If you hadn’t noticed, Canada’s public broadcaster does satire, and it appears to be making some people (myself included), deeply uncomfortable.
Earlier this week, the CBC published an article titled: “The government of Canada makes saying ‘Thank You’ illegal,” from Radio Canada’s satire show This is That.
That satire piece likely brought more traffic than any other piece done by the CBC, according to Content Studio, with over 100,000 shares, it was the fourth most popular article in the country over the last seven days, being only surpassed by the passing of Bob Einstein, as well as two hard-core conspiracy theories.
While I normally greatly enjoy satire pieces, the content I’ve received from the CBC has been far more worrying than the traditional bouts of momentary stress followed by laughter provided by the typical Beaverton story.
What is the problem with the CBCs Satire section?
That overall feeling of awkwardness appears to be a result of the individual providing the information, namely the CBC, as well as the way it is delivered, directly on their platform with minimal distinction.
When visiting the site, articles that are satirical receive a satire tag as displayed in the following photo.
And that is literally it.
In the age where a bulk of readers simply skim headlines on Facebook or Instagram, it isn’t hard to imagine thousands of Canadians actually falling for some of the other crazy pieces done by the CBC. Especially considering the lack of discernible branding.
Many Canadians have an extremely high, and perhaps undeserved regard for our state broadcaster, and in many cases will simply believe what is published in the organization’s respective headlines.
Even now, most Canadians do disagree with any cuts to the funding of the CBC,
So what should be done?
Realistically, few would expect the perhaps one piece of funny and enjoyable content being produced by the CBC This is That to tone down, in reality, it would seem fairer for the CBC to stop using its government grants to produce and distribute every piece of random of random content known to man.
It should use those saved resources to focus on high-end original content that Canadians need, and leave the satire to places we already expect to receive it from such as the Onion or the Beaverton.
If it did that, perhaps its flagship shows such as The National which are designed to keep Canadians informed would finally begin to gain a viewership.
At the end of the day, regardless of how entertaining, it seems bizarre that the public broadcaster is spending government funds to produce far more impactful misinformation, rather than high quality content designed to keep Canadians engaged.
Let’s face it. CBC is no Buzzfeed and it’s certainly no McSweeney’s. So perhaps it is time the
What do you think? Join the conversation by commenting below!