Thursday, December 14, 2017

Local advocates give good Grades for local CBC programming of late

Kathleen Palm and Evelyn Basso appeared at Prince Rupert City Council
on  Monday evening and  provided a review of their report on
the amount of local content that the CBC provides for the North Coast.

Monday night was report card night of sorts for the Prince Rupert outpost of the CBC, with a local and clearly quite loyal group of CBC listeners appearing at City Council to deliver a report on the level of coverage that the North Coast receives from the public broadcaster.

And for the most part, the group which on the night was led by Ms. Kathleen Palm and former City Councillor Eveyln Basso, had positive things to say about the work of Carolina de Ryk, George Baker and their co-workers from the Prince George base of the morning program Daybreak North.

With Mr. Baker in attendance on the evening to take in the presentation, the pair relayed a number of themes for Council, compiled from a report they had released over the summer.

(That report is available from our preview of Monday's session here)

Ms. Palm delivered the bulk of the report and first provided an apology for their missed appearance of the fall, following that up with a review of some of their findings on the level of local content that the CBC provides on the North Coast.

The report from the group highlighed how they had noted a higher community profile on the CBC of late and how they had seen some improvement from their previous concerns after taking some of the areas of note to CBC management.

They observed for Council how their group had been provided with reassurance from CBC officials, that quality radio would be maintained and improved and how they hope that will remain the policy moving forward.

As part of the review of Monday evening, Ms. Palm recounted some of the past incidents that they had flagged as cause for those concerns, and noted that in recent months there has been a change in the management ranks that oversee the local Northern Service.

She also relayed some of the group's thoughts on the CBC's plans for digital expansion and how their group has advised CBC management that those plans should not take place at the expense of the regular radio service that is offered to the community.

Ms. Palm outlined how she hopes the City of Prince Rupert will remain committed to encouraging the CBC to continue to stress local content, as well as to work with their advocacy group to continue to press for local programming and expand on some of the areas of the North Coast that the local CBC feature.

They were particularly pleased to take note of the CBC's work during the recent forest fire season in the province. Taking note as to how the public broadcaster had provided in depth information and guidance for residents in many communities that were affected. 

Ms. Palm also suggested that if this is the kind of service that the City of Prince Rupert wishes to see the CBC provide to this community, that they should participate in an upcoming review of the response to the fire season hosted by MLA Doug Donaldson.

To highlight how the new approach is valuable to communities, she offered up the quality of programming from the fire season this summer, in contrast to the time of the Tsunami warning in Prince Rupert a number of years ago, where they said it took a fair bit of time for CBC to provide proper information to the community.

They then asked that the City invite Shiral Tobin, the current Program Director for the CBC in British Columbia to appear at a future Prince Rupert City Council session so their group could provide impress upon her the importance of the CBC service to the community.

To bring the six minute presentation to an end Ms. Palm thanked the City for their help in the past and observed that through the efforts of their group and the City of Prince Rupert the studios in the community are still open, offering a particular shout out for the CBC's George Baker, a salute that was echoed by Mayor Brain.

You can review the full presentation from the City's Video Archive starting at just before the six minute mark.

As the local group continues to monitor the daily work of Ms. de Ryk and Mr. Baker for local content, the North Coast listeners may also wish to keep an eye on the newly launched Northern British Columbia News archive from the Prince George office.

That new portal pulls together many of the stories that the Daybreak North teams have been working on and posts them to the CBC British Columbia website.

As that content continues to expand by the day, it appears poised to replace the current Daybreak North archive page.

So far however, the roll out seems somewhat heavy in the amount of Prince George material that is provided for, with scattered observations from areas outside of the region's largest city.

Should the CBC heed some of the gentle suggestions from the Prince Rupert listeners, that balance may shift towards more North Coast content in the months to come.

More notes related to local media in the Northwest can be reviewed here.

For more items related to Monday's Council session, see our City Council Timeline here, as well as our archive of items of interest from the Council session.

A larger overview of City Council discussion topics can be found on our Council page here.

1 comment:

  1. 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.