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Post-Christmas thoughts about the CBC’s future

Posted by on Dec 29, 2017 in Articles-Blog, uncategorized | 0 comments

A visit to Lyon last week got me thinking about how dominant religions absorb and erase competing rites and traditions. France’s second city has been an important focus of Catholicism from the first century onward, but before that Lyon was a centre of worship of the Roman god Mithra. Scholars are divided as to the extent of early Christian syncretic borrowings from the cult and traditions of Mithraism, but other pagan appropriations are in plain view around Christmas time. The streets of old Lyon were festooned with coloured lights and pine boughs, traditions which derive from pre-Christian...

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Trudeau Needs to Rethink his Position on Funding for Media

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Articles-Blog, uncategorized | Comments Off on Trudeau Needs to Rethink his Position on Funding for Media

As Ottawa takes steps to enlarge Canada’s role in international relations, promising a 70% increase in defense spending over the next decade, Canadians may be inclined to feel a bit more secure in a world that seems more chaotic and threatening by the day. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrysta Freeland’s assertive address to Parliament earlier this month on diplomacy in the era of Trumpism, and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s policy statement and spending proposals the following day were both generally well-received as expensive but necessary frameworks for the preservation of national...

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Bell Media, Canada AM, and the Public Interest

Posted by on Jun 5, 2016 in Articles-Blog, uncategorized | Comments Off on Bell Media, Canada AM, and the Public Interest

Bell Media’s brusque announcement that it is killing Canada AM represents more than the loss of a morning news and current affairs program with a 40-year legacy. It is further evidence that private television, now in the hands of a clutch of corporate behemoths, is no longer in the business of serving the public interest. It may come as a surprise to some readers that in law and regulation, the federal government continues to regard the entire Canadian broadcasting system as a public service-oriented enterprise. Under the current Broadcasting Act, responsibility for providing citizens with...

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A lame Senate report on the CBC’s future

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Articles-Blog, uncategorized | 0 comments

Early in the twentieth century, the American journalist Walter Lippmann and the philosopher John Dewey butted heads over how a modern democracy could possibly govern itself, given that so few citizens had the time, ability, or inclination to study the complex issues of the day. For Lippmann, the only non-violent answer lay in governance by an intellectual and technical elite that would rule, in the public interest, on the basis of “manufactured consent,” a consensus built around “necessary illusions” created at election times using the tools of modern propaganda. Dewey...

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Elegy for a Star: If Solomon, why not Lang and Mansbridge?

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in uncategorized | 0 comments

Evan Solomon was fired because he broke a rule in CBC’s journalistic practices handbook that prohibits corporation staff from using their positions to gain a private benefit. Solomon’s violation of this rule was not only obvious, it was egregious: he connected an art dealer with the rich and powerful he’d come to know through his job, and collected ten percent on every sale that resulted from the introduction. It earned him hundreds of thousands of dollars, until the arrangement ended badly over, of course, money. Neither the exact meaning of this “no benefit” rule, nor its exact...

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Liberal/NDP consensus position on CBC cutbacks

Posted by on May 17, 2014 in uncategorized | 0 comments

41st PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 087 Thursday, May 15, 2014 Government Orders Business of Supply Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-Canada Hon. Stéphane Dion (Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is what the then Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today the Minister of Industry, had to say on CBC News in Vancouver on May 3, 2011, the morning after the Conservative Party’s re-election: We have said that we will maintain or increase support for the CBC. That is our platform and we have said that before and we will commit...

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