Diversity in Broadcasting


Canadian Association of Broadcasters


2006-07
Report on
Diversity in Broadcasting



Canadian Association of Broadcasters

April 30, 2007




Table of Contents

Highlights

Introduction

  1. Persons with Disabilities – CAB Industry Initiatives

  2. Radio Best Practices and Reporting Template

  3. CAB Convention and Gold Ribbon Awards

  4. CAB Diversity in Broadcasting Website

  5. Review of Industry Codes

  6. Other CAB Diversity Initiatives

  7. Diversity Initiatives Planning for 2007-08

  8. Conclusion: Impact of CAB 2006-07 Diversity Initiatives

Appendices



Highlights

Diversity activities undertaken by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) in 2006-07 primarily focused on initiatives relating to persons with disabilities. These included:

           
The CAB led a number of other important diversity initiatives throughout 2006-07:

Many of these initiatives will continue to develop throughout 2007-08 as the CAB builds on the significant work on diversity that is being undertaken by individual stations.


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 2006-07 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting (the Report) to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

The advancement of diversity is fundamentally important to strengthening the Canadian broadcasting system and to the fulfillment of broadcaster 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 identified a compelling business rationale that underlies the case for bringing increasing diversity to our industry: 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 increasingly diverse population, enabling audiences to see and hear themselves through programming and community-based initiatives.

The diversity activities undertaken by the CAB over the past 12 months have had a primary focus on initiatives relating to persons with disabilities. The CAB has also lead a number of other important diversity initiatives throughout 2006-07, including the development of pioneering Radio Best Practices and further expansion of the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website. The CAB Convention and Gold Ribbon Awards have once again served as key vehicles for diversity leadership, as have our communications and community outreach activities.

In order to fully capture this wide range of 2006-07 initiatives and activities, the CAB Diversity Report is structured as follows.

The first part of the Report describes our wide range of activities as they pertain to persons with disabilities, which was the primary focus for CAB diversity initiatives in 2006-07. We describe the rationale for this focus while addressing how the CAB is advancing the inclusion of persons with disabilities in our industry through a host of communication and outreach activities.

The second part of the Report provides detail on the development and implementation of Radio Best Practices that were first introduced with our submission to the Commission in response to Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2006-1, Review of the Commercial Radio Policy and that have since been revised through dialogue with the Commission and our radio members.

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 important role of the CAB Gold Ribbon Awards in promoting, advancing and celebrating diverse programming within the broadcasting community. We also highlight and provide details on the new diversity-based Gold Ribbon Awards categories launched this year.

The fourth part of the Report describes the continuing, essential role played by the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website in promoting and communicating on diversity activities and initiatives within our industry, and further describes the advancements and improvements we have made to the website throughout 2006-07.

The fifth part of the Report describes the on-going review of the CAB Industry Codes as well as background information and a status report on the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code.

The sixth part of the Report outlines a number of other diversity initiatives undertaken by the CAB and its members in 2006-07, including a range of communications activities, participation with the SABAR, the RTNDA Canada Diversity Tool Kit and the CAB role in the second annual Télédiversité initiative.

The seventh part of the Report outlines some of the diversity initiatives that are currently in the planning stages for 2007-08.

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 2006-07.

Appendices are attached at the end of the Report.

We note that the initiatives outlined in theCAB 2006-07 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.

1. Persons with Disabilities – CAB Industry Initiatives

The primary, core focus of the CAB’s 2006-07 diversity initiatives has been to advance the inclusion of persons with disabilities within the broadcasting industry by implementing several recommendations from our 2005 study on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming. The planned implementation of these initiatives was highlighted in our inaugural Report on Diversity in Broadcasting filed with Commission in 2006.

In Public Notice 2004-2, Introduction to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2004-6 to 2004-27 renewing the licences of 22 specialty services 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 a comprehensive submission accompanied by the above noted study on September 16, 2005.

The CAB study proposed a number of initiatives designed to directly address key findings that emerged from the research, notably (i) a Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign to address negative attitudes and misperceptions about persons with disabilities in society on the whole, (ii) information to educate the disability community about the types of employment available in the broadcasting and affiliated production sector, and aimed at increasing the participation of persons with disabilities in the industry and (iii) information to educate private broadcasters about the use of appropriate language and terminology regarding persons with disabilities in news and information programming. The CAB also proposed to review industry codes in order to address portrayal issues raised in the research.

In Public Notice CRTC 2006-77, the Commission noted its support for the CAB’s proposed initiatives, citing that

the creation of a PSA, the review of industry codes, and the development of educational material concerning the use of inappropriate language, are particularly important in responding to the predominant concerns identified (in the research)…These are tangible, baseline initiatives with a high potential for raisingawareness of the fundamental concerns of persons with disabilities.2

To this end, the CAB has in the past year developed a Public Service Announcement regarding persons with disabilities; created and published an information booklet on Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector, and created and published a booklet in collaboration with the RTNDA Canada entitled Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology – Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals and Glossary.

All three initiatives were announced on November 6, 2006 at the CAB Convention in Vancouver and again on December 3, 2006 on the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons; all have been made available and accessible on the CAB website. The list of stakeholders consulted on the creation of these three initiatives is attached as Appendix A.

Open Your Mind – Public Service Announcement

The PSA was transmitted to CAB member television stations and specialty services in early December, together with traffic instructions. Entitled Open Your Mind, the PSA was produced by CHUM Limited and features four individuals with disabilities clearly identified by their occupation and career. The message is precise and direct: people with disabilities make significant contributions to Canadian society. The objective in airing the PSA is to achieve maximum impact on viewers; it is receiving its heaviest rotations during January and July 2007.

The production of Open Your Mind emerged out of the CAB’s research study on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming, notably through interviews with the Canadian disability community and through the industry/community Stakeholder Forum that revealed the study’s key findings. Messaging presented through the PSA was vetted by a number of community representatives with the valuable assistance of Don Peuramaki, President of Fireweed Media Productions and a member of the CAB Outreach Committee on the Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming.

In just over three months into the campaign, the PSA has already aired over 14,300times on Canadian private television stations and specialty services. Images from the PSA are attached to our Report as Appendix B. The PSA was posted on line and viewed on the CAB website over 1,250 times.

Working from the same concept, APTN created its own version of the same PSA showing various Aboriginal persons with disabilities. The PSA now airs on APTN and includes versions in English, French, Inuktitut, Cree and Ojibway.  A number of other CAB stations and services have requested and are airing the APTN version of the PSA as well.

Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology - Persons with Disabilities

Approximately 500 copies of Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology - Persons with Disabilities were provided to RTNDA Canada for distribution to its members. Requests for additional copies of the manual have been received and additional copies have been distributed since its publication. The content of the booklet was developed in consultation with 13 leading disability non-government organizations. The Guidelines were also posted on line and viewed over 14,000 times.

Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector

To April 2007, over 600copies of Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sectorhad been distributed to stakeholder organizations and educational institutions. The Employment Opportunities were also posted on line and viewed close to 1,000 times.

The CAB has also been very active in making copies of the Employment Opportunities publication available through Innoversity’s Media Access and Participation Initiative (MAP), which is described later in our Report.

Communication Activities – Persons with Disabilities Initiatives

The above noted PSA and educational initiatives were supported by a number of communication activities focused on members, industry partners, stakeholders, government representatives, media and CAB staff.

The CAB will continue to implement the recommendations emerging from our study on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming throughout 2007-08.

2. Radio Best Practices and Reporting Template

The CAB – in consultation with our private radio members – initially submitted a comprehensive series of best practices and a reporting template for diversity in private radio with our filing to the Commission on Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing 2006-1, Review of the Commercial Radio Policy.

The strategy of CAB private radio members to advance the reflection and promotion of talent from diverse backgrounds – including ethnocultural groups, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities – is based on the development and implementation of a wide range of best practices with an emphasis on music and spoken-word programming, human resource initiatives, community outreach, and accountability and measurement. Many private radio operators, at both the station and corporate levels, have already brought forward their own innovative approaches to engaging diversity in the workplace and on air.

In its new Commercial Radio Policy (Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158)the Commission commended the CAB's proposed best practices and reporting template for diversity in private radio noting they were positive and effective tools for radio licensees.

The Commission also noted that the CAB's proposed best practices filed with our submission had not specifically addressed the role that talent development and emerging artists can play in fostering diversity on radio, and subsequently asked the CAB to amend its best practices to address this important area.  Accordingly, the CAB has revised Section 6 (Programming) of its best practices, which now includes a specific reference to the use of Canadian Content Development contributions in advancing diversity within the sector.

Our revised best practices for diversity in private radio were submitted to the Commission on March 15, 2007 and are attached to our Report as Appendix D.

3. CAB Convention and Gold Ribbon Awards

CAB Convention

The annual CAB Convention is an essential vehicle for developing and delivering information on the industry’s most important issues, and the CAB’s 80th Anniversary Convention held in Vancouver November 5 – 7, 2006 once again included a specific focus on diversity.

As a general approach to our Convention planning process, special attention was paid to ensuring broad, diverse representation when issuing invitations to panelists. In addition, when organizing sessions with panels, Convention moderators were strongly encouraged to ensure that issues relating to diversity would be included and discussed throughout the Convention’s 20+ information sessions.

The Convention featured a keynote address entitled The Business Case for Diversity by Milton Wong, Chair, HSBC Investments Canada Ltd. Mr. Wong presented his remarks at the Gold Ribbon Awards Breakfast on Tuesday, November 7.  In addition to his many other accomplishments, Mr. Wong is the founder and Chair of the Laurier Institution, an independent non-profit institution dedicated to advancing knowledge of the economic and social implications of cultural diversity. 

In his address, Mr. Wong noted remarked:

By embracing other cultures, broadcasters are in a unique position to strengthen the fabric of our society and the state of our democracy, and to encourage peace and goodwill in our communities. You’re in a position to show our children what it means to be global citizens and to give them the background they need to get ahead in an increasingly cross-cultural world…I recognize that the Canadian Association of Broadcasters is committed to promoting a more diverse workforce. And that’s great news.

Mr. Wong’s remarks to the 2006 CAB Convention delegates have been posted on the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan also addressed CAB Convention Delegates. Well known internationally for his rousing acceptance of the Olympic flag at the close of the 2006 Winter Games, Mayor Sullivan - who has been quadriplegic since a skiing accident at the age of 19 – is a passionate proponent of the Paralympic Games and of equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in all fields of endeavour.

Given the core focus of our 2006-07 diversity initiatives on persons with disabilities, the 2006 Convention provided a perfect opportunity to announce and showcase the CAB’s activities in this area.

During the Hall of Fame Luncheon on Monday, November 6, guest speaker Rick Hansen joined CAB President and CEO Glenn O’Farrell to introduce the Open your Mind Public Service Announcement to delegates. In addition, all Convention delegates, speakers and guests were provided with a copy of the two booklets described earlier in this Report: theRecommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology - Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals and Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector.

Entertainment throughout the Convention’s three days featured the outstanding multicultural music talent that Canada has in its midst. Opening ceremonies included a performance by a series of percussionists, including traditional Aboriginal drummers, a Japanese taiko drummer, an Indian tabla player and a tympanist. Their live performance was set against a video showcasing British Columbia’s rich cultural diversity.   

At the Gold Ribbon Awards Breakfast on November 7, the CAB featured Delhi2Dublin, a group of five world fusion artists who blend the traditional folk melodies of North India and Ireland with cutting edge dance rhythms. At the Gold Ribbon Awards Gala on Tuesday evening, delegates and guests were entertained by Juno Award winner Alpha YaYa Diallo and his dance troupe for a performance of African and World Beat music.

Finally, during the 2006 Convention, several CAB members met with the Four Host First Nations of the Vancouver Olympic Committee.

Gold Ribbon Awards

In 2005, the CAB created the Gold Ribbon Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Programming for Television and Specialty and Pay members, which was launched at our Convention in Winnipeg.  A Gold Ribbon Award in this category was again presented during the CAB 2006 Convention, to History Television for its entry, Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii.

Building on the success of this new awards category, the CAB launched three new diversity-based Gold Ribbon Awards for the 2006 Convention in Vancouver.

The Gold Ribbon Award for Aboriginal Programmingfor Radio honours the station that has made the greatest contribution to the development, creation, and broadcast of an outstanding Canadian program or series dealing with an Aboriginal theme or issue, and designed to heighten awareness in the station’s communityThe winning entry Meeting Grounds was submitted by CKOM, Rawlco Radio, Saskatchewan.

Two Gold Ribbon Awards were created to celebrate Diversity in News and Information Programming.  For Television and Specialty and Pay members, the award honours the station or service that has broadcast an outstanding report or story that is especially effective and accurate in dealing with issues relating to social diversity, including race, ethnicity and persons with disabilities. This includes a single in-depth report or series of reports, or a documentary designed to develop awareness while reflecting the community. In the Shadow of Gold Mountain submitted by CBC Newsworld was the recipient of the 2006 Gold Ribbon Award in this category. 

For Radio members the Diversity in News and Information Programming award honours the station that has broadcast an outstanding report or story that is especially effective and accurate in dealing with issues relating to social diversity, including race, ethnicity and persons with disabilities. This includes news reports, documentaries, public affairs and continuing series designed to develop awareness while reflecting the community. The winning entry Seeds of Success was submitted by CKOM, Rawlco Radio, Saskatchewan.

Audio and video clips of all Gold Ribbon Award winning entries in these categories are available for download from the CAB’s Diversity in Broadcasting website.

Scholarships

Many CAB member companies sponsor scholarships, and several of these have been developed to support students from diverse backgrounds or students who have a physical disability. The CAB Convention provides a forum for celebrating the achievements of these students.

During the Gold Ribbon Awards breakfast on Tuesday, November 7 the Astral Media Scholarship, which is given to a Francophone student who is a member of a visible minority or who is Aboriginal was presented, as were three CanWest MediaWorks Scholarships and Awards: the Aboriginal Peoples’ Internship Award, the Scholarship-Internship Award for a Canadian with a Physical Disability and the Scholarship Award for a Canadian Visible Minority Student.

4. CAB Diversity in Broadcasting Website

Originally launched in May of 2005, the Diversity in Broadcasting website (www.cab-acr.ca/diversityinbroadcasting) was reorganized in 2006 to enable easier access to information on diversity activities and programs initiated by individual broadcasters, and continues to evolve as a central conduit for broadcasters, stakeholders and the public to access information on the industry’s diversity measures, initiatives and activities. The website includes a vast array of information, including research reports, news releases, speeches, articles, specific initiatives (e.g. scholarships/training programs) and notification of diversity events.

The website is designed and organized in the following way.

The booklets are available in English and French to any member of the public as a free PDF download; English and French versions of the PSA are posted for easy viewing. This section of the website also includes archival material identifying the members of the CAB Steering Committee and CAB Outreach Committee that guided the 2005 research report; summarizes the CAB Stakeholder Forum that was held as part of the 2005 research; and provides links to the CAB Action Plans, Research and Related Documents on persons with disabilities.

The CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website continues to evolve as a key resource for CAB members, industry stakeholders, and the ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability communities. The site receives more than 10,000 individual pageviews per month, and has had more than 120,000 pageviews since April of 2006.

As noted in our 2005-06 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting, 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:

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

In 2006-2007, the CAB continued training for staff members on creating accessible documents and webpages to ensure that all documents posted to the website can be accessed by all interested members of the general public, including people who are blind or are living with a vision loss.

The CAB plans to continue with the development of the Diversity in Broadcasting website throughout 2007-08, ensuring that the information remains timely and relevant to all those who are seeking to advance diversity in the private broadcasting industry.

5. Review of 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 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 CAB Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming; The CAB Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Radio and Television Programming; The CAB Code of Ethics; and The CAB Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children.

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.

The CAB’s review of its Industry Codes – filed with the Commission in December 2005 – indicated that the most comprehensive way to address the research findings on the reflection and portrayal of ethnocultural groups, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities would be to develop a new Industry Code to replace the CAB Sex-Role Portrayal Code. To this end, the CAB developed a new Equitable Portrayal Code to ensure fair, accurate and non-stereotypical portrayal of all persons in television and radio programming.

In developing the new Equitable Portrayal Code, and in accordance with Public Notice CRTC 1988-13 Guidelines for Developing Industry-Administered Standards the CAB consulted 36 organizations and received specific comments from seven organizations. Reminder emails were sent to all organizations advising them of the deadline for providing comments; any organizations seeking an extension to that deadline was accommodated.  A detailed description of stakeholder feedback and the CAB response was provided with the filing of new draft Code to the Commission in July 2006.

As noted in our 2005-06 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting, the new Equitable Portrayal Code goes well beyond the ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability communities that were the focus of the above-noted research studies, by expanding the Code’s provisions to include all Canadians. The new 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 Commission responded to the draft Equitable Portrayal Code in a September 29, 2006 letter from CRTC staff to the CAB that suggested certain revisions and clarifications to the draft Code submitted in July 2006. Subsequent to further discussions with CRTC staff and extensive discussions among members of the CAB Joint Societal Issues Committee, the CAB made a number of changes to the draft Code that were approved by the CAB Board of Directors on February 28, 2007.

The revisions are comprised of the following:

The revised Equitable Portrayal Code was filed with the Commission on March 12, 2007 for review and approval.

Communications Strategy

As is the case with all industry codes created by the CAB and administered by the CBSC, the CAB will work closely with the CBSC to create public awareness of the proposed Equitable Portrayal Code not only within the CAB membership but also with affected stakeholders.  This will include targeted communications with affected stakeholder groups in the ethnocultural, Aboriginal and persons with disabilities communities and key industry stakeholders including members of the independent production community.

The CAB will also use its existing communication vehicles including the Diversity in Broadcasting section of its website, the CAB Update, media releases, columns in trade publications and industry speaking appearances to raise awareness of the Equitable Portrayal Code and will encourage the CBSC to develop a specific and targeted promotional campaign to ensure broad awareness.

6. Other CAB Diversity Initiatives

While the core focus of CAB diversity initiatives in 2006-07 centered on the implementation of recommendations from our study on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming, the CAB was also engaged in leading a broad cross section of other diversity initiatives over the past 12 months, including a number of communication-related initiatives, an assessment of member needs in the area of professional development and diversity strategies, the Strategic Alliance of Broadcasters for Aboriginal Reflection (SABAR), the RTNDA Canada Diversity Toolkit and the Media Access and Participation Initiative (MAP).

Communication Activities

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

CAB and member initiatives on diversity have been included in the weekly CAB Update on an on-going basis throughout 2006-07. The CAB Update reaches all CAB members, decision-makers and stakeholders as well as selected media representatives.

The CAB also produced a leave-behind document for use when meeting decision-makers, which helps to convey the CAB commitment and achievements concerning diversity in broadcasting. The document is attached to our Report as Appendix E.

To raise the awareness of decision-makers to CAB initiatives in this area, the CAB developed and implemented a letter campaign in early February targeting Members of Parliament, Senators, and senior officials.

The CAB also carried out a letter campaign in order to raise awareness of private broadcasters’ initiatives with administrators, program coordinators and counselors at arts, film, communications schools, colleges and universities across Canada.

Issues concerning diversity in broadcasting and persons with disabilities are a regular item on the agenda of meetings/conference calls of all CAB Boards and at various CAB Committee meetings such as the Government Affairs Committee, the Human Resources Advisory Committee, the Joint Awards Committee, the Joint Societal Issues Committee, the Labour and Employment Issues Advisory Committee, the Small Market Advisory Council, the TV Communications Committee, and the Independent Radio Caucus.

Member Needs Assessment

The CAB retained the services of Ottawa-based Graybridge Malkam, a leading provider of intercultural effectiveness training and consulting services, to determine what form(s) of professional development support may be required by CAB member companies to best help them develop corporate strategies and implement best practices in the areas of cultural diversity and persons with disabilities. 

Conducted in the fall of 2006, CAB member companies from all sectors were interviewed by Graybridge Malkam, taking into consideration differences in market demographics, market size and relative presence of diversity in the various regions. The findings of the needs assessment revealed that the requirements of CAB members vary widely – some are further ahead than others in establishing and implementing corporate diversity strategies – such that a single or generic approach to training would not be practical or useful. The detailed findings were shared with the CAB Human Resources and Joint Societal Issues Committees for review and discussion. Based on their recommendations, a series of initiatives such as webinars on diversity best practices, diversity in broadcasting special reports and professional development programming at regional association conventions among others  are now being explored to best address the needs identified and the issues raised in the course of this assessment.

Strategic Alliance of Broadcasters for Aboriginal Reflection (SABAR)

A number of Canada’s private broadcasters are active members of SABAR, the Strategic Alliance of Broadcasters for Aboriginal Reflection. SABAR’s overall objective is to facilitate increased Aboriginal participation in the broadcasting industry through a variety of measures, including active recruitment and retention strategies, greater awareness of broadcasting as a career choice among Aboriginal youth, internships, scholarships, partnerships with Aboriginal organizations and participation at career fairs targeting Aboriginal peoples.

These initiatives are extensively detailed on SABAR’s website, www.sabar.ca.

In 2006-07, a number of SABAR members requested, were provided with and aired the above noted APTN Public Service Announcement ‘Ability’, so named for its compelling message that persons with disabilities represent an untapped pool of employment talent well able to meet the responsibilities of any job.

RTNDA Diversity Tool Kit

Two years in the making, the RTNDA Canada (The Association of Electronic Journalists) Diversity Tool Kit is comprised of two parts: (i) Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology – Persons with Disabilities created by the CAB in collaboration with RTNDA Canada and (ii) a DVD to promote discussion on diversity within newsrooms and among journalists across Canada. RTNDA Canada also circulated copies of its publication, Everyone’s Story: Reflecting Canada’s Diversity to all CAB members.

Media Access and Participation Initiative (MAP)

The Media Access and Participation Initiative or MAP was launched at the 2006 Innoversity Summit. MAP serves as an on the ground channel of information about employment opportunities in the media industries, and is focused on CAB target audiences that include broadcast/production industry, creative people with disabilities, educational institutions and employment agencies.

Don Peuramaki – President of Fireweed Media Productions and a member of the CAB Outreach Committee on the Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming – sits on the MAP Advisory Group, and has distributed a number of the CAB Employment Opportunities booklets at several employment/ career fairs, including employABLE, an employment fair targeting educators and persons with disabilities and CANNEXUS, a career development conference organized by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling that has significant reach to our target audiences.

MAP presence at the forthcoming People in Motion Show and the Women in Film and Television International Conference (July 2007) is currently in the planning stages.

Télédiversité

Last year, the CAB supported Télédiversité 2006, which attracted Québec-based ethnocultural and Aboriginal communities for a discussion on cultural diversity in Québec French-language private television. At the 2006 event, Astral Media, TQS and TVA made an important announcement regarding the future of Télédiversité, committing to a joint investment of $135,000 annually over the next three years.

In 2006, the Wapikoni Mobile Corporation was awarded the Télédiversité Award, accompanied by a cheque for $5000. The prize celebrates an outstanding contribution, made by an individual or organization, to the integration of minority and ethnocultural groups in the media. Wapikoni Mobile Corporation’s mission is to teach young people in Aboriginal communities how to use digital technologies and to provide them with guidance in the fields of scriptwriting and production.

Télédiversité 2007 is being organized by l’Association québécoise des télédiffuseurs et radiodiffuseurs (AQTR). For the 2007 edition of Télédiversité, new sponsors have joined the founding partners (Astral Media, TVA and TQS), including Corus Entertainment, APTN, RDS, Global Quebec, CH Montreal, CHUM Limited, La Presse Télé, MétéoMédia, Sphère Média Plus, Zone3 and Canal Évasion. Télédiversité 2007 is coordinated by Shanmugasunder Chetty, an experienced journalist and television host,  and member of Montreal's Indian community. In addition to his planning and organizational responsibilities, he is also the event' spokesperson. Télédiversité 2007 will be held June 5 and 6, 2007 in Montréal.

Closed Captioning

As part of the industry’s commitment to diversity, the CAB’s members are also committed to providing quality accessible programming to their audiences.  In order to ensure that private broadcasters continue to be responsive to all audiences, the CAB had formal meetings with representatives of the Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD) on July 17, 2006 in Quebec City to discuss their concerns regarding the quality of closed captioning on private television services.  The date and location coincided with the CAD's Deaf Congress and Annual General Meeting. 

This meeting was a follow up to a meeting that took place between the JSIC/CAB, CRTC, and CAD in Winnipeg in November 2005.  In that meeting, the JSIC/CAB was asked to look into a series of issues relating to closed captioning such as: advances in voice recognition; impact of HDTV on closed captioning; commercial cut-aways; interrupting closed captioning in news and other programming; and closed captioning covering up on-screen emergency information.  The JSIC convened a Working Group on Closed Captioning principally comprised of engineering and operations representatives of several broadcasting companies to develop a report on these issues for consideration by the CAD.  The resulting report entitled "Requested Technical and Operational Information Related to the Provision of Closed Captioning by Canadian Private Broadcasters" was presented at the 17 July 2006 meeting with the CAD in Quebec City.  A copy of the report can be found on the CAB’s website at http://www.cab-acr.ca/english/social/captioning/default.shtm

7. Diversity Initiatives Planning for 2007-08

In 2007-08, the CAB will continue to implement a number of diversity initiatives that are now underway, to ensure they are fully implemented and potentially leveraged going forward. For example, the CAB will continue to implement the recommendations from its research on persons with disabilities in television programming, through the PSA campaign and the wide distribution of educational materials.

The CAB will continue to promote its new Gold Ribbon Awards for Excellence in Aboriginal Programming (Radio) and for Diversity in News and Information Programming (Television and Specialty and Pay, and Radio).

Throughout 2007-08, the CAB will continue to utilize the Media Access and Participation Initiative (MAP) as a vehicle for promoting awareness of employment opportunities in the Canadian broadcasting and affiliated production sector, building on the success of the MAP initiative in 2006-07.

The CAB will also continue with the development of its Diversity in Broadcasting website in 2007-08, adapting 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).

With the continuing advice and support of the Commission, the CAB also expects to complete work on its Equitable Portrayal Code in 2007-08 and, working with the CBSC, plans to conduct a broad and inclusive communications strategy to ensure all stakeholders are aware of this important tool.

Finally, the CAB will complete work on its Member Needs Assessment by developing and implementing a series of initiatives that will address the needs and issues raised in 2006-07.

8. Conclusion: Impact of CAB 2006-07 Diversity Initiatives

Throughout 2006-07, the CAB continued to make important strides in developing and implementing a wide range of diversity measures, initiatives and activities.

First and foremost over the past year considerable efforts have been made to implement a number of recommendations that emerged from our study on The Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming. The CAB is pleased to report that in just one year it has successfully launched three core initiatives – a PSA campaign entitled Open Your Mind and two information booklets on Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector and Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology – Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals – all of which have been extremely well received by our members, our stakeholders, our partners and our audiences.

But more importantly, our 2006-07 core focus on initiatives pertaining to persons with disabilities has placed a very public spotlight on one of the most underrepresented groups in Canadian society, while increasing awareness of the barriers confronted by persons with disabilities and identifying the tools that can break these barriers down.

Clearly, Canada’s diversity continues to grow in dramatic fashion. Recently released data from Statistics Canada’s Census 2006 notes that Canada is the most diverse country among the G8, and that international immigration will continue to drive population growth over the next two decades.

Many businesses within the Canadian economy – from financial institutions to high-tech companies to private broadcasters – are keenly aware of these demographic realities, and recognize that major transformations in the population inevitably drives change in the economy as a whole. Consumer patterns of behaviour change, workforce compositions are altered and the base of human capital, driving a knowledge-based economy, broadens.

The CAB Best Practices for diversity in private radio represent a major effort to harness the opportunity of diversity by creating more dynamic programming, developing more diverse workforces, attracting larger and more diverse listening audiences while strengthening relationships in local communities.

But the CAB and its members view diversity as more than good business; diversity is also a celebration of our people, our culture and our future. Once again in 2006-07, the CAB Convention sought to celebrate the promise and the achievements of diversity, thematically through panel discussions and artistically through music showcasing, as well as through a number of prestigious Gold Ribbon Awards presented to the best of diversity programming created by our radio and television members.

The creation of new diversity-based Gold Ribbon Awards for 2007-08 signifies the manner in which Canadian private broadcasters have embraced diversity in delivering programming to audiences.

The CAB Diversity in Broadcasting Website continues to grow as a key resource that serves as a point of collection and dissemination for a very wide range of diversity-related information, studies, reports and links. It is also increasingly used as a point of entry for a public that has a growing appetite for information about diversity in Canada.

The website has been created and is maintained with accessibility as a key goal; while continuing to evolve the website as a central repository for industry-wide information and ideas about diversity, the CAB will also continue to monitor and maintain its accessibility to internationally recognized standards.

In 2006-07, our communication activities – including the expansion 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 continuing to raise awareness about the inherent business and social value of advancing diversity within the industry.

In 2006-07, we have leveraged opportunities such as the Media Access and Participation Initiative to engage, inform and challenge our industry partners, stakeholders and a host of others about diversity.

We continue to raise the profile and relevance of diversity with our members. The initiatives outlined in the CAB 2006-07 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 2008.





Footnotes:

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

2. Public Notice CRTC 2006-77, Commission’s response to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ final report on the presence, portrayal and participation of persons with disabilities in television programming, paragraph 48.

 

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