Broadcasting to a brave new world

The CBC’s recent plea for stable funding reminds us that broadcasters – not just print publishers – are concerned about survival within the global communications revolution. At this spring’s Broadcast Executive Society’s annual luncheon, broadcast execs pondered the possibility that former print readers and advertisers may be leapfrogging over broadcast media straight to popular non-news Internet sites. A year ago, the Communications Research Centre Canada, in a brief to Heritage Canada, stated a major industry challenge is the viewers’ increasing ability to set the agenda.

Meanwhile, web media experts are looking at the situation less from a standpoint of trepidation and more from a standpoint of curiosity. At the tech-head site Gigamon, Robert Young casts the issue as linear versus non-linear on-demand viewing. For background, the short paper ‘Convergence and the Future of Broadcast’ by Kenneth Brown, Director of Technology Programs at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, lays out some of the basic technology and vocabulary of the technological horizon.