Supporting colleagues at nat’l public broadcaster

On the day that most of us at Radio Canada International were getting letters that said we were being fired. We took time to show our support with other colleagues at Canada’s national radio and television broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada who also were getting their letters. For more on our struggle to stop an 80% cut to RCI’s budget please check out this blog and what you can do:

Many of the people you see in this photo are losing their jobs – many with decades of experience in international broadcasting.

More details on impact of RCI cuts.

RCI’s Director Hélène Parent met with staff today (April 24)  at 1PM to update us on the impact of the 80% cut to our budget that was announced April 4.

She announced that of RCI’s 45 permanent staff, only 15 will keep their jobs. Three contractual webmasters will continue to maintain RCI’s website. Of the other contractual employees who will be let go (which include researchers, interviewers and some hosts) they would continue to be paid until the end of their contracts. Temporary staff (who fill in for permanent staff) would be informed shortly about what kind of replacement work would remain once RCI stops broadcasting programs on June 24.

She said that tomorrow, Wednesday, April 25, redundancy letters would be given to employees whose positions would be abolished.

And she promised to present a blueprint for the future of the service next week.

She thanked employees for their professionalism in a difficult situation.

When she asked for questions, there were none.

More information about cuts?

Tomorrow, April 24,  on the eve of getting our redundancy letters following the 80% budget cut to our service, RCI’s Director Hélène Parent has convened an information meeting at 1PM Montreal time. No other details are available at this time.

So now, we hold our breath again.

Lots of listeners reacting to cuts

It’s been quite humbling and touching to read the many, many reactions from listeners around the world to the news of the cuts at Radio Canada International.

The comments are coming from all countries, in many languages. People are very upset. Others still in shock. Many ask what they can do. (Please check: here for suggestions.)

An American listener writes: “A very shortsighted decision to cut shortwave broadcasting in favor of the glitz of the internet. As has been observed around the world, the internet can be interrupted at a moment’s notice by governmental authority. Shortwave radio transcends borders and ideologies. The internet is not available to 90% of the people in the world, hard as that is to believe to us in the West.”

A Serbian listener writes: “This is absolutely dreadful. RCI has been one of the best shortwave radio stations and a much needed voice of solid, objective reporting. I’ve been a loyal listener from the mid-1990s and I am really saddened by this news.”

From a Chinese listener: ” It must have been 6 or 7 years since I started to listen to RCI Chinese section’s daily broadcasting via shortwave radio, I really enjoy it. However, when I heard that RCI will stop the mandarin broadcast to China at the end of June, it made me very sad, even depressed. I cannot understand the reasoning behind this decision… For me, the shortwave radio is the only way to know what happen in China, in Canada and in the world. Now you are burning this only bridge down! How sad. I hope it is not too late to reverse this decision!”

Some of the comments you will find on our blog. Others on different pages of the RCI website.

Here are a few links on the RCI website:

Some comments in English: here

Des commentaires en français: ici

En español: aquí

Em portugues: aqui

中文  请点击这里

Россия комментарии здесь

Common front on budget cuts

Common front meeting in Montreal of employees of CBC/Radio-Canada and RCI staff, April 18, 2012.

Yesterday at noon in Montreal, a common front of unions representing on air production staff, producers, technicians, administrative staff at our national radio and television public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada convened a meeting of hundreds of employees. The impact of the cuts on public broadcasting in Canada were discussed, and the near elimination of RCI was raised numerous times. The unions are working together to come up with a common strategy to fight the cuts.

RCI staff walking to common front meeting April 18, 2012.

Almost all of 60 plus RCI staff attended the meeting. This is a shaky picture of us walking to the meeting.


We will not give up!

How can you help us? Comment mettre un stop à ces compressions?

Who to blame? Who can protect RCI?

It is CBC/Radio-Canada, not Canada’s federal government, that so severely cut the budget and services of Radio Canada International. But it is the government that can step in, stop the cut, and protect RCI.


WHAT CAN YOU DO? 2012 cuts

How can you help?

Comment mettre un stop à ces compressions?

¿Cómo puede ayudarnos?

请加入挽救加拿大国际广播电台”行动 !

Como você pode ajudar a RCI?

Article on RCI in Montreal Gazette of April 12, 2012

Link to the Montreal Gazette article on line:

RCI update – 10 April 2012

Radio Canada International management will be meeting this morning with the Arabic, French, and Spanish services to give more details about the more than 80% budget cut at RCI announced last Wednesday, April 4. This afternoon it will be the turn of the Chinese and English services.

Tomorrow, the RCI Action Committee and all RCI employees are meeting to discuss an action plan to stop the cuts. Once that’s over you’ll find suggestions on what you can do to help us on the top of this paage when you click the button WHAT YOU CAN DO – 2012 cuts

Stay tuned! And thanks for your continuing support!

Committee’s first media interview re 2012 cuts

Montreal radio station CKUT interviews Committee spokesperson Wojtek Gwiazda

Our first media interview about the RCI budget cuts with Montreal radio station CKUT this morning (April 8).

I talk to hosts Sheldon Harvey and Janice, of the station’s “International Radio Report”, had a lot of good questions. They were also shocked by the enormity of the RCI budget cut.

You can hear our conversation in the show’s archives: (once you’re there click on the April 8, 2012 audio file)

FB group of “International Radio Report” –

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