There are many interesting things about my job as Corporate Spokesperson for Canada’s national public broadcaster. One is the opportunity to tell people how we try to make a difference in Canadians’ lives, by offering them media content and experiences that mean something, and by helping them connect with each other and their country.
Another interesting aspect of my job is seeing first-hand how one particular news organization – Sun Media – works when it comes to reporting on the public broadcaster. Here’s a quick example. Yesterday, the Toronto Sun published this editorial disregarding important facts about our financial situation. So, as we regularly do when incorrect information is being published about us, we sent them a letter. Here is what I sent them.
Once again, Sun Media has published incorrect information about CBC/Radio-Canada. While your readers may now be used to your regular attacks on the public broadcaster, they are still entitled to the truth.
You reported that “the latest federal budget quietly gave the CBC an extra $60 million in welfare.” Had you taken a few minutes to do your research, you would have found that this investment is neither new nor extra money and that it is already included in the $1.1 billion we receive in public funding. It has been renewed annually for the last ten years. And despite your false claims it does in fact have a specific earmark: to provide more and enhanced Canadian programs that would not otherwise be available. Part of that money was invested through independent producers and not only created great shows, but also contributed to generating and maintaining jobs
But then again, this fact may have made for a less “interesting” story.
Now to come back to the heart of the matter. We fully understand that the country and the federal government face significant budget pressures. We take seriously our responsibility towards ensuring that we are making the most of the money Canadians invest in us.
CBC/Radio-Canada has participated in a number of these reviews over the past several years, in addition to our own ongoing drive to cut costs and deliver our services in the most efficient way possible. Like all publicly funded organizations, we stand ready to identify savings within our operations and programs, as requested.
It’s not the first time we have communicated with you because important facts were disregarded. Now that Sun Media is no longer a member of the Ontario Press Council, I guess we should get used to it.
And here is what they kept of it to put in their paper this morning.
Once again, Sun Media has published incorrect information about CBC/Radio-Canada. You reported “the latest federal budget quietly gave the CBC an extra $60 million in welfare.” This investment is neither new nor extra money. It has been renewed annually for the last 10 years. It is earmarked: To provide more and enhanced Canadian programs that would not otherwise be available. Part of that money was invested through independent producers and not only created great shows, but contributed to generating and maintaining jobs. We understand the country and government face significant budget pressures. We take seriously our responsibility towards ensuring we are making the most of the $1.1 billion Canadians invest in us.
I guess you get my point by now. Don’t you find it kind of ironic that a news organization that claims that freedom of expression is a fundamental value makes sure its readers don’t get the full commentary they have received on their own journalism practices? I just wish all Sun readers, every Canadian for that matter, would be exposed to the facts when it comes to CBC/Radio-Canada. We certainly can’t count on the Sun to do this. So we’ll do it ourselves.
If you know anybody who would benefit from more information information – accurate information – on the public broadcaster, let them know that they can find it here, unedited. They can even start, or join, a discussion on our blog.
- Marco Dubé, Director, Communications Services and Corporate Spokesperson