CBC has established what they call a "Local News Directory" which provides users with an option to find what CBC declares to be trusted media sources within their communities.
The directory was developed alongside News Media Canada according to CBC. CBC did not mention that News Media Canada is a registered lobbyist group. The organization was involved in lobbying the Trudeau government for the controversial $595 million media bailout announced last year. They are also responsible in part for distributing those funds, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
According to their website, News Media Canada "lobbies against legislation potentially harmful to newspapers and freedom of the press."
The President and CEO of CBC, Catherine Tait stated "[now] more than ever, Canadians need access to a variety of credible news sources. Having a strong media ecosystem with a diversity of voices is essential to the health of our democracy."
CBC did not provide a metric for determining which media outlets are considered credible, but the chair of the board Michael Goldbloom said that such a directory is necessary due to "misinformation about COVID-19 [spreading] like wildfire." He argued that local news sources have "never been more important" in ensuring trustworthy and accurate news is reported.
Some publications are noticeably absent from the directory. The Halifax Examiner noted that a number of local Nova Scotia publications, including their own, is absent from the database.
CBC encouraged those who could not find local media outlets on the directory to contact News Media Canada or their local news media association.
Some, however, have questioned the neutrality of an organization like News Media Canada, which hired Liberty Party lobbyist and former parliamentary candidate Isabel Metcalfe in 2018 to lobby the government on behalf of a media bailout. Metcalfe, who describes herself as "a hard core Liberal," is married to former Stéphane Dion advisor and convicted tax evader Herbert Metcalfe.
CBC has also been regularly questioned on their apparent lack of neutrality, a line of questioning which becomes more relevant when discussing potential competitors. Earlier this year, CBC published an article lambasting this publication for being "less journalism and more pamphleteering." The CBC, meanwhile, has faced regular accusations of bias in favour of the Trudeau Liberals.
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