Locked-out CBC workers back on air… via campus radio!

Wouldn’t it be great if CBC radio newsroom staff continued to do their jobs? If we continued to file reports, conduct interviews, and produce news items? What if we kept doing newscasts, same as always? We could use our own personal minidisc recorders, computers, and editing equipment. We could air the news on CJAM (Windsor’s campus/community radio station). Listeners would hear the same kinds of local stories they’re used to, from the voices they’re used to. We’d be sending the message, “We care about local stories. We want to work. But we can’t.”

Would this be more effective job action than picketing outside an empty building?

This was all a pie-in-the-sky conversation I had with a colleague on the picket line today. That is, until I received a call from Chris Cecile at CJAM, asking if we’d be interested in doing the very same thing we’d just been discussing. I talked to some CBC Windsor reporters, and they’re keen.

Turns out the very same thing is happening in Calgary:

For immediate release

**Calgary the first city to get CBC-calibre journalism back on air

Locked out CBC staff to broadcast live programming from CJSW**

Calgary, AB. (August 19, 2005) – Calgary CBC fans rejoice! CBC-calibre journalism returns to the airwaves Monday August 22 when a dozen locked-out CBC Calgary journalists, producers and technicians begin live weekly radio broadcasts of their own news and current affairs program. The program will be produced and broadcast from the studios of CJSW, the University of Calgary’s Students’ Association radio station.

The new weekly program will air Mondays from 11:00 a.m. – Noon, beginning August 22 on CJSW, 90.9 on the FM dial and will feature CBC journalists including Kathleen Petty of CBC Newsworld, Doug Dirks of CBC Television, and Judy Aldous, Jennifer Keene and Jim Brown of CBC Radio. The CJSW signal is heard throughout Calgary and surrounding municipalities.

The broadcast will air one week after 5,500 CBC journalists, producers and technicians across Canada were locked out by CBC management in response to ongoing contract negotiations with the Canadian Media Guild. It will be the first radio programming in Canada by CBC staff since the lockout began.

“We hope to bring CBC-level journalism back to faithful CBC Calgary listeners,” said Fred Youngs, Executive Producer of CBC Newsworld in Calgary, and a member of the Canadian Media Guild. “Quality news coverage is something they have been missing since the lockout began, and we will tell, from a Canadian perspective, stories that matter to Canadians. One of the stories we hope to cover is our own: what is happening at the CBC and why.”