Recommended Listening: Podcasts

by Bryan Crockett

There's this YouTuber I like, CGP Grey, who makes fantastic educational content on YouTube. He, along with Brady Haran of the YouTube channel Numberphile (along with apparently countless other channels), decided to make an absolutely awesome podcast called Hello Internet. It's very much, as they put it, a "two dudes talking" kind of podcast that makes you feel like you're the fly on the wall of two rather intelligent people having interesting, or at the very least entertaining, conversations.

This awesome podcast, and the time I have to spend on the bus everyday, made me decide to check out the podcasting world in general. Given my obvious interest in Canadian politics, this was one of the first things I punched into the fancy podcast search engines. A podcast called CANADALAND was pumped out of the search engine, presumably about Canada in some way. Turns out it's primarily about journalism in Canada. Along with that, Jesse Brown covers things that other journalists seem to pass up.

Another podcast I've gotten into recently, I actually found through one of my favourite journalists, Justin Ling is a freelance journalist who provides the public with the service of quality journalism through fantastic long form pieces, and through the Twitter. He's also the host of a podcast about all of Canadian, Quebec, and Montreal politics called Some Honourable Members. I like the show a lot. It has the standard panel model used by a bunch of television programs, except these guys don't hold back. The fact that none of the personalities on this show are partisan activists really makes the show more interesting because, unlike what I could watch on CTV, CBC, or Global, I'm not just hearing the same party talking points spouted by alternating voices.

Listening to these podcasts has got me thinking about making one. And consuming as much media as I do has made me think more critically about journalism in general. Quality, professional journalism is definitely preferable, but this makes me wonder about the place of citizen journalism in general.


A Sad Day for Gender Equality

by Bryan Crockett in

This makes me angry.

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided that, despite being companies and therefore not actually having capacity for thoughts or consciousness in themselves, companies can have religions.

But that's not all. The US Supreme Court has also decided that companies can force their religions upon their employees.

That's not even the worst of it. The SCOTUS has decided that healthcare decisions are somehow between more than just the healthcare practitioner and the patient.

It is a sad day for the United States, a sad day for religious freedom, and a sad day for gender equality.

CBC must be strengthened to be fixed

by Bryan Crockett in

Canada's Public Broadcaster has been hacked and slashed away at through its budget for years. But, given the latest cuts, the CBC announced that it is slashing 20 percent of its work force over the next 5 years, resulting in a tremendous reduction of journalistic and entertainment services for Canadians.

The value of a public broadcaster to Canadians is rooted largely in the fact that Canada has a rather small population. In larger markets, like the United States, journalistic organizations must compete with each other, and some journalists cover the media industry itself. Canada, at a population around 36 million, doesn't have the capacity to commercially support all of these news agencies. 

With the entire journalism industry struggling to make ends meet, the pressures are on management to bring in new revenue. Tapping these streams brings some ethical issues and compromises on the integrity of Canada's most revered and respected journalists. Advertorials and bought-and-paid-for stories are a result of two things: the lack of money in journalism these days, and the lack of journalists who cover the media itself.

The solution to this is a reimagined CBC, a rewritten mandate, and proper funding. A public broadcaster that produces solid informational content to combat the History Channel Effect of modern broadcasting. A public broadcaster whose journalists are free to report the news as it is, without fear of reprisal. A public broadcaster Canada can be proud of.


If you're interested in this sort of thing, please sign this petition.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of any other individuals or organizations.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program should be a pathway to Canadian Citizenship

by Bryan Crockett in

Canada's temporary foreign worker program has a slew of troubles, ranging from overuse to exploitation by employers. But despite the scandal of the program, it has a tremendous opportunity to have a positive social and economic impact on the country.

TFWs come to Canada for work. That work is their pathway to a better life. Right now, that pathway closes after a relatively short amount of time, and during that time, temporary foreign workers are left without many of the worker protections that contribute to Canada's excellence. 

This needs to change.

Canada needs more workers, more families, and more people in general. We're a small country, by population, at somewhere around 36 million people. Immigration is an opportunity for Canada, and the temporary foreign worker program should be worked into the immigration system.

Workers who come to Canada for opportunity, who contribute to our country, and who look to call Canada home should be able to work toward becoming Canadians themselves.