CBC News establishes new standard of engagement with its election coverage

    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - CBC News established a new standard for
comprehensive and interactive multiplatform coverage of the federal election
through its unsurpassed engagement with audiences.
    With an integrated approach, making innovative use of its television and
national radio networks, all-news cable channel and multi-function Canada
Votes website, CBC News can lay claim to being the first and best choice of
Canadians for election news where, when and how they wanted it. CBC News also
helped develop a new generation of informed participants in the democratic
process through Student Vote 2008.
    Basing its coverage on the theme "Your Vote, Your Decision, Your News,"
CBC News offered information, insight and real time results to Canadians with
innovations including interactive website-based forums for discussion,
analysis and debate, new, state-of-the-art graphics and full High Definition
broadcasting on the main network.
    "In terms of how issues and events are covered, we've changed the game
with this election campaign," says CBC News Publisher John Cruickshank. "We
know coverage has to be broad as well as deep, so we combined the best
journalists and analysts with the most sophisticated technology to create an
interactive, interconnected group of news platforms accessible to all, but
which could also be customized to suit individual demands. Everyone has
different requirements; we set out to meet virtually all of them. We believe
we succeeded."
    On CBC Television and CBC Newsworld, Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge
led the respected national news team and was joined by many of the country's
leading political analysts along with lively contributions from commentators
and personalities Rex Murphy, Rick Mercer, George Stroumboulopoulos and
others; election night coverage on CBC Radio was led by Kathleen Petty and
Michael Enright, who were joined by political analysts and national reporters
from across the country with follow up coverage on World Report and local
morning shows across the country, The Current and The World at Six. On
election night, CBCNews.ca/canadavotes gave Canadians all the election
results, including up-to-the-minute national and regional tallies, detailed
riding-by-riding vote counts and the latest news and analysis. Throughout the
campaign, Susan Ormiston, the web-savvy journalist behind the popular and
innovative Ormiston Online, monitored internet blogs, chat rooms and Twitter,
and invited viewers to comment on via e-mail and web cams.
    During the campaign, CBC News took audience interaction to new levels
with programs such as Canada Votes: Your Turn. Host Suhana Meharchand asked
voters for their questions and opinions via webcam, email and phone - it was
interactive TV on all platforms. X Challenge with Mark Kelley offered town
hall debates with a twist. Popular candidates fielded probing questions from
live audiences on two key election issues: the environment and the economy.
Audience members were polled on their party affiliation at the start and end
of each program to see if the politicians' arguments swayed their vote.
    "Our coverage came together through the incredible dedication and hard
work of hundreds of CBC staff across the country," Cruickshank said. "Without
false modesty, I think this is an outstanding example of what a public
broadcasting team does to make itself relevant to the Canadians who support
    CBC's main television network attracted an average audience (BBM Canada:
2+AMA) of 1.135 million viewers between 9:30pm and 1:22am, greater than either
CTV or Global. All-news cable channel CBC Newsworld averaged 321,000 viewers
during the same period for a combined total average audience of 1.456 million.
CBC pre-election TV coverage, from 9-9:30pm, averaged 937,000 and 251,000 on
the main network and Newsworld respectively. The Canada Votes 2008 website
captured just under 4 million page views on election day. In addition,
election and post-election coverage was available on CBC Radio One, a leader
in major markets across the country.

    About CBC/Radio-Canada

    CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its
largest cultural institutions. With 28 services offered on radio, television,
the Internet, satellite radio and digital audio, as well as through its record
and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services,
CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where and when Canadians want it. Through
this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse regional and
cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in English, French and
eight aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its international Radio
service, Radio Canada International, and in eight languages on its Web-based
radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and aspiring immigrants to

For further information:

For further information: Jeff Keay, jeff.keay@cbc.ca, (416) 205-3987

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