In Response to CUTV
Something’s rotten in the state of Concordia media.
There are four student media organizations at Concordia. CJLO, the radio station. The Link and The Concordian, the two newspapers. And CUTV, the television station.
Typically, the bulk of the comparisons is between the newspapers, as they serve slightly different but ultimately similar audiences.
But there’s been some discord lately between The Link and CUTV.
When an article in The Gazette over the summer mentioned “a number of student journalists” who felt that CUTV’s slanted coverage would undermine Quebecers’ opinion of student media, CUTV Executive Director Laith Marouf singled out The Link in his replique.
And two weeks ago, when The Link began covering the happenings at CUTV as its Board of Directors fell apart and the university replaced its locks—it would hardly be a campus media outlet if it didn’t cover something like that—Marouf waded into the fray.
In an official posting on CUTV’s website, Marouf suggested that The Link “came out publicly during the strike in opposition of CUTV coverage.”
It did not, nor would it. CUTV’s coverage was, in many ways, laudable. Their journalists, Marouf included, were in the streets day and night, getting video coverage of the size, breadth and intensity of the movement that no other television stations were even attempting.
While not all of The Link’s masthead found themselves in line with the editorialized nature of CUTV’s commentary, their content is their business. When they use official CUTV communiqués to attack The Link, however, it becomes ours as well.
Marouf’s comments are not how the director of a campus media organization receiving at least $230, 000 of student money this year should be conducting himself, and his comments have verged on libelous. And after the bulk of reporting we’ve been doing these last few weeks, it feels like little more than a distraction.
CUTV’s current situation jeopardizes their status as a not-for-profit in Quebec, and the finances we’ve reported on this week demonstrate students have serious reason to question what’s being done with their money.
They have big dreams, and want to become totally separate from the university; fine, but until then they must be held accountable for their use of resources given to them by students.
Student- and community-run media should be distinguishing themselves from the mainstream by offering opportunities for student members to learn and to participate, not sequestering power in the hands of a few—especially amid calls for a new, non-hierarchal CUTV are coming from its membership.
Their books should be open, not full of holes.
They should be spending their money cautiously and efficiently.
They should be striving to provide students with worthwhile services. They shouldn’t be engaging in conspiracy theories and name-calling. By persisting with such things, CUTV is giving fee levy groups a bad name.
We’re doing our job by following up on the CUTV situation, and until it becomes clear what is going on exactly, we’ll keep on it. CUTV needs to quit the slander and do theirs.