There is more to be said about Andrew Coyne's suggestion that CBC television ought to be dismantled, and spun off into a constellation of self-supporting cable specialty channels so that viewers could select what they wanted to subscribe to, rather than paying for the public broadcaster as a monolithic institution. In suggesting that CBC become a collection of subscription-based channels, Coyne fails to see that the same market dynamic is at work there as in advertising-supported TV -- i.e. the need to maximize audiences as a way of achieving peak profits.
Professor, author, journalist
<a href="http://www.waderowland.com" rel="nofollow">Wade Rowland</a> has worked in senior editorial and management positions at both the CBC and CTV network news divisions, and in CBC television current affairs. He is a former Maclean Hunter Chair of Ethics in Media at Ryerson University, and is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at York University in Toronto. He is author of a dozen non-fiction books, including <em>Spirit of the Web</em>, <em>Ockham's Razor</em>, <em>Galileo's Mistake</em>, <em>Greed, Inc.</em>, and <em>Saving the CBC: Balancing Profit and Public Service</em>. HIs latest book, <em>Canada Lives Here: The Case for Public Broadcasting</em> will be released in August 2015 .
If the CBC were to become an advertising-free service on both radio and television, as its supporters are demanding in ever-growing numbers, this fig-leaf rationale for unwarranted secrecy and arbitrary decision-making would be stripped away. A more truly accountable public broadcaster would be the result.
07/26/2013 08:56 EDT
The Lac Megantic rail disaster is a terrible tragedy for the many who suffered loss. It is also an object lesson in why industries dominated by large corporations cannot be trusted to regulate themselves -- not even when there is nominal oversight by government. Corporations, when they grow large, go public, and take on professional management teams, devolve from being human institutions governed at least in part by genuine ethical constraints, into machine-like entities that are devoid of moral sensibility.
07/10/2013 03:50 EDT
In my view, the CBC simply cannot survive so long as it continues to rely on commercial sponsorship, and thereby makes itself essentially indistinguishable from its commercial competitors -- indistinguishable, and therefore irrelevant and unnecessary. And so, NHL hockey has to go. If it is true that by carrying NHL hockey the CBC is "bringing communities, and the nation, together," it will be unfortunate if the corporation has to abandon this opportunity in order to serve the greater purpose of becoming a true public broadcaster, one whose first priority is to serve citizens rather than advertisers.
07/08/2013 05:26 EDT
That the CBC should celebrate Hockey Night in Canada's birthday, and not its own, is emblematic of the dire straits in which the broadcaster finds itself, having reached the end of the line in its quest to make a success of the hybrid, commercial/public service model it was saddled with at birth, like a club foot.
07/08/2013 04:52 EDT
For the better part of a century now, private broadcasters in Canada have been complaining that they are forced to operate in competition with a state-subsidized player, CBC/Radio-Canada and its predecessors. But in reality the subsidy provided to the private industry by government is just about the same size as the CBC's Parliamentary appropriation.
07/04/2013 12:34 EDT
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