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Rae executive slams CBC

Broadcaster stands by coverage

Kevin Wilson
Northern News Services

Rae (May 07/01) - CBC radio has been accused of painting a "distorted picture" of the relationship between the members of Dogrib Rae Band and their elected leaders.

The chief and council took the step of issuing a press release criticizing the broadcaster for its coverage of public meetings held in Rae last week.

CBC got wind of the public meeting and sent a reporter to cover the event. Listeners were treated to the sound of band members, including North Slave MLA Leon Lafferty criticizing band leadership and demanding more accountability, particularly on budget matters.

"Unfortunately," the press release says, "negative comments seem to make better press and can result in a distortion of reality if not addressed in proper context and in a professional manner by the media."

Clifford Daniels, a sub-chief of the Dogrib Rae Band, says that the coverage "seems to focus on all the negatives."

Daniels adds that, "elected people here representing the community are transparent." He further noted that band council stands for election every three years, and if band members are dissatisfied with the council, then they can vote them out at election time.

Peter Skinner, Program Manager for CBC radio in the NWT says he stands by the stories.

"Our policy is fair, accurate and balanced reporting for everyone."

Skinner says that since the segments aired, he has had "cordial" meetings with band leaders. Since the first segment aired, the CBC says that the band has denied them access to public meetings.

Skinner says the radio station has received "no complaints" from members of the general public about the news and current affairs stories on the Dogrib Rae Band.