CBC: your value is in your reporting, not your opinions

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The CBC is stepping into territory that isn’t theirs to claim.

The national media outlet is planning to launch a new opinion section that features commentary on the day’s news. But as a publicly-funded body and a credible news source to many Canadians — particularly in places where other news sources don’t have footholds — introducing non-objective voices into their coverage is a misstep. 

While opinions sections may advertise a platform for all voices, someone still chooses which opinion is worth broadcasting.

It makes sense that in journalism’s changing climate, the CBC would try to be as relatable to the everyday Canadian as possible. What doesn’t make sense is why a news outlet is taking away resources from their news coverage — which is their central purpose and what sets them apart. 

Because let’s face it — no matter how neutral they claim to be, like most media outlets, the CBC is swayed by who’s in power. Under Harper, the company had to cut down on their critique of the Conservative government as his government cut down on their budget.

Now, with Trudeau promising a $675-million boost to the CBC, it’s hard to believe this new opinion section will offer a completely unbiased critique of the Liberal leadership if something happens down the line.

What’s more, adding a new section won’t just steer attention away from the news — it may also threaten smaller news outlets that don’t have the kind of cash the CBC has, but still offer hometown perspectives.

The possibility of local newspapers drying up is a dangerous one — no one news outlet deserves a total monopoly of Canadian media.

A wealth of perspectives much better represents what’s going on in a country than a singular perspective.

— Journal Editorial Board 

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