If you’re not aware, I’ve been doing a weekly tech column on CBC Edmonton AM since February. I love doing the column – radio is one of the career choices I considered and didn’t pursue after high school, so it’s fun to get to be on the radio without actually having to be a professional broadcaster. Plus, I’m a big fan of the CBC. It was a part of my life as a child – I remember listening to As It Happens at the dinner table, and hearing Quirks & Quarks from my father’s workshop on Saturdays. It’s exciting to be a (small) part of that.
Not everyone loves the CBC as much I do, though, including the current government. The most recent round of funding cuts is significant, and there are rumours that even Hockey Night in Canada may go away due to a lack of cash.
Which makes me wonder what can be done to “save” the CBC. It’s clear that even if a CBC-supporting government was elected, funding levels would never return to what they once were. They’ll have to make do with what they have.
With that in mind, I have a proposition for the CBC:
- Dump television and move entirely to online streaming. This allows you to be more flexible with programming – you can experiment more and support smaller ventures, while still continuing items like the news.
- Push for a national broadband strategy. There was a recent article in the Globe & Mail about how many Canadians still have dial-up (DIAL-UP!) and some do not have internet access at all. If you can get a radio signal, you can get internet – it’s a matter of building the towers to support broadband wifi. I think that the government could get behind an initiative to help all Canadians get equal access to the internet.
- Be more adventurous with your social media. I find that many of the CBC’s social media platforms are broadcast only, rarely (if at all) engaging in an actual conversation with their fans. If you want to survive, you need engaged fans – people who will fight for you. Ignoring them on social media isn’t helping your cause.
What do you think? Do you love, hate or love & hate the CBC? What else can they do to provide great programming? I’d love to hear your thoughts.