Emergency Broadcaster: CBC's Role

  • National Emergencies

    From time to time, in cases of national emergency, CBC makes itself available to get important information to Canadians in a timely fashion. The decision to do so rests with Senior Management.

    We, however, will still continue to conduct our journalism in the usual manner. The fact that CBC is acting in the role of Emergency Broadcaster does not affect journalistic pursuit.

  • Disappearances and Amber Alerts

    Disappearances, especially disappearances of children, capture media attention. In these circumstances we play a role by publishing information to facilitate the search for and return of the missing person – notably under the Amber Alert protocol. At the same time, we keep a critical distance and report the facts while treating those involved with consideration.

    In many Canadian municipalities and regions, CBC has adhered to an Amber Alert protocol for quick, regular and continuing broadcast and publication of information facilitating the search for a missing child who police believe has been abducted and who could be in danger. This information generally includes details identifying the missing child and can be broadcast or posted online while the Amber Alert is in effect. To determine the conditions under which this information is published and the point at which its publication should cease, we refer to the procedures put in place by CBC for deployment of an Amber Alert.

    If the person is found and charges are laid in connection with the disappearance, we follow the usual rules and practices concerning identification of accused persons, witnesses and victims regardless of their prior identification in broadcasts of publications while the search was ongoing.

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