Articles-Blog

Articles by Wade Rowland on communications technology, philosophy of science and religion, travel and other topics, including some scholarly articles.

Mansbridge’s exit opens the door to a new kind of newscast on CBC

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Articles-Blog | 0 comments

Nothing in Peter Mansbridge’s three-decade tenure as CBC news anchor so graphically illustrates the problem with television news as his manner of leaving. Mansbridge announced Monday night that he’s “let the CBC know that I’d like to step down from The National next July 1st, shortly after anchoring our very special Canada Day coverage for 2017.”  The term and conditions of his departure were clearly his choice. In the CBC’s official news release, Jennifer McGuire says: “Peter has been paramount to making CBC News the most trusted brand in news in this country. We...

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CRTC Bans Ads on Radio 2: Could TV be Next?

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Articles-Blog | Comments Off on CRTC Bans Ads on Radio 2: Could TV be Next?

      Here is the good news: the CRCT has ordered CBC/Radio-Canada to end paid advertising on Radio 2 and ICI Musique. The ban begins immediately. The bad news is that CBC management still seems to think it was doing the right thing when it opened the two radio networks to commercial sponsorship three years ago, with the CRTC’s wary agreement. A corporate spokesperson said Wednesday the withdrawal of permission shows “a lack of understanding about the reality of public broadcasting,” and “does not help CBC/Radio-Canada serve Canadians.” But the “reality” of public...

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Canadians Joined at The Hip, By CBC

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Articles-Blog | Comments Off on Canadians Joined at The Hip, By CBC

The CBC’s decision to air the Tragically Hip’s farewell concert Saturday was a stroke of public broadcasting genius. Better than almost any event one could imagine, it demonstrated the power of a national public broadcaster to bring a nation together to celebrate its shared values, to honour its prodigies, to connect. Preliminary ratings suggest that 11.7 million of us watched or listened to some or all of the three-hour concert in Kingston. That’s what’s known as “reach” in the industry. The show was available on CBC television, CBC Radio One, Radio 2, and Éspace Musique, as...

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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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Remembering Maurice Strong, on the Eve of Paris COP 21

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Articles-Blog | Comments Off on Remembering Maurice Strong, on the Eve of Paris COP 21

In the summer of 1970 Secretary-General U Thant delivered a speech to the United Nations General Assembly that was dismissed in business circles and much of the mainstream press as alarmist nonsense. He warned that global fossil fuel demands were on a steady upward trajectory leading to an “increase in excess, unabsorbed carbon dioxide [which] could have a catastrophic warming effect, melting the polar ice, changing the marine environment and creating flooding on a global scale.” His report had been drafted as part of the preparations for the first UN conference on the global environment,...

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Why the CBC Isn’t an Election Issue and Why It Should Be

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Articles-Blog | Comments Off on Why the CBC Isn’t an Election Issue and Why It Should Be

It took a tragic photograph of an innocent’s death to finally raise the question of Canadian values in an otherwise petty, parochial election campaign centred mainly on divvying up the spoils of a sputtering economy. Suddenly, we were talking about the kind of country we once were, about the discomfort and even shame we feel in realizing how mean and self-centered we have become. We began to talk about values, the kinds of higher aspirations we have for our country, beyond maxing out GDP and reducing the tax “burden.” Our government’s lack of compassion in the face of an enormous...

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