03 September 2015

#33 CBC: the Canwe Bleeditdry Corporation

Whether it is because of their perception that the journalists of the CBC don't like them or because they think that the publicly-owned airwaves properly belong to private profit-making ventures, the Tories have not wasted a lot of love on the CBC and its French-language counterpart, Radio-Canada. There is, however, a certain level of support in the population for this cultural institution, so it would be difficult for any government to just cut it altogether. Add to that the fact that in some remote areas of the country, the CBC is it, or at least has been, until the advent of satellite TV.

So, death by a thousand cuts it is. Name your own people to the board of directors and then be a bit disappointed when some of them seem to take their role seriously and don't get right to driving it into the ground. It sed to be an institution with a mission to show the best of Canada to the rest of the world and to bring the best of the rest of the world to us. Now it has to pander to popular tastes in a desperate attempt to compete for advertising revenue to keep afloat. Cut Radio Canada International (shortwave service gone, like nine of the previous fifteen languages in which it aired content). Cut evening news services (many local programs reduced or cut altogether) and drastically reduce in-house production. Still there? Hmmm...what else can we do?

I think one of the worst parts of this process for me has been watching the CBC try to pander to the Tories with things like little fluff pieces that present them as almost human and personable, with extensive coverage of things like the War of 1812, the Franklin Expedition, every twitch of the British Royal Family. They even went with a certain cultural change internally, banking on stars to carry their shows where the shows used to bring us a variety of hosts and players but did the carrying for themselves (a couple of scandals later and this cannot look like a good move). But for all the pandering, just more cuts.

It's a little amusing to see the CBC and Radio Canada journalists calling out the Tories during this election campaign, but if the unthinkable happens and they are returned to power, I think we all know the consequence of questioning the boss....

Further reading here

When you bend over
backwards, it just lets them cut
your exposed belly

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