Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CBC rejects ad critical of Harper government’s influence on CBC

The CBC has rejected an advertisement criticizing the influence of the Conservative government’s budget bill over the public broadcaster. Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, a non-profit group that says Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is encroaching on the CBC’s independence, produced an ad in which a journalist is seen questioning a prime minister who bears a resemblance to Mr. Harper. After suggesting the government “has taken control of the CBC,” the ad’s journalist is tossed in the back of a trunk and carted away. The ad is an attack on Bill C-60, an omnibus budget bill – since passed into law – that gives the federal government new powers over the CBC, including a seat at contract negotiations. That power could undermine the CBC’s journalism, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting says. “Who is going to ask the tough questions now? Join the campaign to free the CBC from political inference,” the ad concludes in the English-language version, which was approved as an opinion ad by the Television Bureau of Canada. But the CBC rejected it, saying it was a matter of neutrality.

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