CBC Radio – from sea to sea to sea

A few weeks ago I had a piece in the LA Times talking about CBC Radio’s 75th anniversary, specifically how it serves as a uniting force in a country of geographical and cultural disparates.

It’s 1928, and the Canadian government is in a panic. It’s issued radio licenses to Canadian stations since 1922, but most Canadians are turning their dials to American programming. What to do? A royal commission on the future of broadcasting was convened, and eight years later, after a brief incarnation as a state-owned national broadcasting network, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. was born.

Its mandate: to reflect Canada to Canadians.

Today, the service covers 99% of Canada’s 3.8 million square miles and creates audio content in the country’s two official languages — English and French — as well as eight aboriginal languages across six time zones.

How does a national broadcaster make content that appeals to all its listeners when, as the first CBC chairman, Leonard Brockington, quaintly put it in his inaugural broadcast, “The lady of the house in Halifax is often busy with her domestic tasks before the gentleman of the house in Vancouver has finally settled down for the night.”

Read the rest ici.

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