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Radio-Canada's Quebec navel-gazing. What about CBC's coverage of Quebec ?

Ph.D., Université de Montréal, Editor,®

According to a a study by a Carleton University researcher, which sampled 2010 newscasts of Radio-Canada's Le Telejournal, 42 per cent of the coverage focused on Quebec, a third dealt with international news and just 20 per cent covered Canadian "national" news. But what about the CBC and its own coverage of Québec?

As a francophone from la Belle Province, I would appreciate even more the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)  - and I mean specifically the English network of Radio-Canada - if it could cover more extensively Quebec. When I watch the news and other programs on the television network of the CBC, I feel as if Quebec has already separated from Canada.

I watch regularly the CBC television network and I am quite satisfied with the diversity that is covered on the Network whether one watches Stroumboulopoulos 's program or the National News, but I do have two reservations. 

I think the CBC should examine systematically the amount of time it devotes to news from Quebec on its national network for I do not believe that the time allocated at present is adequate.

Another point I would like to make concerns the tendency that the hosts of the CBC have when covering Quebec. They tend to ask only French-Canadian commentators to analyze or comment news from Quebec. One example among many others is Thursday’s At issue panel with Peter Mansbridge which I watch every week.

I always find it strange that Mrs Chantal Hébert is the only ‘’expert’’ to comment on Quebec among the three other journalists present. As if the other journalists do not dare to differ with Mrs Hébert on Quebec.

The Maclean controversy on Quebec was the only issue where co-panleist, Andrew Coyne, dared to differ with Mrs Hébert. And, as we know, he felt obliged to do so for he was then employed by that magazine.

This tendency leaves one with the disagreable impression that Quebec is a ‘’pure laine’’ society, which only French-Canadian Quebecers can explain or analyze, and it does not serve well  Quebec’s present multicultural and multilingual reality.

Finally, while the CBC should look into ways to diversify its coverage of Quebec, the French network – Radio-Canada – has a lot to learn from its English counterpart in becoming more inclusive when it comes to covering Quebec society.

October 14, 2012


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By Frank Guttman on August 16,2012

Bravo, bravo. J'approuve.


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Victor Teboul's Column

Victor Teboul is a writer and the publisher of ®, The Tolerance Webzine, which he founded in 2002 to promote a critical discourse on tolerance and diversity. Dr. Teboul is the author of several books and numerous articles. He was a... (Read next)

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