre, told the bench. He said that the centre could not permit telecast of news as it might be misused by anti-national and radical elements and there was no mechanism to monitor news contents all radio stations. He said that the government has recently framed new guidelines allowing community radios to broadcast news contents sourced exclusively from All India Radio (AIR) — The Times of India[2]

Howard Stern Sued For Broadcasting IRS Phone Discussion

Donald Trump never did sue The New York Times for revealing he took a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns. He threatened, but to date, no lawsuit has come. That leaves some unanswered questions about the legality of a media outlet disclosing tax information since there are many statutes that broadly guard the confidentiality of tax returns. Can Howard Stern fill the void? Last Monday, Stern was sued by a woman named Judith Barrigas, whose tax information was disseminated in the oddest way.

According to her complaint filed in Massachusetts federal court, she called the IRS on May 19, 2015, to discuss how the tax agency had applied prior year liabilities to her tax refund. She got connected to Jimmy Forsythe, an IRS agent. Before the two connected, Forsythe had called into The Howard Stern Show using another phone line. While on hold, Forsythe took Barrigas’ call and proceeded to spend 45 minutes with her discussing her tax case. Apparently, during this conversation, someone at Stern’s show heard what was happening and decided to air the discussion live on satellite radio — The Hollywood Reporter[3]

Evanov Flips Winnipeg FM To Hot 100.5

Jewel 100.5 flipped over to Hot 100.5 on Friday, hours after the station released longtime broadcaster, Norm Foster. Evanov Radio Group pulled in a 2.9 ratings share in the fall under the Jewel banner and the switch is expected to have a more positive impact in the spring sweep.

We wanted to flip the script on what Winnipeg is currently being offered, said program director Adam West. We feel that this is the type of station that is totally lacking from the current market, but that continues to be requested by listeners” — Chris[4]


William Bill Kelly, a Newfoundland and Labrador journalist and longtime host of CBC’s Land & Sea, died Feb. 15, aged 71 CBC News[5]

Fighting Isis With Sarcasm

Raed Fares is the station manager at Radio Fresh FM, a station in northern Syria that’s standing up to militants who have banned them from playing music or broadcasting women’s voices. After being kidnapped and surviving three attacks on the station, Fares has found an ingenious way to play by the rules and mock militants and extremists

The banned female newscasters have been replaced with one 23-year-old woman whose voice has been severely distorted, so it sounds almost like a robotic man, and instead of music, the station now broadcasts Arabic song lyrics over a mix of sounds that could be emanating from sheep, birds, frogs, dogs, chickens — CBC, As It Happens[6]


  1. ^ Agence France Presse (
  2. ^ Times of India (
  3. ^ The Hollywood Reporter (
  4. ^ Chris (
  5. ^ CBC News (
  6. ^ CBC, As It Happens (

Canada’s best female golfer named Golf Ambassador for Canadian Pacific

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‘Columbo’ comment shows tension between judge and police after Dunphy shooting

A retired judge hired to observe the RCMP investigation of the Don Dunphy shooting made his displeasure with that investigation and the force’s treatment of him clear in a phone conversation last September, according to a police record entered at a judicial inquiry Thursday. The RCMP log from Sept. 16, 2016 shows how Judge David Riche called police after returning from a vacation. He spoke with the lead investigator of the shooting, RCMP Cpl. Steve Burke.

'Columbo' Comment Shows Tension Between Judge And Police After Dunphy Shooting

RCMP Cpl. Steve Burke testifying on Feb. 9, 2017. (CBC)

Burke wrote a report based on their conversation. He says Riche made these comments:

  • The RCMP did not release his report because they were not happy with it and he said the investigators did not cross examine the witnesses;
  • The RCMP did not want him to investigate or act as “Columbo”;
  • He said that he would not change one thing in his report;
  • He advised that while he was away he was contacted by the media.

Burke said he told Riche that a public inquiry was coming and the RCMP was not prepared to release any reports. He said Riche responded that “the person responsible will have to answer to his actions.”

In September, Riche gave a number of interviews to numerous media outlets. He has since said he assumed reports about the Dunphy shooting investigation, including his own, had been released to the public when he did those interviews. Recently Riche told CBC News that he plans to apologize to the inquiry when he testifies on March 1.

'Columbo' Comment Shows Tension Between Judge And Police After Dunphy Shooting

Don Dunphy was fatally shot by RNC Const. Joe Smyth on Easter Sunday 2015. (Courtesy the Dunphy Family)

The inquiry, headed by Justice Leo Barry, is trying to determine the facts surrounding the April 5, 2015 shooting of Dunphy, 59, at his home in Mitchells Brook, St. Mary’s Bay. Joe Smyth, 38, a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary constable who had gone there to investigate tweets posted by Dunphy about politicians, has said he fired four shots, killing Dunphy, after Dunphy pointed a rifle at him.

Bolt left open in Dunphy gun

In testimony Thursday, Cpl. Burke also said evidence suggested Dunphy didn’t intend to shoot Smyth during that Easter Sunday visit. Burke told the inquiry that a 22-calibre rifle found near Dunphy was loaded but the bolt-action gun wasn’t ready to be fired because the bullet chamber was left opened.

“I don’t know if Mr. Dunphy intended to fire his gun, and the bolt being open suggests he didn’t intend to fire his gun,” he testified.

'Columbo' Comment Shows Tension Between Judge And Police After Dunphy Shooting

Bob Simmonds is representing Don Dunphy’s daughter, Meghan, at the judicial inquiry. (CBC)

“If you had your time back would you have done anything differently?” Bob Simmonds, lawyer for the Dunphy family asked as he questioned the thoroughness of the RCMP investigation. Burke replied “no.”

Simmonds suggested the RCMP had “tunnel vision.”

‘He was ready for someone to come.’ – Steve Burke, RCMP investigator

“I believe it’s a fair statement that you and other RCMP officers accepted Smyth’s version at face value,” he said. Burke disagreed but when Simmonds suggested Smyth’s version of events was implausible Burke defended it.

“There was evidence of a rifle. He [Dunphy] had a stick. The scenario isn’t too far fetched that it couldn’t have happened,” he said.

“I don’t think he moved that gun that day. I think it was moved previously. Mr. Dunphy said earlier to a friend ‘let them come.’ I think he was ready for someone to come.”

Burke has been testifying since Tuesday at the inquiry into Dunphy’s shooting death.

No ‘preferential treatment’

He was also questioned Thursday by Smyth’s lawyer, Jerome Kennedy, who countered the suggestion that Smyth received “preferential treatment” when he wasn’t asked to give a statement the day of the shooting.

“What grounds did you have to detain S myth?” he asked.

'Columbo' Comment Shows Tension Between Judge And Police After Dunphy Shooting

Jerome Kennedy, Const. Joe Smyth’s lawyer, questioning the RCMP’s Steve Burke. (CBC)

“We didn’t have any,” said Burke.

“You were asked: ‘Why would Dunphy point a gun at Smyth?’ I ask: why would Smyth want to shoot Dunphy?” Kennedy asked.

“I don’t know.,” said Burke. At the time of the shooting, Smyth was working with the security detail for Paul Davis, then premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, whose communications staff alerted him to “disconcerting” tweets. On Wednesday, RCMP disclosed messages between Smyth and another RNC officer, Tim Buckle, sent after the shooting, but before Smyth gave a statement to the RCMP.

Smyth testified in January he had received no advice or input about what should go in the notes he gave to RCMP.

Follow updates from the inquiry in our live blog[1].


  1. ^ in our live blog (
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