I’m home! And in isolation.
Now under 14 days of house arrest … isolation … made quite comfortable thanks to friends Chris and Kathy stocking my place with groceries (yes, they found them!) before arriving back … and friend Barry also stepping up since, with door-front drop-offs.
And I now have a renewed appreciation for the role TV and the Internet play in our lives … more important than ever to me (and others) staying home much more than normal.
And I’ve been watching.
First of all, now back in Vancouver, I could not help but immediately notice the difference in the structure/messaging/plan of attack against coronavirus and even the tone of our own provincial/municipal and federal officials compared to the chaotic/confused and, frankly, sometimes simply unbelievable Trump/Pence “briefings” I watched on tv in the US.
Not once since getting back have I seen Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say he’s smarter than the scientists, or we should try a malaria drug … or poutine … to cure it, or that we’ll have vaccine in “three or four months” … and a cure is on the horizon! (Not to mention the idiotic statements, misinformation and lies Trump and his lackeys delivered routinely earlier, downplaying both the imminent dangers and the expected impact of the virus.)
In fact, Canadians have an advantage over our American neighbours: thanks to the wide choice of TV channels available here, we can tune in coverage on both sides of the border to compare the monitoring/treatment progress and even the carefully crafted messages being aimed at the respective populations.
And speaking of television, as well as the internet, just think how much easier it is for anyone in extended isolation to keep up to date with the latest actions/information/discussions and just pass the time these days, compared to what global citizens experienced with previous pandemics.
Unless you believe you should be able to get it on your LOCAL CBC station that you have funded for generations.
Incredibly, the CBC has CANCELED its local newscasts across the country during the pandemic!
Just when the taxpayers who PAY for the CBC’s budget, salaries, highest tech equipment and some very fancy building facilities should be able to depend on the CBC for the latest LOCAL coronavirus alerts, breakouts, dangers, actions, closures and detailed news … the CBC has abandoned its local commitments.
Here’s how the CBC brass justified the move: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/cbc-tvnews-changes-coronavirus-1.5501512
“As Canadians turn to us for the latest developments during these unprecedented times, we are temporarily pooling our resources into one core news offering to ensure the very best of our local and national journalism,” said Susan Marjetti, CBC’s general manager of news, current affairs and local.
I don’t buy it.
On Saturday, I tuned in CBC Newsworld for the Noon (Pacific) BC update: they didn’t join the live update until 12:04 p.m and MISSED the announcement of the total number of cases in BC! It was only given 20 minutes later, when Health Minister Adrian Dix decided to repeat part of the BC announcement in French. (Lucky for viewers … and the CBC … that he did that … because not even the CBC’s graphics running at the bottom of the screen had the BC numbers!)
Is that the best Canada’s broadcaster can do?
And what about details? The CBC could and should be regularly delivering not just the BC totals or those for the Vancouver area … but also the number of LOCAL cases/deaths/actions throughout the province … in the Okanagan, Prince George, the Interior and the Kootenays!
And the same in other provinces as well.
And it’s LOCAL stations that fulfill that important task … and mandate.
With LOCAL news programming cancelled, the CBC should adopt a new slogan: “When your community faces a crisis … we’re out of here!”
Readers of this blog will know I have defended funding of the CBC as necessary for fulfilling national broadcast objectives and serving local communities often ignored or under-served by private broadcasters.
However, CBC’s abandonment of local communities during the current crisis is a disgrace that should be addressed by the CRTC and Parliament once they are fully functioning again.
Fortunately, private broadcasters are providing LOCAL coverage, so there is still a lot to explore on both TV and the Internet.
So despite CBC abandoning local communities and its responsibilities to ALL Canadians … TV and the Internet will help us all to pass our required 14 days isolation … or voluntarily for even longer periods.
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