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Public Broadcasting

Public Broadcasting

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Public Broadcasting

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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 one’s 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 assimilation—some 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 citizen’s 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 one’s 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 one’s 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/19th 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 cont’d 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 Cont’d • 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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 1/10th/1/20rth the cost

  32. 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 Benchley’s Amazon) qualifying for CanCon

  33. 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

  34. 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 2nd largest TV exporter after US

  35. 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)

  36. Track Record Cont’d • Still no Home Run series internationally ( CSI) • Still no star system • Domestically: DaVinci’s, Bob and Margaret among the best • But less than 12% of drama we watch is Canadian ( versus 66% in most other countries)

  37. Do we Need the CBC? • You Decide

  38. Turn the tables and question private broadcasters • Strong in local news • Resellers of US programs • 5% of Global’s 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

  39. 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)

  40. 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

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. 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

  45. 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

  46. 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

  47. “Successes” • News • This Hour has 22 minutes • Hockey Night in Canada • Canada: A People’s 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

  48. 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”

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