Friday, December 29, 2017

All that good CBC Karma from Prince Rupert drifts away ... as holiday programming comes up short for the Northwest

A few weeks back we outlined the rather positive review of the CBC Radio service for the North Coast, as a pair of advocates for public broadcasting offered up a fair bit of praise for the increased attention to our part of the Daybreak North broadcast map.

During the course of the December  11th  Prince Rupert City Council session, Kathleen Palm and Evelyn Basso provided a short review of their monitoring of the local CBC programming in the region, finding much in the way of good things to share about the broadcasts out of the Prince George and Prince Rupert studios.

However, in a follow up letter to the North Coast Review this week, Ms. Palm, who has been a long time supporter and observer of the public broadcaster has a few points to share as to how the CBC has let down the region over the holiday periods. With the dedicated CBC listener putting a particular focus on the somewhat important theme at this time of the year of accurate weather and road reports.

Her account of her communication with the broadcaster observes that CBC officials had informed her that there were staffing shortages over the holiday period, which it would seem clearly impacted on the level of service expected for those that rely on the CBC for their news, weather and traffic updates outside of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island area.

The letter, which we published in the comments of the original story of December 14th, provides a couple of documented instances where if you were listening in from the North Coast you might wonder if anyone at the CBC studios over the holidays had a road map handy ... and to that theme.

Well ... we'll let Ms. Palm provide the details ...

Thank you for your excellent summary of our presentation regarding CBC Radio One to City Council on December 11, 2017. Unfortunately, Christmas Day had a surprising, and preventable lapse in CBC quality. 

As expected, regional announcers were off the air. I'm just not sure who was guarding the hen-house in Vancouver. Marking the hour were news updates and weather... weather? 

 Noting from 4 pm and hourly on, until and including 11 pm, weather was not updated for the vast area of British Columbia outside the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. The same weather was repeated all evening. As a result we were told what the daily highs would be, and most surprisingly that the sun would be coming out in Dease Lake after 11 pm! Now there's a Christmas miracle!

Travellers from Rupert like to know weather inland so they can have some expectation of conditions on Highway 16 and vice versa for drivers from Terrace. From 4 pm on, the Terrace temperature was 3 degrees, so we were told; but how old was that forecast? So I called the CBC Vancouver newsroom. 

I was told they were short staffed. I suggested they stop running the weather, given its growing inaccuracy. This was after the 5 pm broadcast. Wednesday I called Environment Canada. The person I talked to said they were issuing reports all day Christmas Day. 

 This is one of the reasons it would be good to meet with Ms. S. Tobin, the Director for CBC news in B.C. The community could convey to her the value of CBC Radio One. She might be reminded that we expect CBC content to be accurate and timely. 

 Hopefully, our City Council will get a positive reply when they invite her here.

 Thank you for covering this aspect of our north-coast lives.
 -- Kathleen Palm, December 28, 2017

As Ms. Palm notes in her conclusion, the goal of the local advocates for the CBC on the North Coast is to have City Council invite Shiral Tobin, the Director of CBC programming in the Province to come to Prince Rupert to meet with Council and  local residents.

Should Council issue the invite, and should Ms. Tobin accept the opportunity to travel north and share the CBC gospel, it would seem that there will be a few items set for the agenda, with the potential for additional discussion points s as 2017 transits into 2018.

You can review the group's initial report and view the presentation to Council through our blog item of December 14th here.

For more items related to the Communications industry around the Northwest see our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment