The End of the CBC?

By David Taras and Christopher Waddell

© 2020

The End of the CBC? is about three overlapping crises: the crisis that has enveloped the CBC, the crisis of news, and the crisis of democracy. They are all the result to some degree of the vast changes that have overtaken and consumed the media world in the last ten to fifteen years. The emergence of platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix, the hyper-targeting of individual users through data analytics, the development of narrow online identity communities, and the rise of an attention economy that makes it more and more difficult for any but the most powerful media organizations to be noticed, have changed the media landscape in dramatic ways. The effects on the CBC and on other Canadian media organizations have been shattering.

Describing the failure of successive governments to address problems faced by the public broadcaster, this book explains how the CBC lost its place in sports, drama, and entertainment. Taras and Waddell propose a way forward for the CBC – one in which the corporation concentrates its resources on news and current affairs and re-establishes a reputation for depth and quality.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000736

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2020
    From: $34.95
    ISBN 9781487593520
  • PUBLISHED FEB 2020

    From: $60.00

    Regular Price: $80.00

    ISBN 9781487593537
  • PUBLISHED JAN 2020
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Quick Overview

After almost 90 years, the CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, has reached a crossroads. This book examines the political, economic, social, media, and cultural forces that have pushed the CBC to the point where it must be reimagined and re-invented.

The End of the CBC?

By David Taras and Christopher Waddell

© 2020

The End of the CBC? is about three overlapping crises: the crisis that has enveloped the CBC, the crisis of news, and the crisis of democracy. They are all the result to some degree of the vast changes that have overtaken and consumed the media world in the last ten to fifteen years. The emergence of platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix, the hyper-targeting of individual users through data analytics, the development of narrow online identity communities, and the rise of an attention economy that makes it more and more difficult for any but the most powerful media organizations to be noticed, have changed the media landscape in dramatic ways. The effects on the CBC and on other Canadian media organizations have been shattering.

Describing the failure of successive governments to address problems faced by the public broadcaster, this book explains how the CBC lost its place in sports, drama, and entertainment. Taras and Waddell propose a way forward for the CBC – one in which the corporation concentrates its resources on news and current affairs and re-establishes a reputation for depth and quality.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "The End of the CBC? is a book that should be read by anyone who cares about how journalism and democracy intersect."


    Tony Burman
    The Toronto Star, February 29, 2020

    "In many ways, this timely and thought-provoking book is more about saving Canadian journalism than about saving the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation."


    Beth Haddon
    Literary Review of Canada

    "The End of the CBC? argues that Canada’s public broadcaster must rapidly and quite savagely reinvent itself or risk ‘oblivion.’ And it is nothing if not timely reading."


    Chris Selley
    The National Post, March 20, 2020

    "Taras and Waddell have written a significant book that I hope will be read by people in positions to make decisions. As The End of the CBC? makes abundantly clear, the time is ripe for a reassessment and renewal of Canadian public broadcasting. Taras and Waddell assess the options for the CBC in a media world that is increasingly dominated by foreign-based streaming giants. It is refreshing to read a book that is not only critical but offers concrete steps on how to bolster areas of strength to address current shortcomings. The End of the CBC? is a bold and insightful contribution to the study of contemporary mass communications in Canada."


    Gregory Taylor, University of Calgary

    "With public broadcasting in crisis, David Taras and Christopher Waddell ask a question others dare only whisper, "Is this the end of the CBC?" The result is a timely and provocative intervention which, while written from a perspective that values CBC’s vital role in Canadian society, is conscious of the sea change in the country’s mediascape and is not afraid to cast a critical eye on the Corporation’s past fumbles and missteps. The End of the CBC? is a must-read for academics, policy-makers, journalists and members of the public concerned with how best to secure CBC’s future in our fractious and fragmented media environment."


    Patrick McCurdy, University of Ottawa

    "The CBC is one of the pillars of Canada’s public square, helping support our culture and political discourse. But, in their masterfully researched book, David Taras and Chris Waddell have exposed the forces inside and outside the corporation that are threatening to pull that pillar down and, with it, one of the few means we have to create a Canadian community. It’s essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of the CBC and our country as a whole."


    Sean Holman, Mount Royal University
  • Author Information

    David Taras is a professor and Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies at Mount Royal University.


    Christopher Waddell is a professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University.
  • Table of contents

    1. The End of the CBC? 
    2. Lost Horizons 
    3. The Politics of Resentment and Neglect 
    4. The CBC in the New Attention Economy 
    5. The Collapse of Sports and News  
    6. More Dashed Hopes 
    7. Reinvent the CBC or Allow It to Die

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