Sound off: Printed books or e-books?

With the Canada Reads debates just around the corner, Canadians everywhere are trying to fit in as much reading time as possible. Which do you prefer between traditional printed books, e-books, audio books or do you just cross your fingers and hope that it makes it to the big screen? I asked some of Canada’s favourite book bloggers to weigh in.

Ashley MetzgerAshley Metzger: Printed books, all the way. Not only do I just love the look, feel and smell of a real book, I also find I retain more when I read a physical book than I do when I read an e-book. I don’t even own an e-reader.


ArielAriel Bissett:  Logically I think ebooks make the most sense: the ability to have an infinity library with you at all times, the backlit screen that makes reading possible whenever you go, and the elimination of tricky page flipping that happens when you’re in a bizarre reading position. But saying all that, last year I only read one ebook!

GiselleGiselle, Book Nerd:  I prefer traditional printed books because the whole reading experience is elevated to a physical one. I also love that I can see printed books all lined up on my bookshelves waiting to be read and admire the beautiful covers and artwork.

LuanneLuanne Ollivier: I download a number e-books to read while travelling or to read at night so the bedside light doesn’t disturb my husband. But I still overwhelmingly prefer a traditional printed book.  And yes, it sounds odd – but I love that ‘new book’ smell!

-Sarah Lue, Social Media Advisor, Enterprise Communications

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CBC my way

CBC my way

If you are reading this, there’s a good chance that you feel some connection to CBC. For me, it all started when I was 4 years old with watching Passe-Partout every weekday at 10 a.m. Yes, I’m from the Passe-Partout Generation, your typical French-Speaking Canadian Gen Xer.

Time passes, technology changes and it changes us, but that connection to the programming and the hosts that we love stays. I’ve discovered radio all over again with the CBC Radio and ICI Première apps. I don’t care about TV schedules anymore because I can catch up on ICI

Now that I’ve pledged my love for technology, I have to admit that, and this is where I totally sound like a Gen Xer, I wouldn’t be willing to abandon my regular cable TV. Because, sometimes, I just can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen to my favourite character in Unité 9 on ICI Radio-Canada Télé, or to real people in the news. That said, I couldn’t let go of my smartphone and tablet either.

Believe me, things would be much easier for CBC if it could focus on one platform: TV, radio, online or mobile. That would also mean losing its connection with the 76% and 41% of Canadians who use its TV and radio services, or ignoring the growing number of Canadians who go online.

It’s always more work to be at the forefront of change than to maintain the status quo. But what matters even more to your CBC is nurturing the connection that it has with you, no matter how or where it happens.

CBC my way


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On the road with Nicole Lavergne-Smith

Nicole Lavergne-Smith, also known as the Fureteuse fransaskoise (French content), has travelled thousands of kilometres on the roads of Saskatchewan. 

Nicole Lavergne-Smith, Fureteuse fransaskoise

Nicole Lavergne-Smith, Fureteuse fransaskoise

This social media enthusiast and digital reporter has her own way of doing things, posting local human-interest stories alongside fun videos and clashing series. In February, she captured the attention of many online fans by launching her Great Hamburger Hunt (French content) across arenas throughout Saskatchewan.  

What do you pack in your bag before hitting the road? I make sure I have all my equipment: camera, batteries, phone, etc. I generally travel pretty light. Water is a must, it’s amazing how thirsty you get on a shoot, especially when eating hamburgers! I also now ALWAYS bring my glasses. I wear contacts and one day was filming on top of a windy hill and one of my contacts flew away. I had to drive home, with only one eye working properly, so glasses are key!

What area of Saskatchewan surprised you the most? No specific area has been a shock because I grew up here. Saskatchewan people are interesting no matter where they are from.

How does having online fans affect the way that you work? It’s a game changer, as we all know. There is no doubt, Radio-Canada in Saskatchewan is building its audience because of it. People who didn’t know we existed are now following what we do. I see part of my role as an audience builder, generating exposure for the amazing work my colleagues do. They may be lured in by a rink burger, but it’s awesome how soon some of them are sharing our other content.

Which story have you enjoyed reporting on the most? They have all been fun and enriching in different ways. I have driven through bush to find the house of an old French aristocrat, talked in depth with a couple that had a roller coaster of a life, danced ridiculously in front of the Welcome to Regina sign, and trudged through kilometres of burned out forest. I am often pinching myself and wonder how I got so lucky to have these amazing opportunities.

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Meet some of CBC/Radio-Canada’s women in digital & technology

In honour of International Women’s Day, a day that reinforces the importance of equality, we’re shining the spotlight on some of CBC’s women in digital and technology. In a field that traditionally was very male dominated, here are some amazing Canadians that we can all look to for inspiration. 

Abby Ho, Head of the CBC Creator Network

The Creator Network is a collective of Canadian YouTube, social media, digital content creators who work with us to develop and amplify content across our verticals.

Best advice that I ever received? Think big, and fail fast. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, just do it quick and pivot.

Dominique Gagné, Director, Business Intelligence, Digital Media

Digital Media’s mission is to set up and constantly evolve innovative multiplatform products and services. In order to build digital business intelligence at Radio-Canada, we’ve brought together all the activities for which I’m responsible, including cybermetrics, accessibility, search engine optimization (SEO) and digital training, into one department. We’re seeking to develop a common digital culture across Radio-Canada’s various departments and we’re doing it by developing cross-functional expertise through centres of excellence.

What advice would you give members of the next generation who would like to follow in your footsteps? It’s sometimes hard to combine our various roles, at work and at home as a wife, mother or friend. You shouldn’t try to be perfect in every area of your life. I often say that we have to aim for an optimal outcome. In the word optimal, there’s an idea of context, it’s the best you can do a given time, in a specific situation, with the resources available. This concept often relieves just enough pressure to allow you to outdo yourself!

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Emily Mills: a source of inspiration

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is all about being bold and inspiring change. One woman who embodies this is CBC’s Emily Mills, who in addition to her full-time gig as a Senior communications officer, was also the mastermind behind HERstory in Black.

HERstory in Black shares the experiences of 150 women who excel in their field, who push for greater diversity and who help build vibrant communities. The project was an extension of How She Hustles, a network of more than 5,000 women from diverse backgrounds. What’s with the number 150 you may ask? Emily chose this as another way to highlight Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

What was your experience like presenting your project to CBC? I was excited but also a bit uncertain. Everybody has passions and interests outside of work. One of my passions is connecting diverse women in the city through my How She Hustles community.  Bringing my outside passion into CBC – and creating this intersection – was a unique experience. Fortunately, my idea for HERstory in Black was received with enthusiasm at CBC from day #1. I think we all gained valuable lessons throughout the process that will be helpful for future special projects.

As a mother, what would you like to teach your children about how they relate to others? Our boys are already learning that girls are awesome and that gender shouldn’t define what they can achieve. Respect is a key message. We practice what we preach.

In honour of International Women’s Day, what is your wish for women ten years from now? My hope is that more women stand tall and own it! Humility is a quality we should all have, but more women need to take pride in their accomplishments and take credit for the incredible work they do. I think this shift in mindset can help change the world – from more women in leadership roles to a change in our economy.

– Emily Mills, Senior communications officer, English Services

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