Sunday, October 18, 2009 | Categories: Episodes
Michael Enright's Essay
Micheal shares his thoughts on "end times". In this week's essay reflects on the unfortuante fate of the Myans, the Aztecs and why we humans are on constant end of the world alert.
Poverty... A Conversation with Hugh Segal
It's a problem that may never go away. "The poor," or so the Bible tells us, "will be with us always." But the idea that poverty itself is an intractable issue does not excuse governments from trying to address it. And for decades, politicians and policy makers have tried in many different ways to reduce if not eliminate it.
Over the course of this season at the Sunday Edition, we want to talk about poverty - why does it exist in one of the richest countries on earth, how big a problem is it, and what can be done about it? But poverty is a problem that's increasingly difficult to define. In this country, we can't even agree on how to measure it.
Statistics Canada can tell us the unemployment rate, the gross domestic product and the consumer price index. But what Stats Canada won't - and can't - enumerate is a poverty rate. And that's because the politicians haven't agreed on exactly what poverty is.
Senator Hugh Segal is expending much of his political capital on keeping poverty on the national agenda. And he's not only one of the few national figures devoted to this issue - he's one of the even fewer Conservatives to take up the fight. Senator Segal joined us from a studio in Kingston.
"Poverty", Continued - Mincome
As the Senator mentioned - back in the 1970s, an ambitious experiment in social engineering was conducted in the province of Manitoba. It was called Mincome - as in minimum guaranteed income.
The study involved some residents of the city of Winnipeg - but what made Mincome so audacious was what happened in a small farming town about 300 kilometers northwest. From 1974 through 1978, Dauphin, Manitoba was a town with no poverty. Every one of the nearly 13,000 residents of Dauphin and the surrounding area was eligible to receive a guaranteed annual income. The information gathered throughout the project was supposed to help policy makers evaluate the plan to see if the program should be expanded. But when the funding dried up, the project ended. And the data remained unexamined - in hundreds of boxes which were put into storage. Nearly thirty years went by before anyone started to analyze Micome.
Ron Hikel was the Executive Director of Mincome. He now works for US Congressman Eric Massa and was in our studio in Washington, DC. Evelyn Forget is a professor in the Community Health Sciences Department at the University of Manitoba. She's the one who tracked down the Mincome papers, decades after the conclusion of the study. And she's completed her first analysis of the data. She was in our Winnipeg studio.
Listen to Hour One:
Front Row with the Director of Tafelmusik...
Tafelmusik is a group whose brilliance lies in performing the music of the Baroque period on Instruments of the Baroque period. Listening to Tafelmusik, one can almost imagine sitting in a concert hall three or four hundred years ago, watching the masters breathing a sigh of satisfaction as their work came to life.
Tafelmusik is one of the most acclaimed and successful classical groups this country has ever produced. Thanks to an exhaustive international touring schedule and a prolific list of recordings, they are as popular around the world as they are here at home.
The orchestra is celebrating its 30th anniversary this season. The woman largely responsible for its success joined Michael in our Toronto studio. Jeanne Lamon has been the musical director and concertmaster of Tafelmusik since 1981.
Jeanne Lamon was in our Toronto studio.
Crimes, Conspiracies and James Ellroy...
In our second hour, Michael Enright spoke with James Ellroy, one of America's most intriguing writers about politics, crime, conspiracies and the history of America. Ellroy's new novel, Blood is A Rover is the concluding volume in the trilogy Underworld USA. The first two volumes: American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand were both critically aclaimed and best sellers. James Ellroy was in our Toronto Studio
Listen to Hour Two:
Ira Basen's News 2.0
Back in 2006, when Time magazine chose "you" as its person of the year, the editors declared "this is a story about community on a scale never seen before".
They were talking about emerging technologies that were allowing millions of people to share stories, pictures and videos on the internet. They were talking Web 2. 0, or social media. The first wave of internet tools, which arrived in the mid 1990's, were about improving already existing lines of communication. E-mail allowed us to get in touch with people instantaneously. Websites gave us access to a vast treasure trove of information. Today, we call this Web 1. OH
But Web 2.0 is all about building online communities, with no geographic boundaries. Its most successful application is Facebook, which has grown from practically nothing in 2006, to more than 200 million users today. But it's not the only one. There's YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia, to name a few. Web 2.0 is transforming our culture, disrupting old businesses, and creating new ones. And few businesses have been more profoundly affected by social media than the news business. There's been a lot of news about the news recently, most of it centered on the desperate economic struggle of newspapers.
But in many ways, the biggest challenge for the mainstream media in a Web 2.0 world is coming from you - us. These days, all you need to publish your stories and pictures to the world, is a mobile device and an internet connection. This is the age of "citizen journalism".
But what does it all mean? What does news look like in a you-powered universe? What is the future of journalism when everyone can be their own editor, publisher and reporter? In this hour- and again next week - Ira Basen reprises News 2.0: The Future of News in an Age of Social Media.
Listen to Hour Three: