The recent dust-up between Twitter and the CBC over a “government funded media” label sparked fiery rhetoric from both sides. Opponents of the CBC invoked the notion of propaganda from the public broadcaster, while supporters responded that such comments amounted to an attack on a Canadian institution. That heated debate obscures the reality that there is a discussion worth having about the CBC’s independence, its transparency, and public reporting. Monica Auer, the executive director of Canada’s Forum on Research and Policy in Communications, recently wrote about that issue and she joins the Law Bytes podcast to assess whether the CBC is as independent as it says it is.
The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod.
CBC News, CBC Pauses Twitter Activity After Being Labelled ‘Government Funded Media’
This feels like it’s swinging hard into “crank” territory — there’s no there there, just a lot of speculation about how one person doesn’t like the CBC’s board structure and annual reports and dark muttering about what this MIGHT mean. Not a shred of proof that there’s ever been government interference in reporting — which should surely be the key question when you’re talking about independence for a journalism outlet — just conspiracy theories.
This whole podcast/blog feels like it’s taking a turn toward the Jordan Peterson / Bruce Pardy abandonment of sober analysis and into clickbait-friendly wingnuttery — look at the comments on https://www.michaelgeist.ca/2023/04/billc11end/, which descend very quickly into rants about C16 and “Trudeau’s crooked government” and even a UN mind control conspiracy theory.
I’m so sorry that Michael Geist’s blog did not meet your reading needs. There are plenty of other sites on the internet that you may find more to your liking, many of which limit or prevent the posting of comments whose views you find objectionable.
Not sure I would agree with you. There is a desperate need for the people of Canada to understand what it is they are being presented with as choices, and this podcast covered a number of things that are not generally recognized by the public.
The issue of government interference is very nuanced. While I don’t believe that the government, whichever party was in power, has outright told the CBC what to report and how to report it, the fact is that the funding model that the government has with the CBC can cause it to self-censor, lest government funding be reduced in follow-on years. Add to that the fact that the government of the day appoints the entire CBC Board of Directors as well as the President and it means that the board and president could attempt to influence reporting out of fear of losing their jobs without the government directing them to do so.
“…While I don’t believe that the government, whichever party was in power, has outright told the CBC what to report and how to report it…”
You do realize that Peter Mansbridge did reveal that the government had indeed done so in a candid interview?
I hadn’t heard that. Do you have a reference so I can check it out?
I’m having a difficulty downloading the podcast. It gives me an error. Could someone help me please? wordle solver