I'd like to make two points before this miserable CBC lockout ends -- and may it end right this minute...
First: Shelagh Rogers has a weblog. It's at shelaghcaravan.blogspot.com, which brings us to another cross-country tour.... It's fun
...the breaking-news website that the CBC journalists put up at CBCUnlocked.ca is frankly more interesting than the real CBC news website ever was. The stories there are fresh, relevant and haven't all been covered by a dozen other outlets already. Even the design is better. (You might say less corporate.)...
CBC.ca has always been the most anemic of the corporation's services, and before the lockout it was looking paler and paler next to other Canadian media websites.
If there's a single lemon that could be turned into lemonade after this mess is finished, it could be distilling what makes CBC Unlocked work and bringing it home
Shortly before the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation locked out 5,300 of its 9,000 employees on August 15th, Michele Sparling, the management's chief negotiator, declared: “This is the hill we will die on.” Seven weeks later, those words look ominous. Many of CBC's most familiar faces are on the picket line. Managers have had to fill the schedules with many inept stand-ins. Some in the media industry reckon that after the dispute ends, Canada's public-service broadcaster may be badly diminished or even doomed.
CBC's defenders cherish it for its Canadian content and serious programmes. They see it as an essential bulwark against American culture...A poll by Ipsos-Reid last year found that half of respondents (and a plurality among those who vote Conservative) wanted parliament not to cut CBC'S funding. But another poll found that only 10% of respondents feel “deeply inconvenienced” by the dispute (and 27% slightly so)...
The betting is that the dispute may end by October 5th, when ice hockey starts up after its own year-long lockout over player wage demands. Canadians found they could live without hockey. Journalists can hardly claim to be more indispensable.
I've got news for Mr. Rabinovitch.
We don't dream of spending six months or a year at the CBC. We dream long-term. We don't like uncertainty. We want stability so that we can pursue our passion while earning a decent living, enabling us to raise families and live a stable life.
If someone else offers that, we'll probably go for it.
End result: Rabinovitch will be left mostly with those who have no choice, which won't be a happy bunch. Unhappy kids working for a unloving mom is not a recipe for a good product.
In five intensive days, without a single table-banging incident or raised voice,[Ford negotiator] Stacey Allerton Firth quietly became the newest Canadian industrial relations idol.....
“She paid attention, she didn't miss an issue, she didn't misread an issue,” [CAW head Buzz] Hargrove said...
Ms. Allerton Firth said over a vegetarian lunch that she simply treated the negotiators on the other side of the table the way she likes to be treated...
Issues were talked out rather than fought out, in an atmosphere of mutual respect, she said. And there was no negotiation by exhaustion...
... the Ford team received training in communications and problem-solving because they wanted to know “how you talk about tough issues in a way that invites dialogue,” Ms. Allerton Firth said.
“If you need the help of the other party in solving business issues, they need to understand what they are. You have to share a lot of information.”
Her team was also trained in “active listening skills” to better understand the union's concerns."
A new study from Yahoo! and OMD Worldwide finds that globally, youths far prefer to get their music fix from the Internet than the radio. The study, entitled "Truly, Madly, Deeply Engaged: Global Youth, Media and Technology," looks at 13-24 year olds in 11 countries and their media habits. The researchers conclude that today's youth expect their media experiences to be highly personalized and tailored to their individual tastes.
Fact: Currently, there is no limitation on the hiring of freelance fixed term, temporary or casual employees. The percentage of employees on short-term employment arrangements (temporary and casual) fluctuates with replacement needs (maternity backfill, sick leave replacement, etc) and with major projects like Federal elections and Canada Day coverage. The conditions under which short-term employees may be hired have not changed significantly, and the overall percentage has remained relatively constant due to the nature of these hires. This will not change
In typical CBC fashion, the Canucks - Oilers game will not be broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada(Of course the Toronto game will be broadcast, albeit without broadcasters). Now before you panic, I will guarantee that this game will be on TV somehow. At minimum the Canucks will put this game on PPV, and for those without PPV access, there is a decent chance that the game could be moved to Sportsnet or TSN. I'll keep you posted on this.
As for the rest of the season on HNIC, I would say that if the labour issues are not resolved by next Saturday the dispute will likely go on for quite a while. If the loss of HNIC can't pressure the CBC to make a deal nothing else will.
Unlike the CFL, the NHL will not stand for games being broadcast games without commentators, so we could be watching our Sarturday night hockey on another network.
Etymology: Latin contractus from contrahere to draw together, enter into (a relationship or agreement), from com- with, together + trahere to draw
1 : an agreement between two or more parties that creates in each party a duty to do or not do something and a right to performance of the other's duty or a remedy for the breach of the other's duty;"
1.Agreement between parties, states etc. business agreement for supply of goods or performance of work at a specified price; agreement enforceable by law.
Currently, the CBC has about 180 fixed-contract workers, not including other temporary and short-term positions.
MF: We're already at 30 per cent temporary and contract combined.
RS: No you're not and… but that's a different issue.
MF: But why is it a different issue?
RS: But your union has not raised the temporary thing. That's
not an issue for your union. The only issue they've raised is
contracts. And right now we're at about five per cent. The average
life of a person on contract is 11 years of service inside the CBC.
Anyhow, my only point is, I think that, like, I don't understand why
this has taken on, to your point, I don't understand why this has
turned into such a big thing. Apparently
stamping the MTV brand onto conventional, digital and specialty network programming, involves hiring scores of new people to create Canadian-made, MTV-style segments, as well as tapping into on-line, wireless and video-on-demand products and promotions.
This new digital television service, along with the new MTV analogue channel, will provide alternate high quality entertainment options to all Canadians, and represent a great boost to local production and culture.
tell the CBC how you feel about them not-broadcasting the second game in the first double header and possibly beyond!!
The more responses the better the chance they might listen to the people.....We the taxpayers fund them....they need to do what we say!!
Some Liberal MPs are saying never again as negotiations between CBC management and its locked-out employees grind forward....
MP Denis Coderre, a former Liberal cabinet minister, was more direct.
"Three times in a row, three lockouts in five years? I'm sorry. I don't accept that," he said.
"We should stop that lockout once and for all. ... At the end of the day I know one thing: there's a lot of people that don't have the public service that they should deserve."
PubSub is today expected to unleash a new site ranking tool, called LinkRanks, that measures the "strength, persistence, and vitality" of links pointing to and from a given Web site...
Additionally, PubSub has begun an effort to compile lists of influential Weblogs by category, which could be of use to media buyers and planners eager to buy advertising in blogs....
By fiddling with LinkRanks' parameters -- now built into the PubSub engine -- PR types can determine the approximate reach and influence of a particular Web page based on the sites that link to that page, either on a daily basis or over a period of weeks. They can also use it to focus their brand listening on the most influential group of blogs or publications.
CBC/Radio-Canada's bargaining team has a clear mandate, as well as the flexibility and authority, to get an agreement with the CMG. The Corporation hopes the Minister's initiative provides the impetus needed to move toward reaching an agreement that not only reflects the business realities and requirements of the broadcasting world, but at the same time respects the career aspirations of its employees.
Longer term, Deutsche Bank says Apple is "the best-positioned" PC vendor to capitalize on the convergence between digital media and computing. "Today, Apple is driving the digital music evolution. Tomorrow, Apple could become the partner of choice for digital video distribution and playback."
Freelancers have to supply all their own equipment, pay 100% of their CPP contribution (including the employer’s half), save for their own retirement and have no health benefits and no paid sick leave. They are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance. The CMG is a unique union in that, within it, freelancers have the right to collective bargaining. Freelancers in most organizations do not unless they form their own organization. The question remains, how much collective bargaining is the CMG doing on behalf of freelancers? Having the right to something is different than having it.
Freelancers absorb the cost of their own equipment. We have to save for our own pension. We have to take the risk of getting sick and having no paid sick leave, health coverage or long-term disability. We take the risk of not being able to fill down time between assignments. Freelancers need to be paid a premium, in addition to the basic fee for the work, to cover these costs and risks. In this were not the case, freelancers would be simply cheap labour or suckers who are willing to supply equipment and pay expenses that are traditionally borne by the employer. These costs are buried in the price of every other product we buy. Why should CBC expect me to create a product for anything less?
The board discussions were certainly lively, but no one on the Board stormed out of the meeting. The Board members continue to try to influence both sides to reach a settlement as soon as possible.
Peter A. Herrndorf
The continued shrinking of the two big Philadelphia dailies highlights a shift in American journalism. The two big dailies offer less and less to read. I buy the Inquirer at Broad and Erie and scan the obituaries and local news on my 20 minute subway ride to Center City. On Thursdays, I read the food section. I don't bother to buy the Inquirer on weekends. I have come to rely on the wealth of news on the internet. On a typical day, I browse online through the New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post, PoliticsPA, Los Angeles Times, Drudge, Jewish World Review and the CBC. I get all the liberal and conservative comment I want. Why waste trees?
For more and more people, the internet, internet radio and cable TV are the main sources of news.
....since I am a member of the public and the CBC doesn't represent me. And I don't miss the arrogant notion that the CBC is where Canadians tell their stories to one another or that the network has some special place in our national debates.
Everything the CBC does could be done as well by other television and radio services. Everything the CBC does is being done now by other television and radio services, except hockey. And if the CBC didn't exist, private television services would quickly pick up the hockey slack, too. In fact, a private broadcaster would likely pick up most of the CBC's on- and off-air hockey staff, and fans wouldn't be any the wiser.
Lise Lareau, president of the Canadian Media Guild, will not be
allowed to speak before the CBC board during their meeting on
Wednesday, according to a letter sent today by CBC president Robert
Nevertheless, Lareau is in Montreal at the hotel where the meeting
will take place and has told board members she is available to speak
with them individually. She is urging them to intervene to ensure a
fair deal and an end to the lockout as soon as possible.
37. Every director shall, before entering on the director's duties, take and subscribe, before the Clerk of the Privy Council, an oath or solemn affirmation, which shall be filed in the office of the Clerk, in the following form:
I, ...................., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully, truly and impartially, to the best of my judgment, skill and ability, execute and perform the office of ..................... (Add, in the case where an oath is taken, "So help me God".)
The Profit Doctors solemnly avow that they will be operational on another terrestrial station as soon as possible and will continue to podcast their show to the thousands of people world wide who want to hear what they have to say.
But integration? One newsroom serves all? So far, these are problems awaiting solution. The Guardian, like the huge BBC online effort, has two substantial staffs doing one thing or the other, not both. Problems of integration initially solved by extra resources.
And that is much the same story around the world. Papers that are supposedly integrated - like the New York Times now - still have segregation on the editorial floor. Other, smaller operations mix digital, print, TV and broadcast in a bran tub that gives time for everything but finding original stories.
Sometimes, perversely, as in areas of Canada, the law insists on keeping print and digital newsgathering for the same organisation miles apart.
"It is time for the board to weigh in and provide a sober second thought
to the aggressive and destructive strategy adopted by CBC's senior management team," says CMG national president Lise Lareau.
"Unfortunately, we believe members of the board have received limited information from senior management and have even been told not to speak to the union. I also received a letter from the lawyers for CBC management warning me to stay away from board members.
We found a need for special attention in three areas that are central to the way Crown corporations are governed:
* Boards of directors of Crown corporations need to be strengthened. They reflect Canada's diversity but lack other key skills and capabilities that are needed to function effectively and to carry out their important responsibilities under the Financial Administration Act for the affairs of the corporation. Corporations need to better define their requirements for skills and capabilities and communicate them to the government; the government needs to act on those requirements. Boards of directors also need to be more engaged in the selection of their chair as well as the corporation's chief executive officer (CEO). Without meaningful board involvement in the selection of the chief executive officer, his or her accountability to the board is weakened and corporate governance as a whole suffers.
* Audit committees in Crown corporations play a crucial role in financial reporting, risk management, and internal control. They are the "engine" of the board of directors. Yet half of the audit committees we examined were operating below an effective level. Serious weaknesses in an audit committee can undermine the overall strength of the board.
The government has a limited capacity for reviewing and challenging Crown corporation corporate plans as a basis for approving them. Corporate plans set out the strategic direction of a Crown corporation and are intended to be the cornerstone of the Crown corporation control and accountability framework under the Financial Administration Act. The government needs to strengthen its capacity to review and challenge these plans since, once approved, they are the basis for holding Crown corporations accountable for conforming to government policy and for their overall performance. Furthermore, there is a need for a more systematic and regular review of the relevance of Crown corporation mandates.
18.2 Weaknesses in all of these areas impede the successful implementation of Part X of the Financial Administration Act and the quality of Crown corporation governance. They have been raised many times before, in Auditor General reports and other external studies and reports, but the weaknesses remain."
In a news story published in the Ottawa Citizen today, Chadderton stated that he blames CBC bosses for the impasse. He stated that "as long as the lockout continues, I am not in a position to give interviews." Chadderton suggested that the CBC was: "denying people like myself access to a public institution."Chadderton said it is not right to make statements during the lockout because the CBC is a "national institution:"
He stated that the lockout was "not your ordinary labour-management situation" and suggested: "I don't see any end in sight unless the Government steps in."
Chadderton stated that the CBC had a legislative responsibility to provide access to public institutions such as the National Council. The lockout had therefore closed off its role as a means of conveying an important message to its listeners, thus denying The War Amps and other organizations belonging to the NCVA an opportunity to convey their views to Canadians.
The Citizen article stated, "Mr. Chadderton, a Second World war veteran, is hardly an uncritical CBC cheerleader. He is well-known for leading a campaign challenging the series The Valour and the Horror. But he says the CBC is a vital unifying national force and its absence creates a major void."
No major broadcast or cable network has ever tried anything like Public Eye. We are learning as we go. We’re asking our audience to be unabashed and prolific in participating, honest but generous when we blunder and not too reticent if we happen to do something well upon occasion.
Public Eye’s fundamental mission is to bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News — transparency that is unprecedented for broadcast and online journalism.
And what, exactly, is transparency? It has several aspects, but most simply it is this: the journalists who make the important editorial decisions at CBS News and CBSNews.com will now be asked to explain and answer questions about those decisions in a public forum.
Public Eye will be run by a team of independent and experienced journalists. They will take questions, criticisms and observations from our vast and articulate audience to the people of CBS News and try to come back with some answers, explanations and analyses. The Public Eye team will also report on CBS News, working sources, talking to the reporters, producers and executives who make the news, not just to the press office.
Mini pulls no punches, calling Microsoft a "passionless, process-ridden, lumbering idiot," in a Sept. 4 posting. Yet the blog is also chock full of humor, intelligence, and earnest suggestions for fixing Microsoft.
it has become a virtual watercooler for employees. Hundreds anonymously vent their frustrations there without fear of retribution. Mini has emerged as something of a folk hero. Visitors to the site and other bloggers describe Mini as the employee most likely to save Microsoft -- and the most likely to be fired.
So why risk a career to vent about his employer? "There was a recent post by a guy who said he used to bleed Microsoft blue. That's how I was too," says Mini, who does indeed have a Microsoft blue badge, the type given to full-time staff. "Microsoft has been wonderful to me. I really want to improve it. I really want to make a difference..."
Over the years, however, Mini says he found it increasingly difficult to affect any sort of meaningful change. As a regular employee, his was a lone voice in the wilderness. Ironically, anonymity has helped Mini become a clarion call for change.
Analyst Charlene Li of Forrester Research advises companies not to try to suppress their bloggers. "You can keep it hidden or get those voices out there and deal with the problem," she says.
The CBC is disappointed to announce that, as a result of ongoing efforts by the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) to undermine the September 16 Terry Fox 25th Anniversary Special, the program will not carry coverage of events in St. John's, the city where Terry began
the Marathon of Hope in 1980. The program is being produced by Out to See Productions Inc., a Vancouver-based independent, outside production company. It has become clear that the CMG would require children participating in the events on Signal Hill to cross a picket line. As a result, in an effort to ensure that the Terry Fox anniversary events proceed without any disruption, the CBC, Out to See Productions and the Fox family made the difficult decision to cancel coverage from St. John's. The CBC is disappointed that the CMG would resort to using the Terry Fox 25th Anniversary Special, which benefits the Terry Fox Foundation, to make a political point in its labour negotiations
with the Corporation.
The CBC intends to fulfill its commitment to the Fox family and to the Terry Fox Foundation and will broadcast the rest of the commercial-free September 16 Terry Fox 25th Anniversary Special as planned.
An independent production company, Out to Sea, withdrew its commissioned satellite truck from Signal Hill Thursday evening, after a CMG picket line prevented it from reaching the top of the hill where segments for Friday's broadcast were to have been shot.
As well, the crew hired in St. John's walked away from the production when they learned that it was to have been broadcast on CBC....
Bob Sharpe, president of the St. John's local of the CMG, told me this morning that the CBC's main objection is simply false.
"We wouldn't have forced children to cross picket lines," he said. "We would not have set up a hard picket line (today)....
Sharpe said the production "had a lot of cloak and dagger to it," in that locally hired crew did not know until the last moment "that the signal was going to CBC."
"I don't cross picket lines," Mr. Martin, speaking to reporters at a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, said Thursday after rumours that the Canadian Media Guild is not ruling out setting up pickets outside the official ceremonies in Ottawa.
Prime Minister Paul Martin says neither he nor his ministers will cross a CBC picket line set up outside of the Senate for governor-general designate MichaÃ«lle Jean's swearing-in ceremony, which means the event may not proceed on Sept. 27 as planned.
the idea of entering online during the ongoing labour dispute feels like crossing the picket line. What will it be writers -- ethics or a lottery-small chance of winning $6K?
Every department was conscripted into this business model..."Managers were now the stars," Drone says:
Every department launched its own incredible series of management and leadership courses. Thousands of employees were sent to places like the Niagara Institute to determine their suitability for management, and to be brainwashed with neo con management theories -- that even then were out of date.
Other gatherings were held at CBC building all over the country, hotels, and country retreats. There were countless committees, studies, reports, $1000 dollars a day consultants, and one Mission Statement after the other.
It was management mania, and it went on for years
Soon a new management class emerged, and began enforcing this new management theology with a quasi-religious fervor that was both comical and deeply disturbing.
Those who tried to resist this exercise in corporate brainwashing were quickly marginalized, declared to be bad team players or negative influences.....Robbie's Great Leap Forward had morphed into a bizarre and oppressive cult of management.
The CBC had been turned on its head. It now existed to provide bragging rights for managers, rather than first class programming.
On Monday, the 157-year-old wire service is to start its "younger audience service," offering articles and "experiences" in multimedia formats, with audio, video, blogs and wireless text aimed at reaching readers between 18 and 34 years old. The service, one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by The A.P., is called asap, pronounced letter by letter, meant to evoke the wire service's legendary speed.
The project, built on AP's journalism, is aimed at helping AP members reach the crucial young adult audience with bold and innovative online and print content. It is scheduled to launch next month.
..Rather than feeling threatened, a lot of people are excited about these podcasts and the "pirate" radio shows and the CBCunlocked site. Excited as in: "this is cool." I mean, all the creative people are out on the street, and we're all your fans. It only makes sense that we are interested in seeing what you do next.
there should be no other managers or other non-CMG staff visiting the line, nor should there be any attempts to "improve the mood" on the line, by providing food or drink, for example. It's very important, if there is a lock-out, that we bring a quick resolution to the work stoppage. A quick resolution will be helped by picketers focussing on the reality of their situation. Making things more comfortable for the picketers does not support this goal.
Richard Stursberg...has the intellectual sharpness and political astuteness to transform the CBC. He would likely be a Robespierre. Heads would roll. The CBC would carry no more advertising. Its regional operations would be shut down. And the English TV network would be transformed into three channels: 1) Entertainment & Arts; 2) Documentaries; 3) Newsworld. That would be a start.
"Those were some notes that were put together on the back of an envelope. They were never sent to anybody. They never were discussed.
"It's been blown totally out of proportion."
"I made a series of notes to myself ... about what the bits and pieces of the elements of (another) option might be.... These notes that I have were my personal notes. Some of this I agree with, and some of it I am not sure I entirely agree with,'' said Stursberg. "They were not intended to be a particular proposition. They were intended really as a basis for having a discussion and, frankly, nothing came of it.''
Stursberg arranged a small gathering of representatives from private broadcasting, specialty channels, telephone companies and independent producers. At the meeting, says the source, he presented a three-page document, titled The Future of the CBC, outlining provocative changes to the public broadcaster, and sought endorsement of the proposals.
The issue is purely economic: Canadian private broadcasters' economic model is based on importing cheap U.S. programming, inserting Canadian commercials and simulcasting it for profit. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's hardly the way to increase the exposure of Canadian programs. The simple fact is that only the CBC can be the cornerstone of a solution to the crisis in English-Canadian drama on television. That's because only the CBC has the mandate and the shelf space to broadcast large amounts of high-quality, high-impact, popular and distinctively Canadian entertainment programming at a time when most people are able to watch: in the heart of prime time.And later in the same column:
While there are more and more channels out there, in some ways there's less and less real choice: The flip side of media fragmentation is media convergence and concentration of ownership. In this kind of environment, it's vital to ensure that there is a public space for information, analysis and debate.He concludes by saying:
Economists use the term "market failure" to describe the phenomenon by which activities that contribute to society are not provided by the commercial marketplace. That's an apt description of the Canadian television landscape. It explains why, according to surveys, nine out of 10 respondents believe CBC Television is an essential service.
"I don't pretend that I'm an expert on programming - but I know a thing or two about television," he told me yesterday.Richard Stursberg to Katherine Monk of the Vancouver Sun September 23, 2003, on his plans, while head of Telefilm, to make Canadian movies more commercial.
"This is fundamentally a managerial challenge."
"The biggest thing is creating a environment where creativity can work," said Rabinovitch. "I hired a creative thinker. I didn't hire a programmer. We have those here and we'll get others as we need them."
"We're still going to make movies for the intellectual 50-year-old who listens to CBC. We're not losing anything”Money Quote: Richard Stursberg to Rod McQueen of the Financial Post on Monday October 30, 2000, after he lost his job at Cancom when it was taken over by Shaw:
It's quite liberating for the first time in 25 or 30 years to suddenly not have a job to go to. It allows you to think about and talk about stuff in a way that you feel much less constrained."
The new CBC must be able to deal with a multi-channel universe and have the flexibility to respond to market conditions.If I was a prosecutor, that is the phrase I would use in any summation to a jury; “flexibility to respond to market conditions,” is the very phrase senior management keeps using in its argument for the casualization of the CBC.
The new CBC must be able to deal with a multi-channel universe and have the flexiblity to respond to market conditions.
The majority of production--with the exception of news--should be contracted out to the private sector. Regional production centres and facilities would be wound up.
The CBC should-when technology permits-move off over-the-air broadcasting and be delivered exclusively through cable and DTH [Direct to Home satellite]
"As I recall, these were some notes of a conversation that had taken place between a number of people who were chatting."
Unfortunately, the former Telefilm Canada executive director could not recall who else was in the room (other than to say "some private broadcasters") to help formulate the three-page document that caused much hand-wringing and consternation when it was leaked to the media in 1996. "I can't even remember, this is such a small thing," said the 55-year-old Ottawa mandarin. "Imagine this. You're sitting in a room with a bunch of people and some subject comes up -- what should we do about the [CBC] deficit? People say, 'We should do this or that.' Someone writes down all the ideas."
Stursberg said he firmly disagrees with any of the suggestions made in the memo, adding: "I didn't agree with some of the measures in the first place. I do not believe we should be out of advertising, out of regional, that we should come off the air and be made into a big specialty channel. I believe none of that.
"It was a free-form discussion just about various ideas people had been thinking about the CBC. That's what it was. Nothing more. It's not a report by me. The thing was blown out of proportion eight years ago, and it's not terribly interesting."
...CBC, when it cannot do most honest broadcasts.....broadcasts the BBC that way and, even then the time when it is left over has let flow the former documentary....
No," he said. "With us it could only ever go to binding arbitration." He explained to me that in a civilized country, in a civilized age, we should go about our business in a civilized fashion.
Brace yourselves: The reason they never came up with an agreement is because THEY KNOW THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO. If they were forced into binding arbitration neither side could resort to a strike or lockout. Management could not count on forcing us into a lockout situation in an effort to break the union. Both sides would be rather more motivated to come up with a deal in the time that they had. Lest an arbitrator do it for them.
I'm one of those sad, annoying people that Robin Rowland was talking about in his Fort Confusion post who feels that working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is bit of a vocation. (Not sure Robin quite meant it as a compliment, though...)
there is a core of CBC employees for whom working there is a vocation, a calling. It these people who sometimes irritate the public and even their fellows at CBC.)
Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today announced it is urging all of its professional actors to support members of the Canadian Media Guild, who have been locked out by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for almost four weeks. Management’s lockout of more than 5,000 media workers began on August 15 after the break off of talks between the union and employers. The Guild is making its announcement on the eve of the start of the Toronto International Film Festival.
The Guild is urging its members, particularly its high profile members, to seriously consider this situation and wherever possible avoid granting interviews with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation until this matter is resolved.
Meanwhile, Bush objected to references to displaced Americans as "refugees."
"The people we're talking about are not refugees," he said. "They are Americans and they need the help and love and compassion of our fellow citizens." The president raised the subject during a meeting with service organizations that are helping with the relief effort.
is using the Fireman Argument against CBC journalists. That's to say, that journalism is such an important part of the polity that journalists should shrink from industrial action.
Preston clearly still believes in the "higher purpose" of journalism: the public duty of the Press as the Fourth Estate, without which the other three estates – Monarch and Parliament, Church and Army – would go about their daily business of exploiting and lying to the people.
By uniting we stand,
By dividing we fall;
In so righteous a cause
Let us hope to succeed,
For Heaven approves of
Each generous deed.
Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud and pampered enemy.
Thank you for passing on Mr Rowland's protest (and Michael Bywater's codicil). I was indeed in Vancouver myself on Monday, August 29, getting ready to return to the UK after a break and very interested indeed, naturally, in hurricane TV coverage. I spent some of Monday morning watching it on various channels - and wishing the CBC could have been a bit more competitive - then walked round to the CBC offices a couple of blocks away and spent some time reading the notices on the tented noticeboard and listening to people chat. I described that in my piece. I don't live in Kent or Kensington, either.
Is it a strike or a lock-out? Canadians I talked to took both points of view. The Canadian press I read, The Sun and Globe and Mail, seemed to think that, after 15 months of contract negotiation failure, the net effect was pretty identical - and I anyway used both formulations in my piece. And the point of what I was saying (which Mr Rowland seems to have missed) remains the same.
I think it's very difficult indeed for journalists to go on strike or put themselves, over time, in a situation where they may be locked out. I think that there's almost always a higher duty to report the news for the readers or viewers you serve - which is, precisely, a public service.
I find it hard to envisage how either side in the CBC affair could have allowed things to drag on so damagingly for so long. I lament the damage that that is obviously doing to public service broadcasting in Canada, and I wish that there'd been an evident move back to business when I was there (though that seems to have eased a bit since). Oh yes! and I'm just about as warm a defender of the BBC as you could imagine, felt very anxious about this summer's industrial action getting out of control, and wanted to make sure that Canada's difficulties were at least a small part of the equation here. PP
....CBC managers and unions seem to live within a cocoon of introversion that allows them to threaten and stall and hang tough without ultimate penalty. Who needs to be back to work while New Orleans sinks into the ooze? Someone else will cover it. And someone will always pick up our bill.
FYI, Peter Preston isn't a business writer. He's one of this country's leading liberal/left journalists and was for many years editor of The Guardian, and arguably a very distinguished one. The comfy Kensington flat/Kent greensward is (though I see the rhetorical point you seek to make) a bit of a cliche and untrue.
Preston's journalistic credentials are as impeccable as they come in this age of debased journalism. And I think you'll find that the Conrad Black reference – and the sinking-into-the-ooze para -- was deep irony. Something we do a lot of in the British press, though sometimes it doesn't decode well beyond these shores. You could check Preston's stuff on Lexis and see for yourself, I suppose.
I don't have any views on the piece you are offended by, nor do I write for The Guardian (although I have done occasionally many years back). No axe to grind. I just thought that as a journalist, you'd appreciate some background here.
If only CBC managers had something promising in mind, some grand plan, their desire for more control might well deserve support. Who doesn't like the idea of a lean, supple broadcaster responding quickly to the need for change? But we have no idea what the CBC will do with its new power, assuming the union surrenders.
One of the things that i find quite baffling, and quite frustrating, is that pretty much all the attention that the lockout has garnered in the media and the blosphere has been entirely about CBC TV and CBC Radio. There has been little to no mention of the hundreds of CBC ONLINE employees that have been locked out, or of the product that is being produced in our absence.
An interesting analysis, but it overstates the difficulties in reaching an agreement. The actual differences between the old CEP and Guild contracts are very small. The majority of articles in the separate collective agreements share identical language - part of a process of moving towards a common base that began with the 1996 amalgamation. So getting a deal doesn't have to be difficult or lengthy...If the managers were smart (!) they'd drop their demand to contract out the majority of work, thereby emasculating the Guild negotiators who'd be forced to make a lot of concessions in the remaining areas once the raison d'etre for the dispute was removed. Of course, a smart managerial team would have done that just before the lock out deadline. We're not dealing with smart...Plenty of time to make hockey happen, assuming that the NHL hasn't already cut a deal with Rogers.
Real negotiations have not started yet. What is going on is talking about talking. Or rather, talking about the oft-metioned 40 (or is it 41?) issues in smaller groups so that they can get back together and start negotiations proper. when that happens they talk about what they talked about, and write it into the collective agreement - your "contract"...
And before they can come to a settlement, they have to see eye-to-eye on these issues and be pretty sure that they won't get screwed by the other side after the doors are unlocked.
So now you know what I know. The real question is: How long does it take 40 rooms of 24 hotheads to settle 40 arguments?
My guess is that it will be at least 2 weeks before we get an idea of when a settlement will come.
What concerns and even scares me is that even if we get back inside next week or the week after, all the fundamental forces and problems that caused this insanity will still be around, i.e. Rabinovitch/Stursberg/Chalmers/Smith... Unless there is quick and clean sweep, I just can't see how the damage can be undone. Not to mention the trust that the infamous "Fred and Krista" memo alone obliterated in one clean swoop.
I dont' want to be too obvious metaphorically but we ourselves are in the midst of a man(ager)-made Katrina.
Said manager: “You’ll be back in a week, maybe a week and a half.”
That sounds promising.
Then the manager went on the lament how difficult it’s been writing copy for the newscasts, suggesting that the task was menial and somehow beneath them.
I politely talked for a bit with an APS shut-in who is a close co-worker in my group. He seemed to think that this would end soon after we conceded on the Permanent/Contract issue. The NightCrawlers are sometimes a wee bit out of touch but I kept saying "Nope, we’re not gonna cave".
"Yes, but it will happen".
"Nope, we’re not gonna cave".
"No, but, when hockey happens, you’d be called back."
"We’re not gonna cave"
Another walker who is in a related department came over. Since we all work together, never has that yellow line seemed so obvious. An instant of eye-contact… a pause.
"Nope, we’re not gonna cave".
"but….but… then what’ll happen?"
Well then, my friend, we’re all screwed. If the CBC goes down I’ll lose my job and my house. I, and all Canadians, will lose a living part of our culture
On the Friday conference call, we were asked whether managers were expected to visit the picket lines in their locations.
Some of us remember a day when spending a few minutes with picketers was encouraged. Those days were a very different situation than the one we're in now.
It is expected that designated Location Chiefs visit the picket line a couple of times of day to liase with CSM and with the picket captains and to gauge the mood on the line.
However, there should be no other managers or other non-CMG staff visiting the line, nor should there be any attempts to "improve the mood" on the line, by providing food or drink, for example. It's very important, if there is a lock-out, that we bring a quick resolution to the work stoppage. A quick resolution will be helped by picketers focussing on the reality of their situation. Making things more comfortable for the picketers does not support this goal.
Fred and Krista
How can we put on that show? If radio can do it, we can do it.CUT TO:
I'm a Toronto-based writer, photographer, web producer, television producer, journalist and teacher. I'm author of five books, the latest A River Kwai Story: The Sonkrai Tribunal. The Garret tree is my blog on the writing life including my progress on my next book (which will be announced here some time in the coming months) My second blog, the Wampo, Nieke and Sonkrai follows the slow progress of my freelanced model railway based on my research on the Burma Thailand Railway (which is why it isn't updated that often) The Creative Guide to Research, based on my book published in 2000 is basically an archive of news, information and hints for both the online and the shoe-leather" researcher. (Google has taken over everything but there are still good hints there)
|A River Kwai Story
The Sonkrai Tribunal
|The Garret Tree
That tree can be seen outside the window of this garret.
An original photograph, filtered by a Photo Shop plug-in called India Ink.