Friday, August 24, 2012

"Taking Responsibility" - the Spring 2012 CBC Radio Two audience survey

One of the popular buzz-phrases these days seems to be “take responsibility”. People are being urged to “take responsibility” for their actions, or are stepping up to “take responsibility” for what they’ve done, even when it seems there is no need to do so.

For example, Jared Connaughton, the member of the Canadian 4 x 100 metre relay team who caused the Canadian team to be disqualified, was quoted as saying “he had to step up and take responsibility” for the disqualification. Teammates were quoted as praising Mr. Connaughton for stepping up and “taking responsibility” for the disqualification.

Why was it necessary for Mr. Connaughton to “take responsibility”? It was an accident. I very much doubt that he deliberately stepped on a lane line to disqualify the team. Stuff happens. There was no need to “take responsibility”.

Michael Bryant, the former Attorney-General for Ontario who was involved in the accidental death of Darcy Allen Sheppard, recently appeared on “The Current” on CBC Radio One. Listeners subsequently castigated Mr. Bryant for not “taking responsibility” for his actions. What actions? He attempted to flee from an individual who was attacking him and, in doing so, Mr. Sheppard died. There was no evidence that Mr. Bryant acted in a deliberate manner to harm Mr. Sheppard. It was an accident. What does it mean for Mr. Bryant to “take responsibility” for an accident?

I’m sure pundits, critics and media commentators will be urging Lance Armstrong to “take responsibility” for his alleged doping infractions. But Mr. Armstrong denies the allegations. What should he be “taking responsibility” for?

It’s one thing to be told to “take responsibility” for something that you didn’t do, had no intention of doing or was an accident, and quite another thing to “take responsibility” for something that you knowingly, deliberately did.

Which brings us to the CBC and the latest BBM radio survey data. When will someone from the CBC step up to the plate, belly up to the bar, [insert favourite saying here] and “take responsibility” for the CBC Radio Two restructuring fiasco?

Without further ado, here is the table summarizing the decline in the CBC Radio Two listening audience since the CBC embarked on their audacious plan to “restructure” Radio Two. As can be seen from the table, the audience for CBC Radio Two has been decimated in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton since the restructuring effort was initiated. Anyone willing to “take responsibility” for this fiasco?