Why people should be passionate about public broadcasting
On Jan. 21, Hubert Lacroix, the CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, addressed some of Concordia’s journalism students and asked them a question.
“How many of you care about Canadian content?”
The answer was, quite frankly, underwhelming. A few people said yes, and a few said no. At least a hundred young adults sat in that room, and none seemed to feel strongly about the importance of Canadian content.
We won’t mince words: this is depressing.
As Canadians, this is an important time for us to band together and express an interest—no, a need—for Canadian-produced content. Because supporting Canadian content means giving a chance to people in our own country to produce things that matter to us, like films, documentaries, T.V. shows, everything. It means creating more jobs, and knowing that we are supporting our own.
Let’s not forget the idea of a cultural identity: it’s the reason the CRTC was made in the first place! Before, in the deep dark ages of the early 20th century, Canada was inundated with American content. Media is a part of “soft power,” and it was this slow encroachment from our neighbours to the South worried many Canadians, who felt that it was slowly eroding any national identity Canadians have.
The best way to create jobs, protect content and craft a cultural identity, is by watching Canadian content.
Even if fiction and television don’t interest you, your interest in The Concordian is proof enough that you care about the news. Publicly-funded news is not beholden to corporations or private interests: it is only loyal to the public that provides its budget.
After all, who didn’t tune in to CBC during the Ottawa shooting? During the elections? During 9/11? Having a news source that is not pressured by ad revenue, one that cares more about getting it right than getting it first, is invaluable in the era of the 24-hour news cycle.
If Canadian content matters to you, or if public news matters to you, or if the CBC/Radio-Canada matters to you, remember to vote for it! Canada is in an election year. Consider voting for Canadian content. Consider voting for un-commercialized news.