CMG is requesting answers from CBC management regarding last week’s announcement of a new branded content service called CBC Tandem. We have put the issue on the agenda for the September National Joint Committee meeting between the union and management.
We are disappointed that we were not advised, nor consulted about the new service given the ongoing concerns many Canadians and journalists have about the blurring of lines between advertising and product promotion, and news.
In these critical times when fake news and misinformation are a global threat, we believe the national public broadcaster is uniquely placed to be a leader in safeguarding trust and reliability in our news services, on all platforms.
For these and other reasons, CMG members at CBC are very concerned about CBC Tandem and how it could impact their work and the reputation of CBC as a trusted independent news and information service. CMG members are asking for clarity about this new service, and about what safeguards and transparent monitoring processes are in place to ensure an unambiguous separation of news and commercial interests.
The CBC’s reputation is built on adeep respect for the reliable, quality journalism our members deliver. This enviable legacy must continue for the next generation of Canadians. We have heard from many members across the country who fear the potential negative impacts of this service, and question whether this is a path the CBC should be heading toward. We realize the COVID-19 crisis has brought with it a particular set of financial challenges. Our union will continue to work with the corporation to fight for more and better funding, and to make responsible, carefully considered choices when it comes to other sources of revenue.
We will keep members updated.
Kim Trynacity, CBC/Radio-Canada Branch President, Canadian Media Guild
Carmel Smyth, National President, Canadian Media Guild