To a large measure, CBC is in the relevance business.

Our local CBC Manitoba programming needs to capture the “is” of this community  and not just the “was.” We need to be forward looking and dynamic. We need to be reaching out like never before to gain an even deeper understanding of the profound changes that are reshaping Winnipeg and the rest of this province.

We need to be actively listening and learning. Relevance is rooted in understanding the widest possible diversity of people, opinions and ideas.

We need to look and sound like this community. Not just one slice of it. Not just a certain demographic. Not just a singular viewpoint.

In short, the power of our programming, of our story telling depends on relevance.

I think about all of these things as I listen to our CBC Radio One morning show — Information Radio — with host Marcy Markusa. And I’m very interested in knowing what your thoughts are whether you listen every day or just on occasion.

A good morning program, it seems to me, is not a just series of stories or elements loosely strung together by pleasant, welcoming conversation. It is an experience that truly engages and incites and informs and challenges and invites active participation.

A good CBC Radio One morning show asks about the “why” of things. It holds the accountable to account. It celebrates success and the pursuit of success and change. It has a range of emotions including laughter and fun.

A good morning show is empathetic to the challenges and struggles people may face. It is also probing and unafraid to explore difficult issues and uncomfortable places. It needs to hosted by people who sound like they live here and care passionately about this place and what happens to it.

What drives Information Radio is the conviction that “we’re all in this together.” It means we have skin in the game. We are, both professionally and privately, deeply invested in this community. We are certainly journalists guided by a strong and clear set of journalistic guidelines, but we are also citizens.

All of the above is a lot to ask of a single program, a small group of people. But that’s the gig; that’s simply part of being a dynamic, contemporary public broadcaster. Your public broadcaster.

When I get up early in the morning to eat my high-fibre cereal and listen to Information Radio on 89.3 FM and 990 AM, I take notes that in one form or another lead me to ask the following questions:

  • Are we sounding like our community?
  • Are we as relevant in our story telling as we can be?

I believe we hit the mark far more often than not.

But what really matters is what you think. So let me know.

You can email me at john.bertrand@cbc.ca or call me directly at 204-788-3213 or find me on twitter @johnbertrandCBC

How are we doing? What’s working? What’s missing? How is your part of Winnipeg and Manitoba changing?

As I said, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.