Diversity in Broadcasting


Canadian Association of Broadcasters


2005-06
Report on
Diversity in Broadcasting



Canadian Association of Broadcasters      CAB - 80 Years

April 28, 2006




Table of Contents

Background

Executive Summary – CAB Report on Diversity in Broadcasting

Introduction

  1. The CAB Website: "Diversity in Broadcasting"
  1. Communications Activities
  1. CAB Convention and Gold Ribbon Awards
  2. Review of the CAB Industry Codes
  3. Diversity Initiatives Planning for 2006-07

Conclusion – Advancing Diversity: The Impact of the CAB 2005-06 Initiatives

Appendices (only available in pdf format)



Background

In Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2001-88, the Commission called upon the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) to establish a community/industry task force to sponsor research, identify best practices and help to define the issues and means for ensuring the accurate reflection and portrayal by broadcasters of ethnocultural groups and Aboriginal Peoples. The Task Force began work in July 2002 and completed its comprehensive report to the CRTC in July 2004.

In the Report of the Task Force, Reflecting Canadians: Best Practices for Cultural Diversity on Television, the Task Force recommended that broadcasters – via the CAB – work with the broader industry and ethnocultural and Aboriginal communities to develop and implement a range of industry initiatives including formal communications activities about diversity and diversity initiatives.

In Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2005-24, Commission’s response to the Report of the Task Force for Cultural Diversity on Television, the Commission set out its expectation for the CAB to report annually to the Commission on its progress in implementing the Task Force’s recommended industry initiatives, beginning in 2006.

Overlapping with the work of the industry on cultural diversity and Aboriginal initiatives has been the work of the CAB on initiatives regarding persons with disabilities.

In January 2004, the CRTC released Public Notice 2004-2, Introduction to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2004-6 to 2004-27 renewing the licences of 22 specialty services.

In Public Notice 2004-2, the Commission addressed the issue of the presence, portrayal and participation of persons with disabilities in television programming, which had been raised by several intervenors at the hearing on specialty service licence renewals, and had been discussed with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters during its intervention.

As a result, the Commission requested in Public Notice 2004-2 that the CAB develop and file an action plan with the Commission, outlining the process proposed to examine and address these issues. Lead by its Joint Societal Issues Committee (JSIC), the CAB undertook a number of consultations and background research in developing an Action Plan that was submitted to the Commission in August 2004.

The Action Plan proposed to:

In addition, the CAB proposed the development of a toolkit for broadcasters, to assist its members in advancing the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the industry and addressing presence and portrayal issues on-screen.

In a letter issued by the CRTC to the CAB on November 15, 2004 the Commission stated it was satisfied with the CAB’s proposed strategy, and the CAB filed its research report on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming on September 16 th, 2005.

In response to the Commission’s requirement set out in Public Notice 2005-24, the CAB is pleased to file its first annual Report on Diversity in Broadcasting, to outline the progress achieved in the implementation of industry diversity initiatives, and to update the Commission on progress achieved on the recommendations set out in the above noted report on persons with disabilities and television programming.

We note that the initiatives outlined in this inaugural CAB Report on Diversity in Broadcasting are intended to complement the initiatives that are being undertaken at the individual station level, and to build on the significant work undertaken by Canada’s private broadcasters as outlined in their individual annual reporting to the CRTC.


Executive Summary – CAB Report on Diversity in Broadcasting

The CAB 2005-06 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting (the Diversity Report) provides a detailed summary of those industry initiatives that have served to advance the reflection and portrayal of diversity in television, and the positive influence of the CAB in the development of diversity in the broadcasting sector as a whole.

In the first part of the Diversity Report, the CAB describes the development and launch of the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website. The Report describes the architecture and substance of the website, which has become an important resource of information about diversity for the broadcasting industry, industry partners and stakeholders.

The CAB has also adapted the principles of website accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium and found in the Web Content Accessibility Guideline. These principles of accessibility – adapted to ensure the broadest possible audience for the website, including access for persons with disabilities – are described in the CAB Diversity Report.

In the second part of the Diversity Report, the CAB outlines a significant range of communication activities undertaken in the past year to promote and advance diversity initiatives in broadcasting with a range of audiences, including media outlets, ethnocultural and Aboriginal media, government, industry partners and stakeholders in diverse communities. The Report describes communication vehicles with CAB members such as the CAB Update and member-based committees dealing with diversity-related matters as items of recurring discussion.

The Report also describes the various methods of communication by the CAB with stakeholders in the ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability communities, including the inaugural Télédiversité 2005, as well as the CAB’s communication initiatives with industry partners undertaken to ensure better awareness of diversity in the industry at large.

In this section of the CAB Report, initiatives in communicating with media outlets – such as press releases, backgrounders and columns in trade publications – are also summarized. The CAB has also made a point of integrating ways of effectively leading the industry in addressing diversity, into its internal operations to ensure ‘diversity’ is a part of the CAB’s own language and culture.

In the third part of the CAB Diversity Report, diversity activities related to the most recent CAB annual convention and Gold Ribbon Awards are described, and planning to create additional diversity-related Gold Ribbon Awards is outlined.

In the fourth part of the CAB Diversity Report, a discussion of work completed to date on the CAB Industry Codes is presented. In Broadcasting Public Notice 2005-24, the Commission noted the endorsement by the CAB of the Task Force’s recommendation to review its industry codes for purposes of determining whether the codes address concerns outlined in research findings regarding the reflection and portrayal of ethnocultural and Aboriginal groups. The current status of the proposed new CAB Equitable Portrayal Code is outlined and discussed in the section of the Report.

The final part of the CAB Diversity Report outlines some of the diversity initiatives that are currently in the planning stages for 2006-07, including initiatives directed toward the recommendations included in the CAB report on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming.

The first annual CAB Report on Diversity in Broadcasting concludes with some perspectives on how these initiatives have positively influenced the advancement of diversity in the private broadcasting industry in 2005-06.


Introduction

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is the national voice of Canada’s private broadcasters, representing the vast majority of Canadian programming services including private television and radio stations, networks and specialty, pay and pay-per view television services. The CAB is pleased to present its first annual Report on Diversity in Broadcasting (the Diversity Report) to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

The advancement of diversity – achieved through the broader inclusion of ethnocultural groups, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and under-represented groups – is fundamentally important to the strength of the Canadian broadcasting system and fulfilling broadcasters’ responsibilities under the Broadcasting Act to ‘…serve the needs and interests and reflect the circumstances and aspirations…the linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society and the special place of aboriginal peoples within that society.’1

Broadcasters have also identified a compelling business rationale that underlies the case for bringing increasing diversity to our industry, since the creation of more dynamic, diverse programming and the development of diverse workforces can attract larger viewing and listening audiences, enhance relationships with local communities and create new streams of revenue for broadcasters.

In addition, greater diversity in private broadcasting means greater reflection of Canada’s highly diverse population, enabling audiences to see and hear themselves through programming and community-based initiatives.

Canada ’s private broadcasters have been very active in the overall advancement of reflection and portrayal of cultural diversity. In this regard, the CAB continues to play a major role in leading the development and implementation of many diversity initiatives. Those initiatives and activities undertaken by the CAB over the past 12 months are wide-ranging, and have had a positive influence in the development of diversity in the broadcasting sector as a whole. In order to fully capture this wide range of activities, the CAB Diversity Report is structured as follows.

The first part of the Report describes the essential role played by the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website in promoting and communicating on diversity activities and initiatives within our industry. We describe the development of the website, the various areas of content it includes and the steps we have taken to ensure it is broadly accessible to persons with disabilities.

The second part of the Report outlines a significant range of communication activities undertaken by the CAB to promote and advance diversity initiatives in broadcasting with media outlets (including ethnocultural and Aboriginal media), government, our industry partners and stakeholders in the ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability communities. We note the important role in communicating diversity activities played by the weekly CAB Update publication and take note of those diversity-related activities that have taken place within the CAB’s own internal operations.

The third part of the Report describes diversity-focused activities that took place at the most recent CAB convention in November 2006, and identifies the role of the CAB Gold Ribbon Awards in promoting, advancing and celebrating diverse programming within the broadcasting community. We also outline the new diversity-based Gold Ribbon Awards that are currently in development.

The fourth part of the Report describes the recent review of the CAB Industry Codes and the proposal for a new CAB Equitable Portrayal Code that was recently approved by all three of the CAB’s Sector Boards.

The fifth part of the Report outlines some of the diversity initiatives that are currently in the planning stages for 2006-07.

In conclusion, the Diversity Report presents perspectives on how the CAB initiatives have positively influenced the advancement of diversity in the private broadcasting industry in 2005-06.

1. The CAB Website: ‘Diversity in Broadcasting’

The CAB has been extremely active in the area of building diversity in broadcasting over the past several years, serving as the secretariat and project manager for the 2002 – 2004 Task Force for Cultural Diversity on Television and the Task Force Report (Reflecting Canadians: Best Practices for Cultural Diversity in Private Television), managing the recent research initiative on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Canadian Television, and developing industry Best Practices for private radio as outlined in our recent submission to the Commission on Notice of Public Hearing 2006-1, Review of the Commercial Radio Policy.

While the above represent a number of major diversity research initiatives, we note that these studies have proven to be extremely important in driving the integration of diversity into the CAB’s operating environment, underpinning a number of activities we have undertaken in leading our industry toward increased diversity overall. Among the most important of these activities in 2005-06 has been the development of the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website.

Website Architecture

Diversity in Broadcasting was launched in May 2005, and has evolved in the past year to serve as a major conduit for broadcasters, stakeholders and the public on the industry’s diversity measures, initiatives and activities. The website includes a vast array of information, including research reports, releases, speeches, articles, initiatives (e.g. scholarships/training programs) and notification of diversity events, and is organized as follows:

The CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website has evolved in only a year to become a substantial resource for CAB members, ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability communities, and other interested groups and users. In fact, the section has had over 232,166 “hits” since it was launched. The CAB will continue to develop the website throughout 2006-07, ensuring it remains both current and relevant to the advancement of diversity in the private broadcasting industry.

Website Accessibility

In order to ensure the broadest possible audience for the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website, including access to the site by persons with disabilities, the CAB has adapted the principles of website accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and found in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0). Adapted to both HTML and PDF versions of documents, these guidelines include a range of accessibility features, including:

The CAB is continuing the process of implementing the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines to the website, in order to ensure it is as broadly inclusive as possible.

Members of CAB staff are also receiving training on website accessibility, and on ways of creating accessible document in MS Word format that can be converted to accessible PDF documents for posting to the website. Training sessions include members of the CAB Senior Management Team.

2. Communications Activities

Communicating diversity initiatives and activities to the Canadian broadcasting industry, industry partners, stakeholders, government representatives, the media and other organizations has been a major focus of the CAB over the past year. Communication activities now target close to 1300 organizations and individuals, in order to keep interested groups apprised of industry activities on diversity.

For example, the CAB continues to develop a major distribution list comprised of ethnocultural media, ethnocultural and Aboriginal organizations and Aboriginal media outlets and disability organizations. The underpinning principle in developing and delivering information on diversity initiatives is to be as broadly-based, consultative and inclusive as possible. The CAB database is currently comprised as follows:

Communications with Members

The CAB relies on a range of methods in order to ensure our membership is kept apprised of developments on diversity activities with the industry and among our industry partners. Communications with CAB members on diversity includes:

These communication vehicles and on-going communications planning remain key pillars of the CAB plan to deliver comprehensive information on diversity to CAB Radio, Television and Specialty and Pay members across Canada while encouraging the development of diversity initiatives among the CAB membership.

Communications with Stakeholders

While many of the above-noted communication activities – including Diversity in Broadcasting, the CAB Update, media backgrounders and releases and other information – are available to ethnocultural and Aboriginal organizations and to the disability community, the CAB has also made a point of directly connecting with diverse communities in the course of the past year.

For example, the CAB ensured the wide distribution of the research report on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilitiesin Television Programming that was filed with the Commission September 16, 2005. While the foundation of this study was broadly consultative, and included a one-day discussion forum for connecting broadcasters with the disability community, the subsequent report was circulated to our extensive database of ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability organizations.

The Ontario March of Dimes replied to our report, stating “We are wholeheartedly delighted with the effort invested in this project, and the recommendations you present.”2

The CAB also led or participated in a number of other diversity initiatives that focused on a range of broadcasting industry stakeholders.

For example, the CAB partnered with Astral Media, TVA and TQS to serve as the secretariat for the inaugural Télédiversité 2005, an event that attracted Quebec-based ethnocultural and Aboriginal communities to a discussion of cultural diversity in Quebec French-language private television. Opening remarks by well known broadcaster Moses Znaimer launched this important event that also included participation of Members of the National Assembly Yolande James (Liberal Party) and Elsie Lebebvre (Partie Québécois).

The event attracted more than 160 participants and 15 panelists culminating in a commitment by broadcasters and stakeholders to renew the dialogue and continue with a 2006 version of the event. A copy of the program is attached to this report.

Two panel sessions were held. The first was news oriented and moderated by Pierre Bruneau, TV anchorman and cultural diversity ambassador. Panellists were Alexandra Diaz (cultural reporter, TVA), Russel Ducasse (reporter, TQS), Serge Fortin (V-P, News and public affairs, TVA), Jean-Luc Mongrain (Anchorman, TQS), Jacques Rochon (News Director, TQS) and Sophie Thibault (Anchorwomen, TVA).

The second panel concerned drama programming and was moderated by Ronald Boisrond (Noir de Monde, CH). Panellists included Orlando Arriagada (Producer, Tutti Frutti), André Béraud (Producer, Cirrus Communications), Denis Dubois (V-P, programming, VRAK), Stéphane Grabriele (Development Director, TQS) and France Lauzière (General Manager, programming, TVA). The 2006 version of Télédiversité will be held at TVA on May 25, 2006.

In our on-going efforts to raise awareness on issues of importance to broadcasters with government, the CAB developed a specific leave-behind fact sheet dealing with Societal Issues that includes information on diversity Best Practices and recommendations on Cultural Diversity and Persons with Disabilities.

The CAB was also represented by Prem Gill, Director of Ethnocultural Programming and Public Affairs, and Host of ColourTV, Citytv Vancouver at the April 20 and 21, 2005 meeting of the Independent Aboriginal Screen Producers Association. The meeting invited open discussion of issues concerning Aboriginal producers and fostered a strengthening of relationships while identifying potential collaborations and partnerships.

Communications with Industry Partners

As noted in the Report of the Task Force for Cultural Diversity in Television Programming, the CAB is of the strong belief that success in the development of industry diversity measures cannot occur without the full and committed support of our industry partners, given the chain of production and program distribution that is a fundamental reality of private broadcasting. The CAB has in the past encouraged the full participation of our industry partners in diversity initiatives, through such research studies as the Reflecting Canadians: Best Practices for Cultural Diversity in Private Television (The Report of the Task Force for Cultural Diversity on Television) and The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming.

In order to encourage and promote the diversity activities undertaken by our industry partners, the CAB wrote to 27 stakeholders in October 2005 and sent a follow-up letter in January 2006, requesting that such organizations as CFTPA, ACTRA, APFTQ, SODEC and Telefilm Canada provide the CAB with any information or materials regarding diversity initiatives in order to ensure better awareness and communication on diversity initiatives, avoid duplication and encourage partnerships. The CAB indicated it would then post this information on our Diversity in Broadcasting website.

Several organizations replied with information about their diversity initiatives, including Association of Canadian Advertisers, New Brunswick Film, RTNDA, and Telefilm Canada.

Telefilm Canada, for example provided the CAB with some detail on The Canadian Television Fund Special Initiatives Stream that includes the Aboriginal Language Production Envelop and training/mentorship programs. RTNDA outlined its own Diversity Initiative and related PSA campaign, and indicated an interest in assisting the CAB with developing educational materials on the inappropriate use of language in news, as a follow up to findings from the 2005 study on persons with disabilities in television programming.

The CAB also notes the important work of ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity committee which launched an updated talent catalogue in the spring of 2005 called Mainstream Now. This binder format catalogue has been distributed to local casting directors as well as U.S. productions filming in Toronto.  Mainstream Now is a practical and valuable resource for casting directors, producers and directors seeking diversity, and will increase exposure and opportunities for under-represented performers in the film and television industry. The CAB encourages other chapters of ACTRA to undertake similar initiatives in their regions.

The CAB will continue in its communication efforts with industry stakeholders throughout 2006-07 in order to identify partnerships and promote the continuing participation of producers, writers, directors, funding agencies and other organizations in the reflection of Canada’s diverse population.

Communications with Media

The CAB utilizes a number of communication vehicles to keep media outlets informed on industry diversity initiatives, including:

Internal Communications

Throughout 2005-06, the CAB has made a point of integrating into its operations, ways of effectively leading the industry in addressing diversity.

For example, the CAB has established a permanent Working Committee on Diversity comprised of members of the CAB Senior Management Team. The Committee meets a minimum of once a month to address CAB and industry diversity initiatives and brainstorm on new ideas and activities.

The CAB also held an information and briefing session on diversity issues for all staff, to ensure internal teams are fully apprised of the importance of diversity and key activities undertaken by the CAB and its members. As a follow up from this session, the CAB created a series of internal briefing documents for circulation to all staff, including a summary of diversity issues, use of appropriate language in discussing issues with stakeholders, and status updates on CAB diversity activities.

Diversity is also a recurring agenda item in the CAB’s internal Senior Management meetings.

As noted earlier in our Report, members of CAB staff are receiving training on website accessibility, and on ways of creating accessible document in MS Word format that can be converted to accessible PDF documents for posting to the website. Training sessions include members of the CAB Senior Management Team.

3. CAB Convention and Gold Ribbon Awards

For three years running now, the CAB has included a specific focus on diversity as part of its annual Convention programming. The 2005 CAB Convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba featured The Honourable Cardiss Collins, U.S. Representative in Congress (Ret.) as a keynote speaker at the Gold Ribbon Awards Breakfast on November 8. Former Congresswoman Collins was one of the longest-serving African American women in Congress, and was the representatives for Illinois' Seventh Congressional District for over 20 years. Most recently Congresswoman Collins was the Chair of the Independent Task Force on Television Measurement established by Nielsen Media Research in the U.S.3

In her address, Congresswoman Collins spoke of diversity and challenges in audience measurement in the United States, and congratulated the Commission and the CAB for creating the conditions enabling the study of diversity in the Canadian broadcasting system. As noted in her remarks,

It is my understanding that the CAB was asked to create the task force and to fund it. Creating and funding are two different things. Creating is getting a bunch of people together, and funding is putting your money where your mouth is. And that to me is very important. I commend you. All of you who are members of the CAB are to be applauded for doing just that. You are also to be applauded because of the report of the task force. Your task force report is something that I can use as a guideline when I go back to my country. It’s very well done. It’s something that is complete.4

In raising concerns about the accuracy of audience measurement, Congresswoman Collins addressed the importance of sampling individual characteristics rather than households in order to fully capture the range of diversity present in the television audience. Her remarks pointed to a critical element of the business case for diversity: that inaccurate or incomplete measurement inclusive of diverse groups will inhibit ad sales. Congresswoman Collins’ full speech to the 2005 CAB Convention delegates is posted on the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website.

The CAB also created a new Gold Ribbon Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Programming, for Television and Specialty & Pay members at the 2005 Convention in Winnipeg. There were 10 entries in all, five from Television and five from Specialty & Pay. As described in the Gold Ribbon Awards Competition Package, the Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Programming “honours the station or service that has made the greatest contribution to the development, creation and production of an outstanding Canadian program or series dealing with an Aboriginal theme or tackling an Aboriginal issue and designed to enlighten, inform and develop awareness in the community.”

There were five finalists and one winner of the first Gold Ribbon Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Programming: CFMT-TV/CJMT-TV (Omni One and Omni Two) for Mushuau Innu: Surviving Canada. A clip of the program has been placed on the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website.

The CAB plans to create three new Gold Ribbon Award categories celebrating diversity in programming for the 2006 Convention in Vancouver: Aboriginal Programming (Radio), Diversity in News and Information Programming (Radio) and Diversity in News and Information Programming (TV and Specialty and Pay).

4. Review of the CAB Industry Codes

In Broadcasting Public Notice 2005-24 – Commission’s Response to the Report of the Task Force for Cultural Diversity on Television the Commission noted that the CAB had endorsed the recommendation of the Task Force to review its industry codes for the purpose of determining whether the codes address concerns identified in the Task Force’s research findings regarding the reflection and portrayal of ethnocultural and Aboriginal groups.

Subsequent to the filing of the CAB research study on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming the CAB completed a full review of its four principal broadcast standard codes for the industry:

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), an independent non-governmental organization created by CAB, administers all of the CAB’s Industry Codes with the exception of the CAB Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children. This code is administered by Advertising Standards Canada.

Our review of the Industry Codes, which was filed with the Commission in December 2005, revealed the most comprehensive way to address the findings of the research studies on ethnocultural, Aboriginal and persons with disabilities reflection and portrayal would be to develop a new Industry Code to replace the CAB Sex-Role Portrayal Code. Indeed, it became clear through industry deliberations that those issues such as stereotyping and negative portrayal that were once viewed as applying primarily to gender, now apply to the need for the broader inclusion of all groups.

As noted in the proposed Equitable Portrayal Code ‘General Principles’,

Broadcasters shall evaluate individual programs within the context of their overall schedule, and within the context of broadcast services and other media available within their market, to ensure a varied approach of programming content that reflects the fair and equitable portrayal of identifiable groups.5

To this end, the CAB has developed a new Equitable Portrayal Code for television and radio programming to ensure fair, accurate and non-stereotypical portrayal of all persons in television and radio programming.

The new Equitable Portrayal Code goes beyond the ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability communities that were the focus of the above-noted research studies. Instead, the Code is intended to assist in overcoming negative discrimination and stereotyping in broadcast programming based on matters of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, gender, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability.

The CAB’s sector Boards approved in principle the proposal for a new Equitable Portrayal Code in March 2006. The CAB is now conducting consultations on the new Code with affected stakeholders in accordance with Public Notice CRTC 1988-13 Guidelines for Developing Industry-Administered Standards. Once the consultations are completed, the new Code will be submitted to the CRTC for consideration; following feedback from the Commission, the proposed Equitable Portrayal Code will be submitted to the CAB Joint Board of Directors for final approval.

5. Diversity Initiatives Planning for 2006-07

The CAB has a number of diversity initiatives in the planning stages for 2006-07. Two of these initiatives emerge directly from the research study on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming conducted by the CAB in 2005.

First, the CAB has met with representatives of the Radio and Television News Directors Association to discuss a potential partnership in developing materials addressing the use of inappropriate language respecting persons with disabilities in news and information programming. This is a direct follow up from a recommendation in the above-noted study, where research findings identified the perspective of the disability community that the use of insensitive or inappropriate language about persons with disabilities – for example, equating a disability with an ‘affliction’ – continues to be an issue in news and information programming.

Second, in addressing another recommendation from this study, the CAB will be working on the development of a brochure to address the lack of participation in the broadcasting and production industries by persons with disabilities. During the course of the study, it was found that disability organizations and their constituents are largely unaware of the scope of available jobs and skills required by the industries. Stakeholders and broadcasters consulted as part of the study determined that some type of educational material – such as a brochure – should be developed and circulated to disability organizations in order to educate the disability community about the scope of employment in the industries.

As a precursor to the development of training to assist members with their diversity strategies, the CAB has retained a consulting firm to conduct a needs assessment among the CAB membership. The needs assessment – to be conducted in the Fall of 2006 – will enable this training initiative to develop in a manner that is most helpful and practical to our members and that helps identify the business case for diversity taking into consideration differences in markets, size of markets, relative presence of diversity in different markets and related factors.

As noted above, the CAB is currently developing three new Gold Ribbon Awards for diversity in programming, and the CAB 2006 Convention in Vancouver will once again devote a portion of its programming to diversity issues and discussion.


Conclusion – Advancing Diversity: The Impact of the CAB 2005-06 Initiatives

Throughout 2005-06, the CAB has made significant progress in developing and launching a wide range of diversity measures, initiatives and activities.

The CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website has become an important conduit for the collection and dissemination of a broad range of information, studies, reports, links and other facets of diversity in our industry. The website has been created with accessibility as a key goal, and the CAB’s goal is that it will continue to evolve into a central repository for industry-wide information and ideas about diversity.

Our communication activities – including the creation of a database containing some 1300 organizations and individuals from ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability communities, broadcasting and production industries, media (including ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability media), government decision-makers and others – have succeeded in moving diversity forward with the industry, stakeholders, partners and others by raising awareness about the inherent business and social value of increasing diversity within the industries.

Through media releases, articles and columns, discussions with print journalists for publication, speeches and reports, and related communication initiatives, we have brought positive and thought-provoking messages about diversity and broadcasting to thousands of Canadians, and have brought ‘diversity’ more prominently into both language and practice. In essence, through the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website and through a significant range of communication vehicles, the CAB has raised the ‘visibility’ and profile of diversity throughout our industry.

In addition to this, diversity has become an integrated feature of the CAB’s own operations, and can no longer be considered as an ‘afterthought’ in discussions about strategic planning. Diversity now holds a permanent place in the language and in the focus of the CAB itself.

Through the integration of diversity discussion as part of the CAB Convention and through the establishment of a Gold Ribbon Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Programming (Television and Specialty & Pay) – with more Gold Ribbon Awards for diversity programming to come – the CAB has moved to encourage, recognize and celebrate the diversity of Canada and applaud those private broadcasters who embrace diversity in their delivery of programming to Canadians.

In 2005-06, through the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website, we have engaged, informed and provoked our industry partners, stakeholders and a host of others about diversity. We have raised the profile of diversity and the relevance of diversity with our members.

Through our vast array of focused communication activities, we have brought messages about diversity and its pivotal role in the broadcasting system to a wide range of influential audiences, many of which will carry these messages into their own organizations and companies – in the hope that other stakeholders will make diversity and increased reflection their priority.

Through our Convention and our Gold Ribbon Awards, we have celebrated the presence of diversity in our country, and recognized the importance of harnessing diversity in the programming of our members.

It is important to note that the initiatives outlined in this inaugural CAB Report on Diversity in Broadcasting are intended to complement the initiatives that are being undertaken at the individual station level, and to build on the significant work undertaken by Canada’s private broadcasters as outlined in their individual annual reporting to the CRTC.

The CAB thanks the Commission for the opportunity to present its first Diversity Report, and looks forward to reporting on its diversity measures, activities and initiatives again in 2007.




Footnotes:

1. Broadcasting Act 1991, Section 3 (d) (iii)

2. Letter from Andria Spindel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario March of Dimes, to the CAB September 23, 2005.

3. A copy of the “Independent Task Force on Television Measurement Report” is available on the CAB’s Diversity in Broadcasting website.

4. Congresswoman Collins’ Speech to the 2005 CAB Convention, CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website/Media Centre.

5. Canadian Association of Broadcasters Equitable Portrayal Code (Revised February 23, 2006) – Proposed, page 3

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