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Date: June 27, 2012

CBC Host Guest—Stars With Department Of Writing

Popular CBC radio host Jo-Ann Roberts will be stepping out of the broadcast booth and into the classroom as the latest Harvey Stevenson Southam Lecturer in Journalism and Nonfiction with the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing.

Roberts will teach a lecture and discussion course called “Public Broadcasting and the Public Good,” examining the proud history and somewhat uncertain future of public broadcasting in Canada, and around the world. “Public broadcasting matters to every journalist in this country,” Roberts explains. “We keep the bar high, and that means private broadcasters can’t go any lower—but the lower we get, the lower their bar goes. As a journalist, you don’t have to be working for a public broadcaster to care about it.”

A respected journalist with 35 years experience in radio, print and television, the award-winning Roberts has been at the helm of CBC’s Victoria-based All Points West for six years, building it into the top-rated afternoon show in the province. “I think I have a pretty broad classroom between 3 and 6 p.m. each day,” says Roberts. “Not that I’m out there to teach, but radio is very much a learning environment. You have to engage an audience, give them something they didn’t know before, get a good discussion going . . . that sounds like a pretty good class to me.”

“We’re thrilled to be bringing Jo-Ann to the campus to mentor students and engage the community,” says David Leach, Director of Professional Writing. “Jo-Ann is a dynamic personality, with rich and varied experiences, who will be a real inspiration for students and the public alike. The future role of the CBC, in our current political climate and our ever-changing digital media environment, is one of the most urgent and complex issues facing the profession of journalism in Canada.”

Roberts is the sixth person to hold the prestigious Southam Lectureship, following Charles Campbell (Georgia Straight), Sandra Martin (Globe & Mail), Jody Paterson (Times Colonist) and authors Richard Wagamese and Terry Glavin. The annual Harvey Stevenson Southam lectureship is made possible by a significant gift from one of the country’s leading publishing families. Harvey Southam, a UVic alumnus and journalist, was heir to his family’s publishing empire when he died suddenly in 1991.
 

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Media contacts:

Jo-Ann Roberts (CBC) at 250-414-4701 or jo-ann.roberts@cbc.ca
David Leach (Writing) at 250-721-7627 or dleach@uvic.ca
John Threlfall (Fine Arts Communications) at 250-721-6222 or johnt@uvic.ca


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