Murdoch Mysteries vs Toronto Election coverage 

This year the CBC has made the decision to not broadcast the results of the Toronto election on TV. The regularly scheduled Murdoch Mysteries will run instead.

Case Study

Traditionally, after the polls close on voting day, ballots are counted, and election results are broadcast on television as they come in.

This year the CBC has made the decision to not broadcast the results of the Toronto election on TV. The regularly scheduled Murdoch Mysteries will run instead.

Some people believe that Canada’s public broadcaster has a responsibility to broadcast the results, because it is funded by taxpayer money and the results are in the public interest.

Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs for the national public broadcaster, explained the decision  in a statement:

“In planning our election night coverage, we considered a variety of options to best address competing priorities and we know through research that audiences want the results on mobile and digital … We’re confident that our coverage of the GTA municipal elections will provide extensive, up-to-date news across all of our platforms.”

Articles:

CBC to air Murdoch Mysteries instead of municipal election
Murdoch’s latest mystery: the case of the missing election coverage

 

Guiding questions:

•  What role does televised coverage play in public understanding of an election campaign, and its results?
•  As Canada’s public broadcaster, what responsibility does the CBC have to bring coverage to the public?
•  What difference might it make what channel coverage comes though? (TV vs online?)
•  Why do you think CBC would have chosen to show Murdoch Mysteries instead of the election returns?
•  What effect might this decision have on who sees the coverage? How engaged they might feel in the election?