CBC devotes a section of its web site to accountability and transparency. To achieve these goals the Corporation is required by the government to publish quarterly reports on its performance. The report for the first quarter of 2012-13 has just been released. Inexplicably, the year's first quarterly report does not contain audience targets or past audience data for CBC's main TV and radio services and the report claims the data are not available. Audience data are obviously the most important CBC performance indicators, since they are the ones that tell us how Canadians are responding to CBC TV and radio. The only audience data in the new report relate to cbc.ca and CBC News Network. Data for CBC News Network come from exactly the same source as audience data for CBC's main TV/radio service, so clearly the data are available but CBC has chosen not to report them to the government. Here is what the Corp included in the recent report:
Last year the first quarter's report for 2011-12 included the annual audience targets for radio/TV and the annual results from the previous year; results were then reported in subsequent quarters. Here is what the report looked like last year:
The quarterly report just issued made no mention of either targets for CBC TV or radio in 2012-13 or the performance in 2011-12. The 2011-12 audience data are available of course and their omission in the most recent report raises serious questions about the integrity of CBC's reports to stakeholders. Facing a CRTC licence renewal in November 2012, is it possible that CBC didn't want to reveal major audience losses, which would call into question its current strategy and future plans?