ComMedia 2015 Invites CRTC to Community Media Conference

CACTUS alerted the CRTC to the fact that it was planning to organize the first national digital community media conference in the fall of 2014, with the hopes that both CRTC staff and commissioners would be able to attend, contribute to panels, and get to know the frequently overlooked sector of the broadcasting system that they regulate.

It was on the CRTC's three-year work plan that it would review community TV policy, and CACTUS' intent in liaising with the CRTC as soon as it had 'hatched' the idea for the conference was to make sure that all parties could maximally benefit from the research, best practices, and policy alternatives that might arise from this first coast-to-coast meeting of community media practitioners on all platforms.

In February of 2015, the CRTC announced following its recently completed "Let's Talk TV" process that it would shortly review community TV policy in the broader context of its policies for local conventional television.

Concerned, CACTUS requested a meeting with CRTC staff to:

  • renew our invitation to participate in the community media conference
  • discuss the timing of the proposed review
  • express our concern that the needs of the community TV sector might be sidelined in favour of the needs of larger interests and owners of conventional broadcasting networks.

When the CRTC met with CACTUS in late May, CACTUS learned that the community TV policy review notice might be posted before the end of summer, possibly precluding CRTC staff and Commissioners from participating, and precluding any of the research, practitioner knowledge and experience from shaping the CRTC's understanding of the sector and the policy review framework.

CACTUS therefore submitted the following formal request to delay a community TV policy review until after the conference, allowing the CRTC to participate fully, in a collegial fashion with media researchers and practitioners.

CACTUS request to delay hearing until after community media conference.

Since this letter was sent, several other conference organizers, research collaborators, sponsors, and concerned citizens have echoed CACTUS' request that the CRTC give its full support to the conference, and not squander the unprecedented opportunity to renew our country's commitment to and understanding of community media in the digital environment. You can read some of their letters below.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
Clifford Lincoln
La Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec
The Canadian Media Guild
David Skinner, York University
Deepak Sahasrabuhde, Manager,
Dr. Michael Lithgow, University of McGill.
Kirsten Kozolanka, Carleton University
Community Media Education Society
Professor Robert Hackett, Simon Fraser University

If you would like to encourage the CRTC to participate in and support the conference, you can either fax your comments to (819) 994-0218, or use the comments form on the CRTC web site. If you use the comment form, you can either type directly into the box on the form, or upload a separate document (for example, a letter on organizational letterhead).

Your voice is important to ensure that there are as many stakeholders at the table for this historic pan-media meeting, policy-makers especially!