It’s been five years since CBC employees were locked out by management.

…five years since CBC Unplugged christened podcasting as an important channel for media talent to stay connected with legions of fans (and vice versa)… five years since Shelagh’s Caravan made its way from Vancouver to Signal Hill, podcasting their unregulated adventures and interactions with Canadians in homes, community centres and schools… five years since podcasting made its debut as a tool for advocacy.

Think about that.

Podcasting had barely hatched and, guided by traditional media folk, was establishing itself as a tool for connecting Canadians to each other. Given the thousands of people downloading and subscribing to “raw” regional programming from real people (media people), a case can be made that the engagement and connection made possible by podcasts played a significant role in creating a groundswell of public support for the locked out employees – people who no longer had access to transmission towers. Their content marginalized the BBC reruns on traditional CBC frequencies.

New media proved itself a substantial force in modern communication. Recognizing this, the CBC expanded its new media strategy after the lockout was settled. Now, five years later, the two types of distribution are more seamlessly integrated — as they should be.

It’s quite by accident I remembered earlier today I had supported the production and publication of Locked Out Live, the podcast created by the locked out employees of CBC Ottawa (still available on my Electric Sky site) as well as publishing a few of my own podcasts featuring locked out talent (check out I Want My CBC, The Penance-Cast and Locked Out Idol). It was my opportunity to apply my media appreciation and understanding to a new way of producing and distributing content. I remember those days fondly for the opportunity to learn from the best and was all to happy to see those people return to the airwaves.

By the way, congratulations to Alan Neal for taking over the host’s seat for CBC Ottawa’s All in a Day. Some suggest it was Alan’s appearance on Electric Sky that tipped the scales in his favour.

Thank you to James Clendenan for maintaining a CBC Unplugged mirror!