CRTC Townhall on New Media: I’m moderating

Following up on a successful conversation on Net Neutrality at nextMEDIA 2007 in Banff earlier this year, Mark Greenspan asked me to help facilitate another of their townhall series. This is an opportunity to help the new media community to understand the issues, the stakes and the arguments, and enter the conversation.

We will discuss the regulatory environment for digital content on the Internet and this event is contributing to the CRTC’s “New Media Project Initiative”. We have a fantastic all-star panel: Richard Hardacre (ACTRA), Michael Hennessy (TELUS), McLean Mashingaidze-Greaves (Nimble) and Pierre Karl Péladeau (Quebecor Media). We also have the active participation of the CRTC, so this is setting up to be a great opportunity to talk about the need and role of regulatory and policy change in the context of the broadband and mobile Internet media environment of the future.

nextMEDIA Events

Come to nextMEDIA: Monetizing Digital Media on November 27th and 28th, and join the conversation. I highly recommend doing a little homework in advance, so please take a moment to do some reading.

The CRTC New Media site has links to all the regulatory background as well as background on the New Media Project Initiative. The focus of this consultation is on new media broadcasting and its impact on the objectives of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts. This backgrounder is a good place to start and includes the following definition of New Media for the purposes of this consultation process is as follows:

From social and economic perspectives, the Commission’s interest in New Media is largely one of satisfying itself that users, participants and service providers have fair and reasonable access. This includes access in fact, as well as issues of quality, pricing, reasonable commercial practices and “net neutrality”. While typically stemming from the Commission’s powers under the Telecommunications Act, access issues may also stem from the Commission’s support of Canadian programming and other objectives of the Broadcasting Act.

From a cultural perspective, the Commission’s New Media mandate stems exclusively from the Broadcasting Act and extends only to content services analogous to broadcasting. This includes predominantly audio or audio-visual information and entertainment content which may or may not be new, linear, interactive or professionally produced, but which is available to the general public on new point-to-point distribution platforms such as the Broadband Internet and Mobile Wireless. It does not however include private communications or predominantly text and graphic content.

In this context there are four major themes:

  1. Domestic content
  2. Network neutrality
  3. Business models
  4. Access to infrastructure

Two important references:

1) The 1999 New Media Decision, which basically exempted new media from regulation.
2) Section 15 Report, Future Environment of CDN Broadcasting System. In particular, look at Section IV, part J “The Commission’s perspective on the policy issues raised by parties to this process”

Full Press Release after the jump…

Press Release
For Immediate Release

CRTC Town Hall Meeting Scheduled
For nextMEDIA – Monetizing Digital Media
November 28, 2007 at 4 PM, Diesel Playhouse, Toronto

Moderated Discussion Includes Industry Perspective >From Panel That Includes:
Richard Hardacre (ACTRA), Michael Hennessy (TELUS), McLean Mashingaidze-Greaves (Nimble)
and Pierre Karl Péladeau (Quebecor Media)

Toronto, ON, [November 9, 2007]   The final day of nextMEDIA – Monetizing Digital Media wraps with a town hall meeting examining a broad range of issues related to the changing face of the Canadian and global media industry. New media consultant Mark Kuznicki of Remarkk! Consulting moderates the session, which includes a discussion between industry panelists and conference delegates. The town hall contributes to Phase Two of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC’s) New Media Project Initiative, a study that will help the CRTC determine what actions, if any, it should take to ensure that all media platforms contribute to the objectives of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts.

“We are very pleased to co-host this town hall,”? says Mark Greenspan, Director of Digital Media, Achilles Media Ltd. “This is a perfect opportunity for nextMEDIA delegates to openly and activity participate in the shaping of new media policy in Canada.”

“The new media landscape is changing rapidly,”? says Namir Anani, Associate Executive Director, Policy Development and Research, CRTC. “New media services both complement and compete with the traditional broadcasting systems. It is important that they reflect and serve the needs and interests of Canadians, and are therefore an area of interest for the CRTC.”

Industry panelists include:
Richard Hardacre, National President, ACTRA
Michael Hennessy, Vice-President – Wireless, Broadband and Content Policy, TELUS
McLean Mashingaidze-Greaves, CEO, Nimble
Pierre Karl Péladeau, President & CEO, Quebecor Media Inc.

A number of issues will be on the agenda at the town hall meeting, including the classification or definition of the different types of new media broadcasting services, and the specific strategies required to foster a healthy Canadian market. Emerging business models and the role of public policy will also be discussed.

The New Media Project Initiative was announced in May 2007 by CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein as a comprehensive study of the new media environment and its impact on the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industries.

This is the second town hall hosted by Achilles Media Ltd. A previous meeting, held this past summer at nextMEDIA: The Future of Digital Content (Banff, Alberta), evoked a lively discussion around issues of net neutrality. Panel members included Amber MacArthur (CITY TV), Kris Krüg, Mark Kuznicki, Matt Thompson and Jason Roks.

nextMEDIA: Monetizing Digital Media – Dates, Times and Location:
Tuesday, November 27 – Wednesday, November 28, 2007, 9:00 AM – 5 PM
Diesel Playhouse, 56 Blue Jay’s Way, Toronto, ON, Canada

About the CRTC:
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

About nextMEDIA – Monetizing Digital Media
nextMEDIA: Monetizing Digital Media is a two-day conference that brings together key decision makers from advertising, broadcasting, publishing and new media to look at the many ways digital content can be monetized. Speakers include: Brandon Berger, Director of Digital Innovation for MDC Partners; Chad Stoller, Executive Director of Emerging Platforms for Organic, Inc.; Daniel Tibbets, EVP & Studio Chief, GoTV Networks; and William Travis, President, ATTIK. Produced by Achilles Media Ltd.

About Achilles Media:
Achilles Media Ltd. is an international events management company serving the television and digital media industries. Achilles Media Ltd. events include: nextMEDIA: The Future of Digital Content (June 6 – 8, 2008), The Banff World Television Festival (June 8 – 11, 2008); History Makers: : International Summit of History and Current Affairs Producers (January 17 – 19, 2008); and NATPE Mobile++ (January 28, 2008).

– END –

5 thoughts on “CRTC Townhall on New Media: I’m moderating”

  1. Hey Mark, I hate to appear to be constantly criticizing you, but don’t you think that such a consultation should be public and community based rather than in an expensive event that is totally biased towards industry and commercial interests?

    Are you being corrupted by powerful forces? Seduced by influential industry types?

    I think it rather misleading to call it a town hall, given that most of the town is excluded. New Media community? I can understand network, but what makes it a community. I always thought of the word community as being inclusive, not something you need to pay at the door to gain entry to.

    Also as moderator are you able to also contribute? Provide some balance and perspective to what is otherwise a totally unbalanced and biased event?

    Certainly we don’t need more cheerleaders, so I suppose I’m looking to you to be more of a gadfly than just a facilitator…


  2. Jesse, I am happy to have you assume the role of conscience.

    My job, as I see it, is to bring emerging voices and alternative points of view into an otherwise insiders conversation. (Is that more gadfly than facilitator? Wait and see.)

    nextMEDIA is a great conference, where new content creators have the opportunity to mix it up with more established media concerns. In that sense, it is a community of people who share an interest in the future of content and not a bad town to spend time in.

    I hope you join us! I think your critical skills would add tremendously to the conversation.

  3. Mark, sounds like another good opportunity to drive the message home with the CRTC. Unfortunately I’m in Jesse’s boat and cant make it out.

    It would indeed be better if these things could be held in a more public manner, but thats the CRTC’s issue really. Time for some public hearings! Still though, the more conferences with people talking and learning about NN the better I say.

    btw, did you ever manage to get the video released from the last conference?

  4. Hey Mark, Thanks for your reply. I’d love to join you guys, I just can’t afford the fee right now as my medical costs are really high. That’s really where my problem lies, that pricing a conference that steep rather than finding ways to make it more inclusive contradicts with the CRTC aspect.

    Perhaps a better way would have been to stage the panel you’re doing as an adjacent event open to the public say at Metro Hall.

    So I guess like Thomas above I’ll be looking to you to share what happens with the rest of us. Unless of course you’re formally inviting me to come to the event as a responder wherein I don’t have to pay the entry fee. 😉


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