“Our reporters will no longer be radio reporters or TV reporters — that particular T-shirt will be put aside and there will be far more contributions to the web, far more mixing and movement among the various networks and platforms.” Tony Burman, CBC News Editor-in-Chief.
Things are a-changing at the CBC (yes, again). They’re killing Canada Now, and replacing it with longer regional newscasts.
The initiative is called myCBC, and it also involves a new multimedia platform for Fort Dork, integrating the television, radio, and internet news divisions of each CBC affiliate into one.
Since stable funding for the CBC is about as likely as Coleridge remembering the last lines to Kubla Khan, integration could be a good idea. The combined budgets of all three departments might create new resources for the regional affiliates. Or, of course, it might just create a mess.
Some sceptics say the changes won’t happen — at least not everywhere. CBC head Rabinovitch (who’s rumoured to be behind the new format) has less than a year left, so the concern is that while some regionals (like Vancouver) will get the new, integrated resources, others will end up being left out in the cold once a new regime moves in.
I’m more worried that the changes will happen.
Just the word “integration” is shudder-inducing; it brings to mind religious cults and dead heads. Hell, even as a kid I had trouble integrating with the other kids. But more to the point: Radio, television and the web have different audiences with — shock — different needs. Melding three distinct teams into a one might seem efficient, but I wonder what gets lost?
I listen to CBC Radio for the same reason I read its articles on the net: same corporation, different perspectives and voices. With all three platforms integrated, can homogenization be far off? How long till what’s on the internet is also heard on the radio and seen on TV? Instead of numerous voices, just one. Kind of like what’s happened to CanWest Global.
Let’s hope that’s not the future of the CBC and public broadcasting too, because the future, friends, is where you and I are going to live.