Broadcasting

Radio, television and internet broadcasting is a critical element of Canadian culture and a key player in the country’s news industry.

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CBC/Radio-Canada building CMG lauds review of CBC licence renewal ruling with emphasis on local news - The CWA Canada Local that represents most of the workers at the CBC is hailing a decision by the federal cabinet to grant its appeal and send a licence renewal decision back to the broadcast regulator for reconsideration. The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) said it was pleased that the Governor in Council has heard its concerns about CBC/Radio-Canada’s obligations to provide quality local news to Canadians across the country no matter where they live, on the platforms they access. The decision in late June by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to renew the public broadcaster’s licences for five years, with minimal conditions, was widely criticized and resulted in a flood of petitions to cabinet. The CMG said it feared the CBC would cut back on television news programming in favour of spending on online content. Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, responding to the appeals of many concerned Canadians, recommended the order in council that refers the matter back to the CRTC. “We are grateful that the order specifically states ‘that it is material to the reconsideration and hearing that the Commission consider how to ensure that, as the national public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation continue to make a significant contribution [...]
Open letter to PM Justin Trudeau concerning the online hate and harassment of journalists - The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.Prime Minister of Canada80 Wellington StreetOttawa, ON, K1A 0A2 Delivered by email  Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, We are writing in relation to the increasing and alarming online hate and harassment targeting journalists and journalism as a profession. This is a global problem, which threatens not only the safety and well-being of journalists, but the proper functioning of democracy itself. Many countries are now working on plans to fight back. We are calling on Canadian police and policymakers to do the same.    For the most part, these attacks are aimed at racialized and female journalists who are experiencing an increasing number of targeted, vile threats of violence. The trend is clear. In a 2021 Ipsos survey of journalists, 72 per cent of respondents said they had experienced some form of online harassment. At the time, the CAJ co-signed a statement with many Canadian media organizations, affirming that “there can be no tolerance for hate and harassment of journalists or for incitement of attacks on journalists for doing their jobs.” Yet the problem grows. The volume and nature of the rhetoric in the recent string of attacks has caused many journalists, as well as their respective organizations, to fear for their [...]
Shooting the Messenger: a global survey on credibility attacks against reporters - A global survey is under way as part of an investigation into the harassment and credibility attacks journalists face, the likely sources of those attacks, and their impacts. The Global Reporting Centre, based at the University of British Columbia, is conducting the study — Shooting the Messenger: Credibility Attacks Against Journalists — in collaboration with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and with support from PEN Canada. Chris Tenove, lead researcher on the project, told PEN Canada they are looking at “efforts to threaten, discredit, harass, and otherwise undermine journalists globally when they are trying to do their jobs. … For years, CPJ has been tracking murders, disappearances, and jailings of journalists. Those blunt tactics continue, but they are now complemented by information campaigns against journalists. These might include spreading false claims about journalists or news outlets, making anonymous threats, or exposing private information about journalists and their family members, and these tactics are often paired with surveillance. Prominent journalists targeted in this way include Rana Ayyub in India, Ronan Farrow in the U.S., and Maria Ressa in the Philippines.” Working journalists over 18 years of age are encouraged to participate. The survey is available in English, French, Hindi, Portuguese [...]
CBC/Radio-Canada building Union slams CRTC ruling that allows CBC to cut TV news - In a stark reversal of decades of support for mandated hours of news production, the federal broadcast regulator announced Wednesday it would allow the CBC to cut back on television news programming. Many fear the decision could lead to CBC cancelling television newscasts. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) cited the range of other options available in metropolitan areas as a reason for the change. The Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213), which represents most of the public broadcaster’s workers, called the decision unreasonable. It fears the CBC will use this to cut down on television production in favour of spending on online content. The CMG said that, if this happens, it could result in permanent damage to Canada’s media environment, and an unfair exclusion for thousands of Canadians who — for a variety of reasons, including lack of resources — access television rather than online news. The ruling was contentious even at the CRTC, where it was supported by three of five commissioners, with the two dissenters submitting strong arguments opposing it. “Under the guise of modernization,” the CRTC has chosen to allow the CBC to “kill original production, even after a difficult two years when Canadians [...]
CWA Canada: Online News Act ‘lacks safeguards’ - The Online News Act, which would compel tech titans to share advertising revenues with Canadian media outlets, has been welcomed by CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, but with some major caveats. Following a technical briefing on Bill C-18 after it was tabled in the House of Commons in early April, O’Hanlon said the Act would benefit media organizations, both private and public, including the CBC, which employs thousands of CWA Canada members. However, “we are concerned about a lack of safeguards on several important issues that we raised in our submission to the government last year,” he said. Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said Bill C-18 would require tech giants like Google and Facebook “to make fair commercial deals with outlets for the news and information that is shared on their platforms.” Media outlets of any size would be able to bargain collectively to level the playing field and have recourse to final offer arbitration. Online advertising revenues in Canada were almost $10 billion in 2020, with two digital platforms taking in 80 per cent of that. It’s a market imbalance the legislation aims to correct. Noting that almost 450 news outlets have closed since 2008 and a third of [...]

Link to the full Broadcasting news archive on CWA Canada

Offsite Insight

18.12.06 J-Source – When not to publish graphic images

18.11.15 Global News – CRTC won’t yet rescind order that lets Canadians watch U.S. Super Bowl ads

18.11.14 Rabble.ca – Federal review of broadcasting and communications faces stiff headwinds

18.11.01 Financial Post – ‘It’s not a tax’: CRTC chair defends proposal for internet providers to contribute to Canadian content

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