CBC operating costs last year amounted to $1.7 billion, the large majority of which was funded by taxpayers like you and me.
However, I take exception to the unthinking use of its considerable financial muscle. In particular, I deplore that they’re directly competing with much smaller regional private enterprises who work hard to keep their businesses afloat, without external support.
A current example in our region that should concern us, is the move of “CBC News – Nova Scotia” to upgrade its on-line local news website, which provides free, continuous coverage of our provincial news.
Our national broadcaster holds nothing back in asking “How do you like our new format?” Or “We’re experimenting with a new look.” They even use their broadcast staff to author local news articles. And they don’t hesitate to feature video news footage that our local newspapers have no hope of emulating with their tight budgets.
Deliberately or not, CBC competes directly with the Chronicle Herald’s paid subscription, on-line local news offering, which has to be a key platform in the Herald’s future, as it faces inevitable declines in its print edition circulation in future years.
I’ m fully aware that competitive situations exist in the Canadian TV broadcast world, where CBC competes with CTV and Global, but these are well-financed players, with large markets, that can take care of themselves.
But news organisations such as our Chronicle Herald and its stable of small community news outlets, both print and on-line, are having a tough enough time as it is without having to worry about a Goliath like the CBC entering the on-line local news fray.