It’s a Canadian institution under siege.
Otherwise known as death by 1000 cuts, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is on the verge of extinction.
In his new book, Canada Lives Here, Wade Rowland, professor of communications studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, outlines in no uncertain terms what is really at stake with the possible demise of the CBC.
Canada Lives Here tells the tumultuous story of public broadcasting in Canada, from its inception in 1933 to the CBC’s current, controversial attempts to adapt to collapsing revenues and new technologies. It explores in detail the struggle to preserve public space and foster community in an environment devoted to profit-making, arguing that the ideals of public service broadcasting are more relevant now than ever. Rowland, author of the influential Saving the CBC: Balancing Profit and Public Service (Linda Leith Publishing [LLP] 2013), identifies the issues crucial to the CBC’s survival and proposes carefully considered policy options.
Ranked among Canada’s leading literary journalists, Rowland is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books including Ockham’s Razor, Galileo’s Mistake, Spirit of the Web, Greed, Inc., and Saving the CBC. As a journalist he has spent many years in television news production at the network level and has held senior management roles at both CTV and CBC, where he was also senior producer of the consumer affairs program Marketplace.
“And so public broadcasters like the CBC/Radio-Canada, islands of public service commitment in the vast sea of commercial, for-profit media, survive for the simple reason that they’re needed,” writes Rowland in Canada Lives Here. “They are, at their best, preserves of genuine debate and reliable information, as opposed to bombast, sensation, and propaganda; sanctuaries free of vested interests, state or commercial. They provide entertainment that is nourishing, rather than merely amusing. They serve us as citizens, rather than as consumers.”
The book is published by Linda Leith Publishing (LLP) and will be released Aug. 15.
Rowland is currently an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University. His scholarly work has appeared in a number of academic journals including Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Journal of Corporate Ethics, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics and Social Epistemology.