In an election campaign that is extraordinary in so many ways, one of the more noteworthy changes is that there could be as many as five English-language leadership debates. More surprising and perplexing still is the way the CBC has abdicated its obligation as our public broadcaster to provide coverage of these events. The CBC, with its unparalleled household penetration, was not among the motley assemblage of television and web outlets that carried the initial Rogers-produced debate last week, nor will it be involved in the Globe and Mail/Google/YouTube effort next month.
The North Pole is a single point on the Arctic map that falls in an area claimed by three countries. Directly beneath this spot, below the polar ice, is the Lomonosov Ridge, now at the centre of a land dispute. Canada, Denmark and Russia are jockeying for exclusive jurisdiction of the submerged mountain range. If the pole went to the country that can best govern it, the winner is Denmark. In second place, Canada would not be bad, especially relative to Russia. But between the two, as one expert told the CBC, "there's absolutely no doubt that the North Pole is most definitely closer to Greenland than it is to Canada." Still, here are some alternative factors to consider:
The number of foreign students has doubled since even 2000. Some 265,000 go to Canada, over 200,000 to Australia, and more than 420,000 to the UK. While the American empire may be in decline, its universities still hold a great allure for the youth of the world for their academic leadership, freedom to explore and create and share, and their inviting and equitable atmosphere.
Political speech is seemingly under attack from the last place we might expect: Canadian media broadcasters, that say parties can't use broadcasters' content in ads. Protecting copyright is not an illegitimate purpose, but this approach is less than ideal for political advertisements. Political parties rely on election advertising to persuade the electorate to vote for them. This political expression is a significantly important aspect of public discourse and should be accorded the highest priority and protection.
Imagine the G20 Leaders (Zuma, Obama, Harper, Pena Nieto, Rousseff, Fernandez de Kirchner, Jinping, Keqiang, Yudhoyono, Abe, Geun-hye, Singh, Putin, Erdogan, Merkel, Hollande, Cameron, Letta, Abdullah and Gillard). Open your eyes. Now imagine 20 girls. What you see are the G(irls)20 Summit delegates.
One of my earliest memories as a child was going to Prince's Island Park in Calgary every June to walk The World Partnership Walk. Back then, I looked forward to it because we made it a family affair. I would head down to the park with my family and it seemed that in exchange for walking a mere 8 kilometers or so, I would receive a delicious chili lunch, have a chance to part in some fun activities, get my face painted and even come away with a few prizes (it was all well worth the stickers).
When a reporter approaches me about a column I wrote on the lack of storytelling in T.V. journalism, I have some explaining to do. "Want to know why broadcast news still starts so many stories at the end ... tells you effect before cause ... is so hard to understand ... to remember?" "Sure," she says. "Let me tell you a story ..."
Recently, I was invited to a happening, an evening "of celebration, comedy, music, and discussion with expert panellists" organized by an obviously worthy volunteer group called Reimagine CBC. Seems Reimagine CBC and another volunteer group have just finished a survey of some 11,000 Canadians aimed at finding out what we, the citizens, want of our CBC.
If there's one rule every one of the scores of broadcast journalists I've ever coached -- in Canada or overseas -- agrees with (at least in theory) it's this: the best broadcaster talks to one person, and only one person, at a time. And shares information with that person. Here some ideas on anchoring.