CBC Manitoba launches Community Advisory Board to expand coverage of underrepresented communities


CBC Manitoba is launching a community advisory board to help inform how it covers news and issues in the province – the first of its kind for CBC.

The council is made up of 19 members who reflect the ethno-cultural, socio-economic, geographic and political diversity of Manitoba.

Although they do not oversee editorial decisions, they will provide general feedback to the Winnipeg Newsroom on programming and advice on specific reporting projects, and may be called upon as a sounding board at press events. news.

“As we think about reflecting our community and engaging our community, it’s one more way for us to add to the number of voices we hear and the insights we get,” said John Bertrand, Senior Managing Director from CBC for the Prairie region.

The hope is that the initiative will help CBC Manitoba better reflect the communities it serves and the changing nature of Canada, Bertrand said.

“We are here to serve our community. We are here to serve Manitobans and, by extension, Canadians,” which is why it is important to hear “their voices, perspectives and lived experiences,” said he declared.

“The more we listen and the more we hear about what matters to people and why it matters and how it affects their lives, it should enrich our storytelling and broaden our storytelling and make us more relevant.”

Unique approach

The council is a pilot project and a first for CBC, but the concept is not new.

Other newsrooms around the world such as BBC, National Public Radio in the United States and private American companies such as McClatchy Newspapers and the San Diego Union-Tribune have also adopted the community advisory board model.

While some newsrooms in Canada have formed advisory councils in the past, CBC Manitoba’s is unique in that it draws on a wide range of people with different lived experiences to give feedback to the room. releases throughout the year, says a community engagement consultant and instructor.

Anita Li, who worked with CBC to develop the board, says it could help CBC Manitoba better connect with the audiences it serves, which also has broader implications.

“It fills in gaps in coverage so you have a holistic understanding of the whole province, and it’s also a way to support local democracy,” she said.

“For me…the end goal is actually to engage people in the democratic process by reflecting their lives in journalism.”

The members of the council are:

  • Seid Ahmed, a former Ethiopian journalist who works as Director of (Re)settlement and Integration Support for the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations.
  • Dieth Aquino de Leon, a non-binary Filipino healthcare worker with a passion for social work and mental health issues.
  • Jennifer Brisson, who works with inmates across Manitoba in her role as Program Manager at Initiatives for Just Communities.
  • Amy Chegus, a mother of four who has lived in various parts of Manitoba.
  • Patty Douglas, educational researcher at Brandon University and mother of an autistic son.
  • Anna Marie Gobenciong, a former journalist for the Manila Broadcasting Company in the Philippines.
  • Izzeddin Hawamda, a teacher who grew up in the West Bank and co-founder of Gaser-Bridge (a Palestinian-Israeli interfaith dialogue group).
  • Alia Harb, a long-time community volunteer.
  • Doretta Harris, who currently serves as Acting Regional Director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority/Shared Care Aboriginal Health Program.
  • Shannon Huynh, who was born and raised in Winnipeg.
  • Kristine Janz, a divisional school trustee who hopes to bring a rural perspective to the board.
  • Paula Keirstead, a community activist and a woman living with a disability.
  • Naomi Ruth Letkemann, a lifelong Winnipegger who worked with many not-for-profit organizations in the city after leaving a teaching career.
  • Raj Maniar, who has been in the bar and restaurant industry for 25 years.
  • Garrett Munch, who has a background in biochemical engineering and works for the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Felicita Ovadje, a lawyer and beauty entrepreneur.
  • Allan Pineda, one of the founders of the non-profit Kultivation Festival FAMD (Food, Art, Music, Dance) and a member of the Filipino and cannabis communities in Manitoba.
  • Bobbi Thompson, volunteer and organizer of several initiatives in northern Manitoba.
  • Brandi Woodhouse, a Anishiniaabe Ikwe of Pinaymootang First Nation, owner and founder of RezGal Lashes Inc.

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