Proof that CBC cuts are bad news

26Mar09

A few posts back, I made an attempt to lament the then-impending demise of Canwest. The corporation has since survived its most recent deadline to renegotiate loans with creditors, and all is well for the moment. My point at the time, though, was that left-wingers who don’t like the National Post should grow up and realize that losing a newspaper means far more than losing an editorial tone. It’s losing a valuable contributor to the medium.

Well, all is not well at the CBC, where 800 jobs will be cut and assets will be sold, all to save a measly $181 million. This no doubt has some CBC haters grinning, because it will force the public broadcaster to rethink its priorities and scramble around for awhile — something its opponents love to see.

While many at the Post have often gone after the CBC, they are now apparently coming to (a grudging) defence of the crown corporation. This lede of a genuine, if snarky, column penned by the Post‘s Kelly McParland, speaks to the human face behind any job losses in media, no matter the outlet:

One morning in September 2001 I was driving to work listening to the CBC’s morning radio host chortle about 120 people who had just lost their jobs.

The day before, the National Post had been forced by financial pressures to lay them off. It was a horrific day — 120 people walked into the office only to discover they didn’t have a paycheque any more. 120 people means 120 families, which means wives and kids have to be given the news, then parents and relatives, and friends who call “to see if you’re okay.”

Without going on too much about this, I think it’s worth thinking about the families behind job losses. Someone losing a paycheque at the CBC or the Post is just the same as a steel worker, forestry worker, or auto worker.

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