The Great CBC Purge by Wanda Schmöckel

Published in Planet S In March, the CBC announced that it would cut 244 jobs from regional news services, slashed as part of a two-year purge of 657 jobs. Last week, the reality of those cuts came into clearer focus, with notices of redundancy making their ways to the desks of Saskatchewan staff. When all is said and done, 11 more positions will be eliminated from CBC Saskatchewan. And although the full roster of who will be let go isn’t yet known, everyone from technicians to journalists will be affected. The bottom line: there will be far fewer people in this region doing the work needed to bring Saskatchewan’s stories to the public. And, speaking of Saskatchewan as a region — it actually no longer is one. As of last year, it was absorbed into the Prairies North region, a vast territory comprising Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the North. “As far as regionalism goes, the lens has become fuzzier and fuzzier because they don’t have the people on the ground that they used to have,” says Brenda Baker of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. “When you look at what’s happening on a national level, so much now is filtered through the lens of Toronto. It’s become evenmore Toronto-centric. Unless something disastrous is happening in Saskatchewan, I’m not going to hear about it on The Current. Their broadcasting mandate is that they need to be out in the regions but they’re not being given the money that they should have to do that,” says Baker. “The outcome is that it’s going to be irrelevant.” These aren’t the first cuts to the...