it looks though a bit cold - but they just moved in - so soon it hopefully will look more alive.
What is "DR"?
Image if private media companies forced you to pay for their website because you have an internet connection and pontentially can access those sites!
The benefit is that CBC maintains a huge media library of domestic programming that we all have free access to. Check out CBC Radio 3 for an example of what I think a good use of state money is.
CBC seems to get how the internet works, which is good. Generally, most Canadian government information and services are completely free and reasonably accessible.
I don't think it is hyperbole to suggest that without the CBC most home-grown Canadian talent would never be produced. We would just be, culturally, another US state.
Did Canada not have any talents before CBC?
Is it right to force people to pay for something they don't want? What about culture based on voluntary actions? If you like something - great. But don't jail me if I don't want to pay for it.
And, I did not say the programming was "free". I said the results of the programming were freely available and guaranteed for all. "Free" as in speech, not "free" as in beer. Private sources of media are often neither.
Culture is indeed participatory, but I'm pretty sure that you will agree that most corporate interests are not all that invested in allowing full participation in the cultural items they produce. The kind of culture endorsed by private interests is sadly often anything but participatory.
Finally, no one is jailing anyone over this; at least not over here. This is the beauty of a partially public funded system (the CBC also generates revenue through the regular sorts of ways). I agree that mandatory user fees are a bad idea, but not for the reasons one may think. The problem I have with mandatory user fees is that the people who may need access to the media in question the most may not have the funds to pay for it. While on the other hand those who can afford to pay for it may feel cheated because they are paying for something they don't want.
This is why many countries use a hybrid model of a public charter that is charged with maintaining at least one public interest network. A public network that has arms-length funding to allow a healthy amount of criticism without having to worry about repercussions from shareholders or members of parliament.
Private corporate interests have proven that they do not really want to some types of services and programming, especially to fringe communities. A healthy mix of private and public interest seems to be the smartest way to fulfill the charter of basic "access for all" while allowing the full variety of programming and services for those who are willing to pay for it.
Finally, as is pretty clear, the meritocracy does not work very well in media. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are not "talented" in any significant way, and yet they and others like them command many, many hours of private media broadcasting. There is no doubt that many, many talented Canadian artists, producers and other culture creators would simply be eclipsed by global media if it wasn't for some way for them to compete on a more level playing ground. No amount of merit or talent on the part of an otherwise lesser-known artist would ever get them 5 minutes on any major commercial station.
In a nutshell, I agree that the "user fee" model used by the BBC and other public broadcasters is not very useful. However, this does not mean that public broadcasting is automatically a poor idea. This is especially so if one considers cultural participation, at least on some levels, as important as education, health and science. The public and private sectors have always worked in concert to provide a mix of solutions to all of these social needs.
I personally have no problem with my tax dollars going to a public broadcaster just as I do not have a problem with my tax dollars going to a social welfare system or public healthcare. I also know that it is useless trying to get private interests to service some communities in any meaningful way.
I refuse to let those communities be ghettoized because it is deemed too expensive to do so. Expense can be calculated in a lot of different ways, and it seems to me that economists need to learn how to count the "externalities" a little better, and maybe learn how to subtract.
At any rate, if you want to continue this dialog in a more appropriate forum, let me know. Cluttering up mygdal's photo comments may not be ideal for this purpose!