CBC News Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame this week. The news veteran delivered a speech as his induction Tuesday thanking the journalists he has worked with during his career as well as sharing his thoughts on the future of CBC journalism.
Mansbridge said he didn’t want to dwell on the “golden years” of the CBC or the “struggle” to succeed among an increasingly large field of news competition. Instead, he sees these things as a challenge and a chance to set CBC apart.
The two things that remain always in news, Mansbridge said, were facts and great storytelling, noting that CBC was rating among the best in the world in these areas.
Mansbridge highlighted the continuing importance of public broadcasting with five points:
– It’s clear of outside influences. This is critical and must be protected.
– Its mandate is to reflect the country and those living in it – all those who live in it.
– Our country is changing: how it looks; how it feels; what it believes.
– Our job is to find those common threads and expose them.
– It’s not about being popular; it’s about being relevant.
He said that CBC should focus on doing news that matters — that has an impact — rather than just what gets shared on social media.
Mansbridge also mentioned — more than once — his faith in the young journalists now entering the corporation, where he sees “the future of this incredible country.”
H noted CBC’s recent funding cuts, staffing cuts, and criticism, and said the CBC had to be prepared to take risks:
“I have faith that Canadians will continue to believe, as the surveys show they do today, in a national public broadcaster. They believe that the future for the CBC can be even better than its illustrious past and its award-winning present.
“And so do I.”
To read CBC’s reproduction of Mansbridge’s full speech, visit CBC.
By Andy Stern