Articles-Blog

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

What Bill Chambers Needs to Know About Public Broadcasting

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Articles-Blog | 0 comments

CBC brass, apparently stung by criticism of its plans to pull out of production and focus on digital, mobile media, have taken to lashing out at critics in an unseemly way. The latest example was posted Thursday night on the corporate website, and it is highly revealing. In an otherwise mostly ad hominem attack on one of the many critics of the corporation’s survival plan, Bill Chambers—who bears the title Vice-president, Brand, Communications and Corporate Affairs, CBC/Radio-Canada—makes the following statement: “There is no archetype of public broadcasting. Public broadcasters...

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Letter from Former CBC Board of Director Members to Current CBC Board

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Articles-Blog | 0 comments

Here is the complete text of the open letter to current CBC Directors from nine former members of the Board of Directors, released July 13, 2014. Note: I had no role in the origination or composition of the letter, or in the soliciting of signatories. I am publishing it here simply to make it as widely available as possible. –wr July 14, 2014 Monsieur Rémi Racine, Chairman Board of Directors, CBC/Radio Canada CBC 181 Queen Street C.P. 3220, succ. « C » Ottawa (Ontario) K1Y 1E4 Re » Future of CBC/Radio Canada Dear Mr. Racine, We the undersigned, former members of the Board of...

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CBC President Lacroix Should Face the Music and Resign

Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in Articles-Blog | 0 comments

Since CBC President Hubert Lacroix announced plans to “ensure the sustainability” of the public broadcaster by radically reducing staff and shifting its focus from television and radio to various forms of internet delivery over the next five years, there has been a rising chorus of voices calling on him to resign. “Focused, smaller, more mobile, more relevant,” is how Lacroix describes the new CBC he envisions. He calls it a “public media company [that] focuses on partnering to develop content” as opposed to a conventional public broadcaster. And he says that, in the face of...

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CBC Announces a Dubious Survival Strategy

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Articles-Blog | Comments Off on CBC Announces a Dubious Survival Strategy

CBC Announces a Dubious Survival Strategy

The CBC’s strategic plan to shift priorities from broadcast to digital services and outsource virtually all but news and current affairs programming is, on the whole, a sensible strategy—from a purely business perspective. It saves money by reducing production and distribution costs. Shedding more jobs will further enhance the bottom line between now and 2020; up to 1,500 positions will be eliminated in the plan announced today (June 26). The thing is, though, that the public broadcaster is not a business in any conventional sense. It exists not to make money or to satisfy any financial...

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How a Strong CBC Can Help Our Private Broadcasters

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Articles-Blog | Comments Off on How a Strong CBC Can Help Our Private Broadcasters

New research on the impact of national public broadcasters has the potential to inject a fresh theme into the ongoing discussions in this country around what to do about the struggling CBC/Radio-Canada. The first of two recent studies draws on a wide range of data from 14 countries world-wide, and was pulled together for the BBC by U.K.-based Inflection Point research group. It was designed to test competing theories about public service broadcasting frequently heard in debates over the relevance of these services, here in Canada, and around the world. One is that public broadcasters,...

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Is Subscriber-TV a Solution for Beleaguered CBC?

Posted by on Jun 10, 2014 in Articles-Blog | 0 comments

As the CBC and its supporters search with growing urgency for solutions to the public broadcaster’s critical funding problems, an idea gaining some traction is that CBC television be dismantled, and spun off into a clutch of subscription-based cable specialty channels. That way viewers could select what they want to subscribe to, rather than paying for the public broadcaster as a monolithic institution. And there would be no need for advertising, which most advocates agree is antithetical to the goals of public service broadcasting. It’s an idea that has strong initial appeal. For one...

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