Last week NDP MP Jinny Sims demanded action against Rogers for shutting down its ethnic-language newscasts across its OMNI TV stations.
Tam Goossen, the past President of Urban Alliance and Race Relations was on CBC Metro Morning fulminating about the decision as well. Now an ad hoc committee has been put together to fight the decision and to lodge a complaint against the CRTC. An online petition has been started to pressure Rogers to reverse its decision but the truth is that with the rise of 24-hour crystal clear satellite broadcasts from dozens of countries, ethnic immigrants see little or no need to tune in to local broadcasts in their own language.
A decade ago, many more immigrants kept abreast of local issues in their local language news broadcasts, but with the rise of the internet and satellite television one has so many more options.
OMNI’s ethnic-language newscasts interviewed ethnic people and put across their viewpoints. Experts and community leaders received airtime. Issues often which were ignored by the mainstream television channels got aired.
Rather than trying to resurrect OMNI’s ethnic-language newscasts, CRTC should try to formulate a plan to encourage other television channels to not only cover ethnic community issues but also to interview and hire ethnic personalities.