The spirit of Radio Canada International (RCI) risks being sacrificed through a “major shift” that will isolate it from ten employees within the state-owned company, according to collective pressure demanding that the Justin Trudeau government interferes with the decisions of the Public Broadcasting Corporation in order to preserve the international mandate of this information medium intended for the rest of the world.
Former Prime Minister Joe Clark, former UN Ambassador Stephen Lewis, author Naomi Klein and songwriter Richard Desjardins are among the 32 signatories to a letter dated Monday to the Trudeau government, which is asking the government to intervene to prevent the CBC from weakening it. International service.
“We ask […] That any changes to RCI be put on hold so that RCI staff, along with a group of eligible individuals from outside Radio-Canada / CBC, can come up with a plan to rebuild the International Service “, – read in the RCI Action Committee’s call.
Radio-Canada International is a service separate from Société Radio-Canada (SRC) that aims to reach a foreign audience and communicate information from a Canadian perspective to the rest of the world. The service was created during the Cold War, and is primarily a radio. RCI made the full transition to the web when it stopped shortwave broadcasting in 2012.
On December 3, the Public Broadcasting Corporation announced a “major shift in Radio Canada International to reaffirm its role and importance in the 21st media environment.”H century. The service is now announced in Punjabi and Tagalog, increasing the offer from five to seven languages. This content will now be integrated into Radio-Canada and CBC News, and podcasts will be created in several languages. The service will be suspended in French and English. A total of 16 out of 20 existing jobs will be abolished, but five additional appointments will limit the number of RCI employees to nine out of 1is being Avril.
« [RCI] Now in a cage, as there are rations for what to do. We shoot almost everyone. The ones who remained will translate the scripts for CBC and Radio-Canada. This will be our international service, “regrets the RCI Labor Committee spokesperson, retired journalist Voytek Juizda, who called him duty.
A person who worked for 35 years at Radio Canada International feels nostalgic for the organization that this radio broadcasting service represented in the early 1990s: 200 employees, broadcast content in 14 languages, with service in English and French. Specialist in Europe, Asia and Africa. Today, he says, RCI is just a shadow of what it was before. This alleged international service is believed to target immigrant communities already in the country.
“The problem is that for decades RCI has been under the control of Radio Canada / CBC, and Radio Canada’s mission is to make programs for Canadians. Whenever there are budget cuts, we are an easy target.”
On the contrary, Radio Canada maintains that RCI will not change its mandate, and that this major reorganization will in fact be beneficial to the visibility of this international service.
“It is true that we are switching, but we increase RCI editorial offerings. […] The goal is always to inform our audience abroad, but on the other hand, to inform newcomers to Canada. That is really the case now, “Los Julian, general manager of information at Radio Canada, identifies in an interview with duty.
She assures us that there are no plans to terminate international service and that this shift in RCI is driven by a “vision issue” rather than budgetary constraints.
“We’re updating, actually. I realize RCI has played a very important role […] This is my primary role, and it is to ensure the sustainability of a service that meets the needs of 2021. Not the needs of 1990, not the shortwave needs at that time. I understand that some people disagree, but we cannot recreate what is no longer there. The internet exists today. “
The future of Radio Canada International was not a topic discussed during recent hearings by the Canadian Radio, Television and Communications Commission (CBC) regarding renewal of CBC licenses. Getting Canadian news out to the rest of the world is also not a topic of much interest in developing the Trudeau government bill C-10, which seeks to integrate the web giants within the Canadian regulatory fold.