When “News” Is Not Impartial – CBC News and censorship, a bigger problem than the Ghomeshi affair

CBC Facebook Page I like to think of myself as an “informed” person. I listen to the news on the radio. I watch news on T.V.. I read the news on-line. I also follow news on social media as the comments are a great barometer of society’s opinion. For good measure I not only follow news produced by Canadian news organizations, but also British ones; it gives an interesting perspective.

In addition to “following”, I like to interact. Interacting on social media allows your opinion and thoughts to be heard. Sometimes if you watch very closely things happen and situations change because of comments made on social media. Interaction with regards to news events is a very good thing in a free society, it keeps society interested, and involved, and shows many sides to every story. Interaction and social comment can bring about change, out corruption and bring to light more information. Social interaction allows for public opinion, public speculation and public reaction.

Social interaction on a news website should allow for commenting from all sides. News should be impartial. News should be transparent…………….but what if it isn’t?

So let me share a story, a personal story, a story from last night. It involves a CBC story on their Facebook page, a CBC story involving CBC. I had read an “official statement” that CBC had given and a portion of it was “off”. The time-line of the chain of events was also curious if one was to think of what set everything in motion, and what wasn’t turned over to police by CBC right from the start. Something is “off”.  I alluded to the fact that a small portion of the statement made was way too personal for it to have come from an executive and wondered if there was a personal connection to the story, not just a business one. I also pointed out that there were inconsistencies on-line with regards to the executive, information that had come from the executive themself. (It wasn’t a case of playing Sherlock, I compared two items on the first page of a “Google” search…..an interview comment by the executive from a few years ago tipped me off to spend two minutes looking, sometimes a comment makes you look for credibility or lack there of).

So I made a comment. No bad language. Not racist. Not sexist. I just pointed out a few very obvious items and that it was very curious. I’m sure thousands have thought the same thing. Something, at least in the way it is reported in the media, is “off”. I thought it would be interesting to see what others thought. After all that is why CBC places a news story on their Facebook page with comments turned on, to have a venue for social opinion.

Any guesses as to what happened?

Well, two things happened.

First the comment was not approved, CBC would not publish it, they CENSORED it. This happened immediately (which is really interesting as it was between 10pm and midnight M.S.T. so CBC must have someone moderating comments 24/7). First I giggled and thought “CBC has their knickers in a twist.” . Then, of course, I copied and pasted my comment to another site……and then told CBC I had done it ( I like transparency). One could say I don’t deal well with oppression (so much for the helpless female stereotype!).

The second thing happened today. Today I was BANNED from being able to make a comment on ANY CBC Facebook story.

ANY.

The first response of some people may be “so what, you brought it on yourself”, or “its only social media” . I would like those reading to think deeper. Think about the implications. This news outlet is picking and choosing the comments they allow. They are manipulating their reading population by only allowing posts that they deem are acceptable. They are manipulating the public to only see their organization as “the good guys”. They are manipulating the public to only see the “he says/ she says” portion of the news event even though the CBC is deeply implicated in the story if at least one of the allegations are true. And when one random Facebook poster points out something is “off”, it not only censors the comment, but BANS the poster from their whole site.

How can the CBC report this story with impartiality and transparency if they are manipulating the public’s comments?

The CBC does not have to put the story on their Facebook page. They choose to. Not every story in the news is published on their Facebook page.

CBC has chosen to place this story, a story in which the CBC is deeply implicated, on their Facebook page to try and manipulate public opinion in their favor. They will let the “he camp” and “she camp” fight it out ( I bet you’ve figured out the news story by now!),  with vastly more support for the “she camp”, but mention CBC’s involvement and the result is a total BAN from their Facebook page. Whether CBC likes it or not, they ARE part of the news story. Their management IS part of the news story.The story is a threesome: the women, the radio personality, and the CBC.

If the CBC doesn’t like being examined on social media don’t put the story on the CBC Facebook site. That is fine. The thing that is really twisted, crooked and manipulative is removing comments that question the CBC organization. That is manipulating the public opinion and that is most certainly not the job of a news organization, especially one that is a crown corporation.

A crown corporation manipulating public opinion in their favor is a problem.

Using the media that they control, country wide, on tax payer’s dollars, to promote only their own interests and censor and manipulate public opinion is wrong.

How long has this been going on?

What else in this country has been swayed by the censoring of public opinion? No one knows the censorship and manipulation is going on until it happens to them.

CBC, according to their website, pride themselves on “accountability”. You can check out the link HERE.

Here is a quote directly from the page linked above:

CBC/Radio-Canada will keep working to honour and strengthen the trust Canadians place in us by entrenching accountability and transparency in everything we do as a broadcaster and as a corporation.

How can we “trust” an organization that censors?

How can an organization that “censors” the public be transparent?

Why are we as Canadian tax payers paying for such a manipulative and censoring organization?

If all Canadians are paying for this corporation, ALL Canadians should have EQUAL opportunities to voice their opinion within the social media opportunities the CBC provides.

The CBC should NOT play favorites, they should not manipulate the optics of public opinion. If the CBC can not provide equal opportunity on their social media sites for every single Canadian to express their opinion, they should simply provide NO options for comment.

This is an all or nothing scenario. One thing is for sure, an organization paid for by the tax payers has NO right to censor the very people paying their wages.

Until very, very recently I highly valued the CBC. I thought they were honest, reputable, fair; it is what one would expect of a publicly funded crown corporation. Now I know I was wrong. Very wrong.

The CBC isn’t fair. The CBC isn’t honest. The CBC isn’t reputable.

What the CBC is doing is manipulating public opinion to suit their own means. This is very wrong when the CBC exists to  provide Canada with news, and in turn Canadians provide the CBC with their hard earned cash.

If everyone is paying, everyone has the right to be heard. CBC should NOT be allowed to oppress the public’s opinion.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “When “News” Is Not Impartial – CBC News and censorship, a bigger problem than the Ghomeshi affair

  1. It’s been a long time since any news media, in any country, has functioned as a source of unbiased reporting. They are all headed the direction of Fox News by pandering to those who pull their strings. Sad.

    • I think unfortunately people just accept it. In this situation it is a crown corporation, a corporation paid for by our tax dollars which makes it vastly wrong to take part in any manipulation. Private enterprise is one thing, but crown corporations should be accountable, fair, honest and unbiased towards every Canadian. It should be straight up reporting the facts and no opinion. The CBC also sways public opinion with their “phone ins” where they can pick and choose their callers and tweets. They also try to sway public opinion by the “experts” they use in reference to news stories. It is time to either crack down on the CBC or cut them loose and quit supporting them financially. It is time they become accountable and realize they can’t use OUR tax dollars to support their own agendas.

  2. You are correct, CBC has no right to censor you or anyone with questions and opinions about the matter of the day. With all the cutbacks in the past years, the corporation is now obviously purports the conservative government line.

  3. Deb – your comments about this affair are correct and I am in agreement with what you say. It is not surprising that CBC is going the way of CNN and other major news programmers. While those channels are mostly accountable to stockholders and cash flow is the bottom line, it is shocking that the public purse is used to produce Hedda Hopper-style news. It goes further than disrespecting the Canadian tax payer – it puts the whole system of providing reliable information to Canadian citizens (and global listeners) into disrepute. Taxes should not be wasted on a news program that neglects to provide prejudice-free, unbiased and uncensored information. I think Mr. Ghomeshi is in for a very rocky ride.

    • Thank you for your comment. The CBC needs a revamp and I could probably write a series of posts on the good, the bad, and the ugly. CBC could be a good thing if they stuck to straight up factual news without any bias and purely Canadian content in the programming. I am a HUGE believer in all things Canadian produced, Canadian made, Canadian culture, etc., so when I see CBC acting without integrity I take it personally.

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