Saturday, February 21, 2009

CBC Floats Over Details

It is interesting to me that a public media outlet such as the CBC would downplay a left-wing concern that even Drudge put on his front page. Is the CBC being neutral or being sloppy? (Image: CNN) Hilary Clinton, Obama's Secretary of State, has been visiting Chinese officials this past week. Instead of focusing on a controversial remark that has many bloggers frustrated and concerned, CBC decided to stay positive.

During the trip to China, Clinton made the controversial remark that the economic situation takes precedence over humanitarian concerns. This comment was not in the headline of the CBC article, as it was with many other mainstream versions of the news.

The concerns are being relayed in the mainstream press, except CBC's that report placed the controversy low in the inverted pyramid. The AFP wire story was headlined "Activists 'shocked' at Clinton stance on China rights" in comparison. Why did CBC do this?

To me, this statement by Clinton should raise alarm bells for anyone acting in the public interest. How could it not be a concern, as explained by many responses to the news, that this stance will allow China to feel less pressure in future dealings? CBC did not act in the public interest in this article.

Some may not be surprised by this failure by CBC, but as someone who has had some respect for its work, I am a bit concerned by it. Some might not even see this as a failure, but I can't agree with that stance. The structure of the CBC article downplays the importance of this development. Even if there is significant information and background it is after the proverbial fold.

It baffles me that the CBC would publish such an article. With such an important issue of public interest at stake, the public media failed to act in a way in line with its "not-for-profit" goals.