Monday, March 31, 2008

Tod Maffin Censors Public Opinion

In response to a discussion I was having with Chris Foley at his impressive blog ...

the unedited version

the public-is-allowed-to-see-this version ...

1 comment:

Tod Maffin said...

Re: The post on Chris' blog, here's a comment I left there.

Hey, thanks for the post!

I thought I'd clarify some of the points you and Allan have raised.

First, I haven't deleted **a single comment** because of its content or that it disagrees with the CBC. ( was an idea that *I* pitched to the Corp, specifically to give people a place to raise their concerns.)

Provided the comments aren't off-topic, contain content or links to defamatory/personal attacks, or otherwise fall outside the liberal (small-L, people!! {grin} ) comments policy, they're approved. Hell, I post stuff that CBC executives don't like all the time!

Here are just a few links to posts I've written in the last three weeks which senior management CLEARLY would rather not exist:

Never once (despite my friend Allan's claim) have I been told to remove anything by management. Have I changed headlines and content? Yes. Did I do so secretly because management told me to? Not a chance.

You mention the CBC orchestra posting specifically. I think you'll find if you go through the blog that not only did I go to their protest and cover it (posting the content within 15 minutes of it ending), I've also been quite active in the "anti-CBC" groups on Facebook, trying to help give people a way of reaching CBC senior management.

Hell, even Allan thought I did a good job, saying "Great that you covered this, Tod. Good work" in the comments. :-)

But Allan's claim that I don't approve his comments are just inaccurate. The moderators, including myself, have approved more than 150 of his comments -- MANY of which personally criticize me and my handling of the blog.

Here's just a sampling of the comments Allan has posted which have been approved, and exist today, on the blog:

-- "Why is there no credit for the reporter you got this story and all the facts from?" (In fact, the source was quoted.)

-- "Wasn't Don Cherry voted one of the 10 Greatest Canadians? Seems insidecbc has another opinion."

-- "Great response to the cynicism, Ms. Andres. I'll venture that Tod would be more supportive and less inclined to call it spam if you would simply mention him as often as possible, as cait indicated at the start of these comments."

-- "That's neat how you're allowed to take content from internal-only documents, and hold it up for ridicule."

-- "You certainly like to direct how other people should talk. This is the second time I've noticed you going off on this irrelevant complaint."

-- "I don't really get why this long post is here on a CBC website.
Doesn't the CMG have a website of it's own that it can use to talk to it's members? Why should the CBC be doing it's work for them?"

-- "So you'd like to think that Canadians are more discerning? What an absurd remark."

This is only what I found in the first three pages of Allan's comments. There are 14 pages in total.

(Allan is secretly in love with me, though, so he'll spend a great deal of time replying to this. It's awesome. :-)

You wrote:

> Inside The CBC... treads the fine
> line between in-house employee
> blog and public blog.

Yep. Officially, the blog's PRIMARY audience is CBC employees. But there's plenty of crossover, of course. What CBC fans/haters are interested in, is also likely of interest to employees.

> As is the case with corporate
> blogs, Inside the CBC may be
> subject to some sort of in-house
> censorship in order for the
> company (the CBC) to present a
> unified public image.

Nope. I choose what to post. Period. CBC management and producers, of course, "pitch" me on things they'd like to see, but it's always up to me whether to post them or not.

See for more information about the editorial policy.

> the Canadian
> Broadcasting Corporation may have
> an ethical and democratic
> responsibility to maintain the
> freedom of speech on its in-house
> organs in order to reflect the
> views of the taxpayers that fund
> the public corporation.

Totally! I absolutely agree! That's why I convinced the CBC to do the blog in the first place. Anyone who knows me personally knows I'm VERY passionate about the CBC, and that includes pointing out areas we can improve as much as promoting shows.

In fact, during the 2005 lockout, I ran a blog about the CBC which was often critical of the Corporation's decisions.

At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna, I genuinely believe in the mandate of the CBC. It's why I have chosen to work there. That doesn't mean I agree with everything the CBC is doing (cancelling prime-time TV shows after just a single season, for instance).

What I *DO* believe in is helping the CBC providing another outlet for talking to Canadians about what we do, how we can improve, and why we're in this in the first place.


What's your problem?

Tod Maffin's version of absolute power.
I wrote a comment at a famous blog.
Tod didn't like it, and took the intial steps of legal action to have it removed.
He was successful.

It made me an unhappy camper.
And I happen to really like it here.

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