CRTC Betrays Canadian Public Again

CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein
The news out of Ottawa this week is that the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is proposing a regulatory change that would give Canadian TV and radio stations what some are describing a  free reign to broadcast false and/or misleading news.
The regulations now prohibit broadcasters from putting any "false or misleading news” to air but apparently the commission thinks the ban is too onerous. 
The new proposed regulations propose a ban on the broadcast of “any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.”
That of course would make it perfectly acceptable for a broadcaster or a reporter to make up the news and to put that news to air with impunity. As long as no one's health and safety was endangered. 
The CRTC quietly posted notice of the proposed change, which is slated to go into effect on Sept. 1, on its website last week. The commission has also limited the public's ability to respond to this proposed change. They will only be accepting comments from the public until Feb. 9.
You too can raise your objection to this very questionable decision at the CRTC Website. Scroll down until you get to 2011 - 14, The subject  is Call for comments on amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986, Television Broadcasting Regulations,
I have lost count of how many CRTC hearings I have testified at over the years. I lost any faith I may have had in that bunch years ago.
I worked in television when the CRTC started to blur the lines between “news” and “public affairs” programming. As the definitions became more and more fuzzy, reporters and cameramen were assigned to an increasing number of what we used to call, “bobbing for apples” stories and away from the harder news which required extra time, cost a little more and for which some actual research might be required. Seasoned reporters found themselves working as purveyors of info-tainment instead of real news.
So, thanks to the CRTC, news today is less relevant that it once was and fewer reporters are out there working the beat. Now truth in news is going out the window. If you are looking for that elusive silver lining in this story, there may be more jobs for creative writers in broadcast news rooms in coming months. Researchers need not apply.
The timing of this decision, just a few months before a right wing Canadian  “FOX news style”  channel is preparing to go on the air is very interesting to say the least. This latest betrayal by the keepers of the “public airwaves” is probably the last nail in the coffin of broadcast news, such as it is.

1 comment:

  1. TV news has been blurring the lines for years now. This is the American influence and who can forget the first newscasts on 9/11 stating the planes had come from Canada, the terrorists were Canadian and Canada was attacking the USA. This kind of "news" reporting is precisely why most Americans are so pitifully ignorant when it comes to public affairs, global news, etc They even have shows that "analyze" the news and tell them what to think. The Canada I gre up in, and thought of as home for 59 years no longer exists, and I feel like a displaced person with no country to call home


Agree or disagree, I would love to hear from anyone who visits the site