“Being informed means being free,” said René Lévesque. For 46 years, Pierre Bruneau has fulfilled this important task with intelligence and humanity: to inform as many people as possible.
His departure from the ether gave everyone a chance to gauge the magnitude of what the man has accomplished. 46 years. I was 6 years old when he sat in the chair and the PQ had not yet taken power.
To the largest number
His career is not only immense in terms of duration, number of bulletins, probity or professionalism. Pierre Bruneau’s career is even more immense because of his profound impact on Quebec society. By presenting the information, explaining it, and singled out his collaborators to analyze it, he has done a colossal job of enlightenment and popularization.
I insist on the information addressed to the general public. Information fans run after the news. Radio, television, newspapers devour them while drawing themselves from various sources. But that’s not the majority.
Information needs exist among people with different levels of education, people who work and have limited time to deal with information. Others have less knowledge of history, politics or geography. They have a sincere desire to understand our world, but want us to make the information known.
A short story
Pierre Bruneau arrives at the right place at the right time. In the mid-1970s, television exploded into the ultra-powerful medium we know. Television is also becoming an important information player.
Télé-Métropole has opted for an offer for the general public that is particularly focused on entertainment. It has become a popular channel, but so far relies little on information. The big information events, election evenings, were a matter for the state corporation.
When Pierre arrives, Télé-Métropole (later TVA) begins investing in the creation of an information service worthy of the name. Pierre pushes attitudes, budgets, rigor.
Just as the Edmonton Oilers dynasty was built around Wayne Gretzky, TVA’s news service was built around Pierre Bruneau. His personality forced the close-to-people style, his professionalism forced concern for rigorous work.
Thanks to these impulses, TVA Nouvelles has become a leading information provider. Beyond the normal competition between networks, I keep the power of democratization.
A few years ago it was noted with both satisfaction and surprise that TVA and LCN had dominated international events such as the American and French elections. A big success. One day I realized that it wasn’t so much about driving customers away. The Radio-Canada believers stayed there.
The phenomenon is that, overall, a greater number of Quebecers watched these events live. Thousands of new interested parties who were more concerned with the issues of the world wanted to know and understand.
Pierre Bruneau has tried to inform as many people as possible. With success.