Disclosure - CANADALAND
Disclosure

Jesse Brown

 

I’ve been disclosing my connections to subjects as they’ve come up but a lot of that content is buried within old podcasts. It’s a good idea to have a permanent document on the site, easy to find, share and reference, that lays all of this out. I don’t think that posting this relieves me of my responsibility to disclose conflicts or possible conflicts within the content they pertain to. It’s in addition to that.

Also, as more contributors publish with CANADALAND, we’ll throw up their disclosures here too.

 

FREELANCE JOURNALISM AND WRITING

As a rule, journalists are not supposed to take money from the people or companies they cover.

As a journalist who covers the media, I’ve taken money from just about everybody I cover.

In my fifteen years of freelancing before launching CANADALAND, I’d been paid by Saturday Night Magazine, Gadfly Magazine, The National Post, VICE, The Globe and Mail, the CBC, TVO, Toronto Life, and Macleans. I also did some TV development work for eOne. There were other small contracts that I can’t remember off-hand. I’ll dig these up and disclose them all as soon as possible.

When CANADALAND launched on October 7, 2013, I was still under contract with Macleans and writing a tech column for Toronto Life. Bell Media paid me to produce those CANADALAND videos through their Bell Local initiative.

CANADALAND was a money-losing proposition until the Patreon campaign launched on October 7, 2014. I got by on my freelancer income that first year, along with my speaking fees. Once the crowdfunding succeeded and CANADALAND became my full-time job, I stopped taking money from anyone I cover, with two exceptions:

The Toronto Star paid me for my work on the Jian Ghomeshi investigation (late Oct, 2014).

The Huffington Post pays me for my work on the Jian Ghomeshi allegation tracker (Nov, 2014- April, 2015)

 

PAID SPEAKING

I don’t care what Rosie DiManno says, paid speaking is awesome. I just don’t do it for those who I cover, and if I end up covering someone I’ve spoken for in the past, I’ll disclose it on the show and here.

As I disclosed a year ago on CANADALAND, I’ve been doing paid speaking for years, and I couldn’t have kept afloat all this time without it. Just about every freelancer I know has some kind of cash gig they do to make ends meet- teaching, corporate writing, paid speaking, etc. It bugs me a bit when lifelong media staffers with union protection and benefits proudly proclaim that they never take a penny from anyone. Easy for them to say, as they are guaranteed to make a living. The rest of us must wrestle with possible conflicts and strike a balance as a matter of necessity. That’s why I’ve always preached disclosure, rather than abstention, as the golden rule.

Clients don’t want us speakers to blab about what they pay us, but you can see from my public agency page that my standard rate is $5000 per event. This is absurd, I realize (absurdly wonderful). Crazier still, it’s actually on the low-end of what paid speakers get. Depending on the client and circumstance, I sometimes speak for a lot less than this or a little bit more.

I do a lot of unpaid speaking too, but why would I put that on a disclosure page, except to try and convince you that I’m not a greedy whore (or perhaps that I’m a charitable and nice guy in addition to being a greedy whore)?

Anyhow, here are all the paid speaking gigs I’ve done since CANADALAND became my full-time job, on Oct.15 2014. It’s going to take some time to go through my old stuff and post the rest, and I’ll do so as I can, but these are the paid events I’ve accepted since becoming a full-time media critic:

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DATE
ORG.
TYPE
October 17, 2014
Communitech (Techtoberfest conference)
on-stage interview
October 22, 2014
Alberta Accountants Unification Agency
keynote
November 12, 2014
Town of Richmond Hill
keynote
November 15, 2014
York Catholic District School Board
keynote
November 18, 2014
Association of Corporate Travel Executives
keynote
December, 2014
RBC (cancelled by client on Dec.1)*
keynote
January 20, 2015
Canadian Marketer’s Association
keynote
February 12, 2015
Hart House/University of Toronto
Q&A, honorarium
May 4-June 15, 2015
Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals
5 keynotes
May 22 & June 2, 2015
Municipal Information Systems Association
2 keynotes
May 28, 2015
BC Colleges and Institutions
keynote
May 30, 2015
Chartered Professional Accountants Canada
keynote
June 9, 2015
Region of York
keynote
June 11, 2015
Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors
keynote
June 16, 2015
Canadian Association of Exposition Management
keynote
October 22, 2015
Information and Communications Technology Council
keynote
November 4, 2015
Ontario Health Association
moderation
November 12, 2015
Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians
keynote
November 12, 2015
Liberty Village Business Improvement Association
keynote
February 26, 2016
Seneca College
keynote
March 31, 2016
Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
keynote
April 1, 2016
Vancouver Island Real Estate Board
keynote
DATE
October 17, 2014
ORG.
Communitech (Techtoberfest conference)
TYPE
on-stage interview
DATE
October 22, 2014
ORG.
Alberta Accountants Unification Agency
TYPE
keynote
DATE
November 12, 2014
ORG.
Town of Richmond Hill
TYPE
keynote
DATE
November 15, 2014
ORG.
York Catholic District School Board
TYPE
keynote
DATE
November 18, 2014
ORG.
Association of Corporate Travel Executives
TYPE
keynote
DATE
December, 2014
ORG.
RBC (cancelled by client on Dec.1)*
TYPE
keynote
DATE
January 20, 2015
ORG.
Canadian Marketer’s Association
TYPE
keynote
DATE
February 12, 2015
ORG.
Hart House/University of Toronto
TYPE
Q&A, honorarium
DATE
May 4-June 15, 2015
ORG.
Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals
TYPE
5 keynotes
DATE
May 22 & June 2, 2015
ORG.
Municipal Information Systems Association
TYPE
2 keynotes
DATE
May 28, 2015
ORG.
BC Colleges and Institutions
TYPE
keynote
DATE
May 30, 2015
ORG.
Chartered Professional Accountants Canada
TYPE
keynote
DATE
June 9, 2015
ORG.
Region of York
TYPE
keynote
DATE
June 11, 2015
ORG.
Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors
TYPE
keynote
DATE
June 16, 2015
ORG.
Canadian Association of Exposition Management
TYPE
keynote
DATE
October 22, 2015
ORG.
Information and Communications Technology Council
TYPE
keynote
DATE
November 4, 2015
ORG.
Ontario Health Association
TYPE
moderation
DATE
November 12, 2015
ORG.
Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians
TYPE
keynote
DATE
November 12, 2015
ORG.
Liberty Village Business Improvement Association
TYPE
keynote
DATE
February 26, 2016
ORG.
Seneca College
TYPE
keynote
DATE
March 31, 2016
ORG.
Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
TYPE
keynote
DATE
April 1, 2016
ORG.
Vancouver Island Real Estate Board
TYPE
keynote

*This is the one that would raise my eyebrow if I were investigating myself. Yes, Jesse Brown took money from RBC, just like Amanda Lang! It is true. And I didn’t even do anything to get the money, since they cancelled after a deadline had passed. I have no idea why they did, nor do I have any ill-will towards RBC (after all, they paid me to do nothing). I had no trouble accepting this gig, since I cover media, not banks, and I had no idea at the time that RBC would be involved in a CANADALAND investigation. Once the Lang/RBC thing popped up, I recused myself and gave the story to Sean Craig.

 

OTHER STUFF

I volunteer for Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and have volunteered for PEN Canada.

I am a co-founder and co-owner of the cartooning app Bitstrips (makers of Bitmoji).

 

Kevin Sexton

 

PREVIOUS MEDIA WORK
Associate producer at CBC

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Member of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

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