In the casino, who is taking a greater risk by betting $ 50 on blackjack?
A) Ginette who has $ 10,000 in the bank or B) Gaston who has $ 500,000 in the bank?
It’s Ginette of course! The answer is obvious.
However, this week, before the CRTC, a CBC boss suggested that what differentiates Radio-Canada from private broadcasters is that the public broadcaster takes creative risks.
Uh, folks, you are playing the casino with money that is not yours! And in addition, you have an annual public funding of 1.2 billion!
WE KEEP A LITTLE BIND
Quebecor / TVA accuses the public broadcaster of having too much entertainment and playing in private platforms. Before the CRTC, Michel Bissonnette, Senior Vice-President of Radio-Canada, said that what sets Radio Canada apart is that it is its role to take creative risks. And he cited as an example District 31 and Unit 9.
I checked in the dictionary what the word “risk” meant: “The act of engaging in an action which could bring an advantage, but which involves the possibility of a danger” Of course that District 31 and Unit 9 are great shows, I have said this and written many times. Of course the bosses were unable to predict that these shows would be millionaires in terms of ratings.
But what would have been the “danger” for Radio-Canada if these programs had been flops? The company would have been on the verge of bankruptcy? The action was going to collapse on the Stock Exchange? Was the company going to have to tighten its belt?
In the private sector, if you accumulate flops, you risk your survival.
You think Radio-Canada took risks with programs as tasteless and consensual as Swingers, that insignificant “talk show” where the guests talked about their grass or their socks?
And you think Radio-Canada took risks with its 1001 quiz ?
I realize, in the letters I receive from readers when I write on these subjects, that many people are unable to understand the fundamental difference between Radio-Canada and private broadcasters.
The only question to ask is: “Who owns the business?” “And the question follows:” To whom is it indebted? “
If TVA, Noovo and others are owned by private interests, by shareholders, Radio-Canada belongs to … you and me, that is to say all Canadian taxpayers.
This broadcaster is indebted to all of us. He is accountable to all of us. That’s why we are so demanding of him.
BOOKS AND ME
I have one last question for Michel Bissonnette.
If Radio-Canada is so good at taking risks, if its leaders are not motivated solely by ratings, if it is so different from private broadcasters, can it explain to us why the public broadcaster no longer offers? no cultural magazine, no literary magazine on TV, no real talk shows with a real diversity of opinions, and in-depth interviews?
That would be in his mandate! There, he would really differentiate himself!
And that would be risky!