Sunday, August 31

We Came In 8th!!! I

We Came In 8th!!!

I was watching some of the World Track and Field Championships on CBC-TV this week. I have to say that I am continually impressed with the fair and level-headed sports reporting that CBC employs. Yes, there is a general bias towards Canadian athletes (as there should be from a Canadian broadcaster), but it seldom seems to get in the way of the actual stories of the various events. This is in stark contrast to the American tactic which employs the 'how does that affect me?' method.

Case in point: tonight one of the featured events was the Women's 5000m. There were two Canadians participating. Over the course of the 14 minutes of the race, the announcers (Canadian) would occasionally comment on the status of 'our girls', but primarily stuck to the story of the race. At the end of the race, the announcers were quite pleased that the Canadian participants finished 8th and 12th, and that the 8th place person set a new national record (and personal best). If the CBC took the 'American' tact, they probably would have had 5 minute 'getting to know her' pieces on each of the CDN participants, and the whole of the race would have been spent focusing on how our girls were doing. Actually, they probably wouldn't have shown the whole of the race (or any of it for a pitiful 8th place payoff), but rather just the 'exciting' final 400m.

Case in point: they've shown many events where Canadians were not even participating, and reported on them well. I realise that one reason for this is that they have 2 hours a night to fill, and there's simply not 2 hours of Canadian action to fill it. Yet, I feel the American approach would be to attempt to fill the 2 hours with as many fluff stories as possible on the few 'national' participants, and only show action that involved them.

So, good work CBC. Thanks for showing us the Italian long-jumpers and Czech hurdlers and American all-sports.

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