| What’s going on at RCI?
This page will be updated - eventually - thanks for your patience.
Latest news on RCI's international mandate here
When we celebrated the 60th anniversary of Radio Canada International in 2005 (see "Secret Celebrations"), there were more changes to the structure and programming of Canada's Voice to the World.
Since 2005 there have been even more changes in 2006 and 2007 - major shifts in programming and mandate - changes that threaten the future of RCI as an international broadcaster. For a detailed update please go here.
In the meantime, here are some of the recent developments since 2001:
In 2001, Radio Canada International radically cut back on news and live programming under what it called a "Redeployment Plan"
The cuts and the changes to programming were a fundamental change in RCI's mandate as Canada's voice to the world.
Since April of 2001, the RCI Action Committee has been fighting the cuts and demanding that the domestic service, CBC/Radio-Canada respect its own Program and Corporate Policies as they apply to RCI's role as Canada's voice to the world.
On October 31, 2001, RCI's administration tried to silence the Committee. For details please see: Committee back after Administration Attempt to Stop Us
On June 11, 2003, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage released a massive report on Canadian broadcasting and recommended the strengthening of Radio Canada International. Details
On February 2, 2004, RCI management announced a new "repositioning" that will cut some programming, diminish others, and has taken some questionable journalistic decisions. Details
See also the RCI Action Committe Weblog.
In 2005, CBC/Radio Canada abolished Corporate Policies 14 and 18 which outlined RCI's obligation to produce programming specifically for an audience outside of Canada. See details of the Policies here. See more on RCI's mandate here.
What can you do?
The administrators of RCI and our domestic service, the CBC, make the decisions, but they are also responsible to Parliament and the ruling Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
We need for these administrators, politicians and the media in Canada and in your country to know that the cuts to RCI programming are unacceptable, that their policy changes should be scrapped, and that RCI's relationship to the domestic service the CBC, and the government has to be revised.
People to contact.
OK, so what are the essentials?
This section will be updated and reworked , as time permits. This version was updated 17 January 2002. There are facts and developments that are missing. Thank you for your patience.
Your questions and comments are essential to making the explanations clearer. Write us at : firstname.lastname@example.org]
RCI MANDATE - TELL THE WORLD ABOUT CANADA
Radio Canada International’s mandate is to tell the world about Canada on a daily basis. Up until now, we were to practice the highest journalistic standards, in programs that explain the Canadian reality, the good and the bad. We did this in a way that is understandable to an external audience. We tell listeners Winnipeg is a city, Manitoba is a province, that the Canadian Alliance Party is Canada’s Official Opposition, and the province of Quebec is the predominantly French-speaking province of Canada.
Our mandate comes from the federal Broadcast Act, and is very clearly explained in the Program and Corporate Policy of the CBC.
We also keep Canadians abroad aware of what’s going on back home through our programs, and also by the re-broadcast of domestic programming both in English and in French.
FUNDING- PERMANENT FUNDING FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
We went through all kinds of funding formulas in the past.
At the moment, and since 1998, we have permanent funding from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage of $15.52 million, which unfortunately has not been indexed. Our domestic service does not put a penny into our budget, and charges us for all services, including the rental of our offices and studios.
We have a budget surplus this year.
EFFECTS OF THE SO CALLED “REDEPLOYMENT PLAN” :
an overrall reduction in news and live programming:
On weekends, all RCI-produced newscasts and all live programming were
eliminated since June 2, 2001, and brought back on the weekend of October 13/14.
All morning shows to Africa, Middle East and Europe eliminated June 4.
Evening show to India cancelled as of June 4.
Russian and Ukrainian hour-long programs cut down to half-hour as of
June 11. As of end October, a new half hour in Russian, Saturdays and Sundays.
All permanent staff was told to re-apply for their jobs in June. Decision on who will be where in was taken at the end of the summer.
Some announcer-producers were re-assigned to work as researchers for programs, that has now been reversed.
Some announcer-producers and/or journalists were to have been re-assigned to deal with “stakeholders”: government agencies, businesses etc., and make sure they are aware of RCI, and that RCI producers and journalists are aware of them. This part of the "plan" was not implemented.
All English and French one hour programs have been cut back to one half hour live, followed by a pre-recorded program in the second half hour, as of October 15, 2001.
Redeployment Plan Details and Details of New Shows and Audiences
On June 12 a new General Manager Denis Doucet comes from the domestic service, and is put in charge of RCI. (See also employees' petition.)
Doucet was appointed by CBC Vice President Sylvain Lafrance. Lafrance officially took over responsibility for RCI on June 1. His appointment was announced by CBC President Robert Rabinovitch, April 18, 2001.
On June 12, in introducing Doucet, Lafrance made it very clear that the re-organisation is not budget-driven. He said the integration of RCI into the domestic service is based on two principles: broadcast and production logic.
Broadcast logic suggests that RCI must keep its unique identity. So, for RCI listeners the “sound” will remain.
But Lafrance continued: production logic suggests that there be the “maximum synergy, maximum integration” of RCI within the domestic service.
In an attempt to further clarify the situation, two members of the Action Committee met with CBC President Robert Rabinovitch and Vice-President Sylvain Lafrance, October 1, 2001. There was no indication that integration would be slowed down. Details
On October 5, 2001, Lafrance told emplyees about the results of a CBC Board of Directors meeting: RCI is part of the CBC, weekend newscasts will return and the integration of RCI into the domestic service (CBC/Radio-Canada). Details
The present RCI director is Jean Larin. He was officially appointed on November 20, 2001. Just before becoming director, Larin sent the October Memo: Details
WHAT’S THE RCI ACTION COMMITTEE?
The Committee has been an ad hoc coalition of employees and RCI supporters resurrected from the Coalition to Restore Full RCI Funding.
The Coalition was crucial to saving RCI in the numerous budget crises from 1990 till 1996. The Coalition was also responsible for getting a Senate Inquiry started into the 1991 budget cuts which concluded RCI should get more funding.
Both the Committee and the Coalition were supported by the unions that represent RCI employees. That union backing has now been strengthened, making the Committee an inter-union committee of the three unions that represent RCI employees. We have also received formal backing from all the unions which represent employees at the domestic service: CBC/Radio-Canada. More details at About Us.
Press release 9 May 2001 calling for moratorium on planned cuts.
Press release 6 June 2001 cuts are unjustified.
If there are things you find are not clear, or explained enough, please don't hesitate to drop us a note at: email@example.com
|RCI ACTION COMMITTEE
Seven Days a Week - Defending Radio Canada International - Canada's Voice to the World
RCI and CBC
Media coverage of RCI
See RCI's Empty
June to October