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The CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, says it will shut down its news bureau in Beijing after failing to secure a work visa for a new journalist to continue a 40-year presence in China.
The move follows efforts by the CBC to secure a visa for Philippe Leblanc, a reporter with Radio-Canada, the pubcaster’s French-language service, being met with months-long silence. “While there has been no dramatic expulsion or pointed public statements, the effect is the same. We can’t get visas for our journalists to work there as permanent correspondents,” Brodie Fenlon, editor-in-chief of CBC News, said in a blog.
Leblanc will relocate to Taiwan as the CBC looks for a new home for its East Asia news bureau. The Canadian broadcaster shuttering its Beijing bureau follows renewed concerns over censorship and intimidation of the media in China, including freedom of expression for the film industry.
In May 2022, Russia’s Foreign Ministry stripped the visas and accreditation for CBC journalists in their Moscow bureau after the Canadian government had the country’s TV regulator bar broadcasts of Russia Today and RT France from authorized distribution in Canada.
That led to the expulsion of CBC Moscow correspondent Briar Stewart following a 44-year presence by the Canadian pubcaster in Russia. “When it comes to Russia and China, at this moment in time, we will have to find new and different ways to continue to bring Canadians the best in international and world coverage of events and people in the region,” Fenlon wrote.
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