News Rehab


Two things about the CBC News division have become obvious to everyone in the country.

CBC news coverage is more impotent than ever, and the person largely responsible for it is in denial.
 And it’s a bit puzzling how it came to be that way.
 What caused the best journalists, the most competent and well-equipped reporters we have, to lose their way so dramatically?
 Next to being inaccurate and unreliable, the worst thing that can happen to any news outlet, large or small, is to become irrelevant.
 And that is where the CBC finds itself today, along with an apparent inability to be honest about its condition.
Clearly, it’s time for an intervention.

So where is our Dr. Drew? 
Probably sitting in a Toronto radio station twiddling her thumbs. 
Anyone who’s a self-described “news junkie” would recommend Lynn Russell as the only specialist who could revive a news organization, but she’s not allowed to practise in this country.
 The reason she can’t has a bit to do with national pride, and a lot to do with narrow-minded intransigence.  Also hypocrisy.
 While the CBC has no qualms about using foreign talent to bolster their drama offerings, news presentations are deemed sacrosanct.
 But you have to wonder, what’s is it really that the CBC is so afraid of?
 America has no qualms about hiring and placing in prominent positions the likes of Kevin Newman, DJ Roberts and Peter Jennings.  And yeah, Samantha Bee.
 And in each case it worked out pretty well for everyone.
 So what is with this conceit/insecurity that prevents Ms. Russell from being part of the leadership at a news operation that, to put it mildly, desperately needs help?

Still though, the bigger question remains.
Since the CBC can’t fix itself, and it’s left up to the public to get involved, what prescription will we write?


  1. SadMan
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 10:45 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    And then there’s this yutz…

    What a joke.

  2. LocalYokel
    Posted November 26, 2009 at 8:04 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Am I the only one who fails to see the national newsworthiness of the Lindhout story… and the now total coverage, from everyone in the media game?

    Imagine going into Somalia and getting kidnapped! The outrage of it all. Haven’t they heard of freedom of the press over there? Those people need information and analysis not food.

    I wonder how the story would have played out if Lindhout had looked more like Susan Boyle.

  3. pig herder
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 9:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    After spending God knows how much money and turning the lives of dozens of its journalists upside down, the much ballyhooed CBC News HUB dropped the ball big time.
    The HUB is supposed to coordinate all news coverage but as the Amanda Lindhout story broke in Somalia on Wednesday, the HUB overplanned itself into paralysis. CBC viewers were late getting the story and CBC missed out altogether getting an interview.
    Reuters broke the story first at 1:07 ET.

    At 1:14 the mighty HUB put out a note to all CBCers not to go with the story. Meanwhile it was appearing all over the place, such as Globe and Mails website.

    CBC eventually went with it half an hour or more after Reuters. It did get on before CTV News Channel and as the Hubsters gloated over this triumph, the room fell silent when they saw CTV running with a live interview with Amanda.

    Chasers were told not to chase and the big coverage plan wasnt sent out to CBC producers until AFTER the story broke on the air. It was a pig dance.

    Then things got really stupid as the HUB had to sheepishly announce it was going to pick up the CTV interview and then even Globals interview.

    Talk about getting your big fancy ass wiped.

    cbc DO NOT AIR/PUBLISH THIS: 2009-11-25 13:14:30
    !!!!!!! DO NOT AIR/PUBLISH THIS STORY. !!!!!!


    SOMALIA-RELEASE/ (URGENT):Journalists kidnapped in Somalia released – MP

    MOGADISHU, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Two freelance journalists
    kidnapped in Somalia in August 2008 were freed on Wednesday, and
    are in a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, a Somali member of
    parliament and hotel sources said.

    “We have now brought both foreign journalists to the Sahafi
    hotel. We have been working for eight days on their release, but
    finally succeeded,” MP Ahmed Diiriye told Reuters. “I don’t want
    to comment on how we released them now.”

    Amanda Lindhout, a Canadian freelance reporter, and Nigel
    Brennan, a freelance Australian photojournalist, were kidnapped
    in Mogadishu in August 2008.
    (Reporting by Ibrahim Mohamed; Editing by David Clarke)
    ((Email:; tel: +254 20 222 4717))

    [ ===== DateLine ========== ]

    2009-11-25 18:07:48 GMT (Reuters)

    Copyright Thomson Reuters 2009

    from Andrew Pepper
    CBC USING LINDHOUT 2009-11-25 15:47:10

    We’re pulling the CTV News Channel interview with Amanda Lindhout. I’ll put a note in wires when we have it.
    Please do not air the interview in its entirety.
    But you can pull clips.
    If you’re a tv program you must cover it with our own graphic or pictures and give an on-air credit: Courtesy of CTV News Channel.
    If you’re on radio, you should set up the clip with a line that includes the thought, Amanda Lindhout spoke to CTV News Channel from Mogadishu.

    CBC – LINDHOUT INTERVIEW 2009-11-25 17:53:02
    We’re about to receive Global’s interview with Amanda Lindhout.
    Feel free to cut clips. If you want to preview it – you can listen to it on Global’s website.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 5:56 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    An independent performance review needs to be done. As you know there are many people who have failed over and over yet still have jobs there. Liz Hughes for one. Stursberg has done seemingly nothing to deserve his wage… and they’re all so creepy and lousy at what they do.

    It’s the people in the world who are drones, they belong in banks, accounting firms and the like, not working in an industry that demands creativity.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 10:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    While I always thought Lynn Russell was a compelling anchor, and it was a shame CBC couldn’t figure out how to utilize her considerable talent, what is the evidence she could somehow lead us out of the current news morass? Has she any management experience? Any programming or leadership accomplishments upon which to base Allan’s hope? Details please.

  6. morgin mississauga
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 9:36 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allo, allo, allo! What the heck is this? Someone actually making a positive suggestion about the Corpse? Doesnt that contravene the latest set of rules? And would Lynne Russell want to stand by her desk while the off-camera crew and the control-room colleagues sit back like the rest of the classroom? I would prefer to see something better for her.

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