Whatever the circumstances or questions, Radio Canada is always right.
After reviewing recent CRTC hearings to renew Radio Canada licenses, I had a sore impression of ‘copy and paste’. On every appearance before a CRTC, study committee, or parliamentary committee, the public broadcaster has the answer and comes out of every trap like Houdini.
On the final day of the CRTC hearings, CEO Catherine Tate responded with the support of all speakers who preceded her. Like all of her predecessors for three decades, she waved the untold mandate of Radio Canada: “Media, Enlightenment and Entertainment.” Armed with such a shield, we can reject all barbs.
Whether there is consensus on one issue or the other, Radio Canada does not care. But when it comes to welcoming modern topics like gender equality, diversity, inclusion or combating racism, we open our arms wide. These virtuous initiatives do not change the course of their practices, Radio Canada accepts them immediately, even when you invite them. Are they not the owners of sovereignty over the image of society?
Phasing out the advertisement
Radio Canada reacted coldly to the Yale University committee’s recommendation to phase out advertisements, beginning with the newscast. This recommendation, which is far from the first of its kind, has nevertheless been unanimously agreed upon by almost all stakeholders. Unsurprisingly, private broadcasters have endorsed it enthusiastically, although it is not the CRTC’s role to determine the matter.
Despite this widespread call by Radio Canada to alleviate the advertising gluttony, Ms. Tate used the hearings to defend the new “Teeth and Nails” Tandem ad tool, which has been criticized by her staff in Toronto and Montreal. So ditching the announcement at least during the main newscast would be so painful? Even if we achieve this by canceling a test, variety show, or even a series, the shortage will not spoil Radio Canada nor the disapproval of viewers.
Such a decision would have the merit of showing that Crown is listening to its audience, and that it understands the importance of not neglecting the repeated requests of millions of Canadians. It will also be easier to trust CBC / Radio-Canada when they repeat every opportunity where information is their priority.
At least they are not biased!
When I see the time occupied by commercials in Le Téléjournal, when I notice this in addition to the multiple advertising breaks that interrupt most programs five or six times an hour, when I see that we are allowing ourselves in addition to Banner ads and promotions to hide part of the screen, I must conclude The 300 people responsible for the misappropriation of advertisers are certainly Radio Canada’s most enthusiastic staff.
Not because the news was getting better is that Tony Borman, the news director for the English network, left CBC in 2007. Nor is it about giving the news more importance. That in 2012, Alain Saulnier, CIO of the French Network, was brutally rejected.
If the news on CBC / Radio-Canada were the claimed priority, these two honorary journalists would still be in business. We would not have cut Le Téléjournal to present commercial messages.