YELLOWKNIFE / Nov. 20, 2019 / CNW— The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) applauds the CBC’s decision to walk back its controversial plan to merge regional English-language morning radio newscasts in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
As part of the plan laid out by the public broadcaster on Monday, local newscasts would have been merged into a single, pan-territorial broadcast in January 2020.
By Tuesday, all three territorial premiers, as well as many concerned listeners, had publicly urged the CBC to reconsider its decision. Some argued that the CBC was ignoring its commitments to upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action because it would reduce coverage in largely Indigenous territories.
“Reversing this plan to merge newscasts in the North is heartening,” says Karyn Pugliese, president of the CAJ. “It recognizes that our national public broadcaster has a special role to play in bridging the many cultural and regional differences that exist in Canada’s North.”
“We hope the broadcaster continues to remember its commitments to accurately represent northern stories and Indigenous stories to northerners as well as the entirety of Canada,” said Pugliese.
In an email to staff announcing the reversal, CBC North managing director Janice Stein said: “Overall the response we received from staff and the community was not supportive of the change.”
The proposal to change northern morning newscasts comes in the wake of last week’s decision by CBC to cut 35 jobs in Toronto.
The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with more than 700 members across Canada. The CAJ’s primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.
For more information contact:
Karyn Pugliese, CAJ president
Brent Jolly, CAJ vice-president
Jessica Davey-Quantick, Northern representative