CBC Radio... Rant or Rave

CBC, Rant or Rave Public Meeting, Sunday February 9th, 2014, 2-4 pm at Prince Rupert Library, Multi-purpose Room. 101 6th Avenue West

All about the CBC, especially service to the northwest, specifically the morning show from 5:30 am to 8:40 am.

Have you stopped listening? Does CBC reflect your life? What about CBC and public emergencies?

What does the CRTC say? CBC Licence Renewal? CBC and the cultural narrative of the northwest (fancy words for people’s stories), Join friends of the CBC and maybe some Friends of the CBC (the organization). If you are fed up with the silence of the northwest on CBC this may be the meeting for you.

Good to see some concern about CBC radio’s ‘Local’ morning show.
The Rupert office hasn’t had a host for the past year or so, and one
person who does a few minutes of weather and the very infrequent
local news story. The rest of it is mainly Prince George news and
events with occasional items from elsewhere in the region.

Thank you for interest in CBC.
Those attending will see the following addressed…
Lack of Northwest content; wrong weather reports; late on tsunami response; see CRTC material; summary of current licence and more. As in where do you think the gaps are in reflecting our region of Canada? What stories might you suggest? This is about the cultural narrative of the northwest. Friends of CBC information will be there too. Its not a personal attack towards anyone. Let’s advocate for our public broadcaster.

To quote them, " We’ve improved the quality and quantity of our regional service." Not in Northwest B.C. they haven’t!

Coffee will be on. Meeting is in daylight hours to make it easier to attend. And during All Native so folks welcome from out of town too.

CBC TV went off the air here 2 or 3 years ago. AFAIK from Vanderhoof outwards as well.
Here our broadcast society picked it up and dedicated one of our reserved channels to CBC. Also rebroadcasts CBC2 radio. Do other residents along Hwy16 have to PAY for satellite or cable to watch Hockey Night in Canada now? How about in Rupert, do you guys still get Terrace over the air?

BTW this digital TV switch is nice. You can jam 4 digital channels on one transmitter. The TV & Radio Society here is now broadcasting 24 channels crystal clear over the air, and the cost of the content is now the limiter rather than the cost of equipment. Even dedicated one channel as a Channel TV Guide and another for Community messages and content. Didn’t get as much OTA content in Vancouver when I grew up and you could pull in Victoria, Bellingham, Seattle and Tacoma as well.

I am sorry that I missed the ‘CBC’ meeting at the library.
I would be very grateful if any one who was at the meeting
would post a outline of comments from the discussions.

CBC Radio Meeting Held some notes…

Ten attendees - all supportive of our public broadcaster. This is not a personal issue. We are not accepting that we have one person here and Prince George has four.

Some background… CBC is a federal institution available to Canadian households every day. CBC has introduced Canada to immigrants, generation after generation. The CBC…“is an important tie that links people of northwestern British Columbia who are spread out amongst many small communities and who depend on the local news and programming of the station as one of the few unifying forces in the area and a contributor to the quality of life in the region.” (from CRTC 88-485)

Now the CBC is pared down. "I don’t care which announcer is going to tell me something later, I want to hear it now… I don’t want to look up “More” online. I want the full story now. Make the content available. I have the attention span for real content, for real voices, not constant repetition of naming announcers and what they will bring us later. " We know far too much personal information about the hosts.

Provincial Election coverage was lacking. Little said of Jennifer Rice who won after Gary Coons retired. The civic by-election - no results. The CBC keeps the government on its toes, but how can that be done for northwest B.C. with only one person in the office?

CBC news coverage has deteriorated. No longer can any in depth coverage be done it seems. The Enbridge hearings, for example, went on for months and private broadcasters attended.

Sensationalist headlines were used to announce the bankruptcy of Prince Rupert. The headline ran all weekend but was not true, according to present City Councillor. The consequence of such headlines is distrust of political people by the public. Other stories not covered include CityWest getting out of cellular service; a quilt being made by and immigrant and multicultural group, (we must support the arts). Community to community connections through a Rupert piece on the popular Canucks, and market to market news, since most places, however small, in the Daybreak North area have a market of one kind or another.

“I want to help create the community we need in the face of the looming industrial boom. I want to support the CBC and be positive. The Northcoast is more important than what we are being given.”

What to do? Write Lorna Haeber, current programme director and past CFPR staffer. We think she has the clout to immediately but temporarily fill the host job until Carolina returns. Ask her for news and programming to be generated from the Prince Rupert office. Further, CBC has an AGM in the fall. And if you are of the opinion that the CBC is not fulfilling its mandate the CRTC can be asked to investigate. The CBC address is 775- Cambie Street, Vancouver, B.C. VB 2R5 or e-mail cbc.ca/bc

Summary? Concerned folk staying tuned for improvements!

Here is information for anyone interested in results from Lorna Haeber’s visit. Perhaps an announcement on the CBC will follow when plans are more definite. Ms. Haeber was approachable and a keen listener, obviously interested in how the CBC radio is doing here. If she comes again in the fall as she said she might, I’d encourage anyone who listens to CBC radio to meet with her.

Lorna Haeber, programme director for CBC Radio, apologized for the decision to not replace Carolina de Ryke while she is gone. From what I understand, Ms. de Ryke is not coming back until June and there is too much training involved to get anyone here now and somehow, its complicated to get anyone here from Prince George, even temporarily. So, for the time being, George Baker is still left alone to hold the fort.

They are increasing the freelance budget. We can expect the CBC to sponsor some public events to increase their presence. Two southern shows may be coming up in June and then they would go to Haida Gwaii. Ms. Haeber said they acknowledge that even when Ms. de Ryke returns that it will not be enough. She understands that news and programming is supposed to come from here and not just Prince Rupert but the surrounding area too.

2016 will mark the eighty year anniversary of radio in Prince Rupert. 1988 was the year the CRTC told the CBC they could not shut the station down. The CRTC received a petition signed by thousands, and written presentations by many who wanted CBC radio service maintained. The CBC was told that this bureau should be staffed like the other regional bureaus. Now then, that number was four. They could do an excellent, thorough job with four, but we are not there yet.

We are getting somewhere. Ms. Haeber and George Baker both enthusiastically invited story or news items from the listening public. As for emergency broadcasts, they are looking more at that.

Next meeting regarding the CBC Radio am 860 - Tuesday, June 17th 2014, Doors open 6:30, meeting at 7:00. At Prince Rupert Library Meeting Room

Advocacy, Service to us given cuts, Survey from CBC itself. Please tell your friends and Attend. For more information call K. Palm at 624-5652