Thursday, May 31, 2012

Maintaining broadcast standards in the face of public pressure

I am so proud to be associated with AM1320 CHMB in Vancouver.

Today they sent out a press release citing an issue with an advocacy group in Vancouver that wanted to run an ad on the station calling for a public demonstration to protest the Chinese government on the anniversary of Tiannamen Square.

The statement said that the group refused to make changes to their script to correct a factual error and comply with the station's broadcast policy, so the station refused their business.

I absolutely agree with and support station management's firm refusal to bow to public pressure. As hard as it may be, any broadcaster worth his or her salt has to remain above political advocacy in order to provide balanced coverage of events and issues of interest to their listeners.

This is something that I strive to do on my own show, despite criticism and pressure from some members of the Ukrainian community to take a political stand on this issue or that. While I may do so personally, doing so as a broadcaster is tantamount to peddling propaganda.

I know this mindset is old school and out of step with a lot of media activists today, but so be it. I have never been one to follow the crowd. I am just gratified that the folks at CHMB are of like mind, and will not be bullied into violating time-honoured broadcast policy for the sake of political correctness or expediency, and in the process compromise their integrity and shortchange their audiences.

Here is the text of the press release:
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MEDIA RELEASE

May 31, 2012

CHMB AM1320 Response to Media Advisory issued by Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement

Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement requested to place a commercial ad with the station to commemorate the June 4th incident.

Any radio station reserves the right to request any commercial advertisers to change or adjust the advertising content. This is an industry practice. Upon review of the creative provided by the Society on 28 May 2012, our station requested two revisions to part of the script, one of which is not factual, and the other because it is against our radio station’s broadcast policy.

Our mandate is to provide quality programming to our listeners, and be a responsible broadcaster.

Our decision to request for a revision of the advertiser's script is in accordance with our policy not to promote any kind of public gathering in a realistic manner that will lead to a demonstration from any organization.

The station has no stance on the June 4th issue. Our news team has and will continue to cover issues that are news worthy.

Media Contact:
Tinhanei Lee, Business Development Director of Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation
604-263-1320 x118
Email

2 comments:

Ken said...

Excellent response and commentary. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the standards.

Pawlina said...

You're more than welcome, Ken, and thanks so much for the kind words. It is always hard to take an unpopular stand, even when it's the right one. So comments like yours are always appreciated!