Canada’s premier investigative documentary program, the fifth estate, will first air “The Denial Machine” on CBC-TV on Wednesday, November 15, at 8:00 p.m. The program’s Web site promo says: “Call them sceptics, deniers, or naysayers. They are scientists that see themselves as keepers of the truth about global warming: that it is a theory only, not a scientific fact, some even call it a hoax. Who are they? They may be small in number, but they have rich and powerful allies—the oil industry and the U.S. government.” Among those interviewed for this program were White House CEQ Chairman James Connaughton, Pat Michaels, Fred Singer, Ross Gelbspan, Kert Davies, and Climate Science Watch Director Rick Piltz.
For more than three decades, the fifth estate has been Canada’s premier investigative documentary program, acquainting viewers with a dazzling parade of political leaders, shady characters and ordinary people whose lives were touched by triumph or tragedy. After airing more than 1,600 stories and more than 600 shows, the program has become a ritual for millions of Canadians from coast to coast. These numbers reflect an appetite for the weekly dose of thought-provoking, insightful journalism practiced by the fifth, which often makes headlines and influences public policy. Its stories are routinely shown around the world as well.
In addition to its impact among viewers and on society, the fifth estate is also recognized by its peers. It has won a remarkable 243 awards, including an Oscar for best documentary, three international Emmy Awards, 28 Geminis, 20 awards and certificates for investigative reporting from the Canadian Association of Journalists and dozens of honours from The New York and Columbus International film and video festivals.
We aren’t interested in a lot of the distractions of the mass media. We’re not into marketing and we’re not into celebrity. We’re interested in getting information, in exploring important issues and illuminating public policy, and about telling the stories in a strong narrative fashion. The mission of the program could also be described this way; to be the home of incisive and original investigative journalism, to challenge assumptions and question conventional wisdom, and most importantly to give voice to victims of injustice who deserve to be heard but have been silenced.