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Pucks and bucks

Posted by cwaddell under All, Media Commentary

Christopher Waddell

The announcement that the cbc,ca will provide sports content to the National Post while the Financial Post will provide business news content to the CBC, while making for curious bedfellows, is part of a cost-cutting trend of contracting out parts of newspaper/TV news operations to those with more expertise or specialists on staff. In theory the result is fewer reporters and voices but in reality both CBC’s business coverage and the Post’s sports section are anemic at best, so it is hard to see that the outcome will be fewer reporters covering stories. Those cuts were made a long time ago.

In some ways this arrangement is similar to the deal announced earlier this week for additional foreign correspondents and coverage between CBS News and GlobalPost, a Boston web-based international news outlet staffed larger by former foreign correspondents for U.S. news organizations who lost their jobs as their employers retrenched.

It’s a time of uncertainty in the media, so innovation and different approaches are welcome. Some will work and turn out to be great ideas while others will be disasters but that will only be determined by trying them.

The interesting question is whether the deal will moderate the Post’s frequent attacks on the CBC and/or the CBC’s status as PR machine for the National Hockey League.

Christopher Waddell is acting director of the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. He is a former reporter, Ottawa bureau chief, national editor and associate editor of the Globe and Mail and a former CBC-TV parliamentary bureau chief and executive producer-news specials for CBC TV News.