Media

Time for CBC Hamilton to Up its Game

It is crucially important that CBC is in Hamilton, even in the limited capacity of its current iteration. Yet the service we are currently receiving is not commensurate with other communities across Canada.

By Sonja Macdonald
Published October 11, 2012

The CBC in Hamilton is approaching a milestone of sorts. It's been almost 6 months since CBC launched its digital service in Hamilton. The service is the first of its kind for the national broadcaster and was designed to fill a longstanding void in the Hamilton region in terms of CBC service.

The original promise of the endeavour was to provide residents of the Hamilton region with their own content from the CBC, commensurate with other regions in the country, as well as to bring regional stories and events to regional and national audiences. Both of these goals are central to CBC's overall mandate.

CBC Hamilton office on James Street North (RTH file photo)
CBC Hamilton office on James Street North (RTH file photo)

While the arrival of CBC Hamilton was greeted with great fanfare, few of us were really sure what the new digital service would entail. Would it be a text based website focusing on Hamilton stories? Would it or could it provide additional audio-visual content in this highly concentrated media environment?

Would the service reach out to the various communities in the region (Ancaster, Dundas, Glanbrook, Flamborough, Waterdown) and report on unique events and issues for each while informing all of us about what is really going on in our city? And would it begin to chip away at the archaic view of our city that is so pervasive at the regional and national levels?

Certainly these are all feasible, but a tall order for one enterprise.

Promising Start

So almost a half year on, how is CBC Hamilton doing? Let's start with some of the positive elements of the service.

The national broadcaster demonstrated, early on, its commitment to the city with the establishment of its offices on James Street North in downtown Hamilton. It has begun the difficult process of working, alongside the rest of us, to reshape the city's image, for example the prominent coverage of Supercrawl 2012 on CBC Radio One Toronto and elsewhere.

Additionally, by its mere presence in the city, the national broadcaster appears to have had a positive influence on our commercial media, whether in broadcast or print. It's difficult to make a causal link here, but there are signs that other media outlets have upped their local commitments since the CBC's been in town.

This is a good thing - the greater number of outlets covering local stories, ideally highlighting different perspectives, only enlivens public debate.

Areas of Concern

While these are two very important contributions, there are also some areas where the CBC has not been so successful, so far. In format, content, and a level of service comparable to other Canadian communities, the national broadcaster has a unique opportunity to be innovative, but we haven't seen this yet.

First, let's look at the format of CBC Hamilton. It's important to understand the reason behind Hamilton's digital service. The digital option is due to the lack of available radio frequencies in the region for a local radio service.

A digital option is an alternative that offers a place on CBC's website for Hamilton specific content. When announced, many wondered what exactly this would entail. As it has turned out, this means primarily short text articles with only a very limited number of audio and video clips and a whole lot of tweets.

Is this all that a digital service can do? Likely not, as in the age of the web, broadcasting is no longer limited to just over the air frequencies. Locally, Smooth Jazz, formally 94.7 FM broadcasts online. In fact, many CBC Toronto listeners access their local radio station though the Internet or smartphone via CBC apps. The infrastructure is already in place for audio online content for CBC Hamilton, so why not take advantage of it?

Can we not have something akin to other cities where you can tune in to a web-cast in the morning or afternoon and listen to news, discussion, and entertainment based in, and about Hamilton? The community stations at McMaster and Mohawk are able to do this on a shoestring.

Surely CBC Hamilton - with five paid reporters and a national support network - can do this as well. We are not talking about streaming 24/7, just a few programs that allow for more in depth community dialogue and information.

This brings the discussion to content. While there is an interesting diversity of stories on the CBC Hamilton website, there is an alarming lack of depth on some very important issues.

While twitter posts of events on James Street North make for nice, light reading, there are some serious issues (both positive and negative) in our community that cannot, nor should not be summed up in 140 characters, let alone 140 words.

A very current example of this is the debate around a casino in downtown Hamilton. If you were to tune in to CBC Radio One in Toronto, you will hear an hourly update on the debate occurring in that city around the potential of a casino in their city, yet the same cannot be said for the coverage of the same issue here in Hamilton.

Potential for Improvement

The fact is we are not getting the same level of CBC journalism other communities enjoy.

Overall, it is still crucially important that CBC is in Hamilton, even in the limited capacity of its current iteration. Yet the service we are currently receiving is not commensurate with other communities across Canada.

The digital service provides the national broadcasting with multiple interesting and innovative options for expanding service for the region, beyond what is currently on offer. Additionally, as a model for future digital service in other parts of Canada, it is important that the Hamilton model is not squandered.

The potential is still there. What is needed, though, is greater focus and commitment on the part of CBC Hamilton to raise their game. We can only hope that the next six months see things improved.

Sonja Macdonald is co-founder of the Centre for Community Study (CCS), where she coordinates the Hamilton Media Project and localtelevision.ca.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 07:35:40

Well put. Aside from the lack of depth/breadth and failure to capitalize on anything but a fraction of the medium's potential (or engage/acknowledge the critics and their generally astute and valid observations -- another socmed fail) there is a pervasive non-critical boosterism that borders on advertorial, and which stands as an insult to its audience and a blemish on one of the world's great journalism outlets.

CBC Hamilton's mandate should not be to further the agenda of Tourism Hamilton, Economic Development, area marketing firms or the James North set. It should be to lock horns with the facts about what goes on in the whole city, to tell truth to power, to shine a light on what is going on but not to settle for vacuous show-and-tell, as is currently the case.

If they had CBC Hamilton's advertising budget alone, CFMU, CATCH or RTH could easily surpass the lukewarm piffle that we've seen to date. Far from being the exciting change that Hamilton so desperately wanted, CBC Hamilton is slow, shallow, and sub-par compared to the standards in place prior to their arrival. Like their signature cupcakes, CBC Hamilton tends to deliver empty calories with a sugary icing.

I gather that the problematic cash flow from HNIC will not make the CBC's job easier anywhere, but if this experiment is indicative of the future of the service, it is destined to become a wake before long.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:06:35 in reply to Comment 81507

I could hug you for saying this. Honestly. I'm sick to death of the empty boosterism. I'm an early art crawler back when the booze was free and everyone waited for the after-parties. When we heard the Ceeb was coming to town everyone had high expectations.

Then we discovered they didn't really produce all of their own content. Which was, I suppose, progressive but came off as lazy and sketchy to me. I'm their prime demographic for their digital service and to be honest it looks like a computer science 3rd year project or something. I only get linked to them from Reddit or Twitter and then very occasionally because I saw the original source first. I've also been told that they have a policy not to hire Hamiltonians (Paul Wilson not withstanding?). I find it all much of a muchness.

We deserve reporting. Instead of aiming for high for a ripe new field like IP video broadcasting they aimed low with a social aggregator. Sorry, that's chintzy. If I were to guess I'd say they've spent more on advertisement and real estate than reporting and community involvement. Not satisfied. In fact it feels the same as before they arrived except now they'll scrape your blog content and take your picture at Art Crawl.

Thanks Toronto.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:28:16 in reply to Comment 81517

Looks like the Hamilon Boosters are here to moderate comments down instead of replying. Sweet passive/aggression!

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 08:38:37 in reply to Comment 81507

CBC Hamilton is slow, shallow, and sub-par...lukewarm piffle

lol

...this experiment is indicative of the future of the service, it is destined to become a wake before long.

I haven't visited the CBC site since spring since little there is interesting. They're more concerned with user tracking than fact finding and reporting. I find them boring.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 17:40:14 in reply to Comment 81509

I find it very dismaying that any sort of dissent is met with silent moderation down. Somebody's unwilling to back-up their hubris.

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 08:44:42 in reply to Comment 81560

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Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2012-10-13 09:30:02

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 09:54:41 in reply to Comment 81572

Well said. My RTH'ing got a little rusty.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 08:34:47

Well CBC should have a station of one of thoses in Dush Nation online websteams all kinda of news and local new .. check it out Dish Nation

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 09:30:59

I visit the CBC Hamilton website daily, but it takes all of 5 minutes to go through their new content. I too wish there was more substantial coverage.

I also agree more video/sound clips would be nice. What about a podcast type format if they can't do live?

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:12:55 in reply to Comment 81511

Try the Hamilton sub-Reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/Hamilton/

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:28:52 in reply to Comment 81518

Yes this is totally worthy of moderation down. Totally. WTF?

Comment edited by brodiec on 2012-10-12 11:29:10

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By Frankenrogers (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 09:49:00

I wasn't interested at all in CBC Hamilton and I'm still not convinced how much it was needed, but I do check it out regularly. It's a nice add-on, but isn't filling any particular holes. The same issues or people that post here, or that get covered in Hamilton Magazine, The Spec's Biz supplement, or are part of the #HamOnt discussion on Twitter are the same people/things that you read about there.

One thing that I don't understand is how their Twitter feeds work on that map on the home page. It seems like the same three people get covered all the time regardless of the post. For example, the post could say, "Yum. Pizza time with my nieces" and it shows up under the Talk flag if it is written by SSeagrams or GorillaCheese.

The Spec was going to create something similar so I would be interested in how they would differentiate themselves.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 07:06:46 in reply to Comment 81512

As if to underscore their laziness, CBC Hamilton's Twitter feeds regularly recycle the in-house accounts. Rather than adding value, this is merely redistributive value -- one more link to the same old finite amount of content -- and visual monotony.

RG's Twitter feed is borderline useless, IMHO, since it's used primarily to hype the same links that appear under CBCHamilton. It also falls short on the "human being" count, since it's never used to engage the public except in self-aggrandizing linkbait.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2012 at 09:58:15 in reply to Comment 81512

The twitter thing is a ham-fisted approach. They just picked a bunch of prominent Hamilton twitter usernames and had their system follow those people. I guess the reasoning is that those folks could be trusted not to post something embarrassingly profane or something, whereas any intelligent heuristic system could be gamed by users intent on trolling the CBC website. For example, heavily retweeted #HamOnt tweets appearing would be a good way to get a better signal-to-noise ratio from more diverse voices, but all it would take would be one troll with a bunch of sockpuppets to exploit it and get something like "Hitler did nothing wrong" to appear on the CBC website.

My biggest problem with the newsmap is its poor usability - it has no coherent back-button, which makes its clustered-news-item-zoom-in-for-more entries a pain to observe.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:14:13 in reply to Comment 81514

Wait, it's not heuristic at all? It's just a whitelist?

Wow.

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By brundlefly (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:41:42 in reply to Comment 81521

there is this on Reddit back in June.

I received some info back yesterday from CBC on their selection criteria. they say: First and foremost, we are looking for people who add to the conversation in Hamilton. We think the accounts we have are part of that conversation because they provide information or commentary that go beyond either personal events or promotional information. Our other criteria are: At least 300 followers on Twitter. An established profile in the community (i.e. a business, an agency or organization, or an individual who is well-known for commentary or as a so-called citizen journalist). Tweets that conform to our standards for taste and content - no obscenity, ad hominem attacks, threats, or consistent inaccuracy etc. The most important factor, according to CBC, is they had to know about the Twitter account. My understanding of that would mean, anyone they follow on twitter. So why out of the several hundred people they follow, they selected this very small group to promote is still a mystery.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:57:38 in reply to Comment 81545

Which is why the only locals they engage are PR trained talking heads who know how to keep things sunny and for sale. Which means they're not really engaging the community they're just running it on a social media platform.

Real people get angry. They get upset and say ad hominem things. They do it because they care and they're not willing to put up with good enough. I'm not willing to hand over the dialogue to local businesses people. Criticism is critical and I sustain the culture of boosterism is really keeping us back. I'd also say through this mechanism of selection they introduce bias that is rather unbecoming of the CBC I've grown up with.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 16:06:18 in reply to Comment 81550

Yeah, the PR flacks have come to dominate the #HamOnt bitscape. Hackneyed boosterism, self-serving pitches for paying clients and pals, pleas for clicks and entreaties to RT -- skim this as representative of Hamilton and we look like a city of dizzy tourists, loose cheerleaders and nepotistic toadies. There's much, much more to a grown-up city than group hugs and group tugs.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 17:49:05 in reply to Comment 81555

But if you don't kiss the ring nobody will like you on Twitter! That's like real popularity. Except absolutely totally fake.

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By brundlefly (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 12:19:00 in reply to Comment 81561

Hilarious thread alert.

just adding a little boosterism to this conversation...

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By Sigma Cub (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 09:56:51

I get the feeling that CBC Hamilton spends an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to fit in and make friends. They would be better served by trying to earn respect before anything else.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:19:51 in reply to Comment 81513

Oh all the Hamilton socialites and boosters adore them because they want a platform for their pet issues (ie. businesses). I can see that from the Ceeb's perspective this is kinda freaky to deal with. I find them freaky to deal with and I'm pretty familiar with the landscape of flakey and non-flakey Hamiltonians.

But yeah, nose down. There are so many stories to write in this town. I still get most of my news that really matters about downtown from Joey Coleman or from people who've talked to him recently LOL

It's worth mentioning that The Spec has stayed consistent, if not improved, in the time frame of the CBC's active appearance in town.

Comment edited by brodiec on 2012-10-12 10:21:15

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:37:03 in reply to Comment 81525

I get modded down with no response because the boosters have none. They know they're in the wrong on this and their businesses depend on being in the good graces of the Ceeb.

Keep it towny Hamilton.

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By rrrandy (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2012 at 09:58:19

put me down as one of the underwhelmed. The reporting has been terrible, with basic things such as proper spelling of names being a bar too high apparently (the first thing a journalist should make sure they have right) - I saw what they did to Tys Theysmeyer's name in an early article, it wasn't even close.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:01:16

Three words:

Hire.

Joey.

Coleman.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:35:20 in reply to Comment 81516

Hire Joey Coleman! http://www.indiegogo.com/hamiltonnews

(disclosure: other than thinking he's a swell guy I have no involvement in Joey's fundraising campaign)

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:37:38 in reply to Comment 81528

Two people think we shouldn't support Joey? Where's all that civic pride now?

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By John T (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:28:32 in reply to Comment 81516

Agreed. He is also kind of putting them to shame with all of his municipal coverage.

CBC Ham should see if they could reach an agreement to share air with INDI or CFMU. Like reliable news updates on the hours, a Metro-morning style morning and afternoon show interspersed with student/community content that already exists there.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:32:40 in reply to Comment 81526

I was under the impression that, initially, that was their intention but they could not come to an agreement. Which is where this flash-in-the-pan social aggregator "digital service" with the knock-off Google Maps branding came from in the first place.

We deserve better than plan b.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:32:15 in reply to Comment 81527

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:16:04 in reply to Comment 81516

Allegedly they have a mandate not to hire Hamiltonians. Something about bias. I'm not so sure about that but I've heard it from several people.

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By Gamble (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:21:03 in reply to Comment 81522

I know from personal experience that this is not the case.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:32:47 in reply to Comment 81533

"Believe me! I know!"

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:32:33 in reply to Comment 81533

Personal experience such as?

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By Gamble (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 15:51:14 in reply to Comment 81541

Such as this:
http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/contact/
(Bottom of answer #2).

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By Gamble (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 15:54:53 in reply to Comment 81553

And yes, I was born, raised and live in Hamilton.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 17:26:58 in reply to Comment 81554

But you're not a journalist. Do you write stories?

Comment edited by brodiec on 2012-10-12 17:27:14

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 16:05:22 in reply to Comment 81559

I will consider the lack of reply confirmation that CBC Hamilton employs no resident Hamiltonian journalists. Pretty incredible.

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By Gamble (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 09:33:06 in reply to Comment 81583

No, I do not write stories, but that wasn't what I was responding to. "Allegedly they have a mandate not to hire Hamiltonians." was the comment. They do. I am clearly proof of that.

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:12:57

I must admit I've been underwhelmed by CBC Hamilton. In terms of real content (other than short wire style reports about traffic accidents, arrests and muggings), there is very little, although it is improving a bit recently.

In fact, Paul Wilson (ex of the Spec) is providing most of the human interest type stories for the site all by himself and his articles are now about the only thing I really look for. The "Local Economy" section is often only updated once a week or so. Yesterday there were only five Hamilton stories under "News", and one of those was just a short report on an arrest.

What they really need is a few hours of live webcast each day (say two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon/evening). These could be broadcast live and available as podcasts. This would be a real addition to the local media landscape and much more interesting than the multitude of tweets and blog links.

One very unprofessional aspect is the poor management of the "Local blogs" section. Ever since CBC Hamilton went live in early May, one of the top entries has been an advert for a Real Estate agent bragging about having sold a house. What is this still doing there?

Up to now CBC Hamilton has not really fulfilled their potential: they aren't really covering local issues much better than RTH (and RTH do it on a budget of $0).

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By davidsfawcett (registered) - website | Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:55:16 in reply to Comment 81519

What they really need is a few hours of live webcast each day (say two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon/evening).

I agree completely. I listened to CBC Radio in the morning before work and often again in the late afternoon for a very long time (in Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal). In addition to the National newscasts they've had a succession of capable presenters who host intelligent, well thought out interviews and feature segments. Even though they frequently involved local issues in TO which have little relevance for me (living in the Hammer) it was still head and shoulders above local radio talk (inane) and music I don't want to listen to.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:17:02 in reply to Comment 81519

I absolutely adore Paul Wilson. But we already had a Paul Wilson in the form of Paul Wilson.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:12:59

I was so excited for CBC Hamilton. Shortly after the launch they did the interview with Mayor Bratina and asked some good questions. And since then... not much of note.

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By rrrandy (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:40:34

I'm not sure how they select their blogs for the blogroll but I sent them a couple of suggestions (restorecootes.blogspot.ca and dundaswalks.blogspot.ca) and I didn't even rate a response from them. I would have thought the CBC to be more polite about it...

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:27:16 in reply to Comment 81529

I'd blame the Torontonian bias. The Dundas Valley and Cootes are an important feature of life here to any Hamiltonian. But they don't understand because they're not from here.

Hire Hamiltonians CBC.

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By rta (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:02:08

Hey... any way I get my photo and tweet back? OR perhaps kick me some bucks for your content?

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By brundlefly (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:05:45

This story was due ages ago, however I understand waiting six months to see if we'd see any growth, we haven't. That's almost six full months of having a subpar newsroom and lazy sharing blog go completely unquestioned by the community it's supposed to serve.

In that unquestioned six months, the CBC has been able to declare this service a home run and it's now started it's planning on shipping this service to other unsuspecting communities.

Poor them.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:21:26 in reply to Comment 81531

Yeah it's pretty scary that if you don't live in Toronto you get news-free news from the Ceeb. But you can hear all about Matt Galloway's capital-I important socialite friends every morning no matter where you live in the province!

I think it's classist.

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By NotCBCToronto (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:23:38

Let's look at their first hire:

![CBC hires "Torontoian at Heart"](http://i.imgur.com/kyMAM.jpg "@JKChapsCBC")

Look at their newest reporter (they know have a larger journalism staff than all the weekly community newspapers combined)

[@KaleighRogers](https://twitter.com/KaleighRogers)

> Freelance Toronto journalist, with various stints at the Star, the Globe and the CBC.
> Toronto, Ontario · http://kaleighrogers.com

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:49:50 in reply to Comment 81535

CBC Hamilton should be hiring reporters who actually live in (or are willing to move to) Hamilton.

It is hard to see how someone can do a good job covering events, issues and community reactions in Hamilton while living in Toronto. It also makes it harder to dig up good stories. Just compare with the productivity of Paul Wilson!

Commuting in from 70 km away just makes it difficult to follow stories, and not being part of the community makes it hard to find stories and evaluate their impact.

Perhaps this is a bit unfair, but Kaleigh Rogers website doesn't even include the word "Hamilton", but "Toronto" brings up dozens of items.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2012-10-12 12:07:06

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By PGraefe (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:25:58

I will say that they have given more coverage than other local outlets to questions of agriculture.

I'd also say that in the past half-year they have been more interested in reporting on social trends (esp. through Flannery Dean) than the Spec.

But I find that they have relatively little quality coverage of city hall, and that some of the crime reporting shows a lack of knowledge of the city and its people.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 20:34:24 in reply to Comment 81536

"Social trends" reportage that lacks a fullsome understanding of the city's socioeconomic realities as well as the political machine that governs the city seems to me inherently limited. You tend to get the executive brief with a couple of colour quotes but no expanded understanding of the issue's roots or fruits.

I think that The Spec has done remarkably well considering the self-inflicted institutional amnesia it incurred in the latest round of buyouts. (Eric McGuinness has popped up on RTH since then, if I'm not mistaken.)

Kudos as well to the news hacks over at Hamilton Community News (formerly Brabant). Folks like Kevin Werner and Richard Leitner (like Paul Palango before them) bring grit and substance to a vehicle that many write off as little more than skin for the weekly log of advertising flyers. http://www.rrj.ca/m3632/

And of course Joey Coleman, whose dogged newsgathering/analysis/dissemination reputation rightly precedes him. That and he takes the high road even when CBCYHM has been known to coast in his draft. A gem and a gent.

In sum, I don't buy the whole "limited means" argument. There are a lot of people in town doing a lot more with far less.

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By Anonymously (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:43:14

I also hoped that when CBC came to Hamilton it would accept news from the independents. The journalists that have been submitting news to CFMU, and at times Raise the Hammer.

I spoke to the initial Editors and thought that I had found another outlet. Then I tried to speak to R.G.... very strange interaction.

The independents in Hamilton produce better and more detailed news, than what the Main Stream media has done. That's why independents started doing news. Largely for free.

I use to be able to submit an important story in word, or audio or video to CBC Toronto, and was at times actually paid. The big point for me, was to get news out.

Sorry R.G. your comments to me were disappointing, and totally the opposite of what I was led to believe. You may think your staff is better trained or more informed, but the independents in Hamilton have done a much better job of covering the news that CBC should.

Treating them badly, and using their work for free, while you do get income... is a sad reflection on CBC in general.

I have noticed that CBC Radio One news has fallen down in their cutting coverage the past few years. Too many Government cuts or threats I imagine.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:47:20 in reply to Comment 81546

I'm totally on board to SUPPORT the CBC if the problem is budgetary. I wonder if that's really the problem?

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:46:23

Thank you everyone for the kind comments.

In terms of CBC Hamilton and me competiting (they see me as competition and have been very clear about this), I've repeatedly stated:

I covered Hamilton before they announced the launch of the station, I was very excited by the arrival of the CBC in Hamilton, and I believed they would fill the news void that I had been filling.

I want to practice journalism in my hometown of Hamilton.

I continue to practice journalism in my hometown of Hamilton.

I'm not competiting with CBC Hamilton, I'm just doing my thing - covering my community.

Yes, my journalism has improved since CBC arrived. Not because of CBC or in any attempt to compete directly with CBC. My journalism is always improving - it's why I practice journalism. The day I stop improving, is the day I need to quit.

I'm continuing to try and build a local Hamilton-owned and controlled non-profit news service. It's not to compete with CBC - it's to fill the news void in Hamilton and to better inform ourselves.

Hamilton needs numerous public broadcasters - competition is good.

We're a major city, not a suburb of Toronto. Major cities have numerous outlets and Hamilton should strive to as well.

I support CBC and we need to have this conversation.

It's our CBC and if we don't speak up now to make it successful, we'll lose it and CBC Toronto will never consider the full-fledge CBC we truly seek.

Sonja Macdonald, thank you for starting this needed conversation.

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By MountainCreature (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 16:48:20 in reply to Comment 81547

Keep doing what you do, Joey! I'm gonna' put some money into your kickstarter as soon as payday comes around.

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By movedtohamilton (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:35:11

Given that the CBC is the state-owned broadcaster, its employees can't figure out whether they are civil servants or journalists. The frothy boosterism at our local station weighs toward the civil servant mentality.

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By loyalviewer (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 14:32:47

I prefer to just stick to the usual places for my city news. CHCH and The Spec. They are both more up to date then i ever find CBC is. I believe CHCH needs to get some more local news but they're working on it and they cover it well when they do.
The spec updates their website regularly. I don't get the paper because I'd never have time at home to read it. But i can read online and almost always get the most recent update on something. When i look at CBC I always find maybe one new story and lots of old ones. and that new one is two days old. They've all got things to work on but from my experience if I want to know what's going on I'd rather look at CHCH or the Spec than CBC

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By MountainCreature (registered) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 16:38:27

Thank you Sonja for saying what needed to be said. I too was very excited to have CBC coming to Hamilton, despite the unusual format. I gave it a chance and within a couple months I couldn't help but notice the abundance of fluff and the void of hard news. But most recently, I was dismayed to see daily photo updates from the Robocop shoot. Just because it's happening down the street from CBC HQ does not mean that it's remotely relevant to to the rest of Hamilton and it's amalgamated communities. Lots of film shoots happen every year.

I would love to see not only more local news stories, but deeper local news stories as well. Stenography from city officials to create stubs of articles is not enough. Fact-checking and background information would help, and lots of it. I was hoping for a better alternative to the Spec when CBC arrived, but the Spec is killing CBC right now when it comes to straight-up news. I'm not saying they should hire Joey Coleman, since for all I know he's content to continue his independent efforts, but CBC could at least try to do what he does. It's not that difficult.

I'm hoping CBC sees this as the free focus group that it is, and moves to improve things. We're critical because we want them to succeed.

Comment edited by MountainCreature on 2012-10-12 16:40:42

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2012 at 23:39:18 in reply to Comment 81556

U like that definition of this. 'Free focus group.' So. Many of us looked forward to them setting up shope here and I believe many of us want to continue to be excited about it. I forget they exist sometimes. Most of the times. They are obviously not in our face enough.

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By corpsmarketing (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 17:13:39

http://t.co/HYZ7reDA

It's a combing reference
lol

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By Kriv (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 20:51:25

Hamilton badly needs some courageous investigative reporting. I had hoped we'd see that from the CBC. So far, I haven't. I don't know if this is because they don't want to take on some of these issues (due to fear, perhaps) or because they just aren't aware of them, but it's disappointing.

Probably the biggest elephant in the room is the Vranich family and their multitude of ties to the business and political leadership in the city. I won't libel anyone in this comment and I lack the substantive evidence required to lay out the real facts of the matter. That is the job of investigative reporters (or investigators of another sort). However, the public record on its own is full of clues as to where to look next, and yet, no one is looking.

Why? Is it fear? Fear of peering into these dark corners is justified and rational, but I expect more from journalists, especially those who are funded by the public purse. The public's interest is not served when journalists are afraid to carefully examine the many interconnected threads that make up the tapestry of rich and connected Hamiltonians. There is dirt there, and I'm willing to bet there's a lot of it.

At the very least, it'd be great for page views.

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By j (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 00:06:52 in reply to Comment 81564

take a look at CATCH sometime. Don McLean's been digging up the dirt on the developer-politician nexus in this town for a long time now, including at least one about Vranich.

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By True Blue (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2012 at 21:28:01

If you want true Hamilton, tune into Raise the Hammer and The Hamiltonian. CBC has been a big yawn.

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By Eric Laflamme (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:19:05 in reply to Comment 81565

Even the rejigged Hamilton Magazine does a better job of highlighting local events and people and they only come out every other month!

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 14:21:23 in reply to Comment 81655

Superior user interface, too!

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:15:08 in reply to Comment 81655

Similar depth, hyper-boosterism and Twitter-fawning, though.

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By Eric Laflamme (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 13:26:43 in reply to Comment 81660

Perhaps I'm a bit slow on the uptake, but what's "Twitter Fawning"??

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 14:03:52 in reply to Comment 81675

Sycophancy. (Admittedly, fish-in-a-barrel.)

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 13:48:10 in reply to Comment 81675

There are a handful of famous local PR accounts that, by no fault of their own, somehow have become a convenient source for content that nobody could possibly give less of a crap about.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 13:02:30 in reply to Comment 81565

Would this be the same Hamiltonian that has a Carmen's ad on its front page?

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By TnT (registered) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 01:08:01

We shouldn't be too harsh on CBC. Hamilton is a tough market and it is tough to get a feel for it easily. Give CBC to the new year and you will see some changes IMHO.

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By Pan Am Stadium Video (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 02:09:07

http://www.ticats.ca/video/index/id/80029

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By me, me and me! (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 06:58:46

Hamilton CBC has to realize that there is more to Hamilton then James Street North. I'm simply amazed after six months in our City this news agency hasn't discovered Hamilton beyond their front door. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 08:57:57 in reply to Comment 81571

I agree that one of the most puzzling things about the "progress" of the experiment is why half of all CBC Hamilton content seems to be based in James North, which is less than 1% of one of 15 wards in the city (and, considering that they stickered Burlington GO stations as well, an even smaller sliver of the GHA). It's as if they blew their technology budget on heated massage recliners.

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By movedtohamilton (registered) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 09:52:33 in reply to Comment 81573

Why are you and others so surprised by the CBC's content? Do you really expect a hard-hitting report on the grinding poverty 1km from their office? The evolving scene on James North is so much groovier.

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:43:15 in reply to Comment 81575

Is it true that the B stands for "Bombsters"?

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:36:48

I remember sitting down having a coffee with Roger Gillespie about 3 weeks before the official launch of CBC Hamilton and asking him to describe what was being planned. The answer was weak. It lacked focus. When pushed, he talked about the map feature, explaining that you could see where a traffic accident had occurred, or where Gorilla Cheese was. I was incredulous. I asked him a one word question, "Why?", offering that I thought it was an example of junk journalism.

More than 6 months later, not much has changed. Snappy crime postings, a map that every single person I speak to says they skip past immediately, local boosterism that is not worthy of our national broadcaster, and a standard of content that seems more interested in clicks than in journalism, all point to an ill-thought through idea that has been badly executed. Thank goodness Paul Wilson provides them with the great work he does. Otherwise, why bother?

I love the CBC. Having said that, I'm hugely disappointed in CBC Hamilton. Talk about lunch bag letdown. I want CBC here in Hamilton. I like the idea that they are experimenting with a new model. Problem is, the new model was ill-conceived. The vey fact that it was still "organic" only weeks before launching officially is revealing. But, this can be fixed. To do so, however, will require a commitment and an openness from CBC brass in Toronto to refocus their efforts in Hamilton. The fact that so many local people, both here and on other social media, seem to have a similar "want CBC, but not this way" attitude is significant. I urge CBC Toronto to pay attention and to take action. Soon. Not in 6 months.

Thanks Sonja for getting this started. We needed this. The CBC needed this.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 16:57:14 in reply to Comment 81576

I'm glad you mentioned that map...I was wondering if I'm missing something. I've never once used it. It's useless as far as I can tell...again, unless I'm missing something. Paul Wilson has published some great pieces on CBC...but more investigative journalism and a more urban, sustainable voice to Hamilton would be smart moves by the CBC.

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By jamesandcannon (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:21:50

For those wondering - most of us on James North feel the same way with the above posters. Too much news focused around the street. We didn't ask for it and honestly don't crave it. This city is multi-layered with thousands of stories to tell. I want to read about Hamilton! Walking out your front door to find the first story that hits you or taking pics of the Euro Cup celebrations is just lazy journalism. Step up your game CBC Hamilton!

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By True Blue (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:00:17

A few weeks ago, while RTH was publishing some substantive articles on city design, and The Hamiltonian was scrapping it out over the Hamilton EWaterfront Trust issues, CBC was featuring pretty pictures from the Beaux Modes. Nothing against BM, but really?

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:32:16

Snippets from Queen Ceeb, a profile of CBC Executive VP for English Programming Kirstine Stewart, which appeared in the May 2012 edition of Toronto Life:

“[Stewart] had come to the Corporation from the skin-deep world of lifestyle programming. Six years later, there are still doubts about whether she should be running the country’s foremost cultural institution at all..... Stewart calls the CBC a beacon of newsgathering in the country. “We were the first Canadians on the ground in Syria,” she says proudly. That may be true, but The National remains third in the ratings behind both CTV’s and Global’s nightly newscasts. She has been so preoccupied with TV entertainment that she’s largely left the CBC’s news division alone. Improvements have been slow to come, and plans for expanded service in Kitchener, Waterloo and London will likely be shelved if the network’s budget is slashed.... A constant complaint inside the CBC is that the broadcaster is chronically underfunded, and that underfunding is the source of all its woes. “Given the small size of its federal funding,” one TV writer said to me in an email, “ the CBC can be a real shit-show, an extravaganza of douchebaggery, a Rube Goldberg machine meets an Escher drawing. It’s a world so rife with back-biting and siege mentality, it’s become difficult to accomplish anything.” People might want the quality of the BBC but forget that the CBC’s per capita budget is a quarter of the BBC’s.... Unlike her predecessor, Stewart insists her ambitions for the network are not exclusively tied to ratings. “He cleaned things up,” she says [of Richard Stursberg], and made this a more business-like place, made sure there was a clearer definition of what success meant.” From this stronger position, she believes, the CBC can now evolve to be more adventurous and risky; shows don’t need to bring in big numbers to ensure they stay on the air.... While a public broadcaster should be airing provocative programs that the commercial networks won’t bankroll, provocation is often in the eye of the beholder. There’s nostalgia, too, for a pure, high-toned CBC that might never have existed…”

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted October 13, 2012 at 23:46:03

I, too, have been disappointed in what CBC Hamilton has provided. We didn't really get a strong explanation of what their goal was, and what we have isn't useful, different, or necessary, since we have everything they offer already. I was hoping for online commentary on the city, events, people, and the like. We get some great articles from Paul Wilson (always love his work) but other than that I can't recall them breaking any stories or giving me a an article that I was really impressed with. Give me current events. Give me a podcast of reporter(s) tasked with telling our great city's stories. Give me online video of current events. Give me something!

Also, that silly map at the top of the webpage is an annoyance. In Google Chrome, as soon as I try to scroll down to see the actual content, it just zooms in on the map and annoys the hell out of me.

Another thing, I was at the art crawl last night and had my picture taken at their costume thing they had going on. I go to their site just now, and the pictures still aren't posted? Why?

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By Fred Youngs CBC Hamilton (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 00:34:15

A lot of comments from a lot of people raising a lot of interesting and valid points. It's informative and helpful to hear all these views, both the positive and negative. All of them will help to inform and changes we will make and new approaches we will take in the future.

Whether I agree or disagree with the comments, I don't think it's right for me to argue with people about how they perceive our site, or our work. But I should correct inaccuracies or false statements and there is one thing that keeps cropping up which is completely inaccurate and untrue: that we will not hire Hamiltonians. When we hired our reporting staff (it's three full-time, not five as stated in the article, and one part-time on a short-term contract) we hired the people we felt were the best candidates, regardless of where they were born or where they lived at the time. A condition of employment was moving to Hamilton, and all of the full-time staff reporters now live in Hamilton.



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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 09:32:14 in reply to Comment 81586

That's really good to hear, thanks.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 09:32:57 in reply to Comment 81592

Don't worry guys, I pre-moderated my comment thanking Fred Youngs for you. Keep those clicking fingers nimble for more pressing issues!

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By brundlefly (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 01:26:08 in reply to Comment 81586

Thanks for responding Fred.

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By anthonymarco (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 01:58:11

The decision not to engage in podcasting is baffling when the CBC already has a vast archive and hosting system. That said, what I do not need is dulcet tones of a typical CBC "broadcast voice" with their nose resting on edge of the studio mic and talking to me like I'm a Barry White one-night stand.

The Spec has some great people, but the publication (as all of the local "community" weeklies in the city) is part of the Toronto Star/Metroland silo which is more concerned about stock prices than being a public trust.

I want to hear people who are passionate about Hamilton, even if I disagree with them. But podcasting is NOT radio. I want to hear something raw and unbridled about the city I love that doesn't worry about appeasing advertisers. At the very least, if the CBC is unwilling to attach their "brand" to that, they could at least start to foster and promote those who do things. Until they start doing audio themselves, there's no concern about competition.

I don't necessarily mind CBC Hamilton doing what it's doing. It's what they're not doing that's disappointing.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 05:16:25

Thanks to Fred Youngs for his comments. To be honest, I'm much less concerned with where staff are from than I am about the quality of what they produce while they're here in Hamilton. Having said that, I must ask a few simple questions for clarification.

  1. How many of the current staff (full time and part time and contract) have worked for the CBC in the past, distant or immediate?

  2. If, like many corporations, the CBC has a promote from within guideline (versus policy), exactly how could a non-CBC, Hamilton-based, qualified journalist get the job? Is Hamilton a training ground for young CBC staffers? OK if it is, but let's say so if this is the case.

  3. What role does the CBC think is played by hiring local journalists for a new outlet when previously no such outlet existed, both in terms of local knowledge and understanding, and in terms of the optics to the citizens of the community where the new outlet is being launched? I know Mr. Young is not saying we don't have any good, available journalists in Hamilton, but seems to be saying that the ones who were hired were of better quality. If a key factor was also affordability, then he should say so, but by doing so he would be saying there were no local candidates willing to work for the full time wages offered by the CBC.

  4. What balance between non-local, qualified journalists and local, qualified journalists does the CBC think is advantageous to the quality of the broadcasting "product" from a new outlet where one previously did not exist? Would it be 50/50? 80/20? 100/0? Something else? Why?

Like I said, I'm not all that concerned with the immediately previous address of the journalists working currently at CBC Hamilton, but simply saying "we hire the best" may be a good talking point, but it might bear some further explanation.

Again, thanks Fred for commenting. I don't want CBC Hamilton to go away, I just want it to be better.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 08:12:03 in reply to Comment 81589

I know someone who was interviewed, and my understanding was that they were intentionally trying to avoid 'hiring from within' in order to bring in a 'different' perspective. This may be part of the reason why the service has so far been virtually indistinguishable from for-profit media, and not up to the usual journalistic standards we expect from the CBC. This is one time when hiring at least a few staffers from within might have stood them in good stead.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 08:35:48

Eight months ago I expressed my hopes for enhanced news reporting as a result of the arrival of CBC Hamilton:

http://www.raisethehammer.org/comment/59170

Somewhere in my thinking was the memory of how the CBC had made a meal out of Hamilton's water privatization saga...

http://web.archive.org/web/20030707134534/http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/water/hamilton.html

...and how back in 1998, CBC heavyweight The Fifth Estate shaped the local news agenda helping to push the PSC/Taro Dump story from the pages of the Stoney Creek News and into the spotlight. It was the CBC that helped establish the legitimacy of claims that the Stoney Creek dump was cleared to import 14 solid or liquid hazardous wastes for interment at Taro. And it was the CBC's appearance in town for first of two documentaries on the dump that inspired the Spec to set aside its reflexive business-knows-best editorial bent and take the story more seriously as news.

http://goo.gl/G5SCL

IMHO, this is the value that the CBC brings to the table. There are more than enough blogs and media outlets that are all too happy to regurgitate verbatim the simple-Simon press releases they get from the Hamilton Economic Development, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, McMaster University, Tourism Hamilton as well as whatever "scoops" they sift from the feeds of #HamOnt tweeps. But that's lazy journalism. I question whether any news agency would really consider playing to the narcissism of its audience a notable success.

Whenever I finish a great news story, I am reminded of one of the principle tenets of Richard Roma: "I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion... If everyone thinks one thing, then I say, bet the other way." If critical engagement isn't the foundation of your process, you're more algorithm than journalism.

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By GreatDiscussionReCBC (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 13:52:12

Very interesting article and some great points raised in some of the posts above. Also glad to see the CBC is taking notice of some of the feedback (i.e. Fred Youngs comment). Here are some of my personal observations/suggestions:

PROS / EXAMPLES OF THE GOOD THINGS
- Simply the fact the CBC is here is a great thing as it adds to the Hamilton media landscape
- Paul Wilson's columns are fantastic to read
- Getting Hamilton "plugged" into the national CBC network (i.e. live hits on James Street North during Supercrawl, having some stories on the National based on Hamilton individuals, etc.)
- 5 Things To Do, come across these articles on Saturday and Sunday, sometimes they provide some good ideas on things to do
- Locating the office on James Street North and that it is open on Art Crawl
- Doing positive stories, not always "doom and gloom" news

CONS / OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
- Take out the map! I scroll past it every time and do not use it
- "Beat the Traffic" / Latest Traffic Update, I do not find this too useful. Seeing a 4 minute delay on such a long segment of road isn't beneficial. If there was a way to post accidents under the traffic update, this could let people know which intersections to avoid and they can alter their drive
- Under Commute, capture updates about delays in transit (i.e. GO Transit, HSR, etc.)
- Given Hamilton is a thriving Arts and Culture scene, there should be an Arts and Culture / Entertainment section on the CBC Hamilton web site with news coverage of it
- Multimedia seems to have tapered off from the web site, at the beginning there were interviews with individuals at the CBC Hamilton office, from events, etc. but rarely do I see video or audio in news stories right now. Doing interviews in studio, podcasts, live streaming, etc. would be great enhancements
- Coverage seems to be focused on James Street and the lower city Hamilton, which isn't bad to me as a Downtown resident. However, given Hamilton is so vast, there should be way more stories and advertising of community events from Flamborough, Ancaster, Dundas, Mount Hope/Glanbrook, Binbrook, Stoney Creek, Winona, Hamilton Mountain.
- Coverage under "Local Economy" should be more focused on new small businesses or highlighting successful local businesses, BIAs, etc. (i.e. looking at the stories listed there right now, lots of coverage for Lion's Lair, which is a good event, but it is disproportionate)

I realize this is hard to do with a small contingent of staff, but think if the approach is changed to reflect these suggestions and the other constructive suggestions listed in the above comments, it would result in a much better CBC Hamilton. I truly wish nothing but the best for CBC Hamilton and want to see it become a thriving institution!

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 23:10:38

Here's what we don't need from CBC Hamilton:

  • Bleeding leads. Let the outlets who are beholden to advertisers do what they know best: take police and fire scanner results and write out all of the gory details. This is safe news for them so let them have it. Skip it and give us some slow-game investigative stuff instead.
  • That map - it looks nice and I love maps but it's non intuitive and gets in the way of the real content. The Dalton McGuinty story shows up in a bubble centred on James North. Like.... why? A map is fine for traffic but maybe not the best format for citywide news.
  • Traffic reports - honestly - let the other guys work the traffic. It's a waste of limited resources that should be spent on more interesting stories.
  • Human interest stuff. OK, we all like a little feel good story here and there but again, it's a waste of limited resources.

Here's what we do need - and fast:

  • Investigative reporting of the stories that the other guys simply won't touch. Stories involving homebuilders, car advertisers, McMaster's screwups, etc. The other guys are afraid of lots of important material in this city because their paycheques depend on keeping the players happy. The first thing the CBC should have done when they started up was to take a huge issue and blow it open. SOmething like Aerotropolis for example. Instead we got fashion blog posts.

I kind of want to leave it as that one point because that's the only way the CBC are going to give anything productive to this city. They are going to have to pick some hard stories and work really hard at getting into the details that no one else is looking at. But I'll add a couple more:

  • A real radio format - whether it's online or shared with CFMU, we need some actual audio.
  • Local reporters who know the city and can think up some big issues worth delving into. People who aren't so amazed that the art crawl exists that they spend 25/31 days per month writing about it.
  • Maybe a couple veteran CBC reporters who know what they can get away with in terms of investigative journalism. I am all for some fresh voices but they will be inherently nervous about doing anything groundbreaking so early in their careers.

I really want them to do something good for this city. Man... I don't want to lose them but at this rate they won't last. I hope they heed our calls.

You know what would make the CBC instantly better? If they replaced all of their aggregated crap with CATCH. I get more information from View than I do from CBC thanks to CATCH alone. If you're getting beaten by View, you know you have a serious problem.

Comment edited by seancb on 2012-10-15 23:11:06

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By concernedistated (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 09:10:00

I am very relieved to see almost all of the same criticisms I've formulated about CBC reflected in this article and comments.

I'm posting anonymously with my criticisms of CBC because being blacklisted is a very real possibility in this small media world of ego, and the place I work at does not deserve that. It's that reality which makes open discussion risky and rare, so I really appreciate RTH's open and frank discussions.

I will add that I think much of the problem is actually generational, and rests squarely on the shoulders of RG, the executive producer. I've seen this before with digital services - the audience being catered to is completely different than the senior management, and this is clearly RG's show and the targeted demographic is clearly having a disconnect with his almost cult of personality + fluff approach. He might be very well suited for radio or TV, but seniority and ego have put this guy in charge of something he is not the best suited for. I don't blame the staff for lack of depth or meaningful engagement as I really see an extra effort of control by RG - that's why there is a very obvious choke-point in the local news dripping out through their service. The small group of twitter accounts they allow on the site is also evidence of his distrust of a more pure, raw community voice. It's not guerilla cheese or SS fault they are plastered on CBC with their safe fluff - it's simply evidence of RG's vision of what he thinks is interesting and relevant ... to RG. Too bad what he likes is so damn trite and boring.

I am certain his days at this location are numbered - he'll probably be sent to the new locations to help out there and hopefully younger, more savvy and most importantly more social leadership will take over. Sometimes you need someone like RG, who is unspectacular but industrious and controlling to safely get something going before you can take it to the next level.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 09:41:34 in reply to Comment 81729

Oh God. You took the words right out of my anonymous, risk-averse mouth. Hope you're right about RG's departure...

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 07:49:08

It looks as though CBC Hamilton is upping its game. It is holding a town hall meeting at Mohawk College on October 24, 2012 on the subject of youth mental health. Perhaps this will be the first of more CBC Hamilton town halls on matters of local and national interest. http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/20...

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:19:39 in reply to Comment 81788

Inspired by the federal government's first-ever national mental health strategy, Changing Directions, Changing Lives:

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/970269/changing-directions-changing-lives-canada-s-first-mental-health-blueprint-unveiled


... and Public Health Ontario's recent report Opening Eyes, Opening Minds:

http://www.oahpp.ca/resources/documents/reports/opening-eyes-mental-health/PHO-ICES%20Opening%20Eyes%20Opening%20Minds%20Report%20-%20Oct%202012%20final.pdf


Also helps promote the institutional investment that is going on across the street at the old OH.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=161545

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2012 at 07:50:16

Cool will C101 broadcast it?

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:05:23 in reply to Comment 81789

The partnership does hint at an interesting possibility.

Since the gormless programming putsch at C101.5 that ousted Jamie Smith, a CBC allegiance with Mohawk might make the most sense of any independent broadcast option.

Piggybacking CFMU, IMHO, would be a net negative since much of the prime airtime on the station is already dedicated to spoken word (and multicultural programming, not exactly a strong suit of CBC Hamilton).

But if all we'd be getting is audio versions of the existing content, I'd really rather stick with the status quo.

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By Whynot (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 13:03:21 in reply to Comment 81814

How about a daily talk radio show streaming on the cbc website and simulcast on 101.5?

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2012 at 14:48:38 in reply to Comment 81836

Like you, I would enjoy having virtual radio (podcasts) on CBC Hamilton. When I met with Roger Gillespie before the launch, I asked him if he could accommodate say 5 people around a table, miked, to talk about civic affairs in Hamilton. Could be the same, diverse 5, or could change both the people and the size of the group. He said yes, they could.

There are miles between Could and Did. In fact, given CBC Hamilton's efforts-to-date, that journey hasn't even begun. If I take Roger at his word, we (taxpayers) have invested in the equipment, location, staff and none of them are not being used for this very basic but hugely needed format. A format that, BTW, is not labour intensive. I'm talking about talk radio, not radio documentaries, although that's not a bad idea too.

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 07:20:17 in reply to Comment 81844

When I first heard the words "digital" I presumed it meant some podcasting, was disappointed to find it didn't.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 06:49:55 in reply to Comment 81844

At this point, I'm tempted to view CBC Hamilton as a vanity project... for the network, for the city, for the street.
It's encouraging to see Hamiltonians clamour for something more ambitious.

This bricks-and-mortar space is far out of proportion to the product. Aside from their Art Crawl open houses, it's basically a dead storefront funded by taxpayers. They could just as easily pay for a PO box and repurpose the remainder of the rent to hiring additional staff and equipping them with mobile technology.

I would much rather see content of substance from a virtual enterprise than ephemeral content from a physical enterprise.

To me, this fundamental disconnect is a symptom of an institutional philosophy, a shortcoming exacerbated by what appears to be self-satisfied, apathetic management.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:07:51 in reply to Comment 81884

"Vanity Project" is exactly it.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 07:56:52

So - the midterm report card is out. Will we see a change for the better?

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 09:39:48

RG talking now on CFMU explaining why CMC is so MOR.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:19:45 in reply to Comment 81901

Damn - missed it - what was the gist?

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 19:50:45 in reply to Comment 81918

The interview in full is posted on CBC Hamilton's website. http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/talk/story/20...

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 13:44:13 in reply to Comment 81918

I heard part of it. Have to admit I really felt for RG. He's not in an easy spot. Am hoping they post the podcast so I can hear the whole thing.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 16:10:57 in reply to Comment 81935

He kinda created this spot. At a minimum he had a powerful hand in it.

Comment edited by seancb on 2012-10-18 16:11:17

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 09:41:25 in reply to Comment 81901

*"CBC"

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:07:34

Next up: Cutest baby contest!

http://twitter.com/ConradCollaco/status/258603651889786880

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 18:31:37

By way of example, if you haven't seen it, please have a look at what Steve Paikin of TVO did immediately following Dalton McGuinty's surprise announcement. Steve in front of his computer in his office, with guest Sean Conway, and online producer Navin Vaswani.

It ain't elegant, but it's an good example of great content at a time when no one else was able to do what these people did by looking into the camera at the top edge of a computer screen. The CBC has the technology, the staff, the expertise, and access to credible guests. There are lots of local topics for which this could work. I'm not saying this is the sum total of the online offerings, but it's one very good one in my opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tXP0FhZO...

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2012 at 07:23:43

I have to wonder how CBC Hamilton would perceive the city if there was no social media, no dailies, weeklies, radio or TV. What stories would they tell?

If they're simply whoring for eyeballs, the future is foretold in four words: Fake David Lee Roth.

I had hoped that CBC Hamilton would bring more than "more of the most popular media bites". More fool me.

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By Starman (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2012 at 21:29:17

Word had it that when RG came to town he met with a whole bunch of people. He basically picked their brains. But what he doesn't understand is that Hamiltonians know Hamilton and know Hamiltonians. You cannot fake that. I thought CBC would be smart enough to do what The Spec has failed at- that is, scooping up the most popular local blogs and enveloping them somehow. Think of how exciting it would be if urban issues were covered by Raise the Hammer or if The Hamiltonian was doing the investigative reporting piece and if Joey Coleman was covering the committee meetings and the like. If the Spec or CBC does not pick on on that buzz, they may as well pick up and leave. the future is here.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2012 at 23:26:59 in reply to Comment 82003

Imho, the spec has noticed. Ever since the run up to CBC Hamilton, the Spec has upped their game online and have been doing urbanist issues and municipal politics quite well - basically the news we expected out of CBC Hamilton.

I mean, they might not have suddenly hired Joey Coleman and Ryan McGreal, but the spec is courting us.

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By BalloonTown (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2012 at 22:31:19

I would hate to see CIUT or CFMU spoiled by CBC Hamilton's content

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:15:52

Here's a challenge: Go to CBC Hamilton and try to find the two stories about the Blanchard gore park proposal. They are both by Paul Wilson. Now try to just get a list of Paul Wilson's stories. I couldn't do either of these things. I had to go to other websites where I knew they had been linked to. That website is impossible. Maybe if they fixed the usability, they'd get more views

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted November 05, 2012 at 11:09:49

So - the news map has gotten smaller on the CBC Hamilton home page - a good start.

Also, there haven't been any tweets in some time from Mr Gillespie, despite there being a bunch of new articles posted over the last few days: https://twitter.com/RogerGillespie

Is something shakin' over at CBCH?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted November 22, 2012 at 14:01:57

Joey Coleman just tweeted that RG is out.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted November 22, 2012 at 17:29:48 in reply to Comment 83120

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By highwater (registered) | Posted November 22, 2012 at 21:44:56 in reply to Comment 83121

Huh!

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By TB (registered) - website | Posted November 23, 2012 at 07:46:32 in reply to Comment 83123

One of the qualifications listed in the ad:

"Strong understanding of the news and knowledge of Mississauga, its economy and business community"

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By highwater (registered) | Posted November 23, 2012 at 07:58:29 in reply to Comment 83127

Hey, it's near Toronto, what more do you want?

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted March 11, 2013 at 23:43:19

CBC Radio and Digital Service for Kitchener-Waterloo launched on-air and online today.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted November 26, 2013 at 09:29:42

Is the golden goose about to take off?

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2013/11/26/nhl_signs_12year_broadcast_deal_with_rogers_cbc_keeps_hockey_night_in_canada.html

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By HNIC (anonymous) | Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:21:33

Nope part of the agreement is that HNIC stays put

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