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public broadcasting & podcasting

I’ve been listening to tons of great public broadcasting on

And here’s a different view about why “good” public broadcasting is important: with the web, and podcasts, the CBC becomes a calling card for Canada. Ditto Deutsche-Welle for Germany and ARN for Australia etc. The broadcaster becomes a marketing tool and a builder of prestige. This is becoming more important in the networked world, where – for many of my peers, for instance – we can be anywhere in the world to do the work we do. Ditto businesses, scientists, writers and other “elites.” We want them here, in Canada, in Montreal, because really smart people make a country more vibrant and innovative.

I believe that a strong public broadcaster with excellent, thought-provoking content, helps build Canada’s image in the world.

While this isn’t all a public broadcaster should do, this is a new kind of rationale, I believe, brought on by the web; and one that might be more compelling to the business-only decision-making that runs our governments these days.

Note, this applies as well to universities: all universities should put a chunk of their marketing budget towards producing a weekly, high-quality podcast that interviews professors doing exciting research (whether in arts, humanities, or sciences and professional disciplines). I’m thinking of a weekly podcast with content as varied and wonderful as the TEDTalks. That is the gold standard for thought-provoking web content … and should be emulated by anyone who wants to build an image as a place of exciting innovation.

I was just talking with Mitch and Julien about this at lunch the other day; and commented on Mat’s blog to this effect.