Very interesting letter here with Tara Henley, and I had no idea what is going on behind the scenes at CBC. Would the CFL even want to get involved with CBC I'm thinking after reading this to be honest. Not sure:
"When I started at the national public broadcaster in 2013, the network produced some of the best journalism in the country. By the time I resigned last month, it embodied some of the worst trends in mainstream media. In a short period of time, the CBC went from being a trusted source of news to churning out clickbait that reads like a parody of the student press."
I wasn’t aware of this particular piece, but am one of many who felt the CBC has become a shadow of its former self and exhibits questionable journalistic standards. Not that a lot of journalism doesn’t have questionable standards, but the CBC was supposed to be the unbiased broadcaster of record, so to speak, and hasn’t been for a long time. I am curious to know why the words “lame” and “brainstorm” are considered offensive.
Although I wasn’t around when the CBC was created, I can understand it’s usefulness and relevance and even necessity in the early years of television. It certainly was necessary to protect Canadian content (with little long term effect) and to ensure many people outside of cities could obtain a signal, much like Canada Post ensured that everyone had equal access to mail delivery at the same cost.
As times have changed the CBC failed to adapt. Even in the 1980’s the TV landscape was very different , with cable and satellite in its relative infancy. Technology has made the CBC as it operates today irrelevant. It is a taxpayer money pit with no apparent purpose.
I don’t know enough about the business to say whether it would be worth trying to save the CBC, say as a public broadcaster or news channel or something else, but I find it hard to see the CBC surviving indefinitely. The question is whether there is a politician with big enough balls to kill it once and for all, risking the wrath of the woke crowd and ending a Canadian cultural institution/icon. Not at the moment, in my opinion.
In response to your discussion, just did a quick check. It appears that PBS, founded in 1969, is a private non profit corporation. It receives zero public funding. It also has strict rules in place to prevent influence by any private donors. It is as independent as media can get.
Kudos to her for speaking up. Mainstream journalism has largely become a joke. Independent thought is outlawed; all you really do is parrot popular opinions by any number of special interest groups, and avoid anything that can be even remotely be seen as controversial. A complete farce.
The CBC's complete disinterest in criticizing/investigating/questioning anything having to do with the government shows just how they act more like a PR firm rather than news agency.
I agree that CBC lacks journalistic integrity these days and it looks, sounds and reads like woke student campus news.
I wouldn't be so quick however to call for defunding or privatization of the CBC. If we look beyond the American example, Canada is near to the back of the pack in per capita funding for public broadcasting in developed countries.
It is possible to have a fair and critical public news agency with arms length freedom from the government of the day and a mandate to cover aspects of public discourse without influence of private interests or advertisers. But this requires adequate funding both to retain talent and to offset the need for ad revenue (something CBC TV at least still must indulge in which is VERY atypical of public broadcasters around the world).
I was going to point out that the Harper government really crippled the CBC and its ability to be effective and relevant. Typical backstabbing politics. We know what Harper thought of the CBC, but he didn’t have the balls to scuttle it either.
The CBC, like the BBC, is supposed to be centrist and neutral politically. Those two organizations were considered the leaders in news reporting in the world for decades, and we could proudly announce that we reported the news much more fairly than the US did, although that is probably still true. I remember as a young lad marveling at the difference between the Canadian and US reporting of the Vietnam war.
So today we appear to have no centrist reporting left at the CBC, if the posted story can be taken at face value. The closest thing to centrist in the US is CNN (and I am only talking about television), although they spend too much of their time sinking to the level of Fox News and its alien like (as in Sigourney Weaver alien) disciples. But the CNN election coverage was the best I’ve ever seen with that life long Republican guy, John someone, being absolutely brilliant. The right wing coverage of the election was derived from a combination of Cracker Jack box notes and deciphering Trump’s whale like farts.
To circle back, I think everyone is aware of how divided the US is and if a bastion of the center/neutral like the CBC is gone from that position, what do we have left? It used to be, especially in Canada, but also in the US, that the right and left would meet somewhere in the center on many issues and things would get done. Now, especially in the US, the right tries to unravel what the left has done and vice versa and rarely is something done for non political reasons. I mention the US so much because like it or not, they drive what we do here in almost everything, including this woke business. As inane as these woke concepts may be, the woke crowd is far less dangerous than the right. Why did we even have to acknowledge the one year anniversary of a treasonous assault on democracy, led by the would be mentally ill appointed leader for life?
At least we have a reasonably centrist California, which actually economically runs most of North America. The CBC used to be the voice of reason at one time, but it doesn’t look good and I would argue we still need something neutral and centrist in Canada.