The Lens shuts

Errgghhh. In a move that demonstrates a stunning incapacity to honour CBC’s putative role as public broadcaster, the geniuses at English Television have canceled The Lens. That strand, once known as Rough Cuts, was a prime showcase for emerging documentarists from all over Canada.

Before proceeding let me be clear about my bias: I belong to DOC (The Documentary Organization of Canada); and  I once produced a film for Rough Cuts.

I’m also a broadcast educator and journalist-filmmaker with a quarter century of experience. The sad fact is that the gang currently running CBC-TV are betraying a public trust.

The CBC would rather spend our tax money on drama that mimics the worst that Hollywood can offer, professional sports and the rights to Coronation Street. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a Corrie fan, but what on earth are the priorities of our CANADIAN national public broadcaster on television?

CBC Radio continues to provide some excellent programming. CBC-TV now consists largely of weak variants of American trends in both its fiction and non-fiction programming. I would hope that taxpayers would begin to have higher expectations of a service that was once a trend setter rather than a prime symptom of Canada’s colonial status.

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