I contacted Mike Fegelman of HonestReporting Canada and he sent me a USB stick with 120 clips from a variety of CBC shows. We spent hours searching YouTube, and several bloggers sent us ideas and video. We spent the whole summer watching, downloading and editing videos, adding titles and subtitles and writing commentary. By the time fall had arrived, we had produced a 50-minute documentary, This Hour Could Have 10,000 Minutes: The Biases of the CBC.
With revenues of $1.9 billion, of which 60 per cent comes from government, the CBC and Radio-Canada maintains more than 100 stations (88 radio and 27 TV). But specialty TV is the fastest growing broadcast category. Internet advertising now exceeds all television advertising. Residential TV subscriber numbers are in decline. A huge fragmentation of audiences is under way. Of the top 100 TV programs in Canada by 2014, only 23 were Canadian-produced and one-third of Anglophone Canadians had embraced Netflix.
The Broadcasting Act of 1991 mandates its two “primary tools,” the CBC and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. Section 3 of the Act covers the CBC, and part of its mandate is to “reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions.”
That is where the CBC is losing sight of its mission. The ivory tower on Front Street in Toronto not only makes the CBC Toronto-centric, but it blinds them to the needs and requirements of people across the country.