I was watching CBC television some weeks ago now when I was visiting my parents, and they were talking briefly about how some cities in the US had been getting some CBC programs, but that some changes and management decisions meant they wouldn’t see them anymore. So the CBC played a bunch of video letters from American viewers sorry to see the CBC go. It was actually quite heart-wrenching, the way these pleas were framed; not in terms of “but I love that show!” but more like, “this is the only news source I feel I can trust, please don’t take it away.” And as the piece on the American viewers ended, the voiceover noted,
“We’re working on ways to keep bringing that programming to our American viewers.”
That struck me. Here we have this well-paid staff of broadcasters who do their work (mostly) regardless of how many viewers or listeners they have. They have a national mandate to broadcast. Does it matter if Americans are listening to it? Not hardly. This is like the definition of art; you do it for the sake of it, because it’s beautiful, because it brings you joy, not because it’s the popular thing to do. I know it’s idealistic, but it’s so amazing to watch it happen. This isn’t about money, this is about doing something great, and truly worthwhile, about connecting Canadians, and it’s a service that’s truly loved.
How political it is, radio. How political podcasts are, the internet is as a whole. Getting the message out in whatever way you can, that’s power.
So I’m not even surprised that CBC employees are still broadcasting while on the picket line. Talk about taking back the means of production!