Learning from PBS

I just saw a program on Maine PBS that’s called something like “Local Economies” which is a weekly show that rotates around Maine looking at economic development issues. This week it was about how small rural towns are trying to develop the ‘creative economy’.

Imagine any TV outlet in New Brunswick producing such a show. The only thing close to that is CBC’s Venture – a national program and I think in Ontario and the West they have weekly shows about the agriculture/farming industry.

But that’s what I mean about engaging the media. The writers and broadcasters immerse themselves in the news of the day – crime, social justice even community development in a narrow sense can be heard every day – day in day out.

But how about stories of successful entrepreneurs? How about stories of innovation? How about companies that have moved here and love it? Better yet, how about stories – a bit like the Poitras piece on India – that challenge us to look at new models – at new ideas?

Someone might say there’s no market for that stuff. Who cares.

But, again, is the media only about money? If so, why not just run in the newspaper pictures of women in bathing suits – that’ll fly of the stands. And radio? Just do comedy all the time. That’ll get you more listeners.

But some media see it as their mandate to report more broadly on the issues that affect our daily lives in communities all across the province.

And to those I ask politely to dig deeper on economic matters. To run stories of hope that rural communities can survive. To run stories that help people think of new ways to breathe life into their communities. Stories that empower community leaders with ideas they can use to move things forward. Mostly, to raise awareness of the challenges facing our province, about the potential solutions and that our governmetnt – as our collective – should act and act aggressively.

Would you pay $10 bucks a week, if you knew it would secure your economic future? Ten measily bucks?

Well, $10 bucks per taxpayer per week amounts to $200 million a year in New Brunswick.

The amount I’m asking our politicians to put towards securing the province’s economic future.

Ten measily bucks.

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0 Responses to Learning from PBS

  1. Anonymous says:

    Community television is the greatest media there is. The worst thing about the CBC is that it is ‘national’ and has ontario control. It would be so great if it were regional, or even local. Of course its too late for that, Rogers would sue their asses.

    That’s why I’ve tried to get you to enhance the blog to a podcast. That’s cutting edge and easy to do. That way, you could interview local business people and have a real funky show. You could talk to kids and politicians, and entertainers.

    In reality, none of those things will happen from begging. I have inside information from Rogers and I can tell that they have a specific policy-avoid politics unless its an election, and minimize the economy.

    They like ‘interviews’ with stamp collectors and any ‘unusual’. REAL content just isn’t going to happen. Like PBS, you have to MAKE it happen. That links us to the post about bloggers because you are guys that have a halfway interest.

    Imagine a website, if you will, where bloggers discuss various issues, where commentors talk from every riding about the problems and challenges, and successes.

    A media like that not only accomplishes something in and of itself, but also challenges other media, they realize they have to adapt to compete.

    How hard is it? Just about everybody has a mic for their computer. A website costs 100 bucks. Podcast software is free and easy. Smartphone costs like sixty bucks and lets you tape record interviews onto your computer which can easily be turned into blogs.

    But why is New Brunswick the way it is? Talk to just about any blogger and when the question of actually doing something comes up…you get silence. And these are people who spend a good proportion of time badmouthing people who, as one poster at a blog put it, ‘don’t understand the complexities’. Come on.