A Senate report on the state of Canada's media industry has called on the federal government to increase funding for the CBC so that the public broadcaster can operate without commercials, and to require all news gathering organizations to publicly disclose who their controlling shareholders are on a regular basis.
Ottawa should “refine” the CBC's mandate, giving it enough “realistic and stable funding” to remove advertising from its programs, the report says.
The CBC's budget, which includes a parliamentary appropriation of almost $1-billion and revenue of nearly $400-million, mostly from advertising, is insufficient to support a strong public broadcaster, the parliamentary committee argues.
“This budget is small if compared to some national public broadcasters and seems especially modest when one considers the number of services provided,” the report said.
Ever notice that whenever someone suggests broadcasting CBC without ad revenue, like PBS, they never suggest having viewers make up the difference, also like PBS?
The quarterly pledge drives may be hokey, but they're also reflective of PBS local stations' mandate to provide programming its viewers actually want to watch.
CBC would never give its local stations that sort of autonomy, for fear that they might actually produce better programming and leave its most committed supporters wondering why they should go to bat for the head office folks in Toronto.
But even if it wanted to, CBC's unions would adopt scorched-earth tactics to destroy the CBC before giving up their control over network operations. Last year's lockout would be but a foretaste of the union in full battle for its life.
There will be no meaningful reform at the CBC because both management and labour fear real change more than they loathe each other. Only an act of God will strike down the CBC.
Source: Globe and Mail