More than 320 people from 15 countries packed into a conference on investigative journalism in Winnipeg and heard a consistent message: holding powerful interests to account is essential to democracy. The opening tone was set by Peter Mansbridge who said that even in tough economic times, news organizations must continue to invest in serious reporting and investigative journalism.
Do newsrooms want to be disconnected artists, or make a difference in the lives of the communities they serve? That almost seems like a rhetorical question but when a media association executive posed it at a gathering of journalists, he received a good deal of reaction from the audience. At CBC News, we know that stories and programs have a much greater impact when people can relate them to their own lives.
We've received a number of questions in recent weeks about Rex Murphy and his views on the oil industry. People have taken note that among his various public engagements, Rex has delivered speeches supportive of oilsands developments based on their economic benefit. And he's been critical of those opponents who, he believes, overstate the environmental dangers.
Something amazing has been happening in the CBC News commenting community over the last 6 months. The number of people commenting and the number of comments being posted has been growing exponentially. In fact, in the last six months, the volume of comments has doubled. CBC News reporting and story-telling is increasingly becoming the starting point for national conversation.
CBC News has a really sophisticated audience that asks us a lot of challenging questions. A couple of smart ones recently have focused on how we identify people that appear in our stories or programs. More precisely, they mean how much background information we give you about those people.
Everybody knows we've had big news stories lately. Stories about the typhoon in the Philippines and the mayor of Toronto have spurred lots of reaction. Sometimes, though, the most interesting debates about journalism arise from stories with a lower profile. We want to share a couple of recent rulings from the CBC Ombudsman that focus on choices we made when we told two such stories about airline bumping and campus politics.
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CBC News is committed to accountability and transparency. Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News and other senior leaders contribute to material in this space.
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