Aboriginal tv

by Yule Heibel on July 3, 2005

While I usually don’t turn on the radio first thing, I did reach for my bedside clock-radio-alarm thingy this morning at 9, thinking I’d catch the news. I had no idea what station was tuned in (the thingy is usually set to “sounds,” in case I need it for wake-up purposes — oceans, crickets, all that annoying new age stuff: but those sounds sure beat being woken to buzzers or bells or beeps), and after I turned up the volume, I found NPR. Sports sports sports (something about tennis, I think), followed by something about Iraq and something about Sandra Day O’Connor. At 9:06 it was pretty much over. So I turned the dial and caught a few more minutes of (ahem, I have to say this:) the highly superior CBC news. Why superior? Well, CBC actually realises that there’s a world beyond the US navel, for one thing. There’s more news, for another. It’s international, it’s regional, it’s national, and sports does not rank first or second place. In fact, sports came last, at about 9:10.

Before the final brief-ish sports item, I heard this interesting bit: Taiwan’s aborigines get their own tv channel. I didn’t even know there were aboriginal groups in Taiwan, but I had recently learned about aboriginal tv networks (even though I don’t get tv…):

The 12 aboriginal tribes in Taiwan, who trace their roots back 6,000 years, have their own traditions and languages, although the new station will mainly broadcast in Mandarin Chinese. [BBC cont’d.…]

The Taipei Times adds:

“This channel is the first of its kind in Taiwan and in the whole of Asia. It represents Taiwan’s 12 Aboriginal groups and a place that allows the voices of more than 800 Aboriginal tribes be heard,” [President Shui-bian] Chen wrote in his weekly e-newsletter. [More…]

I find this sort of development interesting, even exciting. Only lately did I learn that Canada has had an Aboriginal Peoples Television Network since September 1999 — in fact, the APTN is the first of its kind in the world (on a national level).

I’d love to get this kind of programming streamed over the internet (flawlessly, cross-platform, without hiccups, just like tv, but with real click-it-or-pass-on-it choice vs. cable subscription menus). It really is a big wide world out there, and there’s a lot more going on than sports sports sports tennis sports supremecourt bush sports stars greenspan sports movies boxoffice sports senate sports… Well, at least CBC tells me about these alternatives — on the main news, to boot, not on some program aimed at the obscure.

PS: check out the links on APTN’s What’s New page, too.

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