There’s a welcome breeze from the West today in the form of a brilliant post from Will “Chinook” Dixon.
Will parses the ongoing (make that endless) process of developing and instituting broadcast policy in this country from the point of view of how it’s devastating those who are supposed to be around to create content once the smarter folks in Ottawa figure out just what that content is going to be.
You can savor the Prairie Prince here.
To be honest, there have been moments lately when I’ve felt that the broadcaster endgame in all this is to starve us all out of the business so they can appear before the CRTC one day and ask for their Cancon to be reduced to zero because --- well, there doesn’t seem to be anybody making any!
And if what Uncle Willis has to say doesn’t make you want to sign up for Bartender school (Hey, at least the drinks are handy) then you might want to read this little tidbit from Broadcaster --- Canada’s Communications Magazine --- reporting a CRTC Audit proving that Cable companies have not even come close to living up to their Community Channel requirements.
The investigation (conducted from 2002 to 2005) discovered that all the systems weren’t meeting their 30% public access requirement while one didn’t have any of that content at all.
In addition, commercials were often double the allowable limit while there were so many Cable promos at times that one Rogers outlet was cited as providing programming "similar to an hour long promo of their services."
Not that we didn’t suspect the cable companies were bending the rules as much as the broadcasters they vilify. But what’s astonishing here is that this report was in the hands of the Commission well before all the recent back and forth over cable fees and local TV.
And not one of those high paid idiots brought it up.
They just sat silent while representatives of Rogers and Shaw made lengthy arguments about how much they contribute to their communities and even pitched the concept of local broadcast funding being open to their community stations.
That comes on the heels of the recent revelation further down this page that the Commission hadn’t read its own report indicating more and more Canadians are abandoning cable while claiming the public won’t have a problem paying higher subscription fees since they haven’t up to now.
It’s becoming clearer to anybody paying attention that the current Commissioners of the CRTC aren’t at all current with what’s going on in the industry that they regulate, nor have they been for some time.
And that means that unless they’re all replaced, we’re going to have to find some other way out of this mess.
The usual Canadian response in these circumstances is to run to Daddy (ie: the government) but no matter how many times we march on or send busloads of our leading lights up to Ottawa to meet MPs and bureaucrats, that doesn’t seem to work either.
It’s time we admitted that our elected representatives maybe aren’t as bright as we’d like or they’d like us to believe they are.
Every time one level or another of politicians votes themselves a raise, we hear the phrase “It’s necessary to attract intelligent people to the job!”. Let me ask you – how well does that appear to be working so far?
Although the following is an American example, I think it speaks to the kind of people who often attain elected office and why we can’t depend on them to figure out issues foreign to their experience or more complex than cutting a ribbon.
Meet Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA). That’s Democrat from Georgia not Director’s Guild of America. Although I sense if Hank was a director he’d be one of those who’s okay with the possessory credit.
Government and Government regulators are not going to save our industry. That’s going to be up to us. So head on over to Will’s place and read what he’s got to say. And then let’s start tossing around some ideas.