“Margaret Lyons always said she had three strikes against her: she was a woman, she was under five feet tall, and she was Japanese.” As a reporter, producer and manager, she brought a new standard of journalism to radio in Canada and is credited with saving CBC radio from oblivion. She directed the creation of programs such as As it Happens, Quirks & Quarks, and Sunday Morning. She was instrumental in realizing CBC’s Radio Revolution in the late sixties, seventies and eighties. Margaret died in late 2019.
When she died, a small group of people who worked for and with Margaret as young aspiring public broadcasters, decided they should create a moment to reflect on Margaret’s contributions.
They had hoped to stage an event at the Glenn Gould Studio in the Broadcast Centre in Toronto last Spring, but the pandemic rendered that impossible. So, they pivoted and created a one-hour documentary Tribute to Margaret.
From the beginning they thought the hour would be important for journalism/media and communication schools across the country. It is too easy to ignore our national history and Margaret Lyons personified a major chapter in the development of broadcast journalism in Canada. Any student of journalism or the media would not only benefit but enjoy hearing Margaret’s incredible journey from an interned Canadian of Japanese descent during World War II to the Head of CBC Radio. Her contribution to both public broadcasting and Canadian Culture is enormous and as a racialized woman her story is all the more remarkable. She is also a first-class example of the power of original thinking and what a little corporate defiance and bravery can accomplish. If her journey inspires young women and men seeking a future in the media world and engagement in an evolving Canada, then creating this documentary about an extraordinary person has served its purpose.
Please watch and enjoy this documentary and share it with others.