Since October 31st, 1960, Global Television has been a staple in many households across British Columbia. First branded as CHAN, it operated solely as an independent station before joining the network formula in 1965. By 1971, CHAN became BCTV until 2001 when it then adopted the ‘Global BC’ brand. Known primarily for its newscasts and popular on-air personalities like Tony Parsons, Pamela Martin, Bill Good and Deb Hope, BCTV/Global BC was once one of the top-rated networks for British Columbians to get their news due to their honest, respectful reporting. Watching Global back in the day was like a breath of a fresh air. If you had a bad day, you could come home, kick back and turn on the news. It’s hard to describe but there was a strange sense of comfort.
As with any major network, Global has gone through a number of changes – some good, some bad…but mostly bad. The veterans of Global have since moved on to greener pastures – Bill Good and Pamela Martin left for CTV, Tony Parsons retired, as did Deb – though some still remain (Squire Barnes and Mark Madryga, to name a few.) The departures of the vets, however, made room for some new, fresh faces like Robin Stickley, Kristi Gordon and Chris Gailus. Still, Global remained a popular choice for news for many BC residents.
It wasn’t until 2015 that viewership of the network started to steadily decline. This was, due in part, to Jill Krop – another BCTV/Global vet – making the move from anchor to station manager and news director. The initial shock to viewers came when Steve Darling, long-time morning news co-host, was abruptly let go from the network after 18 years. What was once a reverential network with honest storytelling turned into one that seemed to be more about shock value and TMZ-esque reporting. This became glaringly obvious on November 1st, 2016, when Krop and the network heads made the decision to air video of the shocking, brutal murder of Abbotsford Senior Secondary student Letisha Reimer. Global chose to air the gruesome, unedited video despite numerous pleas from the Reimer family and Abbotsford Police that they not do so. Naturally, the network received plenty of backlash as a result. A petition was even created calling for the resignation of Jill Krop, which garnered over 1,500 signatures. Still, the network didn’t budge. The horrific video remained both on news broadcasts and their website; and, instead of apologizing to the family or other individuals who had to witness such a tragic event only to be further traumatized by Global choosing to repeatedly show the video as if it were their most prized posession, cold-hearted crow Jill Krop took to the CKNW airwaves – not to make right by the Reimer family, Global viewers, or anyone in the city of Abbotsford, but to further justify the network’s decision to show the video, citing “public interest.”
Then, just a few short days ago on April 17th, Global reporter Tanya Beja outed current Green Party candidate Nicola Spurling. This, too, caused Global to receive plenty of backlash, but rather than taking responsibility for their mistake, Global instead placed the blame on Green Party staff, saying it was they who revealed the information about Spurling’s sexuality, with Jill Krop stating they were under the belief that it was already public knowledge. Regardless of whether or not the Green Party gave Global this information, it is irresponsible to out anyone as transgender on such a public forum. It’s also a known fact that trans individuals are much more prone to violence than those who are heterosexual, bisexual, or straight, and what Global did was downright dangerous. Spurling says she did not give consent for information on her sexuality to be released, nor did she consent to it being used in Global’s story.
For Global, fact-checking seems to be a thing of the past with click-bait and shock value taking its place, and if they continue on this path then it may very well be the end of the network – which, in all honesty, wouldn’t be such a bad thing.