Waterloo region welcomes CBC

The CBC has announced its intentions to expand radio services to more areas across the country as part of a five-year plan, titled, “Everyone. Everyway.” Kitchener-Waterloo is amongst the places that will benefit from this regional expansion.

When asked why Kitchener-Waterloo was selected as a part of this campaign, Jeff Keay, the head of Media Relations at CBC, responded, “It’s one of the larger population centres in the country that has been historically underserved by CBC.”

Keay estimated that at least six million people across Canada receive insufficient or no service by the CBC. He explained, “This [plan] is an attempt to address some of those changes as the country grows.”

Details of what this will mean to the region and the opportunities it will be provide will be better understood closer to the estimated start date, in late 2012. Keay commented, “We’ll have more to say as we figure out the specifics of what the service is going to look like.”

However, Keay anticipated that the presence of CBC in the region would produce positive results.

“It’s kind of a two way thing,” he said. “You’ve got the local content that gets created when you have a CBC location in an area, and you’re also able to bring content from outside of that area, to that area more effectively.”

Julie Dorsey, a second-year communications major at Laurier, felt that CBC would be an important addition to talk radio in the region.

“I think having the CBC in Waterloo will give more students and residents more diverse content,” she said. Dorsey added that there would be a benefit of having “extra resources to national and local coverage.”

Herbert Pimlott, a professor of communication studies at WLU, was happy to hear the news.

“I would say that Kitchener-Waterloo … is actually an area that has been long-neglected,” Pimlott said. “It misses the coverage because greater Toronto has taken on more of the coverage, I suppose.”

K-W, Pimlott felt, was particularly well-suited to host CBC due to its advanced technological sector, historic manufacturing capabilities and status as a two-university region. In addition, Pimlott noted that “there is a very vibrant music and arts scene here,” something which he felt the CBC would be able to emphasize on a national level.

“Canadians should recognize that it’s important to invest in our cultural industries, “ he added. “CBC will bring this extra bit to the general mix that will hopefully bring out more of the local cultural producers that we have.”

“I would say that Kitchener-Waterloo
… is actually an area that has been

–Herbert Pimlott, communication professor at WLU

Public sector radio is a valuable resource to any community, according to Pimlott. “The CBC is one that all Canadians hold to a higher standard,” he commented. “Personally, I think public service radio provides better journalism, because of the way their resources are allocated.”

Pimlott concluded, “We expect more of our public service broadcaster … but then we also need to give it the resources to do that job, and if it does that job as we ask it, I think it’ll be very good at raising Kitchener-Waterloo’s profile.”

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