In this week’s installment, we’ve dug up Mike Starowicz’s astute and ominously titled 1985 piece, “Slow Dissolve:The Death of Public Broadcasting.” In it, Starowicz takes a hard look at the state of public broadcasting in Canada. He argues that while the Canadian government has done a good job of protecting radio waves from the culturally corrosive influence of American content, it has done little to maintain Canada’s televisual sovereignty in the onslaught of Yankee programming.
Admittedly, the piece was penned when the internet was still the wet dream of a bunch of computer geeks from northern California; its exhortations for more regulation and Canadian content can seem quaint in an era of globalized communication. But consider this: as of 2008, the average Canadian adult was still watching an incredible (and slightly depressing) 21 hours of television a week. Given that a massive percentage of this is either American programming or blatant Canadian copies (here’s looking at you So You Think You Can Dance Canada), Starowicz’s piece still gives pause for thought.