New me­dia, old story

The Walrus - - CONTENTS -

I would like to think that our public broad­caster has a ro­bust plan for the fu­ture, but af­ter read­ing Tom Joki­nen’s ar­ti­cle (“What Is the CBC Good For?” Septem­ber), I have lit­tle con­fi­dence in the CBC. In its scram­ble to be hip, mo­bile first, and met­ric savvy, and to dom­i­nate so­cial me­dia and tell sexy dig­i­tal sto­ries, the CBC has re­vealed what it re­ally is: des­per­ate for at­ten­tion. In­stead of cater­ing to an imag­ined crowd of dig­i­tal-fo­cused read­ers with short at­ten­tion spans, the broad­caster should un­der­stand that its au­di­ence is com­posed of thought­ful in­di­vid­u­als who want pro­gram­ming that in­forms, in­creases un­der­stand­ing, re­spects con­tent, and en­ter­tains. That’s the Cana­dian way. Christine Dirks

Lon­don, ON

Many fear that a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with new me­dia will bring the CBC to its knees. But my forty years in the in­dus­try say: stop fuss­ing. A com­pelling story al­ways wins an au­di­ence. There’s noth­ing wrong with dis­tri­bu­tion on mul­ti­ple plat­forms as long as the CBC fo­cuses first on mak­ing a prod­uct worth tun­ing in for. In this age of at­tacks on main­stream me­dia, Cana­di­ans need prin­ci­pled jour­nal­ists who will re­store faith in care­ful re­search. If the fed­eral gov­ern­ment doesn’t kill it with bud­get cuts, the cbc will re­main rel­e­vant for decades, re­gard­less of the plat­form.

Michael Craig

Owen Sound, ON

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