Diversity activities and initiatives undertaken by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) in 2007-08 included:
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 2007-08 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting (the Report) to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Advancing diversity involves the broad-based inclusion of ethnocultural groups, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and other under-represented groups within the broadcasting industry. This inclusion – achieved through a mix of initiatives that promotes diversity in a variety of different ways – is fundamentally important to the strengthening of Canada’s unique broadcasting system.
The advancement of diversity also works to fulfill the responsibilities of broadcasters within the context of 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
The diversity found within the Canadian social fabric has never been more evident. The numbers released by the Government of Canada, drawn from the last national census, are compelling: over five million Canadians now identify themselves as non-white, representing over 16 percent of our population (an increase of 25 percent over the previous census).
At the same time, over four million Canadians reported some form of disability in the last national census. With our aging population – some 43 percent of those over the age of 65 reports having a disability – the number of Canadians with disabilities is a rapidly expanding part of the Canadian populace.
Broadcasters have identified a compelling business rationale that drives the advancement of diversity within our industry, since the creation of more dynamic, diverse programming and the development of diverse workforces (such as on-air talent from ethnocultural groups) 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, corporate practices and community-based initiatives.The CAB continues to play a major role in leading the development and implementation of many diversity initiatives. The initiatives and activities undertaken by the CAB over the past year 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 initiatives and activities, the CAB Diversity Report is structured as follows.
The second part of the Report describes our advancements in the area of diversity in radio, including the revision of the CAB Diversity Best Practices for Private Radio and the Commission’s assessment of these proposals.
The third part of the Report describes the recent review of the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code as well as the outcome of this review.
The fourth part of the Report outlines our current work on closed captioning with our members and the Canadian disability community.
The fifth part of the Report identifies those diversity-focused activities that took place at the most recent CAB convention in November 2007, and further describes the role of the CAB Gold Ribbon Awards in promoting, advancing and celebrating diverse programming within the broadcasting community.
The sixth part of the Report describes a number of other diversity initiatives currently underway within the CAB.
The seventh part of the Report summarizes a number of exciting diversity initiatives that are planned for 2008-09.
In conclusion, the Diversity Report presents perspectives on how the CAB initiatives have positively influenced the advancement of diversity in the private broadcasting industry.
Appendices are attached at the end of the Report.
We note that the initiatives outlined in theCAB 2007-08 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 reports to the CRTC.
The CAB has been extremely active in the area of diversity research over the past several years, as a means of creating a foundation for the development and implementation of a wide range of diversity initiatives.
Among these research initiatives, the CAB:
These research activities have proven to be of critical importance in developing and implementing a number of communications initiatives undertaken by the CAB in the past year.
A Public Service Announcement campaign entitled Open Your Mind – focusing on positive social attitudes and acceptance of persons with disabilities – was featured prominently by CAB television and specialty service members throughout 2007.
Produced by CHUM Limited and released with traffic instructions in December 2006, the PSA was scheduled for its heaviest rotation in January and July of 2007. But the spot proved so compelling in its messaging, and in its positive portrayal of four individuals with disabilities and the careers they are pursuing, that CAB members actually ran the PSA year-round. This provided both important and consistent messaging in raising awareness among CAB members, partners and the public about persons with disabilities in Canadian society.
The CAB also continued to distribute educational materials about persons with disabilities, and about career opportunities in the broadcasting industry, throughout 2007.
Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology – Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals and Glossary was developed in consultation with the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Canada, and continues to be distributed to CAB members and the general public.
In addition, a brochure developed by the CAB on Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector also receives regular distribution to the education sector, and has proven to be a valuable tool and leave-behind when our members visit with secondary school students to discuss employment opportunities in broadcasting.
Both brochures were circulated at the June 2007 People in Motion information fair and conference held in Toronto, and the Open Your Mind PSA was also displayed for delegates. We note that the PSA and both brochures continue to be received very positively within the disability community, by our industry partners and by government as valuable contributions to the promotion of diversity in the workplace.
In addition, 100 copies of the Employment Opportunities brochure were sent to the Ontario Association of Broadcasters for its Career Development Day held in Toronto on March 3. The brochure has also been circulated to over 600 educational institutions, at the same time as the circulation of scholarship application forms for the 2008 round of scholarships.
The CAB understands the value of hiring talent from underrepresented groups, and has recently recruited two new staff members from ethnocultural minorities.
Diversity in Broadcasting continues to feature prominently on the agenda of the CAB Sector Councils and the Board of Directors, as well as for a large number of CAB Committees, including:
From our perspective, this broad range of diversity discussion means that concerns, issues, activities and initiatives are becoming more and more integrated with the CAB’s internal operations with each passing year. This type of leadership results in a greater awareness of diversity among our members, while at the same time providing a forum for exchanging ideas and developing new approaches to diversity in broadcasting.
There are several ways that the CAB moves diversity in broadcasting beyond committee meetings and into the hands of our individual members:
i) The CAB Update
Initiatives undertaken by the CAB and its members with regard to diversity – including initiatives relating to ethnocultural groups, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities – are regularly reported in the CAB Update throughout the year. The CAB Update reaches all CAB members, as well as key decision-makers, stakeholders and representatives from other media.
In 2007, the CAB Update once again proved to be a valuable tool in communicating diversity initiatives undertaken by the CAB and its members. For example, the CAB Update noted the very positive impact of the CAB’s decision to make available to delegates attending the People in Motion information fair in June 2007 copies of our brochures on Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology – Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals and Glossary and Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector as well as a display of the Open Your Mind PSA.
The CAB Update also provided information on a wide range of diversity topics and initiatives throughout 2007-08, including:
The CAB Update continues to be one of the most important resources at our disposal for the promotion of Diversity in Broadcasting.
ii) The CAB Diversity in Broadcasting Website
The CAB Diversity in Broadcastingwebsite continues to evolve as a key resource for CAB members, industry stakeholders, and the ethnocultural, Aboriginal and disability communities. The site continues to register more than 10,000 individual pageviews per month, and has had close to 180,000 pageviews since April of 2006.
As noted in our previous Reports 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.
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 download; English and French versions of the PSA are posted for easy viewing.
In the past year, the CAB Diversity in Broadcasting website proved to be the ideal vehicle for chronicling the development of the CAB Diversity Best Practices for Radio, described in the next section of our Report. All proposals for Diversity Best Practices for Radio and responses for the Commission were posted to the website, to keep our members, partners and stakeholders apprised of current information.
The CAB plans to continue with the development of the Diversity in Broadcasting website throughout 2008-09, ensuring that the information remains timely and relevant to all those who are seeking to advance diversity in the private broadcasting industry.
In 2007, the CAB continued to expand its commitment to Diversity in Broadcasting, through a number of initiatives focused on the continuing development and implementation of Diversity Best Practices for Radio.
As the CAB notes under the website heading, ‘The Business Case for Diversity in Radio’,
…the private radio industry is very much aware of the opportunity and success that harnessing diversity can represent. There is a very strong business rationale that underlies the case for diversity in private radio - the creation of more dynamic diverse programming and the development of diverse workforces can attract larger listening audiences, enhance already strong relationships in local communities and generate additional or new advertising revenue.
In CAB 2006-07 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting, we included as an attachment our proposal to revise the Diversity Best Practices for Radio that had been developed through our work for the Commission’s 2006 Review of the Commercial Radio Policy. This proposal to revise our original Diversity Best Practices for Radio was followed in July 2007 with a submission to the Commission on proposed diversity reporting requirements for commercial radio stations operating in small markets.
In November of 2007, our proposals for revising the Diversity Best Practices for Radio and our proposals for reporting requirements were adopted by the Commission as set out in Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-122, Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Best Practices for Diversity in Private Radio; Reporting requirements on cultural diversity for commercial radio operators.
With respect to the development of proposed reporting requirements for commercial radio operators, the CRTC had previously determined that the reporting template for licensees filed as part of the CAB submission to the 2006 Review of Commercial Radio Policy was best suited to the larger radio groups.
Through subsequent discussions with the CAB in 2007, the Commission acknowledged that radio operators in smaller markets have more limited ability to report on human resources – and suggested that the CAB develop an approach to diversity specifically tailored to smaller market stations.
The CAB consulted the Diversity in Radio Working Group, the Small Market Advisory Council and the Independent Radio Caucus on a variety of issues related to both the revision of the original Best Practices and a new reporting template for smaller market operators. Following extensive input, the CAB adjusted its Best Practices and Reporting Mechanism for Small Commercial Radio stations, and filed its proposals with the Commission in July 2007.
The CRTC adopted Best Practices for Diversity in Private Radio, on November 2, 2007. The newly revised Best Practices are attached to our Report as Appendix A.
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 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, and at its own initiative, 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. A detailed description of stakeholder feedback and the CAB response were 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 portrayal 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 new Code is original in world terms. It includes provisions that are not to be found in any other code known to the CAB. It acknowledges that negative portrayal may take the form of stereotyping, stigmatization and victimization, derision of myths, traditions and practices, degrading commentary, and exploitation, each of which are prohibited by the new Code.
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 comprised the following:
The revised Equitable Portrayal Code was filed with the Commission on March 12, 2007 for review and approval.
Following Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-89, Call for Comments on the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Proposed Equitable Portrayal Code (July 27, 2007), the Commission subsequently approved the revised Equitable Portrayal Code in Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-23, March 17, 2008. In its decision, the Commission noted that the ‘(Equitable Portrayal) Code accurately reflects the key elements of the Sex-Role Portrayal Code pertaining to portrayal matters, which the Code intends to replace.’
The new Code became effective and applicable to all programming as of March 17, 2008. The CAB is aware of the fact that the CBSC is currently working on the translation of the new Code into all 42 languages with which it deals, as well as Braille and alternative formats (French and English). The CBSC will also be preparing a broad-scale release and introduction of the Code to communities across Canada.
An article published in April 2008 in Abilities Magazine – a publication for and about persons with disabilities – focuses on the development and approval of the Equitable Portrayal Code, noting it is a ‘major step’ in dealing with portrayal issues. The article is based in part on an interview with a member of the CAB Joint Societal Issues Committee: Sarah Crawford, Vice President, Public Affairs, CTVglobemedia, can be found at Appendix C of this report.
In Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-54, A new policy with respect to closed captioning (May 17, 2007), the Commission stated that all English- and French-language broadcasters would be required to caption 100 percent of their programs over the broadcast day, with the exception of advertising and promos. Broadcasters have been asked to report on progress made in moving toward the 100 percent captioning target prior to licence renewals scheduled for 2008-09.
Of particular concern are issues of quality with respect to captioning, and the reality that standards have not been developed in terms of synchronization of captions and other elements of closed captioning.
On December 7, 2007, the CAB filed an Action Plan with the Commission to respond to the challenges associated with closed captioning. At the core of the Action Plan is the establishment of English- and French-language Working Groups that are now at work developing a plan and timeline for improving the quantity and quality of closed captioning.
On February 13, 2008, a meeting of the English-language working group took place at the CTV offices in Scarborough; the Working Group discussed key areas to be addressed with respect to improving the quantity and quality of closed captioning, and received a presentation on voice recognition technology from CRIM (an IT applied research centre). Voice-recognition technology for closed captioning is now widely used by French-language broadcasters in Canada.
On February 25, 2008, a meeting of the French-language working group took place at the Astral offices in Montreal; the group held a wide-ranging discussion regarding the key areas to be addressed with respect to improving the quantity and quality of closed captioning by French-language broadcasters and captioning providers.
On February 28, 2008 the Commission indicated in a letter to the CAB that the CAB Action Plan on Closed Captioning has been approved.
Throughout the course of the next several months, the CAB Working Groups will continue to develop proposed solutions for a number of closed captioning issues, including accuracy, comprehension, synchronization and consistency, and agree upon proposed solutions and/or standards.
Following subsequent meetings of the Working Groups scheduled for May and/or June 2008, the CAB will draft a report detailing their recommendations and where viable, timeframes for implementation. The final report will be submitted to the Commission by November 2008.
i) Gold Ribbon Awards
In recent years, the CAB has created four high profile Gold Ribbon award categories celebrating Aboriginal Programming and Diversity in News and Information Programming.
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 its Convention in Winnipeg. Gold Ribbon Awards in this category have been presented since then, with the 2007 Gold Ribbon awarded to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) for its entry, Wapos Bay.
The Gold Ribbon Award for Aboriginal Programming in Radiohonours 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 tackling an Aboriginal issue and designed to develop awareness in the station’s community. The winning entry, Cree Ways, was submitted by CJNB/CJNS, Northwestern Radio Partnership, North Battleford, Saskatchewan.
Two Gold Ribbon Awards were created to celebrate Diversity in News and Information Programming in 2006.
For Television and Specialty and Pay members, the award ‘honours the station or service that has broadcast an outstanding report or story dealing particularly effectively and accurately 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 and reflect the community’. CKCK-TV Regina’s Calling Home, (CTVglobemedia Inc.) was the recipient of the 2007 Gold Ribbon Award in this category.
For Radio members the award ‘honours the station that has broadcast an outstanding report or story dealing particularly effectively and accurately with issues relating to social diversity, including race, ethnicity and persons with disabilities. This includes news reports, documentaries, public affairs and continuing series designed develop awareness and reflect the community.’ The winning entry, Seeds of Success, was submitted by CKOM, Rawlco Radio, Saskatoon.
Audio and video clips of all Gold Ribbon Award winning entries in these categories are available for viewing on the CAB’s Diversity in Broadcasting website or by clicking here.
ii) CAB Convention
Recognizing that the CAB Convention continues to be an ideal vehicle to deliver information on the industry’s most important issues, diversity was once again fully integrated into the CAB’s 2007 Convention held in Ottawa November 4-6.
Canada’s diversity was consistently represented throughout the Convention, from the Masters of Ceremonies to keynote speakers to the Canadian music showcased.
In preparing for the 2007 CAB Convention, particular attention was paid to ensuring broad representation when issuing invitations to panelists, and in developing sessions with moderators to ensure issues relating to diversity were included as subject matter addressed throughout the 20+ information sessions.
Ontario’s Lieutenant-Governor David Onley – a former Citytv broadcaster and prominent advocate for persons with disabilities– sent along a video commending Canada’s private broadcasters for their work in the area of diversity. Mr. Onley’s remarks are available for viewing on the CAB’s Diversity in Broadcasting website or by clicking here.
A number of CAB members sponsor post-secondary scholarships, and a number of these are targeted to support students from diverse backgrounds, including those with a disability.
The CAB Convention provides a forum for celebrating these students’ achievements.
During the Gold Ribbon Awards breakfast on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 the Astral Media Scholarship – awarded to a Francophone student who is a member of a visible minority group or who is Aboriginal – was presented.
In addition, three CanWest MediaWorks Scholarships and Awards were also presented: 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.
Building on the Graybridge Malkam review of our members’ needs with respect to diversity training, the CAB has continued to consult with its members on diversity initiatives that would deliver the most value to their operations.
Much like the above-noted CAB Special Updates on Diversity, the consensus from our members is that the delivery of more information that is timely, useful and adaptable to their needs is highly desirable.
To this end, our focus in 2008-09 will consist largely of an information ‘push’ to our members, together with a continuing build on those diversity initiatives that have proven highly valuable to our members, partners and stakeholders in the past.
i) CAB Diversity ‘Webinars’
As outlined in last year’s CAB Diversity Report, in 2006 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.
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.
While findings of the needs assessment revealed that the requirements of CAB members vary widely – e.g., some are further ahead than others in establishing and implementing corporate diversity strategies – the CAB Joint Societal Issues Committee explored a number of initiatives throughout 2007-08 to determine the most effective ways of addressing the needs identified and the issues raised in the course of the assessment.
As a result of these deliberations, substantive planning was initiated for two CAB Diversity Webinars.
The webinars – interactive online seminars developed for and delivered to CAB members – include a range of useful information about diversity, geared to assisting our members with their own diversity planning and strategies. Designed as an interactive platform for the delivery of information and discussion with human resource professionals within CAB member companies, Webinar content includes:
The first webinar designed for English-language television services is scheduled to be delivered in the June-July 2008 timeframe.
The second webinar designed for French-language broadcasting services is scheduled for later in 2008.
ii) CAB Diversity Seminars – Regional Associations
The above-noted review of diversity training needs among CAB members revealed another potential initiative: the development and delivery of Diversity Seminars at the annual conferences of Regional Associations.
The CAB will deliver the first Diversity Seminar at the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) Conference to be held in early May 2008. The second Diversity Seminar will be held at the Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) Conference to be held in early June 2008.
The CAB recognizes that the Diversity Seminars provide an opportunity to deliver up to date information to a broader audience in attendance at both conferences, since delegates include broadcasters, partners from the production community, policy makers and other stakeholders and industry professionals.
At the same time, the Regional Association Conferences are well attended by CAB Radio members – many of whom are operating in smaller markets.
Given this, the Diversity Seminars presented at the Regional Association Conferences will focus on:
For the past two years, the CAB has supported Télédiversité, which attracts a number of Québec-based ethnocultural and Aboriginal communities for discussions 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 over the next three years.
Télédiversité 2007 was organized by l’Association québécoise des télédiffuseurs et radiodiffuseurs (AQTR). For the 2007 edition of Télédiversité, several new sponsors joined the founding partners (Astral Media, TVA and TQS), including Corus Entertainment, APTN, RDS, Global Quebec, CH Montreal, CHUM Limited, La Presse Télé, Sphère Média Plus, Zone3 and Canal Évasion. Télédiversité 2007 was 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 was held June 5 and 6, 2007 in Montréal.
In 2007, and once again for Télédiversité 2008,the CAB remains actively involved in this event, providing advice and guidance to the coordinators. Planning for the 2008 edition scheduled for June 5 and 6 is well underway.
In 2008-09, 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.
Should the Diversity Webinars prove to be successful (i.e. well attended, and well received), the CAB plans to initiate two additional webinars for 2008-09. While the subject matter is yet to be determined – it will be influenced by ideas from the CAB membership and the learning acquired from the first webinar series – we anticipate that at least one webinar will focus on radio.
In addition, the CAB will bring a new series of Diversity Seminars to the Regional Association Conferences in 2008-09. Again, while the content of the seminars will be determined over the course of the year, we expect that they will build on the materials and suggestions presented at this year’s meetings.
The CAB also intends to issue a series of Special Updates on Diversity over the course of the next year, providing fresh information about diversity that is relevant and useful for our members as they continue to build on their own diversity initiatives. The first Special Update on Diversity was circulated on April 10, 2008 and is available on the CAB’s Diversity in Broadcasting website or by clicking here. It is also attached as Appendix D to this report.
Over the course of the next year, 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 on appropriate language and employment opportunities.
The CAB will continue to promote its new Gold Ribbon Awards for Excellence in Aboriginal Programming (Television and Specialty and Pay, and Radio) and for Diversity in News and Information Programming (Television and Specialty and Pay, and Radio).
The CAB will also continue with the development of its Diversity in Broadcasting website in 2008-09, continuing to adapt 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).
Clearly, Canada’s diversity continues to grow in dramatic fashion. Recently released data from Statistics Canada’s Census 2006 provides ample evidence that Canada is the most diverse country among the G8, and strongly indicates that international immigration will continue to drive our population growth over the next two decades.
At the same time, as baby boomers grow older, the rate of disability within the Canadian population is also expected to increase.
Our population of Aboriginal peoples also continues to grow at a rate that is faster than the remainder of the population.
Simply put, Canada continues to grow in its diversity.
Given this reality, the CAB has continued to exercise leadership in the broadcasting industry by consulting with our members and initiating a significant information campaign centered on the development and delivery of fresh diversity materials. Our Diversity Webinars and Regional Diversity Seminars presently lead this approach. These are initiatives that we believe we can build on in the next year and beyond.
We believe that this information campaign will facilitate both awareness and action on the part of our members, while shining a light on the considerable importance that diversity carries for our whole society.
At the same time, our Diversity Best Practices for Private Radio show considerable effort in harnessing the opportunity that diversity presents to the business of our members. A more diverse workforce encourages more dynamic programming, which in turn attracts larger listening audiences and strengthens relationships in local communities.
Through our PSA campaign and information materials, we continue to provide a much needed focus on persons with disabilities, 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.
Through our Convention and Gold Ribbon Awards, we continue to celebrate the promise and achievements of diversity, while highlighting the role of our Radio and Television members in their continuing efforts to produce excellent programming.
The CAB Diversity in BroadcastingWebsite 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 continues to be utilized as a point of entry for a public that has a growing appetite for information about diversity in Canada.
In 2007-08, our communication activities continued to move diversity forward within the industry, raising awareness with our stakeholders, our partners in the production community and others about the inherent business and social value realized through diversity measures.
We continue to raise the profile and relevance of diversity with our members. The initiatives outlined in the CAB 2007-08 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 third Diversity Report, and looks forward to reporting on its diversity measures, activities and initiatives again in 2009.