Fair to call CBC “state broadcaster”?

In response to my last post, Sun Media Parliamentary bureau chief David Akin defended his company’s use of the term “state broadcaster” to describe the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

On Twitter, David explained:

We call CBC state broadcaster cuz its funded by the state. NPR is public broadcaster cuz funding mostly by donations solicited from public.


Also: CBC is a “state broadcaster” because the “state” gets to pick the board and its chairman. Luckily our “state” is a democracy.


Trust me: ‘Crats at Heritage Canada believe CBC is their “state broadcaster”. Been in the room they’ve used the phrase.

I like David a lot and think he’s a great reporter, but he has to know this is a loaded term that makes one think of Soviet-era Tass, a propaganda arm for the government.

I was curious about how long “state broadcaster” had been part of the Sun Media style guide, so I ran the term through Infomart.

According to my search, “state broadcaster” had been used by Toronto Sun people to describe CBC just five times between 1996 and 2010, and by columnists such as Peter Worthington, Rick Gibbons and Michael Coren.

Then, in June 2010, a quote in the Sun from former PMO Director of Communications and then Sun Media executive Kory Teneycke: “We will not be a state broadcaster offering boring news by bureaucrats, for elites, and paid for by the taxpayers.”

Since then, in less than a year, the Sun has used the term in reference to CBC in a total of 39 times — and almost all were stories by Sun parliamentary reporter Brian Lilley.

UPDATE: Brian Lilley makes the argument for “state broadcaster” on his blog and digs up examples of other media using the same term to describe CBC.   He cites Paul Wells in Maclean’s, Susan Delacourt and Rondi Adamson (!) in the Star, John Doyle in the Globe, and a Reuters story. Save for the last, all are columnists, so probably not really indicative of their new organizations style for reporting.  Brian also notes that he and I discussed his use of the term when we worked together in the Hot Room. But Brian, we thought you were kidding.  Also, I’m not “bothered” by your use of the phrase. I’m amused. I don’t really take a position on its fairness. I wouldn’t use it in my reporting because it is a loaded term that has connotations that transcend it’s intended meaning.  But, others clearly differ.

UPDATE: Visualization, please…

100 thoughts on “Fair to call CBC “state broadcaster”?

  1. Everybody knows CBC is the state broadcaster and Akin clearly gives the reasons.

    To avoid the term a Harper majority should announce that funding to CBC will be reduced over a five year time frame so they can adjust to the new economics of their situation.

    Similar to the United States were funding for NPR is on the block Canadians do not need a media outlook that is partially funded by the taxpayers. There is plenty of choice for the public i.e. 200 stations.

    Put it on the pay for view dial and let those that love CBC propaganda pay for it themselves.

    I can’t wait to see Peter Mansbridge begging for donations to keep CBC on the air. There are many in Canada would love to see that day come sooner as opposed to later.

    1. Well, I concur with you assessment of Peter Mansbridge. He puts into his interviews much too much of his own perspective. I’d rather hear what the interviewees have to say.

      State Broadcasters – as known in today’s dialect are state controlled and voice the wishes of the government which is usually a dictatorship, a right wing fascist state or a communist one. Let’s try to understand today’s language.

      A public broadcaster, which the CBC has been since its inception, promotes the values of its country and of its regions as well as supports Canadian views usually squashed by huge corporate powers.

      FOX News is much more a state broadcaster for the Republicans. We should be thankful to have the CBC but we’ve also got to accept that, because of our huge diversity, we’re not going to like everything on the CBC.

      If you prefer American stations they’re all there for you. To bad we don’t have more diversity though with channels available from around our world. To be invaded by American values day after day is not good for Canadians who’d rather think than to be dazed by repetitive lies from America and just too much from FOX News.

      1. “FOX News is much more a state broadcaster for the Republicans. ”
        Huh? I didn’t realize the Republicans were always in power! Has anyone informed the current tenant of the White House? Maybe “house organ” or “propoganda arm” (neither true!), but to describe FOX as a “state broadcaster” is just plain stupid.

  2. When is it wrong to call an apple and apple…..as it is funded by the state, aka my tax dollars…it is a state broadcaster that competes against private interests everyday… privatize the CBC now!

    1. We’ve been very lucky through, the years, to have the CBC to help promote Canadian culture and a Canadian vision. We need this to remain apart from the monster down south. Of course, if you’d prefer to be America, enter the lottery for a Green Card and make your way south.

      Privatization is not the end all answer to every thing. That would be 42!

  3. No stretch at all calling the CBC what it is and it’s about time, a “State Broadcaster”.
    They are funded by tax dollars and if their well seems a bit dry, they have a tendency to whine for an increase from the coffers rather than quietly look for advertising dollars or do that dastardly thing called CUT BACK.

    Nope, if it looks like a state broadcaster, QUACKS like a state broadcaster, it’s the CBC, a spoiled, entitled, state broadcaster!

  4. It’s far more fair to call the CBC the state broadcaster than it is to call a not-yet-existent Sun TV “Fox News North”. Which one of those two terms has been used more in the last year?

  5. State broadcaster is a stupid term. It implies the “state” controls the “broadcasts.” By that literal definition, Sun TV looks to be more of a state broadcaster since it’s hard to know where the PMO spin stops and Sun Media reporting starts. Poor David Akin — they are turning him into a Teneyckian dolt.

    1. Actually, since the state controlls the purse strings, and without that money, CBC couldn’t make it in the real world, I think it is a fair comment that it is a state broadcaster – your interpretation that it implys “control” of the message may be one interpretation; when Liberals were in power, they certainly influenced CBC’s agenda and even out of power, the left holds sway over the organization, agenda, and productions.

    2. The only stupid term is yours. Of course the state controls CBC. Anybody with half a sense of business realizes there exist two forms of management, micro and macro. CBC is macro managed by Government of Canada, Periodically they review the mandate of CBC and decide on funding. If the gov has issues with CBC they have the choice of cutting funding(do it now, we just had a recession, they can hold their own or die, thats free enterprise, capitalism), or dismiss and hire new directors. How is that not state controlled?

  6. So every single small and mid-sized community newspaper in this country is a “state” newspaper given that it is funded by Ottawa through Heritage Canada. That goes from papers such as the Sherbrooke Record (a Postmedia outlet) to independents such as the Stanstead Journal and every mom and pop rag from St. John’s to Victoria…Yes, CBC gets state funding, but it’s not a state run media…

      1. You’ll have to also calculate how many people read a country newspaper that is subsidized as opposed to how many people watch the CBC.

        You’ll have to also address that not much of our northern areas are covered by for profit networks.

    1. Wrong. They are only financially supported by the “gov’t mailing subsidy” that every single magazine and every single trade publication in every single corner of this country, receives. Probably 99% of publications would be defunct or hopelessly regional if they did not receive the mailing subsidy. Even McLeans with 3.2 million subscribers, receives it. It seems unfortunately to be very needed. But it in no way magically makes these publications “state organs”.

  7. The CBC is a “failed” state broadcaster because it only serves a minute user audience and has failed in it’s mandate to unite Canadians given the Quebec separatist threat.

    The CBC annual subsidy is about $1.2 Billion … which equates to just over $120,000 subsidy per CBC employee. If you prorate the annual subsidy amongst it’s Canadian users, it comes out to an estimated $1200 subsidy per CBC user ..!!!!

    I call that an economic failure of immense proportion and a total waste of Canadian taxpayer’s money.

    For starters, the CBC News Network must be terminated because it is most definitely a propaganda arm for anti-Conservative interests. Also it is an unnecessary service because there are enough news generation services in Canada. A state broadcaster must not be allowed to interpret and disseminate the news in such an opinionated manner … that’s tantamount to propaganda.

    The CBC should be reduced to a jointly subsidized arts, culture and entertainment broadcaster with high Canadian content … and only broadcast the news at 8AM, NOON, 6PM and 10PM … without perceived bias … otherwise the CBC is of no value for taxpayer’s dollar.

    1. “CBC News Network must be terminated because it is most definitely a propaganda arm for anti-Conservative interests.”

      And any society that has a counterbalance to Conservative interests has obviously embraced SOCIALISM!!1!

      1. Great Point!

        Why do conservative crazies think that anytime a reporter or a news agency [exists or] reports on something that doesn’t appeal to conservatives, it has to have a liberal bias?? How truly insane!

        The CBC exists to counter the obvious & natural free-market “biases” that are a part of any private news organization.

        While the financial bottom line is always key to private news interests [as is expected], the CBC is expected to allow the executives to handle the financial affairs while not meddling with the reporting of the news and providing for Canadian content. In other words, cuts made to the CBC come from the government of the day. It is the government who is then accountable for its decisions.

        The CBC is important to democracy. Without the CBC all we’ll have are the private, for-profit news interests that care more about profits than actual truth. It wouldn’t be much fun for conservatives if their private news stations were banned – I’m sure they’d be arguing many of the same points that I just did if anyone proposed ending their private propaganda & “lies.”

        Keep the CBC accountable by keeping the CBC public!

        Keep the greedy corporate hands off the hands of OUR CBC.

        Conservatives who love to be dumbed down, you have plenty of choice: Go watch your CTV (The Ben Mulroney Network) or you can always tune in to the ultra conservative American Fox Noise Network. We don’t want your corporate spin here.

      2. Of late we can see how conservatism has screwed up the world economy. Our corporate welfare state masquerading as free business is totally bizarre. In a right minded state of affairs the billionaire bankers would not have been saved by direct funding by the state.

        Instead, the money should have been fed to the lower and middle classes to support their ability to pay off their incurred debt. These billions would then work their way up increasing economic functions and the banks would end up with the money anyway.

        Let’s not blame the consumer for going into debt so much. We are being persuaded every day to spend more on things we do not need and to borrow, borrow, borrow. All, this debt is increasing the take of the bankers as we fall prey to the rules of the game that they impose upon us.

        It’s hard for ordinary people to keep themselves debt free in economies that have been redesigned over the past decades to make the rich much richer and to keep ordinary folk in debt.

      3. “The CBC exists to counter the obvious & natural free-market “biases” that are a part of any private news organization.”
        Theory blown out of the water by the continued existence of the Toronto Star. Fail.

  8. No clue why NationalLiberalPartyPropaganda”News”Watch is linking to this foolish little piece of toddler talk, but I’ll comment anyway. As a graduate of political science I find this outright annoying that the author of this blog is trying to pretend “state broadcaster” is a loaded term.

    Some facts to consider:

    1) Canada is a sovereign state;
    2) CBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the state;
    3) CBC’s upper management is appointed by the elected representatives of the state;
    4) CBC is funded by the state through tax dollars collected by the citizenry, and;
    5) CBC is supposedly held accountable via state institutions, such as a Minister of the State, Auditor General’s of the state, et cetera. Furthermore, CBC is supposedly governed by ethics and accountability rules as laid down by the state, in addition to the ethics as laid down by the principles of journalism. Though, we have learned through recent court battles (funded by the state on CBC’s behalf) that CBC objects to both the principles of journalism and the principles of ethics as enshrined by our state, and the states of all modern democracies. (ie: the CBC refuses to disclose documents in the regular fashion of all taxpayer funded institutions).
    Quite frankly, pretending that the CBC isn’t a state broadcaster is either the manifestation of a poorly educated and ignorant view of media, or, it is the manifestation of a purely partisan and under-informed understanding of what comprises a “state.” In either case, the author of this blog post would clearly fail Political Science 101 at any Canadian, or Western, university.

    It’s really quite telling of National-we-love-the-LPC!-“News”watch’s bias that they sought out and linked to this silly little small-minded exercise in juvenile fact-deploring.

    1. It is a loaded term!

      It’s a loaded term because “state-owned media” is what western journalists call the state-owned media of non democratic nations.

      Canada is a democratic country. Our government is elected and accountable to the public. I’m not sure what kind of school taught you Political Science, but the thought that you can’t understand something so elementary is truly disturbing and makes me think that you should ask the University of Phoenix to give you your money back.

  9. Further to my original post, I would like to ask about the picture of North Korean propaganda television which accompanies this blog post written by a quarter-wit for other quarter-wits… Does the author of this blog believe that only communist, oppressive, liberty-hating regimes constitute a “state?”

    Such a foolish, unacceptable viewpoint would explain the text and presentation of the above small-minded attack on an actual journalist’s article.

    Well, the author of this children’s blog would be well served to learn that a “state” is simply a sovereign entity which has demarcated boundaries, a recognized citizenry, a government, and is recognized as holding “statehood” by other sovereign states. For the information of the child writing this blog: Canada has a territory: check any map, we’re there, I promise; we have a population (ever heard of “Canadians”? They have several hockey teams that your pyjamas probably advertise); we have a government (though you probably don’t know what a government is, by the looks of your understandings on statehood), and; we have a recognized statehood by every other state in this world.

    Let’s be honest, the author of this blog is a quarter-wit who thought “state” applies only to communism. Or, equally as offensive to intellect, the author of this blog thought that “state” implies association to non-democratic forms of government.

    Anyone with a dictionary or even the most basic education would not have written something as pathetic as this post.

    1. You really do have a low understanding of the meaning of words that have become slogans in every day language. When people think of ‘state broadcasting’ they think of ‘state controlled’ as in every facet of the broadcasting being controlled in a very direct manner by the state.

      These are usually states that are dictatorial in nature. Whether they be communist or right wing in nature. So, the implication of ‘state controlled’ does not fit with the arm’s length government input of the CBC. The CBC has state guidelines for protecting Canadian culture and, with the USA culture always banging at our doors and invading our homes its nice to have some escape.

      Private broadcasting companies in Canada also abide by some regulations concerning Canadian content and to some degree are also state subsidized. Does this make all Canadian broadcasting companies state controlled? Most certainly not.

      Does advertising make our broadcasting companies controlled by the rich and, if so, how much?

      As a person of Canada which way is the best for me? Should I be leaning toward public broadcasting in the likes of the CBC or should I be hoping for the ‘private’ broadcasting such as Sun Media. I’ll tell you right now we don’t need another FOX News station anywhere in this world. Nevertheless state control is moving toward making more lax the broadcast rules in our country to allow a media that can mislead and lie to us upon a daily basis.

      1. Again:
        Oh, so it can’t be a “state broadcaster” only because that is politically inconvenient? Nice.

  10. Of course it’s fair but you already knew that. Can’t wait for Sun TV and I’m willing to pay for it, unlike the CBC.

  11. The state DOES control the broadcasts, because if the state didn’t fund the CBC with over $1 billion in tax revenues every year, there would be no broadcasts, period.

  12. A “state” broadcaster should be considered as one owned and supportive of the state propoganda, but a “state owned” broadcaster is not in any sense necessarily supportive of the government, which is the case with the CBC. This is just another underhanded manouver by the right wing forces to rid Canada of the CBC which
    would be a sad day for our country. The CBC has much to be proud of and I for one would be at a loss for acceptable TV viewing should this network disappear.

    1. Tell us again why would Canadians be deprived if CBC were not around?

      The fact is CBC had a strike several years ago and there was no hew and cry by the public to settle the strike. In fact I bet the executives of CBC were surprised by the silence of Canadians.

      You can have CBC. Just pay for it yourself.

      1. Facts Fact Facts.. they always get in the way of your lies lies lies.
        .. the CBC was locked out <— perhaps if you had watched the CBC you would have been informed.

      2. Perhaps you’re getting your news from the wrong place!

        I remember all you hockey nuts crying that Ron MacLean was being under paid! Now that’s just too ridiculous.

  13. Considering that the CBC was created by RB Bennett to serve as a state broadcaster to support his conservative government’s fascist agenda… aiding and abetting Mussolini’s agenda in Canada and Europe…

  14. If conservatives don’t like constructive criticism and having their flawed ideology exposed to scrutiny, they should change their pathetic ideology instead of trying to kill the messenger. What a bunch of paranoid crybabies.

    1. Thanks for admitting the role and purpose of the CBC is to attack Conservatives, oppose their views and expose their ideas to criticism – it isn’t that, as a Conservative, I am opposed to other ideas, I simply don’t like having 1.2 billion taxdollars being used by the left to advance their ideas and oppose mine. Dump the CBC and let Canadians discuss, debate and decide without a state broadcaster misinforming them constantly.

      1. I don’t like my money going to bail out corporations and even for “innovation” projects to other corporate interests.

        I don’t like our country’s natural resources going to private interests either … but hey, we may never even know about these things if not for a public broadcaster.

        keep the CBC in public hands.

  15. If CBC is the “state broadcaster”, then logically TVO in Ontario is also the “state broadcaster”. Personally, and I’m not an expert, I’ve never heard TVO called such, even when Mike Harris’s bully conservatives were running the show, including unfortunately beating up welfare mothers trying to put an extra loaf of bread on the table.

    Consistancy, not the strong suit of attack-ad-loving right wing pretend-conservatives, pretend-capitalists and pretend-christians, suggests that there should be a sembalance of relationship between what Sun newspapers/TV calls CBC and TVO. But don’t hold your breath.

    Students of journalism should check out a DVD called Outfoxed to see how right-wingers and pretend-consertvatives, who’ve never heard of the BBC (Yes, Minister) or PBS, operate.


    -Albert Veldpaus// SDRRRVS // 2011.02.27

    1. I totally remember Mike Harris crushing the skulls of dumpster-diving moms. Great expose. Let the truth out. Does CBC know about this? It would make a great piece.

  16. It may be a loaded term – but it fits. The CBC is a little more than propaganda arm of the Liberal left – a cheerleader when it was in government and an active agent against Conservatives now that they are in power. The State funds the CBC and thus they are the State broadcaster. There is little doubt that without the state propping it up, it would have disappeared decades ago. You may wish to hid the fact of its reliance on government welfare but because it is unwilling and unable to stand on its own merits and survive on talent or quality, it depends on the state; it is an organ and entity of the state and thus, a state broadcaster.

    1. This is a logically flawed argument.

      1. You claim that the CBC is a propaganda arm of the “state” because its views tend to align with those of the Liberals, and did so when they made up the government. I don’t agree with this assertion, but that’s irrelevant.
      2. You helpfully point out that the Liberals are no longer in power, and that the Conservatives are (and have been for many years now).
      3. You point out that the CBC does not reflect the ideological views of the governing Conservative Party.

      If the CBC was a “State broadcaster” then the first two points would quite obviously lead to a third outcome in which they parrot the current government’s talking points. As, by your own admittance, that is not the case, asserting that they’re a “State broadcaster” makes no sense at all.

      If you feel like claiming that the CBC is biased, go ahead, though try to remember that reality has a well-known liberal bias. But the “State broadcaster” thing is just a tiresome Tory talking point that you can retire.

    2. I’m quite sure that if we ever got a left leaning government in charge the CBC would bite this arm that feeds them, too. Maybe political irony is just too much for the Conservative mind.

  17. QMI’s FOI-fuelled blood feud against the CBC and its misleading framing of it as a ‘State Broadcaster’ are both in service of eliminating or hobbling its competition, to enable it to become the ‘Overstate Broadcaster’ with impunity.

  18. Privatize, you mean corporatize, let Rupert Murdoch own the only voice on air, in print, a monopoly of buying power, you Facsists just can’t wait until Murdoch’s agenda is the only one left.

      1. Please go and learn what these words mean from a reliable source. This Wikipedia article gives an overview of Fascism, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism. This part will be of interest to you: “Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right.”

        But the point is that putting ALL your nation’s media in the hands of international business interests means that your media will serve those interests instead of the public. It’s fairly clear, for example, that Rupert Murdoch’s media holdings (FOX News, National Post) serve Rupert Murdoch’s interests, over and above their audience in any particular country. Unless you think the public should support Mr. Murdoch for political reasons? Because if that’s the case, he really needs to get down and run for public office here in Canada.

        Corporatism serves its own interests, not the interests of the State, or the Public, except when it suits them.

        Who would you rather see in control of Canada’s media, for example? Rupert Murdoch, or Pierre Karl Péladeau (Qubecor/Sun Media)?

      2. HOW in the world is fascism left wing??? This is so indicative of right wing crazy – everything is turned inside out and reality is fiction. Good Jesus, man! … a simple dictionary can help you to understand these rudimentary things so you don’t come across as an ignorant and pompous fool. Well, then again, you’re probably just a conservative, and it’s hard to interpret your world view from a logical reference.

      3. Richard. Please. Fascism is limited to neither the right nor the left. Please learn something factual rather than repeating oft stated fallacies.

  19. A public broadcaster has it’s editorial independence from Government guaranteed in law (The Broadcasting Act). A state broadcaster does not. And what exactly would Sun call an organization which employs the Prime Minister’s former director of communications in an editorial role???

  20. “Save for the last, all are columnists, so probably not really indicative of their new organizations style for reporting.”

    “Since then, in less than a year, the Sun has used the term in reference to CBC in a total of 39 times — and almost all were stories by Sun parliamentary reporter Brian Lilley.”


    ….. columnist…. Which you minimize in your update as “not being indicative of their new organizations style for reporting.” but on the other hand it obviously is indicative of the reporting on the Sun chains… because Lilley is a reporter (which the paper claims he isn’t)

    Spinning and misinforming to get your views across…. Angling for a job reporting at the CBC???

  21. Nothing wrong with the term “state broadcaster”. Many of us Conservatives have been privately and sometimes publicly calling the CBC “Pravda” for many years. “State broadcaster” is just a more polite way of saying it. Anyone who thinks the CBC isn’t a Liberal propaganda arm, is probably a delusional lefty.

    Sorry if the truth hurts. 🙂

    1. Define “truth” however you want, but calling CBC “Pravda” until you’re blue in the face doesn’t make it so. It’s simply name-calling, and until you can come up with something more substantial, why should I take you and your conservatism seriously?

  22. Suggesting that TVO is a state broadcaster is a huge stretch since it isn’t owned or operated by the state.

    That’s the real issue at the heart of this article: people without knowledge of sovereign states are bantering about as though they are prodigies of intellect. Canada is a sovereign state, Ontario is not.

  23. “Many of us Conservatives have been privately and sometimes publicly calling the CBC “Pravda” for many years. “State broadcaster” is just a more polite way of saying it.”

    I think “Slick” just made McGregor’s case.

    1. You’re one to talk. Predictably the throw away is the one you leave out.

      “State broadcaster” is just a more polite way of saying it. Anyone who thinks the CBC isn’t a Liberal propaganda arm, is probably a delusional lefty.

  24. The CBC is a state broadcaster by definition. Its mandate is set by the Broadcasting Act and it includes specific prescriptions on the promotion of the state, including:
    (l) the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, should provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains;
    (m) the programming provided by the Corporation should
    (i) be predominantly and distinctively Canadian,
    (ii) reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions,
    (iii) actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression,
    (iv) be in English and in French, reflecting the different needs and circumstances of each official language community, including the particular needs and circumstances of English and French linguistic minorities,
    (v) strive to be of equivalent quality in English and in French,
    (vi) contribute to shared national consciousness and identity,
    (vii) be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose, and
    (viii) reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada;

  25. okay. sure. let’s call a spade a spade. the emporer has no ,lothes. the cbc is a state sponsored institution working in competition of private interests.

    no kidding. how long did it take folks to figure this out?

    wow. i’m impressed.

    that, dear private interests, is the whole point.

    the cbc is SUPPOSED to be an alternative to privater interests. no 24 rotating chickens. no infomercials. no editors protecting the image of multinational pharma or seed or water distribution companies.

    no pushing for crtc regulation changes allowing for “misleading” news to be allowed.

    but a broadcaster owned by the public intended to work in the public’s best interest.

    how evil…

  26. Call it whatever. As soon as Sun TV NEWS arrives I will be deleting CBC off of my remote. I don’t care what i have to pay for Sun News. The shame of it all is I can’t stomach the half stories and missing facts on CBC so won’t watch, it but will still have to pay for CBC ,which is nothing more then a free liberal Attack ad against the CPC. Who would call that anything other then theft from taxpayers?
    The Liberal media are so worried about Sun TV coming, be ready for the media blitz against it.

  27. I love the CBC, but quite clearly it is a state broadcaster. Pretending otherwise is futile. The label is nothing to be ashamed of as long as Canada is not North Korea (as in the picture you use above).

  28. Compared to other “State Broadcasters around the world the CBC has a tiny budget. No modern industrial society would be without a state broadcaster, and I’m sure there is not a country in the world without one and it is essential for a country to have at least one reliable broadcaster that is not dependent on money from McDonald’s or local tire shops.
    No other broadcaster in Canada does much investigative reporting, or communicates and upholds the values and information that makes up Canada.

    The absence of an national broadcaster would put us back in the dark ages, but that is what the Conservative Party seems to want.

  29. I was a long time listener of the CBC when I lived in Canada.I still catch the occasional program online.Both the BBC in the UK & ABC in Australia have federal funding and the programs are aimed at many walks of life it is not elitist.People can take pride in the programs being produced in their country.State funding helps to make the broadcasters who they are.

  30. If the CBC is a “state broadcaster” why does Stephen Harper and the Conservatives hate it so much? Maybe because it’s a “public broadcaster.”

  31. Watch out, this argument leads to all sorts of false conclusions. Who cares if the CBC gets public funding or not? We all contribute taxes to support our public institutions and any Canadian government in power should not have carte blanche to radically cut/change our state institutions for ideological/political purposes.

    There are all sorts of evaluation mechanisms in place to allow for the incremental change of our public institutions: these exist to assure innovation and professionalism in Canada’s publicly funded institutions. These formal evaluation mechanisms are also in place to protect Canada’s civil society and civil service from having to pledge allegiance to any ideological agenda, at the risk unemployment.

    This is not about anyone’s viewing preferences. This is about democracy and the freedom of speech.

  32. CBC a, “State Broadcaster?”
    Isn’t that a very light term for what I believe is better described as the Governments Propaganda Machine?

    CBC has followed the Government line word for word when it comes to CFB Gagetown and the toxic chemicals used there and recently the CBC has had very little to say about the large revelations of Ontario’s use of these very same chemicals.

    But to be fare, I will admit that the last time the CBC actually told it like it is, Mulroney remover $400 million of state funding from them. No a days they run a little scared and televise the truth even less.

    I watched CBC news Yesterday, the first ten minutes was about Libya, (commercials), then about Costco wedding planers in the US about five minutes, (commercials),then the Oscar awards for about another ten minutes (commercials) and the weather and sports.

    Calling themselves the NATIONAL is a bit rich when the only mention of Canada was our hockey teams, the weather and people wanting to get out of Libya.

  33. It begs some interesting semantic questions that I will ponder. What is the difference between publicly owned and state owned? Is there a difference? Who owns the state if not the public?
    Now, here it gets prickly.
    If these so-called conservative commentators decry the CBC as state owned rather than public owned, who do they believe owns the state? After all, if not the people, then whom?
    Is the state under the pernicious control of unions and scientist; or churches and corporations?
    For that matter, who owns and controls your favorite news source?

  34. The CBC is a state broadcaster insofar as it is a bureaucracy and exists for reasons far beyond a simple public service. It is neither a left wing bogeyman, nor a shining beacon vital for Canada’s existence. It is inherently political because of the way the board and the chair are selected, and because Executive Management engages in a bureaucratic “Bunga, Bunga Dance” just to keep up in a fast changing media landscape.

  35. While Sun Media may be correct in referring to the CBC as the state media rather than the public corporation, there are subtle differences between “state” and “public.” I don’t think these terms have to do with the percentage of government funding. I think “public” refers to the general population, whereas “state” refers to some impersonal entity that is not the “public.” If Harper does form a majority gov’t after the next election, and if he decides to make a state “Fox News North” out of the the CBC, will he refer to His new CBC has the “state” broadcaster? Probably not.

  36. There is a screaming logical inconsistency here: if the CBC is truly a “state broadcaster” then after 5 years of Conservative government, surely it must now have a strong Conservative bias? Yet I’ve never heard anyone accuse the CBC of that. The CBC is partially funded by the government, but its views are independent from the interests of the current government, therefore it is not a state broadcaster. Stating otherwise is misleading.

    Regardless, this “lefty” bias that most accuse the CBC of is not that cut-and-dry. One might note that the CBC’s most popular sports commentator Don Cherry is a well-known right winger, and their most popular business commentator Kevin O’Leary also leans conservative in economic issues.

  37. Well, Peter Mansbridge I can do without. He puts into his interviews much too much of his own perspective. I’d rather hear what the interviewees have to say.

    CBC is not a state broadcaster in the understood meaning of the word in today’s world. In today’s word the ‘state broadcaster’ more aptly means state controlled and it pushes the values and wishes of the state.

    If this were true, God forbid, we’d have a very bland commentary pushing Harper’s wishes 24/7.

    CBC is more a public broadcaster because its franchise is allowed to work at arms length from most government interference. As an entity it is much more a public broadcaster than a state broadcaster.

    1. Barbara Frum always provided the gold standard of interviewers. She framed questions rapidly and concisely, using a minimum of words. Very engaging.

      Peter Mansbridge has self-importance disease, with his windbag questions that end up easily dwarfing the length of his guest’s answers. His framing of questions creates a closed-box perameter for the guest, practically ensuring the type of answer he sought.

  38. The fact that this discussion is even occurring is evidence that those who are using the term “state broadcaster” know exactly how loaded it is these days. I’m no fan of CBC, but I would think that our serious journalists such as Akin would have better sticks to poke.

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