Tomorrow is the deadline to submit comments to the federal government about what we’d all like to see in a new Broadcast and Telecommunications Act. The government's goal for the review, as stated on its website, is "to update and modernize the legislative framework in a balanced way that takes into account the realities of Canadian consumers and businesses, and our artists, artisans and broadcasters without increasing the cost of services to Canadians."
It's a little known fact that there are three categories of broadcasters which form the pillars of the current Broadcast Act. We hear a lot about the CBC and private broadcasters, but not so much about the third pillar, community broadcasting. In many ways, not-for-profit community-based radio and television is still this country's best kept secret.
Canada’s community radio and television organizations have been working hard to build up the sector's profile, and to secure their position in the new Broadcast Act. The National Campus and Community Radio Association is one of those organizations. The two French community radio organizations -- L'ARC du Québec (Community Radio in Quebec) and L'ARC du Canada (Francophone Community Radio in the rest of Canada) -- as well as CACTUS (Canadian Association of Community Television Stations and Users) are also part of the community media landscape in Canada working for greater recognition of the community media sector.
Barry Rooke is the Executive Director of the NCRA. In this interview, he shares some surprising facts with rabble radio host Victoria Fenner about community and campus radio in Canada.
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