CRTC Chairman Reminds Broadcasters: Your License is Public Property
Updated: Dec 11, 2019
You probably did not spend your lunch hour watching CRTC Chairman, Jean-Pierre Blais address the Canadian Club in Toronto on Wednesday. The session was titled: “Staying informed: TV news in an era of change".
The Chariman's overriding theme served as a reminder to TV and Radio owners that they are the curators and trust holders of licenses.
The event kicked off the latest CRTC video and then the Chairman spoke for close to a half hour.
"I fear those who manage media: The corporate executive, accountants, lawyers and MBA's, have lost touch with their audiences. Analysts on Bay Street focus on quarterly results, Profits, Balance sheets, share prices and other calling cards of private wealth. They do not care nearly as much about the health of costly endeavors that preserve the wealth of our democracy. What they must appreciate and must be reminded of, is they hold an asset in trust; an asset that is not otherwise available through regular commercial channels. The value to society of vibrant, free and responsible press is immeasurable. It is a public trust; it is a public good. Television news belongs to the marketplace of ideas. Not the marketplace of higher dividends for investors. May we never lose sight of this truth."
"I am here to tell you that broadcasters hold a social contract with Canadians. In exchange for using public airwaves to bring the productions into the homes and onto the devices of Canadians across the country, these enterprises also have a duty to serve the public interest."
The full video of the speech is housed on CPAC.
Or you can fumble around with the embed job I inserted below. If you're in broadcasting in any form, it's a worthwhile half hour watch.
The CBC wrote an article about his comments here.
The livestream embed link did not play so I removed it.