Pressure mounts on Radio-Canada to challenge the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision to apologize for a columnist using the "n" word during a radio broadcast.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Radio-Canada, Michael Goldbloom, more than twenty well-known media personalities, including MNA Christine St-Pierre, former news anchor Bernard Derome and the former president of the Quebec Press Council, Paule Beaugrand--Champagne, are demanding that the CBC challenge the CRTC's decision in court.
This letter, published this morning in the daily Le Devoir, is the third to appear in the public space since the CRTC blamed Radio-Canada because the title of the book Nègres blancs d'Amérique, by Pierre Vallières, was pronounced four times in a segment of the show Le 15-18, on August 17, 2020.
Most of its signatories had already supported a first missive, sent to La Presse last Friday. Another letter, this time signed jointly by some fifty current CBC journalists and hosts, was published in La Presse on Monday.
In both cases, the signatories oppose the CRTC's decision and urge Radio-Canada to challenge it.
" Too important "
The CRTC's verdict, rendered on June 29, overturned a decision by the CBC ombudsman who initially dismissed the complaint of a listener, Ricardo Lamour. The Ombudsman--- has ruled that the use of the "n" word does not violate the Crown Corporation's Journalistic Standards and Practices.
According to the former director general of information at Radio-Canada, Alain Saulnier, this case raises crucial issues of journalistic independence.
"It's too important. The CRTC's decision demonstrates that it is absolutely essential that Radio-Canada's independence be clearly displayed in its editorial content. The CRTC is interfering in this. »
It is not only the SRC which must lead the battle, believe the signatories. "The CRTC is going to have its back wide at some point because now it's going to deal with the internet and digital. All media are affected,” said Saulnier.
According to our information, the Radio-Canada board of directors is to meet this week to orchestrate its response to the CRTC.
The management of the CBC, which says "to have taken note of the various opinions aroused by the decision of the CRTC", did not wish to comment on the file, yesterday.
“We wish to take the time necessary to study the decision rendered by the CRTC and the next steps to be taken,” we were told.