The National Post is trying to ignite a debate on the role of CBC. Pierre Karl Peladeau gave the con case (see post below); yesterday, the Post let CBC have a chance to rebut. Yours for consideration.
National Post, April 1 2010
Peladeau, owner of Videotron and the Sun newspaper chain, and God knows what else, is arguing today for a public debate on the role of CBC (though he doesn’t specify it, he really means CBC TV.) In the zero channel universe of the 1950′s, a national television broadcaster made sense, just as a national radio broadcaster did. In the 500 channel and counting universe, what exactly should CBC television’s role be? News and documentaries? Got those channels. Sports? Got those channels. Showcase for independent filmmakers? Check. So, let’s have a national debate on the role of CBC and its 28 platforms, then fund it accordingly. I’ll start the ball rolling: yes to Radio One, maybe to Radio Two, no to Radio Three. No to CBC English TV, yes to CBC French TV/radio outside Quebec, maybe to CBC French inside Quebec.
The future of the CBC and its pre-eminent role in our broadcasting system should be up for review. The Corporation’s funding is tied to its mandate, as stipulated in the Broadcasting Act. Just as the CRTC acted courageously in its recent decision, Parliament should now rethink CBC’s direction and funding and make it accountable in the same way as other Crown Corporations.
National Post, March 30 2010
Now that federal Crown Corporations such as CBC are subject to Freedom of Information laws, the Sun newspaper chain has been bombarding them with requests, highlighting executive spending (wonder how much the Sun spends on its executives; since it is private sector, we’ll never know). Anyway, the CBC is getting rather defensive about all this.
Canadian Press, Nov. 25 2008
Today’s Globe has not one, not two but three stories on CBC’s recent apology for its blogger Heather Mallick’ comments on Gov. Sarah Palin. There’s something about CBC screwups (as if they’re the only media, MSM or otherwise, to ever screw up) that causes the rest of the media world to turn into a pack of angry, rabid jackals. Enough already; it’s just the point of view of a blogger (and can there be any form of media more obscure than a CBC blogger?) While not immune to reflexive CBC bashing myself (as note, for example, the gratuitous cheap shot in the previous line) we should all try to keep our CBC bias a bit in check. The blog in question passes for fair comment – and fair comment doesn’t mean nice, just that it’s a fair expression of public opinion – and doesn’t require either a CBC apology or a mainstream media piling on. No links; let’s all try to get back to normal.
This time with a little more behind it than the usual CBC bashing by the National Post. Jonathan Kay tears a strip off Mother Corp for running a story on Sarah Palin two days after simple logic showed that Sarah Palin’s daughter could not have born the fifth child of Gov. Palin (how can a girl who’s five months pregnant manage to have delivered a child four months ago?) Anyway, to pile it on, the letter pages have a few slams at the new CBC Two format (I’ll wait a while until the new format is established before I comment on it.)
National Post, September 4 2008
The CBC has argued to the CRTC that social/new media don’t present a threat to it. It may actually be right, for those of you who’ve read Our Lives in Digital Times (2006, downloadable from StatsCan’s website), which demonstrates that “old” media continue to exist quite happily with new media. There is a strong marketing component behind new media that continually depicts it as the wave of the future that will destroy old media. Facts do not bear this point of view out.
CBC blog, July 18 2008
Lorne Gunter continues the right’s assault on CBC, particularly television. It shouldn’t be forgotten that, while the role of CBC TV is open to debate in the multi-channel digital TV world, CBC Radio is the only national radio network in the country. Also, Radio One’s ratings continue to be strong (I’ll wait until the new format of Radio Two is launched before commenting on its success or failure.) The role of CBC does need a thorough, thoughtful discussion, beyond just pulling the plug as Mr. Gunter recommends.