Diversity in the Media: A Case Study

Diversity in the Media: A Case Study
October 20, 2009, Toronto

Diversity in the Media: A Case Study

TORONTO -- OCTOBER 20 -- 6:30 p.m.

Toronto mainstream media have struggled for years to reflect the city's true make-up and to attract readers, viewers and listeners from the full range of the city's cultural mosaic. Mostly they've failed. But CBC Radio One in Toronto may be the exception. Its program Metro Morning is No. 1 in the local market.

Why? In 2002, CBC Toronto began a "transformation process" to make the station more relevant and reflective. Staff were challenged by a remark from then-VP of CBC Radio, Alex Frame, who said Toronto Radio was in danger of becoming a "precious emblem of a dying elite." They started to integrate different cultural perspectives and include interviewees from diverse communities on a full range of topics. Some elements of the audience hated the change, which certainly suffered some failures and a great deal of controversy. But CBC Toronto is now used as a training model at other CBC stations.

In an effort to bring the lessons learned about diversity and programming to a wider audience, CJF Forums presents a case study in reaching out to diverse audiences with Joan Melanson, executive producer at CBC Radio, Toronto; and Nick Davis, producer of Metro Morning. Suanne Kelman, associate professor at Ryerson’s School of Journalism, will interview the panel.

After the discussion there will be a Q&A with the audience, followed by a cocktail reception.

WHERE: Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto (map and directions)

WHEN: Tuesday, October 20, 2009. Presentation 6:30-8:00, Reception 8:00-9:00

About our panelists

JOAN MELANSON

Joan MelansonJoan is the Executive Producer for CBC Radio Toronto, responsible for regional radio news and the daily Toronto programs Metro Morning and Here and Now. She has been with CBC Radio Toronto since the transformation process started in 2003. Before that, she worked for many years on-air as a program host, documentary maker and news reporter in both radio and TV. She is also one of the designated trainers at CBC, conducting skills training workshops for CBC employees across the country.

NICHOLAS DAVIS

Nick DavisNick is currently the senior producer of Metro Morning on CBC Radio One. He’s been a journalist for 22 years, having worked at CBC for the past nine years as a reporter and producer and winning many awards for his journalism. Nick has published and edited magazines, been a crime reporter, hosted TV programs and radio programs. He’s also lectured on journalism at Ryerson University, Seneca College, Sheridan College and Centennial College. Nick also coaches basketball at Sheridan College and for the Bounce Basketball Association, where his 13 year-old son Sydney plays.

SUANNE KELMAN

Suanne KelmanSuanne has been a professor at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University since 1993, having served as the school's interim chair from 2004 to 2005. She worked for seven years as the arts producer on the CBC radio show Sunday Morning, and was a producer on The Journal. Before and after joining the school, she produced several documentaries for the CBC radio program Ideas. She has also written for Toronto Life, R.O.B. Magazine, Chatelaine, Shape and a host of other magazines and newspapers.