Three reporters spearheaded devastating CBC survey

Three national reporters for CBC Radio News carried out the devastating survey posted here last night, a source tells Contrarian.

Veteran reporters Vic Adhopia of St. John’s, Dave Seglins of Toronto, and Greg Rasmussen of Vancouver conducted the survey in March after months of grousing by colleagues about the operation of The Hub, the Toronto unit that co-ordinates all assignments for radio and TV news reporters.

They submitted the survey to CBC brass, who responded in a conference call with all national reporters two weeks ago. News head Jonathan Whitten led the management team on the call, which one reporter described as “like throwing a snowball into hell.” Senior Managing Editors Greg Reaume and Cathy Perry also participated.

Introduced last fall, the much criticized Hub is a central feature of a reorganization that sought to merge previously separate radio and TV news operations into a single, seamless operation. Located on the fourth floor of the CBC building in Toronto, it has three components: The “Live Hub,” which fields live hits on the CBCNews Network (formerly Newsworld) and other shows; the Daily News Desk, which handles radio and TV news assignments; and the Planning Desk, which looks after everything after midnight on the current day.

The radio reporters say television priorities dominate the new system, with little regional input, and an obsessive concern with pizzazz over journalistic substance.

Jeffrey Dvorkin of the Ryerson University Journalism School, formerly with CBC Radio and National Public Radio, has more on the dispute.