CBC’s RCI dropping Ukrainian bureau

rci

As CBC slashes 800 jobs, Simon at Ukrainian Time passes along the sad news about the shutting down of it’s RCI Ukrainian bureau – an international broadcasting service that served Ukraine from Canada:

Ukrainian Section No More at RCI

The Ukrainian Section at Radio Canada International (RCI) was cut. The surprise announcement was made this afternoon to the 2-member personnel of the section. The half-hour program was aired Saturdays and Sundays since it was cut in half in November 2004, after over 50 years of broadcasting on a daily basis.

Even though the press in Ukraine appears relatively free, the same cannot be said of its big neighbor next door. The International Press Institute (IPI) has included the Russian Federation on its Watch List. Ukrainian territorial integrity has been threatened by the Russian leadership in the recent past. One should question the wisdom in pulling the plug on a service that gives a bird’s eye view of a thriving democracy. Canada offers a beacon of hope to the millions of Ukrainians who have wrestled with the Russian and Soviet Empires and have declared its independence on 5 separate occasions during the 20th century. Thankfully under the Conservative Mulroney government, Canada became the first western nation to recognize Ukraine ‘s independence in 1991.

The present Conservative minority government has made inroads in the Canadian ethnic newspapers, radio and television, knowing that it represents 35% of Canadian media. Their message is sent to an often overlooked voter-ship – hence they are looking for more votes, especially in the next election, hoping to secure a majority government.

If Canadians (especially of Ukrainian descent) do not wish that this important service to our ancestral homeland, UKRAINE cease, then a public outcry is in order.After 57 years, the final Ukrainian-language broadcast at RCI is slated for this Saturday-Sunday, March 28-29, 2009.

Radio Canada International has been broadcasting around the World since 1945. RCI’s mandate is to increase awareness of Canadian values, as well as its social, economic and cultural activities to specific geographic areas as determined in consultation with the government of Canada. RCI also has the complementary mandate of addressing these same topics to new immigrants to Canada.

Radio Canada International produces daily and weekly programs in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic and Portuguese. A wide variety of programs produced by CBC/Radio-Canada are also available.

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