CBC’s news in Canada is making news after its shocking about-face on Twitter. This comes after the company threw a tantrum after being publicly humiliated by the platform for revealing the truth about the news outlet. It seems the Canadian legacy media has composed itself and is ready to rejoin society.
Less than a month after abruptly leaving Twitter, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has shocked the media landscape by announcing its return to the platform.
While CBC’s official CBC News account will resume some activity, the overall Twitter presence will be significantly reduced as the broadcaster evaluates its social media strategy.
The decision comes in the wake of a recent revelation that CBC exerted pressure on Twitter to remove posts it considered “threatening” to its journalists. This development stirred controversy, raising concerns about press freedom and the influence of social media platforms on the media landscape.
In response to CBC’s return, Twitter CEO Elon Musk took to the platform with a parody graphic from the movie “Brokeback Mountain.” The image featured Musk’s face superimposed on Jake Gyllenhaal’s character being embraced by Heath Ledger, accompanied by the film’s iconic quote, “I wish I knew how to quit you.” Musk’s tweet added fuel to the already raging fire surrounding CBC’s departure and subsequent return.
Leon Mar, CBC’s media relations director, defended the broadcaster’s decision, acknowledging the value of Twitter as a tool for journalists to engage with Canadians. However, he expressed concern that labeling CBC as “government-funded media” undermined the broadcaster’s independence and the vital work it does. Mar highlighted that Twitter had not consulted CBC before applying the label, prompting the broadcaster to send a letter urging the company to reassess its designation.
Twitter defines “government-funded media” as outlets receiving government funding and potentially subject to varying degrees of government involvement in editorial content. CBC received over $1.2 billion in government funding in 2021-22, marking a decrease from the previous year. The broadcaster’s additional revenue totaled $650 million in 2021-22, further illustrating the financial complexities and implications of its operations.
As CBC reenters the Twitterverse, questions linger about the delicate dance between media independence, financial support, and government influence in any of our media outlets regardless of nation. We ought to be extra careful especially these days and hold these government mouthpieces accountable every time they step out of line and do the bidding of the government instead of providing independent journalism.
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