A view into the mind of Jason

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Friday, June 23 2017 @ 02:47 MDT

Letter to CBC ombudsman

Jason lettersThis is the letter I've sent to the CBC ombudsman over the whole CBC1 bias issue. Dear Mr. Carlin,
I am writing you today with a concern about a report on the Calgary Eyeopener on 25 February 2007 at approximately 07:20 MST. The report was on the Alberta 2008 general election, specifically the constituency of Calgary-Egmont.

First, some disclosure on my part. I am currently the NDP Candidate in this election in the constituency of Calgary-Egmont. I have also been a CBC listener for at least the past 25 years and have come to expect balanced reporting from the public broadcaster in a market dominated by private broadcasters who tend to less balance in their reporting.

In Calgary Egmont there are six candidates contesting the seat. Five belong to political parties and one independent. During the report, three of the candidates were interviewed and the interviews presented. The rest of the candidates, myself included, had our parties mentioned, in what appeared to be almost an afterthought, in the last 5-10 seconds of the report. No mention of candidate names, just a quick rattling off of three parties.

The impression given is that the public broadcaster is favouring the three candidates that were interviewed and given a large amount of free publicity at the cost of three other candidates. I don't think that it's appropriate for a publicly funded broadcaster to be giving the impression of picking sides during an election.

Now I have been in contact with the reporter who presented the report, my replies to her I also cc'd yourself on (and I will resend the conversation if you require). In her first response I was told that due to limited time only those who might be affected by a vote split were interviewed. Fair enough, except that the Wildrose Alliance candidate would also cause a vote split on the right and an interview with Mr. Chase was not presented. In fact, like myself, Mr. Chase wasn't even mentioned other than his party name at the end. Also, to my knowledge, none of the three campaigns that were basically left out of the report were contacted for comment at all. This contrasts to the private broadcaster in the market who managed to squeeze us all on.

Pointing out to the reporter that it was less about the interview and more about the fact that by not even mentioning our names is what was giving the impression of bias garnered the response that the names had been on the script, but had to be edited out on the fly due to time constraints. She further states that the names were mentioned when the report was rebroadcast on the Edmonton drive home show Radioactive.

Now if time had run out, it would have been simple enough to ensure that at some point during today's broadcast of the Calgary Eyeopener to mention that during the previous day's broadcast that they had run out of time and that due to time constraints that the campaigns of Jason Nishiyama, Mark MacGillivary and Barry Chase weren't contacted. This would at least have given the impression that the other campaigns weren't being ignored because the public broadcaster didn't feel they were worth while listening too, and hence not worthwhile voting for.

Further, rebroadcasting the report on a station in a completely different city hardly corrects the problem. Since CBC1-Edmonton's signal is extremely faint in Calgary, no one here listens to it. So the rebroadcast wasn't heard by the people the initial broadcast reached. It would be like a newspaper in Calgary printing a correction in a newspaper in Winnipeg. Odds are, no-one who needs to see it will.

All I am asking is that the three campaigns that were basically left out be mentioned at some point on CBC1 in Calgary during roughly the same time slot in a sorry but due to time constraints format like I mentioned above at some point prior to the election. This would at least alleviate some of the perceived bias in the report.

Sincerely,

Jason Nishiyama, CD

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