Countdown reset – CBC not ready to “modernize” RCI on time

See below for updates.

Staff at Radio Canada International (RCI) has been told that CBC/Radio-Canada needs more time to implement its new RCI policy, which was scheduled to begin April 1.

At a video conference call on March 30, host-producers and webmasters, most of whom were to lose their jobs on April 1, were told the CBC/Radio-Canada website was not yet ready to integrate the RCI website, which is being absorbed by the public broadcaster.

Employees were then told they would have to work until April 15.

They were given few other details. It appears that years of making RCI use older Internet and web software has made coordinating an exchange to the public broadcaster’s site more of a challenge than expected.

The meeting came on the eve of the last day of the present mandate of RCI. The new policy, which was announced on December 3, 2020, takes Radio Canada International away from its focus on producing programming for international audiences, a focus which is a condition of the public broadcaster’s licence requirement under Canada’s Broadcasting Act. For now, the present mandate has been extended to April 15.

There were numerous questions at the meeting, but few clear answers. Two field reporters who were to be hired in Montreal have still not been selected. The Tagalog and Punjabi job postings in Toronto only ended on March 20. It would be unlikely that candidates have already been hired. Even if they had been, they would not have much time for training for the new jobs.

Apparently such basic information as how many translations and adaptations of CBC or Radio-Canada texts that remaining journalists will be obliged to do per day, has still not been decided.

UPDATE April 14, 2021: The day before the “new” RCI was to start staff was called for another video conference and told CBC/Radio-Canada is still not ready, and the new deadline is May 14. Again, staff has been told to fill in and work until CBC/Radio-Canada is ready. However, this time, only two of three host-producers per language section will continue working.

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Article by Admin RCI Action Committee Website

Wojtek Gwiazda has been the spokesperson for the RCI Action Committee since 1991. The Committee is supported and funded by the union that represents almost all RCI employees: the Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs de Radio-Canada (STTRC formerly SCRC). E-mail: Read 112 articles by Admin RCI Action Committee Website
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