Our weekly round-up of stories related to the Canadian magazine industry, with links for further reading/viewing. ,
Human rights case against Maclean’s dismissed, but Commission takes shots at magazine
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has dismissed a human rights complaint filed against Maclean’s by The Canadian Islamic Congress. The CIC argued that the article, “The future belongs to Islam” by Mark Steyn, published by Maclean’s in 2006, invoked Islamophobia. The CIC also complained that the magazine did not make room for a rebuttal.
In its ruling statement, the OHRC said "denying a service because of human rights grounds such as race or creed can form the basis for a human rights complaint,” but said it was forced to dismiss the case on the grounds that the OHRC guidelines does not include jurisdiction for media. The OHRC, did however, find room to condemn the Maclean’s article.
While freedom of expression must be recognized as a cornerstone of a functioning democracy, the Commission has serious concerns about the content of a number of articles concerning Muslims that have been published by Maclean’s magazine and other media outlets. This type of media coverage has been identified as contributing to Islamophobia and promoting societal intolerance towards Muslim, Arab and South Asian Canadians.
The Commission recognizes and understands the serious harm that such writings cause, both to the targeted communities and society as a whole. And, while we all recognize and promote the inherent value of freedom of expression, it should also be possible to challenge any institution that contributes to the dissemination of destructive, xenophobic opinions.
In quickly-issued a press release, the Rogers-owned magazine responded:
Maclean's is pleased that the commission has decided not to proceed with the complaints filed against the magazine, and that as a result, those complaints will not be referred to a hearing before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
However, Maclean's does take issue with the comments issued by the OHRC. The suggestion that Maclean's is in any way biased against a particular community is false. Maclean's will be responding to these comments in more detail in the near future.
- Full OHRC statement
- Maclean's response
- The future belongs to Islam [Maclean's]
- Ontario's spooky thought police [National Post]
- Press freedom at risk [Toronto Star]
- Mark Steyn among finalists announced for World Press Freedom Awards [Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom]
CBP adds three new titles
The Canadian Business Press has added three new titles to its association. Mechanical Business, which targets mechanical contractors, wholesalers and other technical trades; Wood Industry, aimed at those who do secondary wood products manufacturing, such as kitchen cabinet designers and architectural millwork; and Coverings, a trade publication for manufacturing wholesale and retail flooring marketers.
FASHION announces blogger contest
FASHION Magazine is holding an online contest to find 10 new bloggers to write about fashion trends in their own cities. Reporter Search 2008 is sponsored by Virgin Mobile. Together, the two companies are working on ventures such as product integration and SMS promotional campaigns.
A final group of 20 writers will be chosen by editors at the magazine and the final 10 will be picked by readers via the magazine’s website. The winners will blog for FASHION for one year. The blogger with the most posts will win a trip to New York. The contest, which opened this week, closes June 1.
Rogers launches new custom for Air Miles Reward Program
Rogers Publishing announced this week that it is producing a new custom magazine for the Air Miles Reward Program. Air Miles ® Inspired Living ™, which debuted on Mar. 31, represents the first foray into custom publishing for the Air Miles company. The book, published bi-annually and distributed freely to 800,000 Canadian Air Miles collectors, will be published in both English and French.
- Rogers launches custom mag [Press release]