By Thulasi Srikanthan
RyeSAC and Ryerson University will not pressure CKLN to ban a show former police chief Julian Fantino said promotes “hate-mongering” towards police officers.
Officials from both groups say it is not their place to interfere. Fantino recently said Ryerson should ban Bad Cop, No Donut!, which is broadcast out of Ryerson’s campus every Thursday morning.
The show deals with criminal and disciplinary charges faced by North American cops ranging from corruption to robbery. Kristin Schwartz, CKLN’s news director, said there is nothing wrong with the show’s content.
“These are the people who are entrusted with the safety and security of the community and in cases where they violate that, it is a matter of public concern.”
Ron Anicich, Bad Cop, No Donut! host, said he is only reporting the truth about police abuse. “I just list a bunch of facts.” A central concern for the police was the show’s e-mail address, which has been changed from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com. Anicich, who has been with CKLN for 15 years, said he made the change because he felt the original address reflected poorly on the level of journalism in his program.
Bruce Piercey, a spokesperson for Ryerson, said the university hasn’t contacted the station about Fantino’s comments. “CKLN is a separately incorporated organization,” Piercey said. “It is responsible for its own content.”
Ryerson President Claude Lajeunesse clarified this distinction, and his appreciation for “51 division in particular,” in a letter to the editor the next day.
CKLN, known initially as CRFM, was created in 1978 as a campus radio station and was managed and staffed by students. In 1983, CKLN became a community radio station after receiving its FM licence. CKLN has since evolved into being staffed by mostly non-Ryerson community members.
RyeSAC provides the station with space and more than $90,000 in student fees this year. “The student government decides what to do with their money; the university does not have a say in that,” said Lajeunesse. Derek Isber, vice president of finance and services, said though RyeSAC provides space, it views CKLN as an independent media source. Anicich said it is students who influence the content of his show, not the administration.
“If a lot of students have a problem, that might concern us,” he said. However, most of the response so far, Anicich said, has been overwhelmingly positive.
Fantino’s attempts to get the show banned have had the opposite effect, Anicich said. Since Fantino’s comments became public, Anicich has been inundated with e-mails and featured in the Toronto Star, AM 640, CBC and CTV.
“I don’t get how that is stopping me,” he said. “A lot of people are paying attention to me who didn’t know me before.”