Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Good Reason to Vote

On the election front the Bloc and Greens support increasing CBC funding, and keeping an arms-length relationship between the corp. and the government. The NDP and Liberals support "stable funding" (which could mean anything) and the Conservatives refused to even answer our questionnaire!
More details: http://www.cmg.ca/newsresults.asp?ID=1610&SubjectID=64&BranchID=10

Thursday, April 21, 2011

NDP drops ball on major cultural issue

While the Bloc and the Greens support increasing CBC’s funding considerably, the NDP merely vows to “maintain the CBC’s current levels of funding until Canada’s budgetary outlook improves.” The Liberals promise “stable and predictable funding” and the Conservatives didn’t even answer the Guild’s survey.

• Bloc: increase CBC/Radio-Canada funding to at least $40 per Canadian and Quebecker per year (some $230 million)
• The Greens: increase CBC/Radio Canada funding by $450 million over the next three years
• The NDP: stable funding until federal budget outlook improves
• The Libs: stable and predictable funding
• The Cons: NO ANSWER

In the last two elections, the NDP has promised an increase to CBC funding.

Click here for the full answers provided by the parties on the questionnaire the Guild submitted to them on April 5.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This Election Vote CBC

The CBC (and its French services SRC) is the only national network devoted to promoting CANADIAN arts, culture, entertainment, sports and news. In every province, with services in isolated rural areas, the CBC/SRC brings Canadians together, reflects your community,(including in Aboriginal languages). Please ask politiicans if they support adequate funding.

watch our video!

One in Four of Us Can't be all Bad

Is calling someone a"wanker" or a "perv" in a headline discrimination? Yes says a mental health expert chiding the press for its insensitive coverage of Canadians with mental health issues. 25% of us struggle with a mental health episode (one in 4 seems high) but the experts are adamant, it is common, largely treatable, and NOT helped by the negative portrayal in the press. McGill University's Rob Whitley

says the media should be leading the way to treating suffers with respect, not reinforcing damaging (and incorrect) stereotypes. It's a message 40 union activist's (largely representing reporters and other media workers) at a CWA-SCA Canada conference in Montreal took to heart.

PS his group tracks the worst offenders! So be warned.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Investigative Reporters: Threatened Species

Congratulations to an endangered species! The Hamilton Spectators' Steve Buist wins the Hillman Canada Award for Code Red, an original, insightful investigation into the circle of poverty and health care in Hamilton. Investigative reporters are practically an endangered species as more and more newspapers cut staff and resources increasingly using syndicated stories instead of local news. We salute Steve and other journalists trying to fight this dumbing down of the news, and the gutting of local newspapers. http://www.hillmanfoundation.org.hillman-prize-canada/

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why Vote?

My husband and I often disagree on politics and sometimes support different parties. We’ve reached a truce lately by agreeing that we can each post one sign on our front lawn. Ridiculous? Maybe, since we risk canceling each other’s vote…BUT most of the time, I post my sign and he doesn’t (because he doesn’t care as much as I do).
So my vote usually counts even though it appears initially it won’t. In this federal election I hope everyone who cares about the state of journalism, the freedom we need to expose corruption, the access we need to get answers from politicians, the
support we need for public broadcasting to be able to dig up the facts, will put up their own sign. Who to vote for? Vote for freedom, transparency, social justice and politicians who answer the questions you ask, and who support the kind of world you want to live in.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Politics Anyone?

Many unions are openly political. Like savvy CEO’s, they use available funds to support political decisions they hope will pay off.There’s nothing wrong with that. Democracy thrives on it. If you don’t stand up for your own interests, why would anyone else?

For journalists, however, it’s a different story. We make a living being fiercely objective. Most journalists I know don’t vote, many won’t even eat at a free press lunch so they can’t be accused of being “bought”. It means a union that represents journalists faces a dilemma.

Do we stay quiet because journalists are supposed to cover the story, not be the story?

Do we lobby carefully for our interests; protecting sources, access to information,
ensuring Canadian content, fighting for fair rules governing the internet(http://openmedia.ca),protecting public broadcasting, http://www.friends.ca/providing TV in isolated rural areas, stopping the same 3 families from buying EVERY newspaper, TV and radio station so the only voices you will hear are trust fund heirs and their grandchildren. http://www.mediachannel.org/ownership/front.shtml; http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/media-ownership/media-monopoly.html

Or do we take open political stands on issues that affect us as citizens and workers, as well as journalists?

Right now, CMG takes the middle road. Should we be doing more