An argument for a digital-first CBC

Paul Adams, writing about the future of the CBC for iPolitics:

Right now, CBC treats its website as if it were an industrial by-product of the broadcast networks, like a slaughterhouse that sells off the bones for fertilizer and the hooves for glue. It’s an afterthought.

From where I sit, this feels accurate.

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Comments

  1. Vance T says:

    Dan, I think this is more true than you realize. Click on the link. Went to iPolitics. Article is locked behind a pay-wall. A perfect summation of where the web seems to be heading.

    I love the web and I love all things digital. However, wiping out internal production at CBC English TV (except for news), killing the English doc unit, focusing on “mobile first”. This is not the recipe for making great Canadian programs. CBC needs to be re-built with a proper funding system, one not controlled directly by the federal government. The entire CBC board of directors needs some real power. Right now the President of the CBC does as he wishes with no regards to the board of directors. We are seeing it now with the destruction of CBC TV. We saw it before with the series of punitive labour lock-outs under Robert Rabinovitch.

    Right now mobile and web are the bright shiny new toys. In five years, upper managers will get some new idea and start blowing these up.

  2. Paywalls…are problematic for people at the lower end of the economic ladder.

    Also: much as I like what I’m able to see from iPolitics.ca, I’m happier when I see reports such as the one re: the Toronto Star taking their paywall down.

  3. Brian says:

    Disenfrachising the poor appears to be the direction public services such as Canada Post and the CBC are going. The CBC is supposed to be a public service but it is increasingly focused on serving itself to the detriment of the public, especially the poor who can listen to the CBC for free on the radio but have to pay for a computer, internet access, and content if the CBC focuses on digital which they can’t afford. At some point, the reduction of freely available CBC broadcast services will become reasons for litigation and/or the elimination of taxpayer financial support.

  4. Agreed that this is grounds for worry.

    I cannot count on being able to own or otherwise access a computer throughout my life. Not at this point, barring a lottery win or a fortunate marital choice. This is why having a Crown-owned post office, public libraries, and a Crown-owned public broadcaster are things that I continue to value, and why I worry about so much of the federal government moving to “over the Net” service delivery.

    • Brian says:

      Also, if the CBC went all digital, only battery operated devices such as cell phones would be able to access the CBC during a power failure and that may not be possible if the cell phone towers aren’t also powered by battery and solar cell. Not a desirable situation during an emergency.

  5. Peter Sudbury says:

    Why have a CBC at all. Perhaps the discussion should go to first principles. I understand why it was created when it was created, but what is it’s necessary function as a publicly funded body? If it was to go digital how would that means of distribution fulfill its stated function? What demographic should it be reaching and how?

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