Media

Hamilton at Top of CBC's List

By Trey Shaughnessy
Published September 20, 2007

(This article has been updated.)

On September 19, CBC organized a meeting at the Hamilton Convention Centre to discuss bringing a radio station to Hamilton. Ted Kennedy, Program Director of English CBC-Radio, hosted the meeting.

It was attended by close to 50 Hamiltonians and included Councilor Brian McHattie, MP David Sweet, Tom Wilson, Mike Samperin, Doug Cameron, Sonja Macdonald and Paul Shaker from the Center for Community Study, and other 'movers and shakers' in the city.

Raise The Hammer's Ben Bull and I were also honoured to be in attendance.

Kennedy indicated that Hamilton was the largest, and most under-represented city in the country in terms of radio, media and a 'diverse voice' and that was why CBC had recommended Hamilton for a local radio station.

As an example, Kennedy pointed out that Edmonton - a similar size market to Hamilton - has 17 radio stations, plus two daily newspapers and four television stations. Hamilton, by comparison, has six radio stations, one daily newspaper and one television station.

That clearly doesn't provide diverse voices in Hamilton's media. Therefore, CBC needs to be broadcasting local news, opinions and commentary here.

The recommendation for a Hamilton radio station is part of a $25 million expansion to the CBC budget that includes 15 new radio stations for 17 cities.

"It's a win, win, win for everybody," Ted Kennedy said when referring to the possible new station that would employ 20 staff, and include ten journalists covering Hamilton news exclusively.

He pointed out that the journalists will also share their news stories with the local private media and that there is no competition because CBC doesn't accept advertising messages.

If the proposal is accepted for funding by Heritage Canada, it will offer "100 million extra hours for Canadians to consume Canadian content," all that for what amounts to a very small increase to the entire public broadcaster's budget.

"Radio is a very cost effective medium," Kennedy noted, to give Hamilton what it needs.

The new station would provide local coverage from 6:00am to 8:30am and 4:00pm to 6:00pm, and outside those times it would broadcast the national signal.

Those times are the highest listenership times for radio.

Ted Kennedy also pointed out five things that happen in a community when CBC broadcasts to it.

  1. Economic Driver - It raises the profile of a city nationally and internationally.

  2. Cultural Driver - It promotes local comedians, writers, musicians and artists to regionally and nationally.

  3. News Coverage - In the event of a big story, CBC is able to relocate other reporters to cover the story. For example during the Manitoba Flood, or Plastimet Fire, extra journalists would be made available to cover the complete story.

  4. Partnerships in the community - It aids, mentors, loans or supplies local talent expertise and/or equipment.

  5. Dialogue and Debate - It raises the awareness of local issues to a wider citizenship and offers a variety of opinions and education.

There is no doubt that Hamilton needs CBC to broadcast a diverse voice. Hamilton is a distinct city in Canada, economically, socially, and culturally.

"Hamilton is an island in Canada", said Jane Christmas, referring to our lack of national exposure and lack of awareness when it comes to many local issues.

Let's hope that the funding is approved and we can start hearing our local voice on a new radio station in a couple years.

Next Steps

The Heritage Standing Committee will review the proposal to expand CBC coverage sometime later this year or early next. After that, if the proposal goes forward it will be submitted to Parliament for a vote.

The best way to get your voice heard is to contact your local MP and let them know your thoughts.

Note: Ted Kennedy and MP David Sweet recommended that Hamiltonians should, "try and avoid" a mass email/letter writing approach as this is "unlikely to be effective."

"Just explain to your MP what your thoughts are," advised Kennedy. "A personal approach is probably best."


Update: This blog entry originally reported that the meeting was organized by Jane Christmas from the Public Relations office at McMaster University. This is incorrect, though McMaster "supports the idea wholeheartedly". Raise the Hammer regrets the error.

Trey lives in Hamilton with his family. He is co-owner of an advertising agency, and develops brand awareness and creative services for the entertainment and tourism industry. His essays have appeared in The Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Peak Oil Survival, and Tree Hugger, and he has appeared on Toronto's Goldhawk Live. Trey volunteers with the London Chapter of The Council of Canadians.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 14:08:58

Hmmm. I scoured today's Spec and could see nothing about this meeting. Are you sure you weren't just dreaming? If something with such far-reaching positive effects for Hamilton had actually happened, our trusty Spec would have been all over it!

Seriously though, you should submit something about this to the opinion page (even if it should have fallen under straight reporting).

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 18:51:10

you would also think that the mayor's state of the city address would receive coverage too. Instead they let their worst columnist do a goofy piece with bad jokes and no point about the state of the city address.... hmmm, i wonder if we need new media outlets??

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 22:06:58

Great work folks! It continues to amaze me that a group of volunteer amateurs can manage to do an end-run around the city's professional newspaper with all it's resources.

It's a credit to your value as media that you were invited to the CBC meeting in the first place. Maybe you can get jobs at the radio station when it opens...? Show the Spec how it's done!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 21, 2007 at 11:08:33

Just got a letter from my MP's constituency office manager in response to my email. It makes a snide reference to 'form faxes' (eventhough I wrote an original letter), but then goes on to say "David has been at two meetings: one at City Hall and one with Brian McHattie re this possibility. He is attending his third one on the 19th of September - a breakfast information session hosted by CBC's English Radio Chief of Staff, Ted Kennedy.

It does appear that there is a very good chance that a Hamilton station will be a reality in the near future."

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By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted September 21, 2007 at 11:27:08

Hey Highwater,

Good for you for contacting your MP. David Sweet spoke a couple of times at the CBC meeting and he is clearly supportive of the proposal (although that's not to say that his constituents should not still contact him with their thoughts). As somebody mentioned to me after the meeting, it's a good proposal for MPs to get behind - 25 mill is not a lot of money and it appears to be well supported by many Hamiltonians.

Interesting that you got the form fax complaint. When I asked Kennedy 'Who should we lobby to let our feelings be known?' he went out of his way to request that we avoid mass e-mails and form letters. Then he started talking about Hamilton's 'Friend's organizations' saying they 'meant well' but that their lobby efforts were 'sometimes misguided' (I'm paraphrasing). He is clearly keen to avoid the appearance that people are lobbying on CBCs behalf...

I think we are really close to landing this bureau. I hope more RTH readers will let their thoughts be known.

Cheers

Ben

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By trey (registered) | Posted September 21, 2007 at 12:13:47

Well I took your advice and sent this piece to Lee Prokaska-Curtis the Specator editorial editor at 9:30 this morning and haven't anything yet. we'll see, it might be sour-grapes on their part for not being invited.

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By trey (registered) | Posted September 21, 2007 at 12:33:06

Well I took your advice and sent this piece to Lee Prokaska-Curtis the Specator editorial editor at 9:30 this morning and haven't anything yet. we'll see, it might be sour-grapes on their part for not being invited.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 21, 2007 at 13:40:55

Great! Let's hope they print it. Although they certainly should have been invited to the meeting. Maybe it was sour grapes on the CBC's part for their opposition to the proposal!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 21, 2007 at 13:57:15

As far as I understand, CBC did meet earlier this year with local media entities, business leaders, etc., to talk about a station, and received a very cool reception. This meeting was intended more to talk to community groups and get a broader perspective on what Hamiltonians want.

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By lorne (registered) - website | Posted September 22, 2007 at 11:06:32

Many thanks for the article, Trevor. I have just sent off an email to David Sweet in support of the proposal. Once again, Raise The Hammer has done a real service to Hamilton in bring this information to our attention.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 22, 2007 at 12:57:58

What? Going to the people and not just cozying up with our local elites? Commies! No wonder the Spec's got their hate on.

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted September 23, 2007 at 08:45:38

All Radio is Dead revisited (bits and pieces from Living with GHosts: From Appropriation to Invocation in Contemporary Art) for highwater.

"...from the will to preserve the traces of something that was dead, or about to die, emerged allegory..."

"...All of these thoughts revolve around an experience of death, the certain death of modernity and the sense of history it implied, an experience of death that is framed and fixed by the object of appropriation through the accumulation of the dead matter of hollowed out signs in the form of allegory, the ruin of language..."

"...It is, however, a gothic novel written in denial of the implications of the atmosphere it conjures up, namely the suspicion that the dead might actually not be as dead as they are declared to be and that they might actually return as revenants to walk amongst the living..."

"...a spell to keep away the spectres of modern history that linger on the margins of the postmodern discourse..."

"...A key consequence of this momentum is the shift in the critical discourse away from a primary focus on the arbitrary and constructed character of the linguistic sign towards a desire to understand the performativity of language and grasp precisely how things are done with words, that is, how language through its power of interpellation and injunction enforces the meaning of what it spells out and, like a spell placed on a person, binds that person to execute what it commands..."

"...When you call up a spectre, it will not content itself with being inspected, it will require active negotiations to accommodate the ghost and direct its actions or at least keep them in check..."

"...To utter words for the sake of analysis already means to put these words to work. You cannot test a spell..."

"...There is ample evidence that this is precisely what public address experts do these days anyway. Every orchestrated retro-trend or revisionist resurrection of nationalist histories sees hordes of ghosts pressed into the service of the market and other ideological programmes..."

"...The task is to 'learn to live with ghosts' and this means to learn 'how to let them speak or how to give them back speech' by approaching them in a determined way that still remains undetermined enough to allow them to present themselves: To exorcise not in order to chase away the ghosts, but this time to grant them the right, if it means making them come back alive, as revenants who could no longer be revenants, but as other arrivants to whom a hospitable memory or promise must offer welcome – without certainty, ever, that they present themselves as such. Not in order to grant them the right in this sense but out of a concern for justice..."

"...The force that underlies the belief in the potential of appropriation is the hope that it should be possible to cut a slice out of the substance of this commodity culture to expose the structures that shape it in all their layers. It is also the hope that this cut might, at least partially, free that slice of material culture from the grip of its dominant logic and put it at the disposal of a different use. The practical question is then where the cut must be applied on the body of commodity culture and how deep it must go..."

The whole enchilada: http://www.artandresearch.org.uk/v1n2/ve...

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 23, 2007 at 14:18:05

for wrcu2

Key Lime Pie

For crust

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers 2 tablespoons sugar 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted For filling 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk 4 large egg yolks 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice

For topping

3/4 cup chilled whipping cream

Make crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.

Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie: Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping: Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.

• Pie (without topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.

Makes 8 servings.

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By Al Rathbone (anonymous) | Posted September 23, 2007 at 22:39:40

Now All We'll Need is CBC TV, CTV and a CanWest or Sun Newspaper and we'll have a balanced media network.

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted September 26, 2007 at 09:56:38

Great in your face stuff highwater, though I prefer 4 and 20 blackbirds, with a dash of MyCrowSauce. If only I could get all the kings horses and all the kings men to put the egg in the batter instead of cobbling IT back together, which just doesn't matter.

An exercise in prolepsis:

http://basic-jolly.thorin.dreamhost.com/

We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact the webmaster tech support immediately to have them rectify this.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 26, 2007 at 12:06:11

darn spammers.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 26, 2007 at 13:57:05

"darn spammers"

Catching spam is like weeding a garden, only without the fresh air and exercise.

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By FormFaxer (anonymous) | Posted September 27, 2007 at 17:36:56

Hi All
Don't know if anyone is still following this but I thought I'd pass along something amusing (to me at least)...
I cc'd David Sweet and other local MP's an e-mail to David Christopherson (my MP) asking him to support the CBC's desire to establish a station here.
Three minutes later I receive a reply from Sweet's office manager which begins "Thank you for your fax. We received several form faxes similar to yours on this issue, last month and then another round of them this week" before continuing with out of date background and babble on the issue (sound familiar Highwater?).
Since it was neither a fax or a form letter that I sent --- it was a custom one of a kind e-mail --- I have to assume the correspondence was not read and that the reply certainly wasn't considered. In fact, I'd have to suggest that Sweet's office is more guilty of using form "faxes" than those whom they disparage of for doing so to communicate with them.
I'm hoping for a better response from the other David.
We're supposed to believe this guy is listening??!?!?!

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 28, 2007 at 10:13:10

Maybe they have it set up so that any email that contains "cbc" and "hamiton" gets the form response.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 28, 2007 at 11:41:59

Ha ha - a form letter in response to form letters.

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By CitiJoe (anonymous) | Posted February 10, 2008 at 16:57:13

Quote:"hree minutes later I receive a reply from Sweet's office manager which begins "Thank you for your fax. We received several form faxes similar to yours on this issue, last month and then another round of them this week" before continuing with out of date background and babble on the issue (sound familiar Highwater?).
Since it was neither a fax or a form letter that I sent --- it was a custom one of a kind e-mail --- I have to assume the correspondence was not read and that the reply certainly wasn't considered. In fact, I'd have to suggest that Sweet's office is more guilty of using form "faxes" than those whom they disparage of for doing so to communicate with them.
I'm hoping for a better response from the other David.
We're supposed to believe this guy is listening??!?!?!"

Hey, at least you got a reply....

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By CitiJoe (anonymous) | Posted February 10, 2008 at 17:02:07

(I should add that he is My M.P.P.)

On the other 2 occasions that I have contacted him, I've gotten about the same reply. Zero, or, "We can't help you with that."

Hamilton, GHA an Island? You betch'a it is. This kind of none-response is unheard of anywhere else.

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