CBC report on news balance

CBCAs part of its accountability mandate, CBC periodically analyzes its
news content, published in an interim report called The News Balance Report. Findings include: 59% of
CBC news anchors/programs are hosted by women and 54% of reporters are
male, but only 28% of news subjects were women.

In a news release, CBC explains: “The interim report is based on a 10-week sample of television, radio and internet news between October 26, 2009 and January 17, 2010. The full study will span the 25-week period ending May 2, 2010. A full report on the study, which was initiated in January, 2009, will be released in the fall of 2010.”

Categories analyzed include gender, geography, minorities, topics, interview time and tone.

“Crime and trials make up 11% of CBC network news and 21% of local/regional news. Foreign stories (dateline outside Canada) make up just less than half of CBC network newscasts and less than 10% of local newscasts. Major events have large short-term impacts: in the five days following the Haiti earthquake, 60% of CBC news, both network and local, dealt with the event in some way. On the other hand, Africa and South America together account for just 2% of network news to date.”

“The news is, to a large extent, about tensions and conflicts that exist in the world. People and groups in the news can be described in positive or negative terms, reflecting their role in these conflicts and their success or failure. In this study, tone is measured only for the intro and extro to each story.”

The report found that 26% of CBC stories about the federal government were negative, compared to 20% of stories about the opposition.