John Doyle’s column today is worth a read, but he keeps putting the onus on CBC management to figure out its identity and purpose(s). In my view, that’s the group responsible for CBC being in an economic and rating hole. What I’d rather do is have the owners of CBC make that determination, and the owners is us, the taxpayers who support the public broadcaster. Put aside the right and left wing which want to abolish or increase the subsidy, and inspire a public debate that asks particularly of CBC English Television, what is its role in the 500 channel universe? When it was set up, there were no commercial networks. Now that there are, and cable/satellite/digital gives us all these choices, what do we do with a public broadcaster? Most Canadians would rather watch PBS; is that a potential role for CBC? Do we have to watch Canadian content just because it’s good for us? Let’s start a debate.
Globe and Mail, March 3 2009