Out on the campaign hustings on Tuesday the Liberal Party announced it would increase federal Funding to the CBC by $150 million annually. The NDP have also been courting the public broadcaster with promises of more funding. Meanwhile the Conservatives have been trying their best to reign in the more than $1 billion annual tax-payer funding the CBC receives. It’s no wonder the relationship between the CBC and the governing Conservatives is somewhat less than warm and fuzzy.
And such is the endless quandary faced by the national broadcaster when covering elections. Unlike CTV, Global or pretty much any other Media outlet covering the 2015 election, it is empirically in CBC’s best interest if the Conservatives lose on Oct. 19.
Source: Tristin Hopper, National Post, September 23, 2015
Anytime government controls the purse strings of the media it is clearly bad for democracy. Regardless of whether you feel there’s an editorial bias or not, media should be free from possible government influence. A free media is the bedrock of democracy.
While many argue the CBC doesn’t do a good job of serving the interests of all Canadian tax-payers (just look at their audience size and ratings), and others are concerned about the unfair competition imposed on other private media outlets, the most important reason we need to look at how the CBC is funded is the effect it can have on our democratic process.
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