The CBC moderates Canadian media
Dec 6, 2010

The CBC moderates Canadian media

There is a very important difference between Canadian and American television news media. In the US there is an almost hyper-partisanship where media like Fox or MSNBC put significant partisan biases into their news coverage and more importantly their opinion coverage. In Canada, the major TV news stations of CBC, CTV and the like operate without the kind of systemic biases towards a single party or ideology.

One factor in this is that the CBC is very much unbiased with regards to partisanship. As a publicly financed institution, this is actually a part of their official mandate and they can't pick and choose one party over the other. I shouldn't imply they are perfect as for instance significantly less time is spent covering the NDP and certainly the greens than the liberals or conservatives, but you won't ever find an unwavering series of Glenn Beck characters in the CBC pontificating with bias to a single party.

With the CBC and its enforced nonpartisanship taking up such a large microphone in Canada, the other media companies are compelled for several reasons to go along with that non-partisan narrative. No media source exists in a vacuum, and the existence of a specific media message influences and is influenced by the national dialogue all other media participates in. For example, the need for uniform polarization in the media prevents, say, the other dominant player CTV from taking a largely skewed partisan perspective when their isn't the opposing force the way the right and left networks in the US balance each others partisan polarities.

Now it should be noted that while this removes much of the most egregious aspects of the partisan bias that exists in US media from Canadian media, it does not remove many of the other biases that aren't related to the partisan divide. For example, its nature of being a public company actually increases the fundamentally pro-government bias. At the same time Glenn Beck engages in gross hyper-partisanship, he is also often challenging some (but certainly not all) aspects of the US government and this is a focus that is rarer in Canada, at times to our detriment.

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