By the late 1950s CBC Radio began suffering audience losses, as private popular music stations were launched. Rock ’n’ roll, aided by the invention of the transistor radio and car radios (as well as TV), crushed CBC’s comedy and variety programs. By the late 1960s the audience numbers had so deteriorated that CBC even considered shutting down its radio services.
CBC TV finds itself today in a very fragile position, as desperate as radio’s was 50 years ago. Today CBC TV is only one (two if you count its news channel) of hundreds of channels, with less and less to distinguish it from private channels.
While chasing elusive ratings, CBC TV and, to a lesser extent, CBC Radio have been distancing themselves from the basic principles of public broadcasting. For example, CBC TV and Radio have journalistic policies dealing with the expression of opinion. The policy states: “CBC journalists do not express their own personal opinion because it affects the perception of impartiality and could affect an open and honest exploration of an issue.”
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