Friday, 24 February 2012

Another Defeat in the Information Wars? Alain Saulnier Gets the Ax at Radio Canada

This story is not likely to get much play in English Canada, but it ought to. Alain Saulnier, the head of information services (radio, TV, internet) at Radio Canada, was let go yesterday. No reason was given, but, according to Le Devoir, it's highly likely that political pressure from the federal government was a factor in the sudden decision. (A certain amount of internal backstabbing may also have played a role.)

Radio Canada so far has resisted the move toward dumbing down its news coverage far more successfully that the CBC has. I long ago stopped listening to local CBC Radio One content because it was just too superficial. The Radio Canada morning show, C'est bien meilleur le matin, is far more intelligent than the equivalent English language show here and (at least the times I've listened) in Toronto. What is more, its listenership is either number one or number two when the ratings are published, even though it's competing with the most agressive commercial radio. This, I've always thought, reflects the drawing power of solid, informative programing.

Now, though, the quality and orientation of programs like C'est bien are uncertain.

The Harper Conservative disinformation campaign is continual: Canadian scientists came out last week against the muzzling of scientists and their research, the efforts of Quebec to save data from the Long Gun Registry from this province are being blocked, there are questions about the reliabilty of census data due to the elimination of the requirement that people fill out the long form....The list goes on and on.

And have you listened to Type A, the program from Alberta that is Conservative to its core? I accidently caught an episode called "Productivity" which was not only amateurish in its production values, but also almost pure Con propaganda. What's it doing on the national network?

No comments: