After reading a comment on an earlier entry regarding the CBC and it's role as a public broadcaster I decided to make my comment response into an entry because there are some things I'd like to say. First, I do understand those who are saying and (I partially agree)that Heather Malick or anyone else shouldn't be funded by the tax payer to give an ideological perspective. Well, I'm not sure if I agree, in fact I guess I don't. But, I do think there should be some balance. A right wing nut-jobber like Anne Coulter would definitely have some effect.
I wonder about what role the public broadcaster really should serve and is CBC serving that? How is it serving it? Okay, Canadian content is great and I support regulating broadcasting. I think we have to make it easier for Canadians to watch Canadian tv, but I don't like regulations on what is considered "Canadian" and what is not. Years ago I remember the band Sloan (from Halifax) was considered "uncanadian" by the CRTC because they never sang about hockey, beer or moose. But, as Oprah once said "how could I be anything else"? She was responding to those who were saying she is not black enough. Well, for anyone who is Canadian, how could they be anything but Canadian? We are a pluralistic society; comment is free.
That still leaves the question of the CBC. I think it should change. I have trouble seeing how it is useful. It could work to export Canadian values to the world. Why not. Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news service presents itself as just another wire service (like AP, CP or Reuters) but it is an agent of the Chinese government. So, why should the CBC not just be an agent of Canadian propaganda world wide? The CBC is kept at arms length from the government but it does not represent the Canadian "establishment" and does not represent the majority of Canadians or the government of Canada. Who does it represent? It represents itself. That's how I see it anyway.
So, as the age old question goes: what is to be done? Scrap it? Make it free market? My personal belief is that it should be put into the hands of the people. The citizens of the country should have more say about what sort of image it presents. Consensus might not be possible, but I think that there are some core Canadian values that most people in Canada share. Why not take the CBC out of the hands of the elite and make it speak for the country the way that it really is? How often is Alberta's view ever represented on the CBC? Like it or not, they are a big part of the country and you know, their values aren't all that different from the values of the average Montrealer. Why can't CBC present something that everyone is comfortable with and that puts the country in a positive light.
Personally, I think the Canadian government should ask the Chinese to teach them on how to make friends and influence ngo's.