Why we have paused our CBC News Twitter accounts
We use this editor’s blog to explain our journalism and what’s happening at CBC News. You can find more blogs here.
Editorial independence is a bedrock principle for any credible news organization. It’s the beating heart of what we do each day in the news division of Canada’s national public broadcaster.
We are beholden to no one.
We report without fear or favour.
We act only in the public interest.
Not only is CBC/Radio-Canada’s editorial independence guaranteed under Canada’s Broadcasting Act, but our journalism is subject to rigorous standards, to which we’re held publicly accountable through an independent Ombudsman office.
That is why the CBC objects to how Twitter has defined and applied the label of “government-funded media” to CBC’s main corporate account — and to other public media organizations around the world over the past week.
It is why we have paused Twitter activity on our news and information accounts, mirroring a simultaneous halt to Twitter activity across CBC entertainment, sports, communications, corporate and Radio-Canada accounts.
First, some background:
At the behest of Twitter CEO Elon Musk, the social media platform began to label public broadcasters as “state-affiliated,” “government-funded” or “publicly funded.” Public media targeted with these labels so far include the BBC, NPR, PBS, ABC (Australia), RNZ (New Zealand) and RTVE (Spain).
According to Twitter, “government-funded” is defined as “outlets where the government provides some or all of the outlet’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.“
While CBC/Radio-Canada is publicly funded through a parliamentary appropriation voted upon by all members of Parliament, the government has no — zero — involvement in our editorial content or journalism.
We cannot in good conscience continue to post fact-based news and information to Twitter, or engage on it, while a false impression of government involvement in our work is allowed to stand. As a news organization committed to truth, facts and accuracy, we cannot abide by a label that promotes disinformation about who we are and what we do.
CBC/Radio-Canada has made the case to Twitter that the label should be dropped or changed, as recently occurred with the BBC. Until then, the pause will remain in effect.
In the meantime, you can always find our journalism in many other places, including at CBC-TV, CBC Radio, CBCNews.ca, the free CBC News app, CBC Gem, CBC Listen, CBC News Explore, CBC News Network, the low bandwidth CBC Lite, our suite of newsletters and a variety of third-party platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and more.
As for CBC News, we will stay focused on doing the kinds of stories that make a difference and get noticed, as we did this past week with more than 17 journalism awards from the Canadian Screen Awards and the Canadian Association of Journalists.
The independence of our journalism, the strength of our journalists, the impact of these stories — all of it matters. Anything that undermines this important work is something we can’t support.
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