You, me, Net Pub Eng and CBCNews

I got a strange email from Net Pub Eng today. Maybe you did, too. It was called “MEETING THE CHANGING NEWS NEEDS OF CANADIANS.”

Net Pub Eng put his fucking caps lock on in 1998 and still hasn’t figured out how to shut it off.

CBC News is the most respected and trusted news service in this country, and is a cornerstone for the services that

blah blah blah next paragraph

We know that Canadians’ news consumption habits and information needs are changing, especially with

Net Pub Eng has no truck with the short and sweet, that’s for damn sure. He likes to warm up to a subject before he gets to his point, if he has one.

To that end, we are initiating a conversation about the future direction of CBC News.

Well, this sounds like a good idea. And I have a lot to say on the topic. Meet me down at Ooh La La in 10? You know that health department thing was a hoax.

Over the coming weeks, we are going to ask ourselves six fundamental questions that will help us make decisions and lead to the development of a three-year strategic plan for CBC News, which we hope to implement in early 2007.

Wait, we’re going to be asking ourselves these questions? This sounds Zen. Who is this “we” anyways? I’m I in there? If so, I don’t need to ask myself, I already know the answer.

This process is a key component to our ongoing strategic renewal of CBC News. It is not concerned with changing our editorial philosophy of providing the deepest, most original and important news to Canadians. Rather, the goal of the conversation is to make an outstanding product even better.

So nothing will change, yet everything will be better? You’ve got me intrigued, Net Pub Eng.

We have asked Newsworld Program Director Heaton Dyer to lead this project, which will be overseen by a senior management committee chaired by ourselves. To assist us, we are continuing to draw on the insights of Canadian and international research companies that specialize in this area. This is helping our understanding of how similar initiatives have unfolded in other public and private broadcasters, including the BBC, NPR, CNN and ZDF (among many, many others).

Not with the BBC again! And our “conversation with ourselves” is starting to sound like “hiring consultants.”

So there you have it. Some senior managers are hiring some consultants, looking to fix CBC News without changing anything.

Thanks for the news flash, Net Pub Eng. Put that one up on the Newsworld ticker.

In the meantime, the rest of us can check out these blogs:

On the Face is written by a Canadian-Israeli freelance journalist based in Tel Aviv. Live from an Israeli bunker is written by a 17-year-old kid, um, in an Israeli bunker. Also worth looking at is the Lebanese Blogger Forum and Israellycool,

If you know of any other good ones, please post them in the comments.

This guy has an interesting post about how the CBC and on-the-scene bloggers differed in their coverage of Lebanese-Canadian protests in Montréal. It’s condescending and self-righteous, but the kid has a point.

Too bad he’s not invited to the conversation.


  1. Cin
    Posted July 28, 2006 at 9:06 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    What was the News Study for? Why, heaven forbid they should actually give extra cash to we journalists! You have to find someone else to spend it on, c’mon!

  2. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 11:14 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I keep wondering then, what the hell was the News Study for?

  3. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 5:07 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    CBC= Consultants’ Broadcasting Corp.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 4:19 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    consultants = focus groups = powerpoint = terrible programming.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 3:31 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    fabulous blog links by the way. wow.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 3:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Interesting how Net Pub Eng supported your point about the
    C-B-See what BBC is doing and lets copy it because we have no original ideas (I understand why we shorten it to CBC).

    Oh consultants. Didn’t consultants create the culture of the Viagra Institute which taught managers how to put people into little personality trait boxes in order to fire employees in a touchy feely way.

  7. truepeers
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 2:06 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hugh, it’s fine if you don’t trust me or anyone else in particular. That’s part of how you differentiate your consciousness of the world. Everyone should seek to further differentiate his consciousness by pitting one argument against another. I have no beef if the CBC journalists openly do this on the air (other than the fact that I don’t think all taxpayers should be forced to pay for the inevitably politically-subjective and elitist CBC conclusions). I do have a beef if they pretend there is anything objective or balanced about the line they eventually come to take after considering various arguments, as if all parties in a dispute are moral equivalents deserving of equal time and an equal claim on the future.

    The goal of analyzing and comparing “objective” and “subjective” perspectives or, more exactly, the perspective of variously different others and of oneself, is to advance one’s own subjectivity in search of both one’s own truth and its relation to the minimal or fundental truth in which all humans share. The goal cannot be to find some non-existent middle ground; “neutrality” is just an unwillingness to make a moral committment, somethign which can only be well justified if both parties in dispute are equally morally repulsive. They rarely are.

    And one searches well if one is honest that the whole discipline of weighing arguments is about advancing one form of subjectivity in relation to both the human and objective world (by objective world, I mean the physical world: a human cultural other should not be taken as one’s object; it is rather one’s other) and not another. In the case of the CBC, they should be about providing models of Canadian identity. They should struggle with the ideals and values of maximally free Canadians and not imagine that they must defer to the marginalized other out of some kind of guilt of the privileged, or conversely to engage in critique of the more centralized (e.g. American or Israeli) other.

    But since it is an anachronism to think there should be a dominant, centralized, state-financed model of Canadian identity, the CBC should be privatized or disbanded. Otherwise, it will just continue to dissimulate its privileged, anachronistic centrality by going out of its way to defer to the world’s underdogs and putative victims, thus biasing their subjectivity with victimary ideologies that simplify the question of right and wrong. Inequality or difference need not imply victimization or a failure of human reciprocity, but they invariably do today on the “objective” CBC.

  8. hugh
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 11:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    no, stole my name…

    the issue you discuss is far more complex than fascist thugs and white guilt. which is why the blogosphere is good:

    you call them fascist thugs, they call you war crime appologists. journalists (should) try to report on something in the middle, and people like me try to figure out what to think.

    I don’t trust you, I don’t trust CBC, and I don’t trust the other guys. I try to read all to get an understanding of what’s happeningand make up my mind. that’s the way it should work, and the more orgs like CBC News embrace that model, the better off “News” as a concept will be (I think).

  9. truepeers
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 10:43 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Sorry Hugh, now that i’ve gone to your blog I see you are in Montreal; previously, I just looked at your blog name and dumbly thought you were blogging on one of Vancouver’s newssheets, Dose.

  10. truepeers
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 10:35 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hugh, I have to differ slightly with my colleague, dag, when he says the emphasis at Covenant Zone as well as at our other blogs is on the ongoing Jihad. That is one theme, but I think Covenant Zone is more generally focussed on problems within our western and national culture itself. The prime theme, in this regard, is the problem of white guilt. And I fear a man who responds to dag with an “eek” may be himself a white guilter, in which case I would recommend, if you are interested in intellectually challenging yourself, Covenant Zone, as well as the GABlog.
    I think you may be in Vancouver, so please also consider our Thursday night meetings where we respectfully challenge each other’s subjectivity.

    On balance and objectivity, no such thing actually exists since we are subjective beings and that subjectivity is inevitably part of any attempt at “objectivity”. It’s a nice myth, not completely without its uses in training the philosophically or anthropologically naive, but the kind of myth that gets revealed for what it is in wartime. Here is what I wrote in response to the post of Charles that is linked here by Ouimet. Charles’ post also appeared here at Covenant Zone:

    The CBC wants to believe it is neutral and objective in these “ethnic” disputes in other countries, and that even if the conflicts carry over into Canada they can be likewise neutral here in deference to the openness and non-judgmentalism of multiculturalism. But neutrality is nothing but a deferral of one’s own moral choice, and a deferral of one’s moral obligation to help bring the evil that war always is to a swift conclusion by choosing one’s side and supporting it to victory or defeat as quickly as possible.

    As much of our media now are revealing to us, but also to themselves, the longer they pretend to remain neutral the more and more they become complicit in dragging out a conflict. And so, once one’s multiculti “neutrality” starts to be revealed as the prettified scam it is, one starts to look for guarantees of one’s righteousness elsewhere. He who has refused seriously to think through the competing claims of the rivals in an “ethnic” war (“ethnic” being a label which can become a way of imputing biological causes to conflict, to the age-old battles for scarce resources, so as to allow one to remain objectively neutral, since there is no larger, transcendent, cultural, extra-biological good or evil at stake in an animalistic war…) will start to look for victims and underdogs with which to sympathize.

    When there is killing all around, children being bombed to bits, neutrality starts to appear as if it is the height of vulgarity, even more vulgar than choosing a side which kills children (some with more intent than others…). Thus the pressure to take sides grows, one must find the greater victims… and often this means finding the supposedly weaker side, and then take their side. As Jan Egeland would say, as he walks through some rubble in Beirut, this is the humanitarian thing to do. The UN condemns ISrael and BBC has it live.

    Thus Israel’s relative military capacity to keep up a fight for western modernity and freedom against a bunch of fascist thugs bent on destroying Israel (a total destruction that Israel, it should be clear to all, does not want to reciprocate against the Muslim or Arab world) becomes the key to its pariah-hood among the liberal elites of Canada.

    Liberalism and neutrality is thus a lie, just as multiculturalism as neutralisty is ultimately revealed as a lie. A moral person must choose sides and transcendent goods within one cultural tradition and not another. One must stand for transcendent goods, for freedom, and for the kind of society that can maximize these. Israel is one such society and it is fighting to survive. No one serious can seriously thinks it has the kind of imperial ambitions that the deeply resentful Islamic world has, a world only too keen to show off its butchered children to the resentful leftists of the western media for propaganda purposes. Frankly, the CBC may only be trying to catch up to the BBC, or to Radio Canada, but having a little trouble throwing off the shackles of the old objective neutrality.

  11. hugh
    Posted July 26, 2006 at 9:45 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    eek. which is why the effort, at least, to strive for balance and objectivity should remain part of the journalistic principle of professional news organizations.

    and why blogging etc should be seen as a supplement to, and not a replacement of, professional newsmaking.

  12. dag
    Posted July 25, 2006 at 8:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I should have proofread my copy. I’m embarrassed to note that I misspelled “No Dhimmitude.” I’m afraid to look for further mistakes. Join me in person and we’ll have a laugh over it.

  13. dag
    Posted July 25, 2006 at 8:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Thanks for the link to our site and Charle’s piece on the CBC. There is more to come on that topic at Do Dhimmitude.

    Our emphasis as bloggers at N.D. and at Covenant Zone and Infidel Bloggers Alliance is to cover not just the antics of the CBC but the ongoing jihad waged by Muslims since the inception of Islam in 625 and unceasing since. Also, and perhaps more importantly, our interest is in discussing and even in practice defeating our own Left fascist dhimmis, the CBC being prime examples of such.

    If your reders in Vancouver, Canada wish to know more about our postions, please consider joining us for our weekly public meetings at VPL in downtown Vancouver. We meet each Thursday evening from 7-9:00 pm in the atrium. We wear blue scarves or bandanas to identify ourselves to those who would find us. My name is Dag. I’m the one in the Israeli beflagged black baseball cap.

    If you are interested in topics regarding the fascist movement of Islam and in taking some active role in stopping jihad and the Red fascism of the Left in this nation, then we ask again that you join us for coffee and conversation on Thursday evening.

  14. Johnny Happypants
    Posted July 25, 2006 at 8:05 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Please tell me these consultants aren’t the same ones who pick the music on Metro Morning. I can’t take it anymore.

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