Truth and Relevance

CHLY Volunteer Programmer Profiles

Altered Egos is a news show that has been broadcast on CHLY radio for many years. Bob Hansen, the current host, has been manning the mike for the last 1½ years. In order to produce the two-hour show Hansen spends about 20 hours a week pulling clips from a handful of related websites. He readily credits Redeye Co-op radio in Vancouver, Kapput radio in Australia, Kootenay Co-op Radio and for their cutting edge material. Technology aside, Hansen is buoyed by dozens of real-life activists that populate the Gulf Islands. Clearly there is no shortage of material or inspiration.

Photo by Denisa KrausovaHansen is passionate about the importance of independent media and believes that commercial media has failed us. He quotes Barbara Frum, “tell us something that we don’t know about something that we are interested in.” Hansen has put her words to work and informs his audience about the native perspective on the Enbridge Bi-Directional Pipeline project, skyrocketing hydro rates, water extraction and senior’s health care.

In conversation his interests become apparent by the increasing volume of his voice as he speaks about trade agreements, energy consumption, patents, health care and unions. Not one to back away from conflict, Hansen spent over 20 years in the field of biomedical engineering, working for both the Vancouver and Nanaimo General Hospitals. Too often, he believes, people shut themselves down. He, on the other hand, is more inclined to try to be shut down. He willingly pushes the envelope and would like to see Altered Egos get even closer to the edge.

Hansen believes that people lack information and if they knew the truth, would take action and create change; change that would better ourselves, our community and the planet. He was the chair of the local chapter of the Council of Canadians and strongly influenced by his father, who worked for the CBC.

If Hansen wasn’t dedicating his personal energy to the show, he would be editing his book, writing a second book or creating a film documentary. The medium would change but the message would remain: get informed, know the truth and act accordingly. He wants to fix the current system, find ways to live sustainably and allow citizens to make an honest living.

As stated on Redeye’s website, the only way to have an independent, accessible and democratic media is for the people to own the media themselves. In keeping with that belief, Hansen would like to expand on the news platform and encourage others to participate via submitting audio clips or conducting interviews. If you want to be a part of this revolution, get in touch with CHLY. But a word of caution: participation could lead to big changes.

In an ideal world independent media would be funded properly. Until that time, you can listen to the truth every Saturday morning from 10:00am to 12:00pm on 101.7 fm.

Alison Roberts discovered community radio in the fall of 2004, thanks to the seek button on her stereo. Since finding 101.7, she has been educated, entertained and ultimately hooked by the authenticity, variety and passion of independent media.