CBC/Radio-Canada, the public broadcaster in Canada, has paused its activities on its corporate and news Twitter accounts after the social media platform labelled its @CBC account as “government-funded media.” Twitter also labelled some media outlets in several countries as “state-affiliated” or “government-funded.” According to Twitter, “government-funded media” is defined as outlets where the government provides some or all of the outlet’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.
Corporate spokesperson Leon Mar stated that Twitter’s move undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do and falsely described their independence. “Consequently, we will be pausing our activity on our corporate Twitter account and all CBC and Radio-Canada news-related accounts,” Mar said. The pause will also apply to all CBC Sports accounts, entertainment-related accounts such as CBC-TV and radio programs, and any regional accounts.
CBC News accounts will remain on pause until a “moment to assess” Twitter’s actions has taken place, said Editor in Chief Brodie Fenlon. He noted that “our journalistic independence is the cornerstone of who we are as a public broadcaster. Suggesting otherwise is inaccurate and untrue.”
This latest move by Twitter has sparked controversy among public broadcasters in Canada, with some questioning the platform’s criteria for labelling media outlets as “government-funded.” The Canadian Association of Journalists called the labelling “problematic” and stated that it does not provide enough information to help readers understand the relationship between news organizations and the government.
CBC/Radio-Canada has been a public broadcaster in Canada for over 80 years, providing Canadians with access to news, sports, entertainment, and educational content. Its funding comes from the federal government, but it operates independently of government influence in its editorial decisions.