Tuesday, February 1

i meant to talk about The Hour earlier....


One of my Profs got the class all riled up today when he started discussing CBC's The Hour. The class is an honors-level course on the public-sphere and such, so everyone attending is pretty well versed in their broadcasting theories. But so the Prof went off on The Hour and soon everyone was freaking out.

If you haven't watched/heard of The Hour, it is former MuchMusic VJ George Stroumboulopoulos' news-affairs show on CBC Newsworld (a 24-hour news channel run by Canada's public broadcaster.)

It is a fabulous evening show, targeted at 18-34s, deliving the news in a poignant, in-your-face manner. The Hour has quickly become my most-trusted source for news, something which is rare in this current void of newsmedia. Most of my friends feel the same way.

So when the Prof started his discussion of The Hour today by saying that CBC was "selling out" by turning towards a private-market format for news, people started to disagree. Then Prof argued that The Hour has no real news content, because George sits on a couch and talks about entertainment news sometimes. And he wears a t-shirt. Riiiiiight.

I raise my hand, and point out the little-known fact that George had actually pitched the show format to MuchMusic, but the style of the show didn't fall under Much's mandate for advertiser-driven content. So moving to public-broadcaster CBC was the only way to get his show on air. This seemed to prove to me that The Hour is a show operating in the public-interest.

Other students began to argue simmilar things, and the Prof got even more defensive and ended the class on the notion that he was still right.

But I bet tonight more students will be watching The Hour than before, so who really won?