Monday, February 07, 2011

Yet Another CRTC Fail

In January, the CRTC  proposed a change to rules prohibiting false or misleading news broadcasts on radio and television.  Naturally, those changes would weaken the rules, paving the way for more public disinformation. Great, just what we need.

The changes are currently open for public comment, but only for two more days. Here is my brief submission.

1. I am writing to express my strong opposition to the proposed amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986; Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987; Pay Television Regulations, 1990; Specialty Services Regulations, 1990; and the Broadcasting Information Regulations, 1993, that would relax the existing prohibition on broadcasting false or misleading news.
2. I am a citizen who is greatly concerned about the quality of news and information in the public sphere, and I fear that the proposed changes would constitute a giant step backward on that front.
3. The new requirement that false or misleading news "endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public" is unduly narrow, failing to account for other important societal harm that such reporting can cause. The existing prohibition without qualification is certainly more appropriate. If there are particular exceptions that require special consideration, such as satire, those should be enumerated specifically.
4. I am appalled that these changes have been proposed without any apparent justification and without a significant public consultation. They have the potential to damage Canadian society and our democratic institutions, and as such warrant significantly more attention and input than they have received.
***End of document***
I'd encourage you to submit your comments using the online form. Note that you must number your paragraphs and end your submission with the line ***End of document*** (to indicate that the document has not been truncated).

Check out posts from Michael Geist's and the Green Party for more information.


oskyldig said...

The CRTC has been making some pretty sweeping and strange news-making headlines recently...

Furthermore, it makes me think about recent comments that Minister of Immigration Kinney made in regards to the CBC... really sad what things have come to.

Dave said...

True, though it seems the government hasn't been terribly happy with the CRTC's recent moves, either. So, I don't know what they're trying to accomplish (it seems they don't, either).

Kinney's comments are sad but unsurprising. Frankly, I'm amazed the government hasn't done anything significant to undermine the CBC yet. Maybe they're saving that for after the Majority.