Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Contradictory

So, the word is, following the CBC board meetings that on the way are lost jobs (600-1200), the selling of CBC assets and the merging/closures of stations across the country. CBC is facing a $200 million shortfall:
The federal government, which for the past seven years has given the CBC a non-recurring $60 million in special funding on top of its $1.1-billion base allocation, did not announce in this year's budget that the special funds would be renewed. If the money isn't given, the broadcaster's shortfall could go to over $200 million.

Funny, isn't it, that the stimulus plan simultaneously rolling out, slowly, in the background is supposed to create jobs by pouring billions into infrastructure. But some jobs are apparently less important than others and warrant no action:

A funding advance would be a relatively inexpensive way for Ottawa to protect jobs across the country, said Karen Wirsig, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Media Guild, which represents 5,000 CBC employees.

"At a time when they're trying to rush money into infrastructure spending, this would be immediate and would save jobs while providing a public service," she said.

And the implications for the continued existence of local media across the country are there too:
If you think the sparks are flying over the cuts to A Channel, just wait until regional CBC programming takes a further hit. Backing up the public broadcaster may be the only way to staunch the hemorrhaging of local voices from the media landscape in Canada.
Public opinion is largely against the Conservatives here, support for funding the CBC's shortfall is there . This may increase as the issue gets more coverage.

And by the way, shout out to Canadian and Jeopardy host Alex Trebek who heard James Moore's comments about Jeopardy being run on CBC:

Trebek also voiced concern over the possibility of politicians influencing programming decisions, even when public broadcasters are involved.

"I think politicians should stay away from that. It becomes a situation where it could appear to be self-serving, and as soon as you start interfering in freedom of speech and things like that, you're walking a pretty dangerous line."

...
"On the periphery, I tend to watch what's going on and it did bother me when Stephen Harper pulled his fast one and suspended Parliament. It's not in line with what I consider to be Canadian fair play," he said.
No, it really wasn't. And the Conservative plan to fundamentally alter the CBC's services seems to be right on track...