CBC and CRTC regulations

Stephen LaFrenie

What should we regulate? Rather than not allowing private conglomerates to buy out each others entertainment crap we should reserve access to alternative voices. Who is really dedicated to alternative media? I think there are millions of people in Canada who would respond to alternative media if it were accessible.

I think the Green Party (and NDP) is on the right track when it desires to provide stable funding for the CBC and eliminate commercials. Perhaps not eliminating all commercials but allowing the use of ads for charitable and non-profit organizations. A national broadcaster should not be competing with commercial entities forcing it to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It is there to give voice to people who don't have access through commercial entities.

People need to have access to alternative voices and so the CRTC could reserve signal space for multiple use by several organizations rather than one or an umbrella organization that gives air time to multiple sources of media and entertainment. I'm not crazy about the Green Party's past desire to demand that the CBC provide educational and relevant material because the government should not be dictating what this means. Better to appoint people from the grassroots and journalistic level to a shared managing level decision making process rather than a traditional top down corporate structure. Better to have the CBC provide airtime for alternative media, joint broadcasts, for instance the CBC could broadcast programs from TVO, Knowledge Channel in B.C., televised voice to alternative writers at Rabble.ca. Co-produce children's and arts entertainment programs. To give alternative Canadian voices prime time access to the Canadian public.

Require corporate media to prominently display their ownership tree after a certain level of growth. A newspaper or magazine would have to dedicate a page or half page to listing its ownership relationships. Rogers Cable would have to display its ownership tree on its programming guide page. Other broadcasters would have to run 30 second ads throughout the day displaying its ownership tree.

Awareness is the key. The government trying to force me to watch crap I don't want to is a recipe for disaster. Especially in a world where I have so many sources coming from outside the country.

A final thought for now would be this. I remember listening to CBC radio to a recording of Mordecai Richler's "Jacob Two Two and the Dinosaur". After the program kids phoned in their reactions to the story. As I listened to kids from the Yukon to Newfoundland talk I had a clear image of all these children sitting down, all over the country, listening at once and it gave me such a great image of unity and connection that I sat there for awhile afterwards and just kept imagining. Commercial radio can't accomplish this.

It would be a sin to lose that connection rather than foster it.

This blog reflects my personal opinion.
It is not official Green Party Policy.