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Richard Therrien May 25, 2012
Pro-students accuse the media of giving too much of a voice to the police representatives as well as showing the same images of violence, over and over. On the other hand, the anti-strike group considers RDI as too obliging with the students and thinks too much airtime is given to the demonstrations. LCN too much to the right? RDI too much to the left?
Who is right in this debate that, actually, touches all medias? This is an inevitable debate in this period of crisis that divides the population like never before. One thing is certain: numbers of listeners of 24-hour media outlets have exploded in the last few weeks, with RDI leading LCN in surveys. Although complaining, people are still watching.
RDI director, Luce Julien, confirms having received an unusually high number of complaints during the last weeks. “I do not remember such heated discussion on one topic since the referendum of 1995. It is reflected in the complaints we receive. Interviews are criticized almost equally by both sides.”
However, she remains firm: RDI offers a just and fair coverage of the crisis. “We do not adopt a position. RDI’s main mission is to cover events as they happen. A secondary goal is to explore subjects further. RDI has managed this “tour de force”, in particular with programs such as 24 heures en 60 minutes. Julien fights back accusations that RDI favors images that show violence.
An alternative to traditional news outlets, Concordia University’s ConcordiaCUTVmontreal.ca is the media revelation of this conflict. Founded two years ago, it attracts up to 100,000 Internet users daily according to Station Manager, Laura Kneale. Clearly pro-students, CUTV comments, moment by moment, the evolution of the demonstrations and provides more direct images than RDI and LCN.