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Dispatches cancelled. Your comments Part Four

Because of budget cuts to CBC, Dispatches will go off the air in June.  Here are more of your comments:


Sheryl McLaughlin of Ottawa:

I am so sad to hear that Dispatches will be cancelled. It has been my favourite radio program. The stories are always interesting and informative and they let us get to know a little bit more about other parts of the world.

I hope that somehow Dispatches can continue.

Mike Fay sent "Thoughts on the nature of Dispatches (Or how I learned to stop worrying, and hope for a visit from Sinterklaas)."


Without using too harsh words to exemplify an over-emotional reaction, news of the cancellation of Dispatches provoked feelings of grief.

I have listened with eager ears over the past three years or so to the profoundly interesting tales of journalists stumbling across stories, finding those nuggets of truth that had no right being on the front page, but were even more than fascinating.

The show reminded me of my time backpacking in Australia. Fresh from high school, and frenzied over a young love, I went backpacking to a commonwealth country to see the world. Knowing full and well that things couldn't possibly be that different from my home in Canada.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Happening upon Australia Day while dazed under the scorching Sydney heat, I found myself confused. Days after a small ethnic riot, spawning harsh violence against Muslims- well, anyone with a brown or olive hue to their skin, I was baffled. Military helicopters scoffed overhead, flapping Australian flags casting shadows the size of whole city street blocks. Everyone was happy, elated and celebratory. I had heard the local zoo was fighting to deal with sustaining koala bears, with a shouting minority, unhappy tax dollars were going to preserve such an iconic animal. A local religious sect was shoving their street preachers out to many corners, not to protest abortion, or the impending Armageddon, simply to harass every passerby about enforcing their ranks, much to the dismay of the local population.

A stalling amusement park that stood for decades appeared two feet in the grave, but was packed with people one weekend upon a public call to prove that these things were valued in their community. Families seemed elated all afternoon, as I wandered under the shadow of that iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. My only venture outside of the city proper was to a music festival, to be bombarded by my favorite international bands, as well as some national and locals that I doubt I would ever hear of again on the other side of that wet ocean.

When I entered, I was patted down. This friendly family event had seen accidental death in the past, locals I talked to seemed outraged at the security, a fluke accident that would never be repeated. This type of security was outrageous in a meager 2005. After what could have only really been heat stroke from 8 hours under the sun. My Big Day Out concluded with a performance with a hit and miss Australian band named Wolfmother. It would be only 8 months after my return that they would explode on the International scene with their single Woman. It was a reminder that as far away as things may be, they can still be important and have impact in other places. The entire trip left me remiss. Traveling hadn't expanded my mind in the way it was meant to. It only left me more curious about the places I had been.

When I got home I felt like I knew even less than when I had left, the small notes, the rumors dropped in passing. The stories that no one want to hear, but most people were dying to tell.

Your show has always been a throw back for me, to those times and ideas, and well, hope. Thank you for whispering to me, shouting to me, provoking me, seducing me, and reminding me just how big and important this world really is.

You leave a void in the information network and free education that is the CBC, if not all of Canada, all I can offer is my thanks.

Keith & Pauline Worsley-Brown:


We are very disappointed to hear that the CBC is dropping Dispatches in its efforts to meet the Federal Budget restraints.  This is very discouraging, as Dispatches features brought an international, informative and factual blend of reporting.

They seem to be continuing with the crude and offensive comedy programs though.  

Ross Dickson of Nokomis:


The announced cancellation of Dispatches is a disappointing one. The program is entertaining, informative and gives a considered perspective that real-time interview news  shows such as As It Happens (which is suberb too) can not achieve. You were burdened by time slots that made it difficult to listen to you when originally broadcast. Thanks to Rick and the many contributors over the years who have produced an outstanding series. Happy trails!


Donald Winkler of Montreal, QC:

CBC Radio's Dispatches was one of the small number of shows that could still make one proud of the network's achievements and reputation. Superb international journalism from across the globe, from a Canadian perspective. Its disappearance is a reflection not just of economic realities, but of degraded priorities.

Derek Wilson Port Moody, BC:
Dear Rick

I consider myself fortunate to have worked for two years in Zambia. Traveling to Zambia and back to Canada gave me an opportunity to visit England, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.  As well I crossed Canada from Vancouver to Montreal by passenger train. This travel opened my eyes to the real world of different cultures, cuisines, and living conditions.

So for the past decade I have been an eager listener to CBC Radio's "Dispatches" program hosted by you. "Dispatches" presented a wide range of behind-the-news, arts, human-interest, and man-bites-dog stories to its listeners from a pool of professional and amateur "stringers". "Dispatches" provided a window on the world with a blend of social responsibility and humour. I am deeply disappointed that CBC management has decided to terminate this program. I think it is a wrong choice.

Good luck in your future broadcasting work.

Very sincerely.

Jonathan Melville of Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan:

Dear Dispatches Team,

I am one of the many people extremely disheartened by today's news that your excellent program will be cancelled. I have been listening to your program from its inception and have always had a child-like anticipation for the first new episode each fall. As a consumer of a great deal of media on international current affairs, Dispatches always stood out as one of the best. It was the depth, diversity, stimulating commentary, and creative nature of the stories that encapsulated my attention every week. I thank, and congratulate, you and all your freelance journalists for their great work. In the future I hope to hear from you again under a different banner.

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