State of media becomes campaign issue

Well, glad someone is raising the issue about corporate conglomerance, shrinking newsrooms and whither CBC on the federal election campaign trail, even if it is only Elizabeth May of the unelected (as yet) Green Party. A nice screed, fitting in nicely with her exclusion from the leader’s debate. However, she’s calling for hundreds of millions in new funding for CBC. I’d rather see a nation-wide review of the role and relevance of CBC, particularly television, in the 500 channel universe. I’d also like to see some discussion of the role and relevance of the 27-some platforms the CBC (radio, web, tv, international, French/English/north etc.), April 4 2011


Glass ceiling still in effect in most Canadian media

An international study by the International Media Women’s Foundation in Washington, D.C. finds what everyone who deals with media on a regular basis knows is true: most reporters are female, most producers/editors are male (this also holds true in communications). As a rule, roughly 70 per cent of media are women, but women represent less than 50 per cent of management. Whether this is sexism or biology it’s  a fact in the workplace. Still, one Canadian outlet got international recognition for beating the trend: the CBC. Oddly enough, while a number of Canadian outlets have gender equity programs, it seems only the CBC is serious about implementing it.

The Tyee, March 23 2011

Yukon newspaper/CBC in legal fight to name/withhold source

A bit of a strange legal case before the Yukon Supreme Court, involving the right to withhold a source versus the obligation of revealing a source in a defamation case. Basically, The Yukon News is asking the territorial Supreme Court to make the CBC reveal the identities of sources who spoke to reporter Nancy Thomson as part of an investigative series that aired in 2004. It gets more complicated, and I’m not sure the recent SCOC ruling on protecting sources will work here. No doubt it will go to SCOC, assuming people can afford to pay the legal fees.

CBC, March 17 2011

Back to the future: CRTC decision on BCE takeover of CTV

Carleton journalism prof Dwayne Winseck has a good opinion piece in the Star about the CRTC decision to allow BCE to buy, again, CTV, noting that it is a revisit of the vertical integration of media of 10 years ago, that resulted in a massive financial trainwreck. He has a point that there seems to be no particular vision of the regulator on who owns media in Canada, under what guidelines.

Toronto Star, March 11 2011

New plan for CBC

The CBC announced a new plan that would see it ditch US programs like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, reallocate funds to local news and double its investment in web/digital. This comes after its head left and the National was controversially reformatted. Truth is, CBC has become increasingly irrelevant in the 500 channel universe and the web with all its apps and platforms. Somehow it still seems to think there is a role for a national broadcaster. The viewers are saying otherwise, particularly in the west, the fastest growing part of the country.


Mediacaster, Feb. 2 2011

PKP versus CBC: who’s cheering?

Interesting post from the Globe and Mail describing “war” between media giants Quebecor, led by Pierre Karl Peladeau, and the national broadcaster, the CBC. Turns out Sunmedia doesn’t like the state supported broadcaster (even though it strived mightily for state support to inflict Sun TV on every cable customer). As often happens, the “war” is heavily effected by Quebec’s infernal, eternal debate between nationalists and federalists. As the final comment puts it so eloquently, “this is the kind of war you wish both sides could lose.”

Globe and Mail, Nov. 22 2010

Sun takes CBC to court over FOI

The Sun chain is having fun with the CBC, taking it to court over the latter’s failure to comply with federal Freedom of Information laws. Funny how the media, like CBC, espouse open information from government, but behave like too many bureaucracies in preferring to withhold it. Let’s hear it for the Sun, which is actually doing something important for a change.

Toronto Sun, Sept. 15 2010