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January 25, 2007

The CBC: So Much More Than Just a Broadcaster

RadioI caught the lead story on The Current this morning: the item about how CBC documentary filmmaker David Ridgen's research into the murders of two black men during Freedom Summer has led to charges being laid against a former sheriff's deputy. The bodies of the two black men were discovered during the search for Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney (the three civil rights workers depicted in the 1988 film Mississippi Burning).

This is just the latest example of the ground-breaking work that the CBC does -- using journalism as a tool to work for justice and fairness; and a way to give voice to stories that really matter to Canadians. It also acts as an additional check to the powers of government -- something that may explain why it's become a thorn in the side of those who would not have that power be checked.

I've been trying to figure out what to do with some of the $4.00 day ($20/week) I haven't been spending since I gave up take-out coffee -- one of my environmental resolutions. I'm going to give that money to the The Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. I think the CBC can use as many friends as it can get right now, given that the Prime Minister Harper has lodged a complaint against the CBC and Heritage Minister Bev Oda (the Minister in charge of the CBC) has "been so low-profile and had so little effect, she might as well not exist". And many members of the Harper government don't seem to "get" what the CBC is about, period. If it's not making money -- or at least breaking even -- it's got to be a failure, right? And then there are some MPs, like my own, whose knowledge of the CBC kind of leaves one speechless:

"Having been in business, I was approached many times from a great deal of media that asked me to purchase commercials during their programs. I was never approached by anybody from CBC radio or any other affiliates to purchase any form of advertising on their stations."

So I ask you this: is the CBC all about the almighty buck -- about revenue not generated; or is it about something bigger, bolder, and far more significant -- things that make Canadians truly proud?

To me, the CBC stands for things that really matter to Canadians: righting wrongs, fighting for the underdog, and getting to the truth when the truth doesn't want to be told: all things the Harper government couldn't even begin to understand.

Mississippi Alt-Weekly Revealed Indicted Klansman Was Still Alive
CBC Interview with David Suzuki About His Involvement With the US Civil Rights Movement and How That Changed His Life
The Conservatives' Hidden Agenda For Public Broadcasting And Cultural Sovereignty


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I have been loving CBC this week too. The Sounds Like Canada piece on Joshua Key's The Deserter's Tale was amazing and it made me think, where else can you hear about important stories like this? Every other media source seems fixated with the Oscars. It's awesome that you are reallocating your money to such a great organization!

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