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How can we improve the CBC's coverage of Quebec?

par Victor Teboul
Ph.D. (Université de Montréal), Directeur,®

As a francophone from la Belle Province, I would like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) - and I mean specifically the English network of Radio-Canada - to cover more extensively Quebec. When I watch the news and other programs on the television network of the CBC, I feel as if Quebec has already separated from Canada.

I watch regularly the CBC television network and I am quite satisfied with the diversity that is covered on the Network whether one watches Stroumboulopoulos 's program or the National News, but I do have two reservations.

I think the CBC should examine systematically the amount of time it devotes to news from Quebec on its national network for I do not believe that the time allocated at present is adequate.

Another point I would like to make concerns the tendency that the hosts of the CBC have when covering Quebec. They tend to ask only French-Canadian commentators to analyze or comment news from Quebec. One example among many others is Thursday’s At issue panel with Peter Mansbridge which I watch every week.

I always find it strange that Mrs Chantal Hébert is the only ‘’expert’’ to comment on Quebec among the three other journalists present. As if the other journalists do not dare to differ with Mrs Hébert on Quebec.

The Maclean controversy on Quebec was the only issue where co-panleist, Andrew Coyne, dared to differ with Mrs Hébert. And, as we know, he felt obliged to do so for he was then employed by that magazine.

This tendency leaves one with the disagreable impression that Quebec is a ‘’pure laine’’ society, which only French-Canadian Quebecers can explain or analyze, and it does not serve well Quebec’s present multicultural and multilingual reality.

Finally, while the CBC should look into ways to diversify its coverage of Quebec, the French network – Radio-Canada – has a lot to learn from its English counterpart in becoming more inclusive when it comes to covering Quebec society.

Submission made to Reimagine the CBC.

August 18, 2012


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