Not easy for female journalists on TV

Not easy for female TV journalists

UPGRADE DAY

Female journalists have never had an easy career in television.

Lisa LaFlamme, anchor of CTV National News, téléjournal, is the most recent to abruptly disappear from the screen for reasons that remain unclear. She's probably not the last. In her case, as Radio-Canada did in that of Pascale Nadeau, the CTV network, owned by Bell Media, will sponsor an “independent” investigation to shed light on the reasons that prompted Karine Moses, vice-president of Bell Media, and Michael Melling, its vice-president of information, to end his contract two years before the expiration.

Does it take a fortune teller to predict that there is little chance that the “investigators” will end up proving Lisa LaFlamme right? The firm that Radio-Canada had hired to “investigate” the departure of Pascale Nadeau favored management and produced a report that has not been made public. Pascale Nadeau herself could not read it. The case is now before the courts, Pascale Nadeau having started a lawsuit against her employer. Luce Julien, director of information at Radio-Canada, can now invoke the sub judice to remain silent.

CAN MONEY BUY PEACE ?

Will Lisa LaFlamme sue CTV? An important person from Bell Media, whose name I must not mention, told me that he was offered a substantial sum to end his contract. Will it be enough to buy peace? For the moment, the five million times (these are the latest figures) that the video in which she announces her departure has been viewed should reassure her of the attachment that the regulars of her television news had for her. Unfortunately, despite his popularity, his departure will likely have little impact on CTV National News viewing. This is what the management of Bell Media must count on.

Women journalists have never had it easy on television. The French network of Radio-Canada gave them a more important place than the English network and than the private networks, paradoxically, they did not have an enviable fate. 

YET WAY TO GO 

I who knew Judith Jasmin well and who accompanied her until her last breath, I can affirm that her relations with Radio-Canada were always tense, especially when she was a correspondent in Washington. He was criticized for his independence of mind, not to say his “bad spirit”, a fashionable accusation in the societies and institutions of the time. Judith, who was almost always a freelancer, ended her days more than modestly.

This was also the fate of the excellent journalist and host Andréanne Lafond, with whom I worked. on the show Carrefour. She too had an “evil spirit”, it was said. So we stopped using her services when she was in her fifties and still in full possession of her faculties. Even though Madeleine Poulin had brilliantly hosted the magazine Le point for a decade, Radio-Canada decided to give it a facelift by replacing her with Jean-François Lépine. It was also to get a makeover that Michèle Viroly was removed from the news to be assigned to RDI with the intention of making her present Les grands reportages, an insignificant task. Louise Arcand was 40 years old when Radio-Canada abruptly dismissed her from the 6 p.m. newscast. She, too, was said to have a bad temper. This is what Radio-Canada must still think, condemned to pay him $400,000 for wrongful dismissal. 

Despite the convictions and the momentary clamor of viewers, women journalists are not yet treated on the same footing as men on television. 

Not easy for women journalists on television