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CAB – 2007-08 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is the national voice of Canada’s private broadcasters, representing the vast majority of Canadian programming services including private television and radio stations, networks and specialty, pay and pay-per view television services. The CAB is pleased to present its 2007-08 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting (the Report) to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).Advancing diversity involves the broad-based inclusion of ethnocultural groups, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and other under-represented groups within the broadcasting industry. This inclusion – achieved through a mix of initiatives that promotes diversity in a variety of different ways – is fundamentally important to the strengthening of Canada’s unique broadcasting system.
The advancement of diversity also works to fulfill the responsibilities of broadcasters within the context of the Broadcasting Act to ‘…serve the needs and interests and reflect the circumstances and aspirations…the linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society and the special place of aboriginal peoples within that society.’1
The diversity found within the Canadian social fabric has never been more evident. The numbers released by the Government of Canada, drawn from the last national census, are compelling: over five million Canadians now identify themselves as non-white, representing over 16 percent of our population (an increase of 25 percent over the previous census).
At the same time, over four million Canadians reported some form of disability in the last national census. With our aging population – some 43 percent of those over the age of 65 reports having a disability – the number of Canadians with disabilities is a rapidly expanding part of the Canadian populace.
Broadcasters have identified a compelling business rationale that drives the advancement of diversity within our industry, since the creation of more dynamic, diverse programming and the development of diverse workforces (such as on-air talent from ethnocultural groups) can attract larger viewing and listening audiences, enhance relationships with local communities and create new streams of revenue for broadcasters.
In addition, greater diversity in private broadcasting means greater reflection of Canada’s highly diverse population, enabling audiences to see and hear themselves through programming, corporate practices and community-based initiatives.
The CAB continues to play a major role in leading the development and implementation of many diversity initiatives. The initiatives and activities undertaken by the CAB over the past year are wide-ranging, and have had a positive influence in the development of diversity in the broadcasting sector as a whole.
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