Thursday, March 19, 2009

Model the CBC After NPR

Jeffery Dvorkin in the Globe and Mail has a proposal for CBC, that makes the most sense. (read)
U.S. public broadcasting still receives some congressional funding, but at a much lower rate than the CBC gets. U.S. federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting averages less than 11 per cent of a public radio station's operating budget and just 30 per cent for television stations. More than half of the money comes from listeners and viewers, and the rest from donations from foundations and philanthropic organizations.

NPR listeners feel they have a direct stake in the operation precisely because their donations are so important. They are active participants and engaged in how the stations should run and what should be on the air.

The power of U.S. public broadcasting is based in its local context and connection to their communities. Canadians may mock the pledge drives, but they are an accurate, effective and vital contact between the stations and the communities that support them. A few years ago, NPR, working with member stations, decided that the pledge drives needed to be more like the most interesting programs. Redesigned and reinvigorated, the drives have become "must-listen" parts of the public radio offering.

Absolutely. In my opinion, NPR's product is far superior to CBC. I do 99% of my radio listening from online podcasts. I can't find anything on the CBC website, whereas NPR have a variety sites and plenty of programs, with interesting guests.

Let them do pledge drives. If people like the product, they will survive.

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