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Public Broadcasting Defined to mean publicly- owned, independent TV and Radio Historically, prevalent in all countries except US until the 80s Europe had.

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Presentation on theme: "Public Broadcasting Defined to mean publicly- owned, independent TV and Radio Historically, prevalent in all countries except US until the 80s Europe had."— Presentation transcript:

1 Public Broadcasting Defined to mean publicly- owned, independent TV and Radio Historically, prevalent in all countries except US until the 80s Europe had mostly public broadcasting monopolies US mostly commercial oligopoly Canada a hybrid: mixed public and private system

2 Politics, Broadcasting and the CBC Identity Defined Canadian Political Culture and Canadian Values The Cultural Industries and Canadian identity Origins of broadcast regulation The CBC Story Arguments for and against the CBC

3 The Search for Identity Early history of media associates cultural industries with Nationalism Most regimes have strongly nationalistic or nationally oriented and local media content and systems Through the media, like education, citizens build self, social and political identities

4 Identity In group or out group Defines me versus them Us versus them What is the same: sameness, oneness What is different: othering Favouritism of ones own group: ethnocentrism Prejudice against other groups: racism

5 Layers of Identity Self Identity Social Identity Political Identity

6 Self Identity Your life history Explains why you do something, who you want to be, and what to do about advancing your interests May be personal style, personal peer and family identity ( notion of primary group) Commercial systems good at delivering consumer identity menus

7 Social Identity Associated with the rights,obligations and sanctions you enjoy in your social roles Usual markers are age, sex, race ( immutable social markers) Primordial realms: immediate community of work or living Increasingly involving social causes/missions Media are resources in finding social identities: role assimilationsome systems recognize this and compel private broadcasters to monitor guidelines for social portrayal

8 National Political Identity Deutsch: A nation must interact more often internally than externally to remain politically cohesive Media flows should promote national ID Contribute to the sharing of basic values and beliefs ( cognitive and rational) A Sense of Attachment to Place( emotional)

9 Media and Political Identity Central to political socialization ( learning to be a citizen) Convey information about basic citizens rights and responsibilities Transmit /Promote basic national symbols Create climate of political trust/alienation: political and consumer confidence in the economy, in foreign policy Now an arena where political controversy is channelled: representative presence in media is key to political enfranchisement

10 Media and Political Identity 2 Most systems regulate election broadcasting due to the importance to political choice and identity building Only public broadcasting systems make explicit the role in political identity

11 Nationalist Politics Nationalism/Chauvinism Defined Nationalism: devotion to ones nation; Synonym: patriotism The doctrine that national interests are more important than international interests The desire for or advocacy of national independence or autonomy Chauvinism: excessive, narrow or jingoistic patriotism Militant, unreasoning and unqualified devotion to ones country Fanatical devotion with contempt for others

12 Nationalism 2 Focuses on the special/different/ history Tendency to seek true Aryan character: true American or true Canadian character may be fascist in orientation ( essentialism is to be distrusted) Nationalism/19 th century tied identity to mobilization of empire and mercantilism– economic and political expansion Tendency to see ID as singular, homogenous, stable and monolithic undercuts modern immigrant reality and the political economy of nationalism

13 Canadian National Identity Political Culture Political Communication

14 Political Culture Historical Fragment Theory Linguistic: Official History of Quebec and the Rest of Canada Racial: aboriginal and then white; white euro then other/people of colour

15 Myths about Canadian Cultural Identity Defined against the US/ British or French fragments Seen as hybridized, hyphenated: French Canadian, English Canadian, Immigrant Canadian, Aboriginal Canadian A Mosaic, not a melting pot Seen as regionalized– Western, Eastern or central Canadian Increasingly seen not as bicultural but multicultural

16 Other Defining Markers NOT American ( the rant) NOT nationalistic ( no anthem in schools) MORE deferential to authority (Garrison versus Frontier mentality) MORE public enterprise culture (rail, universal health care, education, CBC) GO BETWEEN: international peace-keeper, trusted intermediary, history of land mines treaty: kinder, gentler peoples Not Mono cultural: bilingual and multicultural( mosaic versus melting pot)

17 Multiculturalism Defined as fact: 50% today claim non British non-French ancestry; 12% visible minorities As Ideology: Multicultural Act, equality rights in Charter: notion of inclusiveness, unity in diversity; cultural differences not disparaged: tolerance valued ( Hate criminalised) As Policy: Human Rights legislation, affirmative action or equity rights in employment in public agencies: funding of ethnic cultural practices; celebrating diversity As Critical Discourse: criticised as bandaid measure which keeps white majority dominant ( eg: Fleras, Tator and Henry et al) Rationalised in a coherent whole

18 Dimensions of Cohesive Identity Sense of belongingness-isolation Inclusiveness-exclusiveness Participation-non-participation Recognition-rejection Legitimacy-illegitimacy

19 Theoretical Problem Assimilation or Diversity? Unity in Diversity? Community of Communities? What provides the glue for a disparate peoples? What provides to code or protocol for peaceful co-existence? The Media both reflect and produce this glue

20 Canadian Popular Culture National popular culture increasingly mediated through a global one Mondo Canuck: Rant

21 Travelling Canadians 7-10% of students out of province Born out of province 33% in have provinces Other connections: Readership/media consumption

22 Canadian Values Levels of attachment to Canada increasing Highest level of belonging in world values study Economic and cultural security the biggest predictors of positive sense of belonging Except in Quebec: Strongest sense of belonging: Family (95%) Canada (81%) Community (74%) Ethnic Group (55%)

23 Values contd Where belong first: - Country - Pride: unchanged in 15 years - Cosmopolitan ID increasing: local decreasing - Canadians support (70%) principles of multiculturalism, even higher majority supports Hate legislation

24 Canadian identity Contd - Strongest in older, less secure anglophones who mourn a past Canada - Weaker among secure,younger and agile portions of society - Views on government interact with identity - Elites attach more value to economic- material factors in conditional identity than do general public ( checkbook nationalists)

25 Perceptions of National Identity - World Values study - Book entitled How Canadian Connect(1998) - There is a distinct Canadian identity - 47% agree - 40% disagree– there is no majority view of an imagined Canadian community - Paradoxically, 83% agree Canadian culture is something we can take pride in

26 Cultural Industries and Canadian Identity - Strong sense of awareness, pride and attachment to: authors, popular musicians, local news,CBC radio etc - Low awareness and cultural preference for Canadian TV drama - 2/3 of french viewing is to Canadian shows - 1/3 of english viewing is to Canadian - 12% of all entertainment - 15 of top 20 shows all American - English canada is the only TV market in the world where local citizens do not prefer local product

27 Canadian vs. US TV Practices Watch 30% less TV 5 times more likely to watch a public/non- commercial broadcaster Higher tolerance for complex info Watch more news: less infotainment West wing/Law and Order:SVU high end US shows Watch Canadian first in News Sports Comedy Greater Participation: phone ins etc.


29 Broadcasting - The preeminent cultural industry as measured by leisure time ( 21 hours a week– most after work) - Now about 2 billion annually in revenues - TV has become the most trusted news source surpassing the newspaper - By age of 12, children have spent more time with TV than with school

30 The Broadcasting System - - mixed: with public and private elements - Competitive - Highly regulated by the CRTC - Which licenses and monitors - Classic case of social responsibility model

31 The Broadcasting Act (1991) - The Canadian Broadcasting System will serve to safeguard enrich and strengthen the cultural, political social and economic fabric of Canada - Each element will contribute to the creation and presentation of Canadian programs - Each.. Make Maximum use and no less than predominant use of Canadian creative resources

32 Rationale for Intervention - Doctrine of national sovereignty(spectrum) - Natural Monopoly ( spectrum) - Market Failure - History of spectrum chaos - Other case of Market Failure - Diseconomies of scale in certain productions - 40% time spent with drama - Average drama $1.2 mill US per - US market recovers cost and can sell into Canada at 1/10 th/1/20rth the cost

33 Canadian Content Quota - Requires 60% overall and 50% CANCON in prime time - Quota is a Make Jobs program: - Its definitions revolved around citizenship of the writer, producer, technical crews etc. shooting the series - The Quota is not a qualitative one: requiring distinctively creative stories - That is why you get clones ( Peter Benchleys Amazon) qualifying for CanCon

34 Other Regulations - Restrict foreign ownership - Disallow spending on ads in US border media - Simultaneous Substitution Rule to protect ad revenues of private broadcasters - ALL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO CANADIAN CHOICES/ PRODUCT ON SHELF SPACE

35 Development of the System - 20 years ago, no viable private network - Now 2 which have bought out newspapers - Now viable TV production industry - Now top 10 companies: Alliance Atlantis is in top 20 worldwide - Canada 2 nd largest TV exporter after US

36 Track Record of TV in CANCON - Internationally recognized news, sports - Animation/sci fi and special effects - Kids - Documentaries and Docudrama - Popular MOWs ( Anne of Avonlea, Sheldon Kennedy Story)

37 Track Record Contd - Still no Home Run series internationally ( CSI) - Still no star system - Domestically: DaVincis, Bob and Margaret among the best - But less than 12% of drama we watch is Canadian ( versus 66% in most other countries)

38 Do we Need the CBC? - You Decide

39 Turn the tables and question private broadcasters - Strong in local news - Resellers of US programs - 5% of Globals prime time audience is to Canadian shows (eg. BCTV) - Schedules set in New York by US networks - Spend 400 m annually on US programming, 50 on Canadian drama - But eligible for over 500 million in subsidy and protections

40 The Economic Problem - Underdeveloped Ad Market - TV ad revenues are 66% the size of their US counterparts on a per capita basis - Why? Overspill of US ads - Underdevelopment of sectors of ads which are in the public realm in Canada (health, education etc)

41 Economic Problem 2 - Global can go to Hollywood and buy rights to air Friends in Canada, and pay 100 K or less per episode - But costs to produce a FRIENDS here would be 2 million per episode ( 10 to 20 times more) - Why? Economies of scale in the US: US product recovers most of its costs in the home market, can afford to sell below cost in foreign countries - Cheaper to import license than make

42 Economic Problem 3 - Increasingly concentrated in ownership - Why protect BCE/CTV? - System of deregulation and competition has produced a more American, less unique entertainment market

43 The CBC Story - Created in 1932 by unanimous Act of Parliament ( all parties) - 5 provinces endorsed - Became dominant news source WW2 - Still the largest single employer of journalists in this country - As measured by levels of trust, ratings on quality on national news stories in polls

44 CBC Cultural Legacy: French - -two solitudes in one institution - Radio Canada integral to rise of Quebec nationalism - Subject of separatist witchhunts: allegations of bias from Trudeau to Chretien

45 CBC Legacy: English - Rise of English nationalism: royalist - Created national hockey culture - Golden age 30s to 60s - Commitment to life of the Mind - Rise of political satire

46 CBC Trend setting Style - Town halls - No ads in news (less than 5% of TV content is non-commercial) - Pioneered double enders - Broke: tainted blood controversy, Rwanda, only network to cover 96 provincial election - Stuffy? White bread? Against, what? Say, Tony Parsons? - Superb coverage of September 11: viewership of news now on par with CTV in Toronto markets

47 Political Pressures on CBC - This Hour Has 7 days - Hot seat, first shock TV - Valor and Horror - Terry Milewski and APEC controversy - Constant political scrutiny of editorial tampering - Office of ombudsman: is political pressure more transparent than in private sector? - CBC, like private media, part of making power, reality and history - Newsworld: Counterspin and other innovations

48 Successes - News - This Hour has 22 minutes - Hockey Night in Canada - Canada: A Peoples History - Over 90% of programs are Canadian - Has a 45% share of audiences looking for Canadian drama in prime time - CBC radio fans are most loyal

49 CBC Failures: Or Failing the CBC? - 1/3 government cutbacks since 95 - Local and regional news most cut - Now among the lowest funded of public broadcasters in the world ( except for PBS) - Increasingly reliant on commercial revenue - Half of all TV revenues - Causes turn to sports, other low cost genres like informational programming - Now a subsidized commercial broadcaster

50 CBC Sins: Or Sins Against the CBC - Too culturally homogenous - Not relevant for young audiences - Online - Drop the Beat/ Edgemont - DNTO - Counterspin - Regional: deracinated

51 CBC And Democracy - State and not a Public Broadcaster - Appointments should be by Parliament and not the PM - Need Citizens advisory councils - Need partnerships: campus radio, community cable channels and ETV - More responsive and open and innovative

52 Why Keep the CBC - Only counterweight to media oligopolies - An important democratic tool: an independent news agency in competition with CanWest and Vancouver Sun - Just as important as education/other areas of social policy - Market cannot do what the CBC does, and CBC should not do what the market can provide - CBC most aggressive in internet interactive portals: five years ahead of CTV/CanWest Global - Canadas Radio Canada International a service underfunded and adrift: now eclipsed by CNN/VOA and BBC

53 The People and the CBC - Share is now around 6%: half that of CTV - But reach is 80% - Widespread reach across age,gender,class and racial lines– but latter not as good as could be - Usage or time spent with CBC: 53% spend an hour a week; 63% a half an hour

54 Public Opinion and the CBC - The majority support keeping the CBC, even if they do not watch it: for its public good value - the struggle for democratic CBC continues - Strongly influenced by: - Libertarian versus social responsibility views of media - Relative fear of covert political or economic censorship as threat to media and democracy - What should be the role of a peoples network?

55 Last Word from the Mandate Review Committee ( thats me) - Canadian programming should be based on a profound curiousity about things Canadian, as well as the rest of the world. An understanding of the world, however, starts with an understanding of ourselves, of those near and dear to us, of our neighbours and compatriots. A vast country like ours desperately needs a medium of communication like CBC radio and television to enrich its citizens– not only as individuals but also as members of a community, a region, a province, a country. ( Mandate Review Committee, Making Our Voices Heard, 1996: 43) - What idea is missing?

56 The Cultural Sovereignty/Imperialism Thesis assumes that a continuous flow of cultural products from the US will cultivate American views British study of students found high school students believed they should be read their rights if arrested for marijuana possession but Britain has no Constitution

57 Problems with the Imperialism Thesis pretty primitive stimulus response model in essence, predicated on a passive mass audience concept held that traditional cultures would fall under modernization great global village would emerge BUT

58 Problems 2 it is found, in most countries OUTSIDE OF ENGLISH CANADA, despite a marked popularity of American popular TV and films, there is a cultural affinity for local, indigenous product that is, given a choice, European or Latin American, or South Asian audiences prefer local entertainment new centres of TV production surfacing: Britain, Brazil, Calcutta

59 The Dilemma of the Democratic Model Public, non-commercial broadcasting is democratic if: it is accountable to Parliament it seeks to serve all of the people some of the time it allows the public to have a say in basic practices and priorities in the provision of programming Eamon in Channels of Influence (1994) maintains: audience research should play a special role in a public broadcasting organization the public, rather than the state or market, must be enabled to determine the kind of services public tax money should provide

60 Dilemma contd Majid Tehranian: empowerment means the creation of communicators rather than audiences cum consumers or subjects; it demands, full, active conmunicative citizenship (Eamon, xi)

61 Eamon's Tests of Reliable Public Influence input must be regular those who participate must be representative each vote must count the same the matters under consideration must be consequential and not trivial (Eamon, 6) Advisory councils or other representative bodies are not sufficient

62 The Policy Problem the Canadian broadcasting system is based upon a series of assumptions or contestable hypotheses contestable hypotheses: people want commercial mass entertainment given a choice, the people choose American cultural products American domination of products has eroded Canadian identity A Canadian star identity is now emerging... Canadian communication scholars know little about how Canadian national identity is constructed in meaning

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