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  • CBC = Calgary Broadcasting Corporation?

    Edmonton? Where's that?: CBC National viewers might be excused for asking that question as the capital city rarely gets a mention in the newscast's report from Alberta
    The Edmonton Journal
    Fri 24 Mar 2006
    Page: A2
    Section: News
    Byline: Alan Kellogg
    Column: Alan Kellogg
    Source: The Edmonton Journal

    In a piece on Murray Smith, our provincial representative in Washington, D.C., a reporter from CBC TV's The National quipped that one of Smith's challenges was to help Americans find Alberta on the map.

    Judging by the program's road visit to the province this week, a similar question might be directed to its producers. Can they find Edmonton on the map?

    Well, barely. Seen through the prism of CBC's flagship newscast, Alberta 2006 would seem to be a case of Calgary and Fort McMurray, with a few mountain ranges and frolicking colts thrown in. And yes, downtown Olds, too. Each night, Peter Mansbridge -- draped in a western-ish coat -- began the broadcast with a backdrop of the Calgary skyline, the launching pad of "the rocket ride to prosperity," to "take the pulse of a province that's booming."

    Edmonton is the name The National dare not speak. Even in the few clips shot here -- brief interviews with political writer Mark Lisac and the Parkland Institute's Gordon Laxer -- the city they were speaking from was never mentioned. Geographically challenged viewers might well conclude that the Alberta legislature sits in Calgary, since everything important beyond the oilsands lives there.

    The sole exception I caught was a two-minute bit on a University of Alberta fundraiser. And although the city name was actually uttered a couple of times, a comparison was apparently necessary. To wit: "Edmonton seeks to rival Calgary in research and development." The spokesperson, who talked in general terms about the history of the province and a bright Alberta future was U of A President Indira Samarasekera. Nothing against Ms. Samarasekera, a welcome and articulate addition to Edmonton life. She didn't edit the piece. But she's lived here for less than two years.

    Contrast that to the succession of Calgary boosters who held forth. As a voice-over intoned, "it's calluses in Fort McMurray and cascades of wealth in Calgary." That other bit in the middle? Who cares?

    You might have thought Edmonton's arts and festival orbit might have offered an opportunity for a piece, even by comparison. But the solitary talking head on that front was Yves Trepanier, owner of Trepanier/Baer, a Calgary commercial art gallery. He's a successful dealer, no question -- and well spoken at that. But the only voice for the arts in the province? Please.

    The program stayed away from party politics for the most part. That's a defensible position to be sure, although drawing a contrast between provincial election voting patterns would have made sense. From personal experience, the fact that my MLA and city councillor are New Democrats comes as shock to many easterners. Peter Lougheed spoke from the Lougheed House museum in Calgary, and was thoughtful as usual, hoping aloud that Alberta doesn't become "too insular" and "self-satisfied."

    Peter Boyd, CEO of successful Calgary seismic specialists Arcis was profiled, which is fair game. "Calgary is riding high, but can fall hard," he allowed. An analyst from Calgary-based Canada West Foundation offered views on the surplus. When it came to addressing the province's labour shortage, the chosen example involved the plight of Craig Sutherland, the exhausted owner of Olds' Boston Pizza franchise. A reasonable call. After all: "Olds is an hour's drive north of Calgary." Wrap it up, and you'll still have time to make dinner at Catch or Fleur de Sel on 4th Avenue.

    A current events item on the then-looming provincial budget was inserted at one point. The origin? A CBC reporter from -- you guessed it, Calgary. It only goes to underline the dark local suspicion that the real Alberta capital is on the banks of the Bow.

    Much attention was paid to Fort McMurray, and rightly so, although its service centre in Edmonton never figured. What about a clip with former Syncrude head Eric Newell, an engaging voice on the links between the two cities, who decided to retire here.

    There were other pieces based around Calgary too, one centred on the recent triumphs at the Olympics.

    Sigh. There's a part of you that hates yourself for neurotically detailing the slights, for the very provincialism of the complaints. The last thing we need image-wise is a tag as the perennially dyspeptic also-ran. The stories of Calgary and Fort McMurray are dramatic and deserving of national illumination.

    But in supposedly attempting to enlighten the Alberta stereotype, The National has unwittingly (we trust) materially supported its own. Any examination of the province that all but excludes Edmonton and region is a tale half-baked, deceptive and frankly bad for us. It's also unlikely to do much for the CBC's current ratings here, which aren't great.

    Mostly, it just makes you mad.

  • #2
    CBC has been slowly pulling back operations in this city which is horrid.

    We have so much going on in the arts scene that is no longer covered nationally by the CBC, for instance. The ESO and CBC used to do a lot of productions/joint airings but .

    Council and local provincial and federal representatives need to work hard on this together to stop such myoptic representations of the province.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.


    • #3
      Ahh... don't worry about the CBC. I give them 6 years.


      • #4
        In Canada, I would agree. In a world perspective, a lot of international viewers get their information from the CBC.

        What this DOES show more to me is our friend's to the South and their absolute beleif that they are the only thing that exists. CBC is Calgary biased because it has a plethroa of people there and they don't have to or want to look elsewhere.

        Travel Alberta works in the same way. They film Calgary because that is where they ARE. They promote Calgary because that is where they live and that is what they know. They don't feel like driving anywhere else.

        Inexcusable when you have a budget to promote the province.

        CBC - inexcusable to not include the whole province when doing a documentary on "where's Alberta." The federally-funded tax leech missed the Capital City of the province it is featuring.

        This sums up half of why I push so hard for this site, and why I am so upset at the local powers that be for sitting on their hands instead of constantly beig the squeaky wheel - PUBLICALLY!!! I could give 2 $&%*$ less about what is done in private, make some noise.

        I'll stop now before this turns into a Richard Uber-rant...
        President and CEO - Airshow.


        • #5
          CBC used to have a much bigger Edmonton presence but it has been quietly scaled back and no one has cared.

          We should. It used to be a great outlet for the creative side of Edmonton. However, once again someone fought for something and we lay down...the results aren't surprising.
          LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.


          • #6
            In Canada, I would agree. In a world perspective, a lot of international viewers get their information from the CBC.
            I think this is true from my own experience as well. Whenever, i thought of Canada, i tried to read as much as i could about Canadian perspectives. was, for example, one of sites that visited almost daily before i started my journey to Canada. CBC TV and radio were of course not the options for me at that point of time though. Media coevrage about Edmonton is very rare on that part of the world. I mainly heard Toronto, or Vancouver and sometimes Calgary. I came here only because of my friends good comments...peaceful, moderate size, good university blah blah....So far, i am enjoying Edmonton though.....amazing weather and amazing friends ..........but lets see where my job search takes me...By the way, ..I saw ETS slogan "wherever life takes you.."...intersting!.



            • #7
              The CBC used to be great prior to 1990, and it should be again, but when it's funding is being either continually cut, or death due to due inflation (death by a thousand cuts) it's no wonder it's presence in Edmonton is minimal. What I think would help is beefing up its local news budget, so that it can compete with the big 2 in terms of the number of stories and the type of stories it can cover, in addition to getting the CBC out there again in the public's mind by increasing public exposure, either by installing public TV sets (like it has in Edmonton City Centre) or by sponsoring and hosting more local events. Personally I'd love to see CBC offer free concerts from Churchill Square or Library Plaza (the stage already exists behind the Library, and the space would easily hold 4-5000 people standing and watching) maybe in cooperation with CBC Radio.


              • #8
                By what CBC has been doing in Edmonton, I believe that they are slowly losing viewers and listeners to stations that are much more progressive and much more willing to be an active part of the community. For the most part I only have watched CBC in recent years for the hockey and the odd show here and there. Citytv and Global get my attention a whole lot quicker because of their news broadcasts that focus on Edmonton. If CBC had more Edmonton content I would look to that station too, but since they don't I could care less about what CBC does. It's a shame that the powers that be at CBC are letting it's Edmonton operation waste away.
                LRT is our future, time to push forward.


                • #9
                  I listed to CBC every day. I cant stand ched .. having commercials every 3 minutes.

                  I like it because it touches on everything, and includes alot of commentary on local arts and music.

                  Plus, all the hosts are great to listen to


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kevin_Foster
                    I listed to CBC every day. I cant stand ched .. having commercials every 3 minutes.

                    I like it because it touches on everything, and includes alot of commentary on local arts and music.

                    Plus, all the hosts are great to listen to
                    Try CKUA - - you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you hear.
                    Fly Edmonton first. Support EIA


                    • #11
                      CBC TV, outside of Coronation Street does it really serve any purpose.


                      • #12
                        Actually most Edmonton news is pathetic at best, Global has cut cut cut most of their news in the TV, radio and newpapers until there is basicly nothing left, same with CTV and CBC

                        You listen to the "information superstation" as 630 CHED bills themselves you find the same news stories for the entire day with no changes whatsoever, the traffic reports are more often than not wrong, old or missing a critical information

                        The days of Woodward and Bernstein nosing around trying to find a story are sadly gone, reports mostly now go to media release events to rehash the official company media line.


                        • #13
                          Further evidence that CBC continues to be disingenuous to Alberta's capital city, and favors Calgary:

                          1) CBC radio 1 in Edmonton's broadcast range is pathetic. I can't drive much past Leduc and then the signal at 93.9 fades out. Oddly enough, CBC radio 1 out of Calgary at 102.5 tunes in just fine. Why am I forced to listen to Calgary news, 45 minutes outside of Edmonton ?

                          2) Tripe like "Wild Roses" which, **** poor acting and storyline asside, could be seen as a glorified city of Calgary promo series. I mean seriously... if CEDC or some other facet of local government wasn't involved in the development of that show I'd be very suprised.

                          3) CBC radio 1 national programs NEVER includes a voice or perspective from Edmonton.

                          4) CBC TV airs "living Calgary" in Edmonton... When I enquired about this (the decision to air this show in Edmonton was made in... you guessed it... Calgary) The lady who responded told me that "they feel that Living Calgary is of topical interest to Edmontonians as well" Even though 95% of the show is totally Calgary-centric.

                          THere are a couple more I can think of. As far as I'm concerned, CBC is pathetic.
                          Over promise and under deliver. It’s the most Edmonton thing you can do.


                          • #14
                            Why is CBC so harsh with Edmonton?
                            The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes then steal your dreams.
                            It's heaven and hell!


                            • #15
                              CBC 102.5 is the Red Deer Radio 1 transmitter (there is no CBC Radio 1 on the AM side in Red Deer, that's why their signal is very strong). But they take programming from CBC Calgary. 93.9 is just a low-power repeater of CBC 740AM for the urban areas of Edmonton.

                              I will give credit where credit is due. Edmonton AM and Radio Active are VERY good radio programs. They do a great job covering Edmonton issues and events. Wild Rose Country, based out of Calgary, do a fine job balancing out items that are relevant to each end of the province. And I believe the Canada Live host is based out of Edmonton.

                              I will agree with you about all your other points. About the only time a CBC Radio 1 national program I've heard had someone from Edmonton was when Nicola Crosbie was one of The Point's people. Living Calgary should not be aired on CBC TV Edmonton.

                              Considering the CBC's latest musings about reducing regional output (amongst other things) to save some money in this economic environment, I would guess the next reincarnation of the CBC Alberta News will come out of Calgary.