Political Firestorm Erupts Between Two Media Giants

di Joe Volpe del May 4, 2020

TORONTO - There is no question that competition exists among various media outlets. Sometimes it gets out of hand. Normally, “professional courtesy” mitigates that rivalry so that mutually expressed criticism (both overt and subtle) does not lead to “spilling blood in the streets” or mutually destructive lawsuits in Court.

The CBC, Canada’s national TV news network, has drawn the ire of The Epoch Times, an ethnic Chinese periodical written in English for the Chinese diaspora and those who wish to keep themselves informed on Chinese affairs.

That Diaspora is one of the largest in Canada. While it is divided linguistically in two main dialects (Mandarin and Cantonese), ethnically, it numbers 1,770,000 Except for some second-generation Chinese, it is probably out of reach for either English or French language press and Media.

The Epoch Times, is “privately” financed. Its supporters extend beyond Canada’s borders. Whether one agrees, or disagrees, with its editorial position, I think it is fair to say that it is not an evangelist for the Chinese government. On the other hand, some of its positions seem to reflect the musings of a very unstable American President.

Then again, so do those of one of Canada’s largest media outlets, whose majority owner is a New York controlled Vulture Fund.

The CBC is a government-financed over-the-air service that also transmits digitally.

Perhaps more significantly, like other television networks, it has recently embarked on a written version to capture an audience not normally associated with camera showmanship.

As per its last Annual Report, viewership of the “MotherCorp” – as it is known in some circles – is dwindling.

The its prime-time share of the market has dropped from an already low 7.6% in 2017-2018 to 5% in 2018-2019. Its News Network has an all-day market share of 1.4%.

Setting aside the quality and relevance of its content (with all due respect to the institutional audiences and the progressive inner cores of Toronto, Vancouver and perhaps Montreal), the only growing audience segment for any outlet is the third language group: 22% of the population in 2016 and growing by about 1% per year since.

Suffice it to say that the CBC could not have been aiming to secure a foothold in the Chinese-Canadian marketplace when it ventured forth with bombastic headlines purporting to reflect Canadian views of the coverage The Epoch Times gave to origins of Covid-19, in its special edition of April 28.

Corriere commented on it as well (read here - https://www.corriere.ca/english-articles/covid-19-schemes-of-international-politics-for-power-and-commerce/) Our coverage of Covid-19 has been as intense as any others’, perhaps - if the reader will indulge us - probably better than some in North America because we have had to draw on European experiences as well as those here in Canada.

Cindy Gu, Publisher of The Epoch Times’ Canadian editions, railed against the CBC’s treatment of her publication’s special edition. She called for a retraction of “its one-sided article and issue an apology” forthwith for what she calls “CBC’s slanderous coverage”.

On April 30 (updated May 1 and May 2), she issued public statements addressing what she called CBC’s “deliberately misleading” article which “purposefully” used the voices of very few individual opinions in an “attempt to discredit us.”

Ms. Gu seems particularly upset at the fact the CBC surreptitiously changed its headlines four times. “It is worth noting that all of these headlines are incorrect”, she adds, listing them as tell-tale evidence of the CBC’s questionable journalistic practices.

Original Version ’Racist and inflammatory’: Canadians upset by Epoch Times claim China behind virus, made it as a bioweapon

Second Version Some Canadians who received unsolicited copy of Epoch Times upset by claim that China was behind virus

Third Version Some Canadians see claims in Epoch Times about origin of virus as ’racist and inflammatory’

Fourth Version Some Canadians who received unsolicited copy of Epoch Times upset by claim that China was behind virus

The CBC whose mandate is to bring Canada together, has not yet responded to Ms. Gu.

TO READ PREVIOUS COMMENTS: https://www.corriere.ca/english-articles 

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