About 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: wojtekrciaction@gmail.com
Website: http://rciaction.org/blog
Admin RCI Action Committee Website has written 111 articles so far, you can find them below.


Help us before November 2022

Please note: Deadline for Senators to decide about amendments (including our amendment) to the Broadcasting Act  has been extended by the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications (TRCM) so there’s still time to share your views with the members of the Senate Committee.

The future of Radio Canada International (RCI) will be decided by mid November. By that time a Canadian Senate Committee will decide whether or not to change the wording of Article 46(2) of Canada’s Broadcasting Act. This article is the only federal legislation that deals with RCI. The RCI Action Committee is proposing a strengthened definition of the role and mandate of our world service.

CBC/Radio-Canada has ignored its obligations under the Broadcasting Act and Orders in Council for years. With the result it has moved RCI away from creating programming “targeted at international audiences” (as directed in Order in Council 2012-0775), and has RCI translating CBC and Radio-Canada web texts, and focusing on ethnic communities in Canada.

The difference between the mandates of CBC/Radio-Canada and RCI is part of the challenge facing RCI. CBC/Radio-Canada programming is directed at Canadians in Canada. RCI, as a world service, is mandated to create programming for non-Canadian audiences outside of Canada who may know little or nothing about Canada. The content of these two institutions are very different because of their intended audiences.

Up until the 1990s that was not a problem since CBC was not in charge of editorial and journalistic decisions, because the management of RCI was left to RCI administrators who had expertise in international broadcasting.

With budget issues at CBC in 1990, CBC took money earmarked for RCI. In subsequent years these budget issues opened the door for CBC administrators to finally take over the administration of RCI with disastrous results.

The newsroom was disbanded, the Ukrainian and Russian sections eliminated, as well as the audience relations department and its music recording department, and the English and French Sections were closed down. And then RCI’s popular website was revamped, badly, and lately used to promote CBC and Radio-Canada programming.

In a phrase, CBC/Radio-Canada did not have the expertise, or the desire to fulfill its obligations to support a real world service for non-Canadian audiences outside Canada, and started using the service for its own purposes.

In addition, CBC/Radio-Canada is describing the RCI situation as one about new technology versus old technology, “digital platforms” versus “traditional broadcasting” to explain what it is doing with RCI with its new RCI policy of December 2020. CBC/Radio-Canada used the same argument in 2012 when it cut 80 per cent of RCI’s budget and stopped it from being a radio station, leaving only the RCI website.

This argument was not true in 2012 nor is it true in 2022, because RCI, like CBC, has had digital platforms and was using the Internet extensively and successfully since 1996.

As you can see we face numerous obstacles to getting our amendment passed, but we’re not giving up. We hope you will not give up on us.

We have great plans for a multi modal, hybrid RCI that looks forward to using all available technologies as we regain our role as a true world service.

But to do this we need to convince Senators on the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications who will be amending the Broadcasting Act to include our amendment of Article 46(2).

Please contact the Senators of the Committee (list below) and share your thoughts with them about the importance of a world service to Canada, why you care, and share whatever personal connection, listening to, working with, being aware of, Radio Canada International, that you may have.

As always thank you.

Wojtek Gwiazda, Spokesperson RCI Action Committee, wojtekrciaction@gmail.com

——————————————————————

Senators on the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications:

Leo Housakos, Chair of the Committee

Leo.Housakos@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-947-4237 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorHousakos

.

Julie Miville-Dechêne, Vice-présidente du comité

julie.miville-dechene@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-943-4780 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/mivillej

.

Bernadette Clement

Bernadette.Clement@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1046 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorClement

.

René Cormier

Rene.Cormier@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-996-2247 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenCormier

.

Donna Dasko

Donna.Dasko@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-3711 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonnaDasko

.

Dennis Dawson

dennis.dawson@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-995-3978 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/dennis_dawson

.

Marty Klyne

Marty.Klyne@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-7933 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mister_Regina

.

Fabian Manning

fabian.manning@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-947-4203

.

Jim Quinn

jim.quinn@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1050 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorJimQuinn

.

Paula Simons

Paula.Simons@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-8242 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paulatics

.

Karen Sorensen

Karen.Sorensen@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1115 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Karen_Banff

.

Pamela Wallin

pamela.wallin@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-996-2794 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorWallin

Aidez-nous avant novembre 2022

Veuillez noter : La date limite pour que les sénateurs décident des amendements (y compris notre amendement) à la Loi sur la radiodiffusion a été prolongée par le Comité sénatorial des transports et des communications (TRCM), il est donc encore temps de partager votre point de vue avec les membres du Comité sénatorial.

L’avenir de Radio Canada International (RCI) se décidera d’ici la mi-novembre. À ce moment-là, un comité sénatorial canadien décidera s’il convient ou non de modifier le libellé de l’article 46(2) de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion du Canada. Cet article est la seule législation fédérale qui traite de RCI. Le Comité d’Action RCI propose une définition renforcée du rôle et du mandat de notre service mondial.

Cela est nécessaire parce que notre radiodiffuseur public national, CBC/Radio-Canada, a ignoré ses obligations en vertu de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion et des décrets en conseil pendant des années. Avec le résultat, elle a éloigné RCI de la création d’émissions « conçue pour des auditoires étrangers » (comme indiqué dans le décret 2012-0775), et a demandé à RCI de traduire les textes Web de CBC et de Radio-Canada et de se concentrer sur les communautés ethniques au Canada.

La différence entre les mandats de CBC/Radio-Canada et de RCI fait partie du défi auquel fait face RCI. La programmation de CBC/Radio-Canada s’adresse aux Canadiens au Canada. RCI, en tant que service mondial, a pour mandat de créer des émissions destinées à des auditoires non canadiens à l’extérieur du Canada qui connaissent peut-être peu ou rien du Canada. Le contenu de ces deux institutions est très différent en raison de leurs publics cibles.

Jusqu’aux années 1990, ce n’était pas un problème puisque Radio-Canada n’était pas responsable des décisions éditoriales et journalistiques, car la gestion de RCI était laissée aux administrateurs de RCI qui avaient une expertise en radiodiffusion internationale.

Avec des problèmes budgétaires à CBC/Radio-Canada en 1990, CBC a pris de l’argent destiné à RCI. Au cours des années suivantes, ces problèmes budgétaires ont ouvert la porte aux administrateurs de CBC/Radio-Canada pour finalement prendre en charge l’administration de RCI avec des résultats désastreux.

La salle de rédaction a été dissoute, les sections ukrainienne et russe supprimées, ainsi que le service des relations avec le public et son service d’enregistrement musical, et les sections anglaise et française ont été fermées. Et puis le site Web populaire de RCI a été remanié, mal, et dernièrement utilisé pour promouvoir la programmation de CBC et de Radio-Canada.

En un mot, CBC/Radio-Canada n’avait pas l’expertise ou le désir de remplir ses obligations de soutenir un service mondial réel pour les auditoires non canadiens à l’extérieur du Canada et a commencé à utiliser le service à ses propres fins.

De plus, CBC/Radio-Canada décrit la situation de RCI comme une situation de nouvelle technologie par rapport à l’ancienne technologie, de « plateformes numériques » par rapport à la « diffusion traditionnelle » pour expliquer ce qu’elle fait avec RCI avec sa nouvelle politique RCI de décembre 2020. CBC/ Radio-Canada a utilisé le même argument en 2012 lorsqu’elle a coupé 80 % du budget de RCI et l’a arrêtée d’être une radio, ne laissant que le site Web de RCI.

Cet argument n’était pas vrai en 2012 ni en 2022, car RCI, comme CBC, avait des plateformes numériques et utilisait Internet de manière intensive et avec succès depuis 1996.

Comme vous pouvez le constater, nous rencontrons de nombreux obstacles pour faire adopter notre amendement, mais nous n’abandonnons pas. Nous espérons que vous ne nous abandonnerez pas.

Nous avons de grands projets pour une RCI multimodale et hybride qui se réjouit d’utiliser toutes les technologies disponibles alors que nous retrouvons notre rôle de véritable service mondial.

Mais pour ce faire, nous devons convaincre les sénateurs du Comité permanent des transports et des communications qui modifieront la Loi sur la radiodiffusion pour y inclure notre modification de l’article 46(2).

Veuillez contacter les sénateurs du Comité (liste ci-dessous) et partagez avec eux vos réflexions sur l’importance d’un service mondial pour le Canada, pourquoi vous vous en souciez, et partagez tout lien personnel, écoute, travail avec, connaissance de Radio Canada International , que vous pourriez avoir.

Comme toujours merci.

Wojtek Gwiazda, Porte-parole, Comité d’action de RCI, wojtekrciaction@gmail.com

Sénateurs du Comité permanent des transports et des communications :

.

Leo Housakos, Chair of the Committee

Leo.Housakos@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-947-4237 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorHousakos

.

Julie Miville-Dechêne, Vice-présidente du comité

julie.miville-dechene@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-943-4780 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/mivillej

.

Bernadette Clement

Bernadette.Clement@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1046 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorClement

.

René Cormier

Rene.Cormier@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-996-2247 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenCormier

.

Donna Dasko

Donna.Dasko@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-3711 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonnaDasko

.

Dennis Dawson

dennis.dawson@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-995-3978 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/dennis_dawson

.

Marty Klyne

Marty.Klyne@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-7933 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mister_Regina

.

Fabian Manning

fabian.manning@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-947-4203

.

Jim Quinn

jim.quinn@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1050 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorJimQuinn

.

Paula Simons

Paula.Simons@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-8242 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paulatics

.

Karen Sorensen

Karen.Sorensen@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1115 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Karen_Banff

.

Pamela Wallin

pamela.wallin@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-996-2794 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorWallin

Ayúdenos a reconstruir Radio Canadá Internacional

El futuro de Radio Canadá Internacional (RCI) se decidirá a mediados de noviembre. Para entonces, una comisión del Senado canadiense decidirá si se modifica o no la redacción del apartado 2 del artículo 46 de la Ley de Radiodifusión de Canadá. Este artículo es la única legislación federal que se ocupa de RCI. El Comité de Acción de RCI propone una definición reforzada del papel y del mandato de nuestro servicio mundial.

Esto es necesario porque nuestra emisora pública nacional, CBC/Radio-Canada, ha ignorado durante años sus obligaciones en virtud de la Ley de Radiodifusión y las Órdenes del Consejo. Con el resultado de que ha alejado a RCI de la creación de una programación “dirigida a las audiencias internacionales” (como se indica en la Orden del Consejo 2012-0775), y tiene a periodistas de RCI traduciendo los textos de la web de CBC y Radio-Canada, y centrándose en las comunidades étnicas de Canadá.

La diferencia entre los mandatos de CBC/Radio-Canada y RCI es parte del reto al que se enfrenta RCI. La programación de CBC/Radio-Canada está dirigida a los canadienses en Canadá. RCI, como servicio mundial, tiene el mandato de crear una programación para audiencias no canadienses fuera de Canadá que pueden saber poco o nada sobre Canadá. El contenido de estas dos instituciones es muy diferente debido a su público objetivo.

Hasta la década de 1990 esto no era un problema, ya que la CBC no se encargaba de las decisiones editoriales y periodísticas, porque la gestión de RCI se dejaba en manos de los administradores de RCI, que tenían experiencia en la radiodifusión internacional.

Con los problemas presupuestarios de la CBC en 1990, ésta tomó el dinero destinado a RCI. En los años siguientes, estos problemas presupuestarios abrieron la puerta para que los administradores de la CBC se hicieran cargo finalmente de la administración de RCI con resultados desastrosos.

Se disolvió la redacción, se eliminaron las secciones ucraniana y rusa, así como el departamento de relaciones con la audiencia y su departamento de grabación musical, y se cerraron las secciones inglesa y francesa. Además, el popular sitio web de RCI fue renovado, de mala manera, y últimamente se utiliza para promocionar la programación de la CBC y de Radio-Canadá.

En una frase, CBC/Radio-Canada no tenía la experiencia, o el deseo de cumplir con sus obligaciones de apoyar un servicio del mundo real para las audiencias no canadienses fuera de Canadá, y comenzó a utilizar el servicio para sus propios fines.

Además, CBC/Radio-Canada está describiendo la situación de RCI como una situación de nueva tecnología frente a la vieja tecnología, “plataformas digitales” frente a “radiodifusión tradicional” para explicar lo que está haciendo con RCI con su nueva política de RCI de diciembre de 2020. CBC/Radio-Canada utilizó el mismo argumento en 2012 cuando recortó el 80% del presupuesto de RCI y dejó de ser una emisora de radio, dejando sólo el sitio web de RCI.


Este argumento no era cierto en 2012 ni tampoco lo es en 2022, porque RCI, al igual que la CBC, ha tenido plataformas digitales y estaba utilizando Internet ampliamente y con éxito desde 1996.

Como pueden ver, os enfrentamos a numerosos obstáculos para conseguir la aprobación de nuestra enmienda, pero no nos rendimos. Esperamos que no se rindan con nosotros.

Tenemos grandes planes para una RCI multimodal e híbrida que espera utilizar todas las tecnologías disponibles a medida que recuperamos nuestro papel como verdadero servicio mundial.

Pero para ello necesitamos convencer a los senadores de la Comisión Permanente de Transportes y Comunicaciones que van a modificar la Ley de Radiodifusión para incluir nuestra enmienda del artículo 46.2.

Por favor, póngase en contacto con los senadores del Comité (lista más abajo) y comparta con ellos sus ideas sobre la importancia de un servicio mundial para Canadá, por qué le importa, y comparta cualquier conexión personal, escuchando, trabajando o conociendo Radio Canadá Internacional, que pueda tener.

Como siempre, gracias.

Wojtek Gwiazda, Portavoz, Comité de Acción de RCI, wojtekrciaction@gmail.com
————————–
Senadores de la Comisión Permanente de Transportes y Comunicaciones:
.

Leo Housakos, Chair of the Committee

Leo.Housakos@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-947-4237 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorHousakos

.

Julie Miville-Dechêne, Vice-présidente du comité

julie.miville-dechene@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-943-4780 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/mivillej

.

Bernadette Clement

Bernadette.Clement@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1046 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorClement

.

René Cormier

Rene.Cormier@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-996-2247 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenCormier

.

Donna Dasko

Donna.Dasko@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-3711 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonnaDasko

.

Dennis Dawson

dennis.dawson@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel : 613-995-3978 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/dennis_dawson

.

Marty Klyne

Marty.Klyne@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-7933 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mister_Regina

.

Fabian Manning

fabian.manning@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-947-4203

.

Jim Quinn

jim.quinn@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1050 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorJimQuinn

.

Paula Simons

Paula.Simons@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-943-8242 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paulatics

.

Karen Sorensen

Karen.Sorensen@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-944-1115 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/Karen_Banff

.

Pamela Wallin

pamela.wallin@sen.parl.gc.ca

Tel: 613-996-2794 – Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenatorWallin

The “modernized” RCI website

The new “modernized” Radio Canada International (RCI) website produced by CBC/Radio-Canada was supposed to give our world service greater visibility and more content “to ensure that the service remains a strong and relevant voice in the 21st-century media landscape.” (CBC/Radio-Canada announcement Dec 3, 2020.)

Based on these goals, since its launch on May 19, the site has failed. The website’s address is no longer https://www.rcinet.ca but has been changed to https://ici.radio-canada.ca/rci/ and the new site does not give access to the previous website’s massive archives of text and audio reports.

Obviously any new site has growing pains, things like links that don’t work, but our focus here will be on the kind of decisions that were made to change the former site of RCI and how these decisions affect the usability and utility of the new site for international audiences.

Radio Canada International name – gone

No longer “Canada’s voice to the world”

So what kind of decisions did CBC/Radio-Canada make to “modernize” the Radio Canada International website?

First they decided to get rid of the name Radio Canada International everywhere except at the bottom of the page, in the copyright notice. And RCI is no longer described as Canada’s voice to the world, but on the bottom of every website page RCI is described as “CBC/Radio-Canada’s multilingual service.”

Unlike the previous version of the website that had links to each of the available language services, the new site has a drop down menu, which, if you end up on a language page you don’t understand, will not be evident. If you look carefully, you will be able to see an article in a language you understand, and then by linking to it, you eventually get to the home page of the language you understand.

No search function

There is no search function, so that will not help you find a language service, or, for that matter any content on the new website, or from the old website. More on the “old” website later.

The homepage of each language service is more confusing than that of the old website because the thumbnails for both a given language page, and those that are at the top for other language services, are almost the same size and not really separated from each other.

In the “Latest News” section, which shows all the most recent text reports, the thumbnails are so big, that only a few stories are immediately visible when opening this section.

The few podcasts that are available to listen to (old RCI audio reports have no links on the new website) do not give the possibility to skip ahead, or to re-listen to audio content.

Less content

Overall the quantity of the  content on the new website has dropped radically:

Daily output per language service:

Now                               Before

Texts – 3 to 4                Texts 6

Audio – 0                       Audio – 3

Weekly output per language service:

Now                             Before

Texts – 15-20              Texts 45

Audio – 1                    Audio 18

Greater visibility for RCI or for CBC/Radio-Canada?

One other promise of the new CBC/Radio-Canada policy for RCI was “greater visibility” for RCI on the CBC and Radio-Canada websites. That so far is clearly not the case. In fact, there’s a question about which service RCI or CBC/Radio-Canada is getting more visibility.

On the Radio-Canada site, you have to click on menu, and then know that the redesigned RCI logo gives you access to the RCI website. If you don’t follow that route, and scroll down all the way down the homepage of Radio-Canada, and recognize the new logo, you’ll find a series of thumbnails linking to the different language services.

On the CBC website, the menu function does not show any link to RCI. And if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the homepage, you’ll find RCI listed under the “Services” column for the Ombudsman, Corrections and Clarifications, and Renting Facilities. The name Radio Canada International is at the bottom of this list, written with a hyphen between Radio and Canada, which is not the official name of RCI.

So if RCI does not have greater visibility on the CBC and Radio-Canada websites, what’s the situation on RCI websites? Every single web page on the RCI website now has at least five or six links to CBC and/or Radio-Canada websites.

Content all from CBC and Radio-Canada domestic national programming

In terms of content, English and French are just copies of what’s on the CBC or Radio-Canada website, with no adaptation for an international audience, in violation of the Broadcasting Act and Order in Council 2012-0775 which specifically directs RCI “to produce and distribute programming targeted at international audiences.”

The other language services on the new website have translation, and adaptation is spotty. And the reports that are featured are the ones that were conceived for the Canadian domestic audience. So the kinds of stories that RCI presented, and were tailored to a specific target audience, say in Latin America, dealing with Canadian – Latin American issues have disappeared, because those don’t exist on the CBC and Radio-Canada websites, and so are not among the stories to be translated and adapted.

No access to previous texts and audio from RCI website archives

One of the surprising decisions made by CBC/Radio-Canada in the new website is to totally ignore the content of the old website. Years of texts and radio reports, are still on line, but there’s no way to access them unless you have the exact web link to those reports, and since there’s no search function, either for the old or the new site, people find themselves in a strange limbo of the present offerings with no way to navigate this online programming except by backtracking through all the items.

This has even larger implications. The old site allowed you to search by keywords, by topic/category, and by author of the report. None of that is now available on the new site. As well, there are no links to old podcasts, nor links to RCI’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts. It’s almost as if Radio Canada International never existed until this new version of RCI.

CBC/Radio-Canada’s limited world view is damaging RCI

Overall this change of the RCI website underlines CBC/Radio-Canada’s very limited view of the role of our world service and does not recognize that the international audiences, the people outside of Canada, are not one monolithic other, but a whole spectrum of “others” with different realities, viewpoints and needs.

And this quick review of the new website has just touched the surface of what is wrong. Where, for example, is there a web page to learn about Canada’s foreign policy, about our political parliamentary system. Where are the features on Canadian culture, the latest achievements in science, and on our special and different relations with Latin America, Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia?

And for that matter, where is the history of Radio Canada International on the new website? Here’s a link to that on the old website: https://www.rcinet.ca/rci70-en/

All of these deficiencies create a very vulnerable situation for our world service. Because if people outside of Canada think that this is all there is to our international service, there’s little hope for the future of Radio Canada International. In fact, it’s almost a perfect recipe for the destruction of the service. Surely, that’s not the goal?

More here on the new CBC/Radio-Canada policy announced on December 3, 2020: http://rciaction.org/blog/2020/12/04/modernizing-rci-to-death/

What you can do to help us: http://rciaction.org/blog/what-you-can-do/

Le site RCI « modernisé »

Le nouveau site Web « modernisé » de Radio Canada International (RCI) produit par CBC/Radio-Canada était censé donner à notre service mondial plus de visibilité et plus de contenu « pour réaffirmer son rôle et sa pertinence dans l’environnement médiatique du XXIe siècle ». (Annonce de CBC/Radio-Canada le 3 décembre 2020.)

Sur la base de ces objectifs, depuis son lancement officiel le 19 mai, le site a échoué. L’adresse du site n’est plus https://www.rcinet.ca mais a été changée en https://ici.radio-canada.ca/rci/ et le nouveau site ne donne pas accès à aux énormes archives de textes et de rapports audio du site Web précédent.

Évidemment, tout nouveau site a des problèmes de croissance, des choses comme des liens qui ne fonctionnent pas, mais nous nous concentrerons ici sur le type de décisions qui ont été prises pour changer l’ancien site de RCI et comment ces décisions affectent la convivialité et l’utilité du nouveau site pour un public international.

Nom de Radio Canada International – disparu

Plus maintenant « la voix du Canada dans le monde »

Alors, quel genre de décisions CBC/Radio-Canada a-t-elle prises pour « moderniser » le site Web de Radio Canada International?

Ils ont d’abord décidé de se débarrasser du nom Radio Canada International partout sauf en bas de la page, dans l’avis de droit d’auteur. Et RCI n’est plus décrit comme la voix du Canada dans le monde, mais au bas de chaque page du site Web, RCI est décrit comme « le service multilingue de CBC/Radio-Canada ».

Contrairement à la version précédente du site Web qui comportait des liens vers chacun des services linguistiques disponibles, le nouveau site comporte un menu déroulant qui, si vous vous retrouvez sur une page linguistique que vous ne comprenez pas, ne sera pas évident. Si vous regardez attentivement, vous pourrez voir un article dans une langue que vous comprenez, puis si vous cliquez sur le lien, vous arriverez éventuellement à la page d’accueil de la langue que vous comprenez.

Pas de fonction de recherche

Il n’y a pas de fonction de recherche, donc cela ne vous aidera pas à trouver un service linguistique, ou, d’ailleurs, tout contenu sur le nouveau site Web, ou quoi que ce soit de l’ancien site Web. Plus d’informations sur l’ «ancien» site Web plus tard.

La page d’accueil de chaque service linguistique est plus confuse que celle de l’ancien site Web, car les vignettes d’une page linguistique donnée et de celles qui se trouvent en haut pour d’autres services linguistiques ont presque la même taille et ne sont pas vraiment séparées les unes des autres.

Dans la section « En continu » (dernières nouvelles), qui affiche tous les rapports textuels les plus récents, les vignettes sont si grandes que seulement quelques articles sont immédiatement visibles à l’ouverture de cette section.

Les quelques podcasts disponibles à l’écoute (les anciens rapports audio RCI n’ont pas de liens sur le nouveau site) ne donnent pas la possibilité d’avancer ou de réécouter du contenu audio.

Moins de contenu

Dans l’ensemble, la quantité de contenu sur le nouveau site Web a radicalement chuté :

Production quotidienne par service linguistique :

Maintenant              Avant

Textes – 3 à 4          Textes 6

Audio – 0                  Audio – 3

Sortie hebdomadaire par service linguistique :

Maintenant            Avant

Textes – 15-20      Textes 45

Audio – 1               Audio 18

Plus de visibilité pour RCI ou pour CBC/Radio-Canada?

Une autre promesse de la nouvelle politique de CBC/Radio-Canada pour RCI était « Plus de visibilité » pour RCI sur les sites Web de CBC et de Radio-Canada. Ce n’est clairement pas le cas jusqu’à présent. En fait, la question se pose de savoir quel service RCI ou CBC/Radio-Canada obtient le plus de visibilité.

Sur le site de Radio-Canada, il faut cliquer sur menu, et puis savoir que le logo RCI redessiné vous donne accès au site web de RCI. Si vous ne suivez pas cet itinéraire, faites défiler la page d’accueil de Radio-Canada jusqu’en bas et reconnaissez le nouveau logo, vous trouverez une série de vignettes renvoyant aux différents services linguistiques.

Sur le site Web de CBC, la fonction de menu n’affiche aucun lien vers RCI. Et si vous faites défiler jusqu’en bas de la page d’accueil, vous trouverez RCI répertorié dans la colonne « Services » pour l’Ombudsman, les Services correctionnels et de clarification, et la location d’installations. Le nom Radio Canada International est au bas de cette liste, écrit avec un trait d’union entre Radio et Canada, qui n’est pas le nom officiel de RCI.

Alors si RCI n’a pas plus de visibilité sur les sites de CBC et de Radio-Canada, quelle est la situation sur le nouveau site de RCI ? Chaque page Web du site Web de RCI comporte maintenant au moins cinq ou six liens vers des sites Web de CBC et/ou de Radio-Canada.

Contenu provenant de la programmation nationale nationale de CBC et de Radio-Canada

En termes de contenu, l’anglais et le français ne sont que des copies de ce qui est sur le site Web de CBC ou de Radio-Canada, sans adaptation pour un auditoire international, en violation de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion et du décret 2012-0775 qui ordonne spécifiquement à RCI de « produire et distribuer une programmation conçue pour des auditoires étrangers.»

Les autres services linguistiques du nouveau site Web ont une traduction et l’adaptation est inégale. Et les reportages présentés sont ceux qui ont été conçus pour le public canadien. Ainsi, le genre d’histoires que RCI présentait et qui étaient adaptées à un public cible spécifique, disons en Amérique latine, traitant de questions canadiennes – latino-américaines ont disparu, parce qu’elles n’existent pas sur les sites Web de CBC et de Radio-Canada, et donc ne font pas partie des histoires à traduire et à adapter.

Pas d’accès aux textes précédents et audio des archives du site Web de RCI

L’une des décisions surprenantes prises par CBC/Radio-Canada dans le nouveau site Web est d’ignorer totalement le contenu de l’ancien site Web. Des années de textes et de reportages radio sont toujours en ligne, mais il n’y a aucun moyen d’y accéder à moins d’avoir le lien Internet exact vers ces reportages, et comme il n’y a pas de fonction de recherche, que ce soit pour l’ancien ou le nouveau site, les gens se retrouvent dans un étrange vide des offres actuelles sans aucun moyen de naviguer dans cette programmation en ligne, sauf en revenant sur tous les éléments.

Cela a des implications encore plus importantes. L’ancien site vous permettait d’effectuer une recherche par mots-clés, par sujet/catégorie et par auteur du rapport. Rien de tout cela n’est maintenant disponible sur le nouveau site. De plus, il n’y a pas de liens vers d’anciens podcasts, ni de liens vers les comptes Twitter, Facebook et YouTube de RCI. C’est presque comme si Radio Canada International n’avait jamais existé avant cette nouvelle version de RCI.

La vision limitée du monde de CBC/Radio-Canada nuit à RCI

Dans l’ensemble, ce changement du site Web de RCI souligne la vision très limitée de CBC Radio-Canada du rôle de notre service mondial et ne reconnaît pas que les auditoires internationaux, les gens à l’extérieur du Canada, ne sont pas un autre monolithique, mais tout un éventail d’« autres ” avec des réalités, des points de vue et des besoins différents.

Et cet examen rapide du nouveau site Web vient de toucher la surface de ce qui ne va pas. Où, par exemple, existe-t-il une page Web pour en savoir plus sur la politique étrangère du Canada, sur notre système politique parlementaire. Où sont les sections de la page Web sur la culture canadienne, les dernières réalisations en science et sur nos relations spéciales et différentes avec l’Amérique latine, les Caraïbes, l’Europe, l’Afrique et l’Asie?

Et d’ailleurs, où est l’histoire de Radio Canada International sur le nouveau site Internet ? Voici un lien vers cela sur l’ancien site : https://www.rcinet.ca/rci70-fr/

Toutes ces déficiences créent une situation très vulnérable pour notre service mondial. Car si les gens à l’extérieur du Canada pensent que c’est tout ce qu’il y a à notre service international, il y a peu d’espoir pour l’avenir de Radio Canada International. En fait, c’est presque une recette parfaite pour la destruction du service. Ce n’est sûrement pas le but ?

Plus ici sur la nouvelle politique de CBC/Radio-Canada annoncée le 3 décembre 2020 : http://rciaction.org/blog/2020/12/13/%c2%abmodernisation%c2%bb-de-rci-a-mort /

Ce que vous pouvez faire pour nous aider : http://rciaction.org/blog/what-you-can-do/

Changes to Radio Canada International come at expense to core mandate, say supporters

reprinted with permission The Hill Times

By NEIL MOSS May 5, 2021

‘Radio Canada International has just one mandate and that is to explain Canada to the world,’ says former host Wojtek Gwiazda.

A former host at Radio Canada International, Wojtek Gwiazda is behind a push to reverse changes that he fears will hamper the international service in performing its mandate. Photograph courtesy of Wojtek Gwiazda
_____________________________________________________________________

The decline of Canada’s international public broadcaster will affect the country’s output on the global stage, say former diplomats and a group opposing cuts to Radio Canada International.

Radio Canada International (RCI), the international broadcasting wing of Canada’s public broadcaster, transmitted throughout the world to China, Russia, and the Middle East before its shortwave service was cut in 2012.

The latest cuts by CBC/Radio-Canada, a spokesperson for a group to protect RCI’s funding said, will lead to an erosion of the news service’s mandate as it will be increasingly tasked with translation and adaptation of news stories for a domestic audience.

The redesign of RCI cut the number of employees from 20 to nine, with five journalists to translate and adapt CBC and Radio-Canada reports, as well as three field reporters and a chief editor.The news team has been tasked to expand the five languages being covered by RCI to seven, and to produce weekly podcasts in each of the languages, while also turning out field reports in “Chinese, Arabic, and Punjabi,” as described in the CBC’s announcement.

RCI Action Committee spokesperson Wojtek Gwiazda said the new changes are directed at ethnic communities in Canada and not at the mandate of the news service which serves international audiences.

“Radio Canada International has just one mandate and that is to explain Canada to the world,” said Mr. Gwiazda, a former host and producer at RCI. “Nowhere in that mandate is programming for people in Canada.”

He said the uniqueness of RCI is not that it can be accessed internationally, but that it contextualizes programming for people globally who may have little or no knowledge of Canada.

When the shortwave broadcasting was cut from RCI in 2012, Mr. Gwiazda said CBC “totally ignored” the impact of their decision internationally.

“Can you imagine what it would be like if we were still broadcasting to China with two Canadians still in jail?” he said.

RCI’s transmissions to China ended with the cancellation of its shortwave broadcasts, Mr. Gwiazda said, because Beijing blocked access to the RCI website but not to radio.

A spokesperson for CBC/ Radio-Canada said the changes “are fully aligned” with its RCI mandate for international service.

“We are confident that the transformation will raise RCI’s profile and reach even further. The service will continue to reflect and showcase Canadian society and values for audiences unfamiliar with Canada,” Marc Pichette said in an email.

“In terms of editorial content, RCI editors will select articles they deem relevant to the interests and concerns of their target audience, and then translate or adapt them accordingly. The RCI team will also produce an original podcast each week in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog,” he said, adding the Arabic, Chinese, and Punjabi field reporters will be assigned “to engage with those communities and produce stories that will resonate with target audiences abroad.”

Since the new plans were announced, numerous former diplomats and foreign policy experts have come out in opposition to the cuts.

A group of renowned Canadians penned an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) in February to oppose the change. Signatories of the letter include former prime minister Joe Clark, past foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy, and former ambassador to the UN Stephen Lewis, as well as 30 others.

They called on Mr.Trudeau to block the changes by CBC/Radio- Canada.

“In an interconnected world in search of truth, facts, and honest journalism, countries like Canada cannot abdicate their role on the world stage,” the letter noted.

“It’s not a question of whether we can afford to have a strong Radio Canada International. It’s whether we can afford not to have it.”

A group of 45 former diplomats also signed on to an open letter last March in support of safeguarding the work of RCI.

“As diplomats who have served Canada all over the globe, we know the benefits to our country of foreign audiences knowing about Canada,” the former ambassadors and high commissioners wrote.

“We believe that diminishing RCI’s core mandate of programming for an external audience is a mistake. It is true that the internet now gives access to many Canadian sources of information, including the CBC, but RCI’s uniqueness is its experience in explaining the Canadian reality to foreign audiences not familiar, or barely aware of Canada and its reality.”

Canadian Ambassador to the UN Bob Rae tweeted on April 27 that the cuts are “most regrettable.”

“We should be amplifying, and not reducing, our international voice and perspective,” he wrote.

Mr. Pichette said the “repositioning was absolutely necessary to better reach digital citizens around the world and to ensure the service remains current and relevant.”

“With greater visibility on CBC-News.ca and Radio-Canada.ca, RCI will benefit from the increased traffic and search engine optimization of those sites,”he added.

Speaking at the House of Commons Committee on Canadian Heritage, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather (Mount Royal, Que.) said the proposed cuts to RCI were “problematic.”

He told Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault (Laurier-Sainte-Marie, Que.) that he hoped the changes would be looked at.

“I believe RCI is a very important service that must provide international audiences with original or adapted programming in both English and French as well as other languages and I will continue to work with the Heri- tage Ministry to make sure that this occurs,” Mr. Housefather told The Hill Times in an email.

NDP MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton Strathcona, Alta.), her party’s critic for Canadian heritage, said she has a lot of concerns about broadcasting in Canada and what is being lost and how it will impact democracy.

She said she has concerns over the funding levels for all wings of Canada’s public broadcaster, noting in particular news broadcasting in French.

Ms. McPherson said the cuts to RCI was another extension of Canada’s diminishing role on the world stage.

“It is another extension of us losing sight of the fact that the world is increasingly global.The problems we face are increasingly global in scope, yet our response is increasingly nationalistic,” she said.

Support of former diplomats shows importance of RCI’s international service: Gwiazda

The work of RCI in disseminating Canadian content for international audiences is the reason that it has gotten so much support from former members of the Canadian foreign service and foreign policy experts, said Mr. Gwiazda.

“They realize the impact of Radio Canada International and they also understand the importance of that kind of public diplomacy,” he said.

In a March 21 letter to its members, Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) president Pamela Isfeld said the association is “saddened” to hear of CBC’s changes.

“For many of you at home and abroad, [RCI] has been an important source of news and information, as well as a significant public diplomacy resource,” she added.

Ms. Isfeld wrote that PAFSO joined the 45 former diplomats who called for a reversal to the changes.

Mr. Gwiazda said people around the globe are interested in how Canada deals with things, noting that when RCI cut Eastern European languages in the early 1990s there was pushback from those countries who thought having a Canadian perspective was even more important after the fall of the Soviet Union to understand how a democracy functions.

Mr. Gwiazda said the former diplomats who are supporting RCI understand that it had an impact and that it will be “a tragedy if it continues to be diminished.”

nmoss@hilltimes.com

The Hill Times, page 3, May 5, 2021

Bill C-10 threatens existence of Radio Canada International

The Canadian government has proposed a change to Canada’s Broadcasting Act that threatens the existence of Radio Canada International (RCI). Buried in a reform of the Act that focuses on international streaming services, one sentence, Article 46 (2) has been altered to remove the existence of an international service as a condition of the licence of Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC/Radio-Canada.

The condition was put into the Broadcasting Act in 1991, just after the CBC tried to shut down the international service by appropriating RCI’s budget to offset its own funding cuts. At that time, temporary government funding saved the international service, and the Act’s wording was changed to strengthen it because it was felt that the existence of the service should not be at the discretion of CBC/Radio-Canada.

Before 1991 the Act said: “The Corporation may, within the conditions of any licence…” provide an international service.  In 1991, it was changed to: “The Corporation shall, within the conditions of any licence or licences issued to it… provide an international service.” Making it a service imperative rather than an option.

Since 1991, that protection has remained. In the intervening years, Orders in Council have changed some of the elements defining the international service, and what it should do, but the obligation of the national broadcaster to provide that international service was guaranteed. No government could arbitrarily remove that protection unless the Broadcasting Act itself was changed.

Here’s Article 46 (2) as it has existed unchanged since 1991:

46 (2) The Corporation shall, within the conditions of any licence or licences issued to it by the Commission and subject to any applicable regulations of the Commission, provide an international service in accordance with such directions as the Governor in Council may issue.

In the proposed legislation now before Parliament, the Canadian Heritage Minister and the government are eliminating the licence obligation of the CBC to provide an international service. The proposed wording of the article is as follows:

(2) The Corporation shall, subject to any applicable orders and regulations of the Commission, provide an international service in accordance with any directions that the Governor in Council may issue.

The article still appears to suggest that the Corporation (CBC) “shall…provide an international service” but the concept of it being a mandatory requirement of any licence has been removed. More worrisome is that any future Canadian Heritage Minister, with the accord of the Cabinet, would be able to radically change how the international service functions. This is far from a theoretical possibility.

In 2012, the CBC announced RCI would no longer be a radio station broadcasting on shortwave. The decision was in direct violation of Order in Council 2003-0358, which explicitly required Radio Canada International:

(ii) to provide that service through shortwave, as well as through other means of distribution, as appropriate,

The RCI Action Committee called on the government of the day, and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore in particular, to direct CBC to respect its obligations under the Broadcasting Act and Order in Council 2003-0358. Two months later – and with less than a month left before the end of shortwave broadcasting – the Minister directed the release of a new Order in Council, which removed the obligation to provide programming through shortwave broadcasts.

Radio Canada International ceased being a radio service. We lost our Chinese audience because our radio signals were not blocked by the Chinese authorities, but our website was. And we lost listeners around the world in places where the Internet was not accessible, or just too expensive to use.

We have no idea what motivated the latest change by Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It seems more than a bit contradictory that a government that has said “Canada is back” would jeopardize the presence of its world service on the international stage by removing Radio Canada International’s last legal protection.

We hope parliamentarians will recognize the danger. This is not a partisan issue. As parliamentarians, they have a duty to prevent the government from proceeding with this proposed change to the Broadcasting Act.  For 30 years CBC/Radio-Canada has mismanaged and weakened Canada’s world service. It is now preparing to make RCI disappear as a world service.

It can be stopped. First by blocking CBC/Radio-Canada’s new policy announced on December 3, 2020, which is in violation of Article 46 (2) of the existing Broadcasting Act. Second, the government must replace the proposed change with a strengthened and robust article defining a status for the international service that will allow it to continue its work as a respected international broadcaster with the essential degree of financial and editorial autonomy.

The future of Canada’s voice to the world is in the hands of our parliamentarians. Its future depends on their making the right decision.

______________________________________

Link to the present Broadcasting Act of 1991 here

Link to the proposed new Broadcasting Act here

(In both cases use the keywords “international service” to find Article 46.2)

Link to the Order in Council 2012-0775, in effect now here

Link to the Order in Council 2003-0358 with the obligation for shortwave here

Thirty years of mismanagement by the CBC of RCI here

To find out what you can do to help us, please click here

Le projet de loi C-10 menace l’existence de Radio Canada International

Le gouvernement canadien a proposé une modification de la Loi canadienne sur la radiodiffusion qui menace l’existence de Radio Canada International (RCI). Enfoui dans une réforme de la Loi qui met l’accent sur les services de diffusion en continu internationaux, une phrase, l’article 46 (2) a été modifié pour supprimer l’existence d’un service international comme condition de la licence du radiodiffuseur public canadien, Radio-Canada/CBC.

Cette condition a été inscrite dans la Loi sur la radiodiffusion en 1991, juste après que la Radio-Canada/CBC ait tenté de fermer le service international en s’appropriant le budget de RCI pour compenser ses propres coupures de financement. À cette époque, un financement gouvernemental temporaire a sauvé le service international et le libellé de la loi a été modifié pour le renforcer, car on estimait que l’existence du service ne devrait pas être à la discrétion de Radio-Canada/CBC.

Avant 1991, la loi stipulait que Radio-Canada/CBC pouvait, aux conditions de toute licence, fournir un service international. En 1991, il a été changé comme suit: « La Société fournit, dans le cadre des licences qui lui sont attribuées … un service international Donc, en faire un service obligatoire plutôt qu’une option.

Depuis 1991, cette protection est restée. Au cours des années qui ont suivi, les décrets en conseil ont modifié certains des éléments définissant le service international et ce qu’il devrait faire, mais l’obligation du radiodiffuseur national de fournir ce service international était garantie. Aucun gouvernement ne pourrait arbitrairement soustraire à cette protection, à moins que la Loi sur la radiodiffusion elle-même ne soit modifiée.

Voici donc l’article 46 (2) qui n’a pas été modifié depuis 1991:

(2) La Société fournit, dans le cadre des licences qui lui sont attribuées par le Conseil et sous réserve des règlements de celui-ci, un service international, et ce conformément aux instructions que le gouverneur en conseil peut donner.

Dans le projet de loi actuellement devant le Parlement, le ministre du Patrimoine canadien et le gouvernement éliminent l’obligation de la licence de la Radio-Canada/CBC de fournir un service international. Le libellé proposé de l’article est le suivant:

(2) La Société fournit, sous réserve des ordonnances et des règlements pris par le Conseil, un service international, et ce conformément aux instructions que le gouverneur en conseil peut donner.

L’article semble encore suggérer que Radio-Canada/CBC «fournit… un service international», mais le concept selon lequel il s’agit d’une exigence obligatoire de toute licence a été supprimé. Plus inquiétant encore, tout futur ministre du Patrimoine canadien, avec l’accord du Cabinet, serait en mesure de changer radicalement le fonctionnement du service international. C’est loin d’être une possibilité théorique.

En 2012, la Radio-Canada/CBC a annoncé que RCI ne serait plus une station de radio diffusant sur ondes courtes. La décision enfreignait directement le décret 2003-0358, qui exigeait explicitement que Radio Canada International doit:

(ii) fournir ce service sur ondes courtes et, s’il y a lieu, par d’autres moyens de distribution,

Le Comité d’action de RCI a demandé au gouvernement de l’époque, et au ministre du Patrimoine canadien James Moore en particulier, d’ordonner à Radio-Canada/CBC de respecter ses obligations en vertu de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion et du décret 2003-0358. Deux mois plus tard – et en moins d’un mois avant la fin de la radiodiffusion sur ondes courtes – le ministre a ordonné la publication d’un nouveau décret en conseil, qui supprimait l’obligation de fournir des émissions par ondes courtes.

C’est ainsi que Radio Canada International a cessé d’être un service de radio. Nous avons perdu nos auditeurs chinois parce que nos signaux radio n’étaient pas bloqués par les autorités chinoises, mais notre site Web était bloqué. Et nous avons perdu des auditeurs à travers le monde dans des endroits où Internet n’était pas accessible, ou tout simplement trop cher à utiliser.

Nous n’avons aucune idée de ce qui a motivé le dernier changement du ministre du Patrimoine canadien Steven Guilbeault et du gouvernement du premier ministre Justin Trudeau. Il semble plus qu’un peu contradictoire qu’un gouvernement qui aurait dit «Le Canada est de retour» compromettrait la présence de son service mondial sur la scène internationale en supprimant la dernière protection juridique de Radio Canada International.

Nous espérons que les parlementaires reconnaîtront le danger. Ce n’est pas une question partisane. En tant que parlementaires, ils ont le devoir d’empêcher le gouvernement de donner suite à cette proposition de modification de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion. Pendant 30 ans, Radio-Canada/CBC a mal géré et affaibli le service mondial du Canada. Il se prépare maintenant à faire disparaître RCI en tant que service mondial.

Cela peut être arrêté. D’abord en bloquant la nouvelle politique de Radio-Canada/CBC annoncée le 3 décembre 2020, ce qui contrevient à l’article 46 (2) de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion en vigueur. Deuxièmement, le gouvernement doit remplacer la modification proposé par un article renforcé et solide définissant un statut pour le service international qui lui permettra de poursuivre son travail en tant que radiodiffuseur international respecté avec le degré essentiel d’autonomie financière et éditoriale.

L’avenir de la voix du Canada dans le monde est entre les mains de nos parlementaires. Son avenir dépend de leur prise de la bonne décision.

______________________________________

Lien vers l’actuelle loi sur la radiodiffusion de 1991 ici

Lien vers la nouvelle loi sur la radiodiffusion proposée ici

(Dans les deux cas, utilisez les mots-clés «service international» pour trouver l’article 46.2)

Lien vers le décret 2012-0775, en vigueur maintenant ici

Lien vers le décret 2003-0358 avec l’obligation pour les ondes courtes ici

Trente ans de mauvaise gestion de la part de Radio-Canda/CBC de RCI ici

Comment vous pouvez nous aider ici

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.

RCI a bridge between Canada and the world

reprinted with permission The Hill Times

By WOJTEK GWIAZDA MARCH 29, 2021

The CBC never understood that the uniqueness of RCI is that we explain Canada to the rest of the world. And at a time when Canada needs to be understood, Radio Canada International should be expanded and be ready for the challenges of the future. But the CBC is making sure it won’t be.

Wojtek Gwiazda, who is the spokesperson of the RCI Action Committee, was a host-producer with the English section of Radio Canada International for 35 years and retired in 2015. He says the new RCI will be reduced to a translation service of CBC and Radio-Canada web texts to be translated by the few remaining survivors of a 30-year campaign to destroy RCI. Photograph courtesy of Wojtek Gwiazda

_________________________________________________________________

MONTREAL—One of the amazing advantages of working at Radio Canada International (RCI) was having international experts just steps away from me. I knew I could count on them, whether it was trying to understand the latest developments in the Middle East, an aspect of Chinese political culture, or Brazil’s place in Latin America. These experts were my fellow host producers at Canada’s world service who daily informed their audiences about the latest from Canada and the latest in country-to-country relations.

This was our normal. Unfortunately there are those who have forgotten or never understood the wealth of our expertise. And at a time of disinformation, when so many around the world are searching for reliable sources of information, that is something none of us can afford to forget.

Our broadcasters acted, and act, as bridges between Canada and another country or region as they prepare contextualized programming specifically with the listener/reader in mind. It’s not always easy to explain constitutional matters, political alliances, or government decisions in Canada. The complexity of explaining that to someone outside of Canada just increases the challenge. But that’s what we have done for 76 years. And clearly, it is even more essential right now, and will be in the future.

And for RCI staff, it’s not just a one-way communication. Emails come in, not only to comment on our programming, but also to get advice, more information, and assurances. And we answer them. Because over the years, a complicity has been formed. We respect and are fired by the responsibility of sharing the reality of our nation with others, and on the other end there is the appreciation of the reliable honest source that it comes from, and the people who bring it.

In the 1990s, when CBC tried to shut down our international service three times, hundreds of letters inundated the offices of RCI, MPs, and Senators, and the listeners won back their link to Canada.

But since then it’s been a death by a thousand cuts. A language service here, the removal of our audience relations department, taking RCI program schedules out of Canadian embassies around the world. And gradually, we lost listeners. As budget cuts reduced our staff and our programming, there was less and less to hear.

But we didn’t give up. Even when CBC showed so clearly we were not a priority. In 2012, the government at the time told CBC to cut 10 per cent of its budget. It decided not to cut 10 per cent across the board, but by priorities. RCI was hit with an 80 per cent budget cut. We lost two-thirds of our staff. But we soldiered on. We soldiered on even though in 2012 the CBC decided we would not be allowed to be a radio station anymore. We would only be allowed to continue our web presence. We soldiered on. We did our best, even as the CBC IT department failed to give us proper web support. We soldiered on, because we were not going to let the CBC cut our link to our listeners.

Then on Dec. 3, 2020, CBC came in for the final cut. A dagger covered with the velvet tones of a PR press release promising more languages, higher visibility, and more content. A smoke and mirrors sleight of hand that could be admired, if not for the devastating carnage that it will entail. Far from offering more content, the new RCI will be reduced to a translation service of CBC and Radio-Canada web texts to be translated by the few remaining survivors of a 30-year campaign to destroy RCI.

In its wisdom, CBC has decided the experts that I worked with are only good enough to translate what CBC and Radio-Canada has decided is important. CBC is convinced that its media content, conceived only for a Canadian audience, will bulldoze its way into the hearts of RCI’s remaining listeners and web readers. The CBC is wrong, because it never understood that the uniqueness of RCI is not that we have programming in many languages, it’s that we explain Canada to the rest of the world. And at a time when Canada needs to be understood, Radio Canada International should be expanded and be ready for the challenges of the future. But the CBC is making sure it won’t be.

Wojtek Gwiazda is the spokesperson of the RCI Action Committee. He was a host-producer with the English section of Radio Canada International for 35 years and retired in 2015. He is based in Montreal. A technical note: Since 1972 the name of the international service has been Radio Canada International in both English and French. There is never a hyphen between Radio and Canada.

The Hill Times – reprinted with permission

https://www.hilltimes.com/2021/03/29/rci-a-bridge-between-canada-and-the-world/290457

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What you can do to help us (in five languages): http://rciaction.org/blog/what-you-can-do/

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