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Peter Mansbridge On Media: “Some People See News As Entertainment”
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The National anchor Peter Mansbridge was the first guest George ever interviewed when he joined the CBC. It was fitting then, that as we near the end of George's 10 season run, Mansbridge would come by once again to talk about the state of media.

One of the topics Mansbridge discussed was the coverage surrounding the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

"People have been fascinated with that story," Mansbridge said. "Some networks have been trying to do it with a concern about the fact that there are other news events going on. And other networks, one in particular, your friends at CNN, have said, 'This is our ticket out of the doldrums that we've been in.' And they have been in the doldrums. 

"It helped them for the first three weeks or so. At a certain point, the plane's missing... and there's no news. Having said that, people are fascinated with the story. It's one of those classics that people of our time will remember all their lives, no matter what the end result of all this. But there are other big stories. What's going on in Europe and Ukraine and Crimea is huge and warrants our attention and our concerns. But lots of stories do and we have to keep pursuing all of them."

Mansbridge then talked about the newsgathering philosophy at the CBC and how it's driven by covering what's important as opposed to what's the most entertaining.

"Different news organizations look at news differently," said Mansbridge. "And that's the beauty of the business. Especially in a free country like ours where you can change television networks and see different decisions made every day. I mean, some days everybody's the same because the story's so overwhelming. But most days they're different. It's like newspapers are different on their front page. There are different choices being made by different organizations and one of the reasons for those choices is some people see news as entertainment.

"What people are talking about around the water cooler. While others, and hopefully we fall on this side, look at news as what's important for you to know. Now, any good program has got to be a mix of both. But it's where you put your emphasis and where you place your resources that really counts when you're determining that. The people will make their decisions. But for public broadcasting, we’ve got to be on that side."

Peter Mansbridge's interview with George airs Tuesday, April 15, 2014 on CBC.