A few years ago, talk shows on local radio stations served as the first form of social media. No matter where you lived on Cape Breton Island, you could listen live to a discussion on a certain topic, then call a phone number and ask everyone to hear your opinion on that topic. It was powerful at the time.

I remember being young and seeing my parents and grandparents listening to a popular show called Talkback and then hearing them comment on the content. Sometimes when they were passionate about the subject they would call and have a say

I’m sure elected officials didn’t like this early form of social media and I’m sure it would be even more frowned upon by today’s politicians. The party system likes to take care of a privileged few and too much information is not a good thing for all this nastiness to continue.

I feel like our communities started to decline when we lost Talkback. Beyond the letters to the newspaper, it was as if the local residents could no longer make themselves heard publicly.

Child poverty, economic discrimination, extreme property taxation (outside the tax cap), high unemployment, failing infrastructure, unfair equalization and tax discrimination, environmental discrimination, health issues, etc., should all be discussed publicly and if politicians are willing to use this platform as well, then great.

We should be able to talk about problems and the people who are paid to solve these problems should have the opportunity to tell us – the public – how they are going to solve the problems we face.

Cape Breton Island needs talk radio. Halifax has it and is doing a great job of giving its residents the opportunity to publicly discuss current issues.

A talk radio station for Cape Breton must include all of Cape Breton and feature stories of public interest and issues facing the whole island to bring us together. Each county on the island should have designated times to present county-specific issues and information.

We can also use it to promote our island to tourists and visitors. There should be Cape Breton-only news broadcast hourly and streamed on the internet to allow all residents, young and old, to share the news.

Independent local Cape Breton talk radio is a great place to start. Seniors who aren’t online can tune into an FM station and listen to Cape Breton news and local interest programming. The younger generation can listen online at their leisure and with today’s technology there is no need for just one location and hosts can work from home across this beautiful island.

Cape Breton public and not-for-profit radio could begin to address many issues. Who wants to level up?

Russian green

Howie Center

Disclaimer

SaltWire Network welcomes letters on matters of public interest for publication. All letters should be accompanied by the author’s name, address and telephone number so that they can be verified. Letters may be subject to change. The opinions expressed in letters to the editor of this publication and on SaltWire.com are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions or views of SaltWire Network or its publisher. SaltWire Network will not post letters that are defamatory or disparaging of individuals or groups based on their race, creed, color or sexual orientation. Anonymous, pen-named, third-party or open letters will not be published.