What Are We Learning Today? 1.6 Examine the impact of communications technology and media on diversity.
How many of you own cell phones?How many times do you use your cell phone a day? How many calls? How many text messages?What factors influence your communication method (when do you text vs. when do you call)?
Communication Technology & Choices • Contemporary (modern) digital communication technologies (telephones, cell phones, computers, and the World Wide Web) expand the communication choices available and help you stay closely connected to friends and family, as well as to others in your community and beyond. • At one time, distance was a huge barrier to communication, but today’s digital technology has nearly eliminated this barrier. (FYI pg. 68)
Anik A1 • In 1972, Canada launched a satellite called the Anik A1 – and indicated a new era in communication in Canada’s North and other remote areas. Over the following decades, satellite technology – which captures signals sent from transmitters on Earth and bounces them back to receivers in TV sets – improved greatly. (Figure 3-5)
Aboriginal Peoples TV Network • In 1999, technology like the Anik A1 satellite helped the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network create a nationwide TV service for Aboriginal ppl. • Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, APTN was the world’s first national public Aboriginal TV network. It goal is to create programs “by, for and about Aboriginal peoples” – and to share these programs with all Canadians.
What is a monopoly?Could there ever be a monopoly on the media?Why might a monopoly or a strong media concentration of a few big companies be a bad thing?
Definitions • Media concentration: the gathering of ownership of newspapers and other media in the hands of a few large corporations. • Media convergence: the use of electronic technology to combine media such as TV, books, newspapers, and the Internet. • Propaganda: Ideas and information spread for the purpose of achieving a specific goal.
Canadian Media Concentration • Critics of media concentration argue that it reduces competition and diversity of opinion. • Columnist Jill Nelson, for example, has said that media concentration/convergence “may be good for business, but it’s bad for people and the free flow of information. In our lust for profits, we have forgotten democratic principles. This can only increase the public’s deep skepticism of the quality of the news.” • Why might the Canadian public be skeptical of the news it receives?
The news – from whose perspective? • ~1970: 40% of Canada’s English newspapers and 50% of Canada’s French newspapers were independently owned. • 2003: 96% of Canada’s newspapers are owned by larger corporations. • 50% of the 96% are owned by one company: CanWest Global • 2003: Only 3 Canadian newspapers are still privately owned (Winnipeg Free Press, White Horse Star, Le Devoir (Montreal)).
CTV • TSN and TSN2 • Access Network • MuchMusic • MTV and MTV2 • The Comedy Network • Discovery Channel • 35 radio stations (Energy 101.5 FM) • The Globe and Mail
Rogers Wireless & Fido • Rogers Sportsnet • Citytv • OMNI • The Shopping Channel • The Biography Channel • More than 70 consumer magazines (Maclean’s) • 51 Canadian radio stations (JACK FM) • Rogers Cable (mainly southern Ontario)
Most major Canadian newspapers (National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, etc.) • Global Television Network • Men TV • Prime TV • Mystery • DejaView • Lonestar • Fox Sportsworld Canada
Negatives of a Canadian Media Monopoly • One example of the danger of a select few Canadian companies controlling most of the country’s media was shown when CanWest Global tried to get most of their daily newspapers to take the same editorial position, regardless of local and regional differences. • Journalists who resisted were fired. Also, the publisher of the Ottawa Citizen lost his job after the paper published an editorial that had not been approved by the CanWest head office. CanWest later changed the policy. (Figure 3-9)
Diversity & Global Media Concentration • 2nd half pg. 72
As Canadians, do we have complete access to any type of media we want?
Al-Jazeera in North America • In 1996, satellite technology, cable networks, and the Internet enabled Al-Jazeera, an Arabic TV station, to begin broadcasting internationally from Qatar, a country in the Arabian Peninsula. • Some ppl believe that Al-Jazeera provides nothing but propaganda but others disagree. They believe that being exposed to a wide range of views is important. • What propaganda might Al-Jazeera be spreading that would alarm Canadians?
No Al-Jazeera in North America • So far, North American TV viewers cannot watch Al-Jazeera. In 2004, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the agency that regulates broadcasting in Canada, ruled that Al-Jazeera could broadcast an English-language version of its programs in this country. • But the CRTC set strict conditions: cable operators who offered Al-Jazeera would be required to monitor its broadcasts and delete anything that broke Canada’s hate laws. Doing this would be difficult – and so far, no Canadian cable company has agreed to it. (FYI pg. 73)
Diversity and the Internet • Not everyone is in a position to benefit from global communication. Indigenous ppls, for example, have had to struggle to make sure their many voices are heard on the World Wide Web. • Often the needs of marginalized and vulnerable groups, as well as the preservation of the heritage and cultural legacy of Indigenous ppls have been ignored. • What do I mean by this?
Francophone Representation • In Canada, the commissioner of official languages produced a report stressing that, in a globalizing world, maintaining a strong French presence on the Internet requires continuous effort. • In Western Canada, media and services are overwhelmingly English, and Francophone communities are often widely separated. In Alberta, Francophone communities are taking steps to keep their culture strong. With the help of the Alberta gov’t, they are, for example, digitizing their histories and posting them on the Internet.
Techno-Isolation • Think about how current communication technologies can enable you to create your own world. During class time when you’re allowed to use your MP3 player, you can listen to your customized soundtrack and block out the rest of the world (and your annoying teacher). • When sitting with your friends after school, you can talk or send text messages on your cell phone while sitting at a table surrounded by ppl your are not communicating with.
High-Tech Hermits • Though some ppl believe that technology increases connections among ppl, others argue that it actually promotes social isolation by encouraging ppl to become “high-tech hermits.” • Technology enables ppl to pursue their own interests, but doing this can reduce their sense of community. • Psychotherapist Tina Tessina says “People don’t automatically have the same cultural events to talk about. We have so much choice that ppl at the water cooler haven’t all seen the same thing, read the same book or heard the same news.” (Figure 3-11)
New Ways of Interacting • At the same time, there are those who deny that technology is isolating. Instead, they say it can result in interesting ways of interacting. • For example, owners of MP3 players can listen to one another’s music. Strangers meeting on the street listen to each other’s selections, creating different kinds of social connections. • And of course, there is social networking. Websites like Facebook allow us to communicate with ppl around the world in ways we never could have previously imagined.
The Digital Divide • The 1st source of information many ppl choose is the Internet. But most of the world’s ppl do not have Internet access. (Figure 3-3) • The digital divide explains the gap that separates ppl who do – and do not – have access to up-to-date digital technology. • Even in countries like Canada, a digital divide exists. High-speed Internet access is not available in some rural areas. They cannot afford Internet service. Language also presents a challenge. Few web sites, for example, are available in Aboriginal languages.
One Laptop per Child • Pg. 69 • Figure 3-4 • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kHIZXYJbWY
What was the biggest news story of the 20th century? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPW_E16fmwc&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K8Q3cqGs7I&feature=related
John F. Kennedy Jr. • 1st half pg. 76 • Figure 3-12
What was the biggest news story of the 21st century? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLN6TtYTQCc&feature=related(until 5:02) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaxo8-mvSCg&feature=related(until 4:18)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOflyabs0_w&feature=related(until 2:11)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYg2krLsPB8 (until 1:59)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul--oYht2RE
September 11, 2001 • 2nd half pg. 76 • 1st half pg. 77 • Voices pg. 77
Dealing with the Backlash • In some Western countries, ppl of Middle Eastern heritage – or ppl who looked as if they might be from the Middle East – were harassed. Mosques (Muslim temples) were firebombed in the US, France, Australia, and Canada, and some Muslims were mistakenly arrested for engaging in “terrorist” activities.
Positives of Communication: Live 8 • In July of 2005, a series of concerts featuring hundreds of int’l artists were organized by Make Poverty History. They occurred in cities around the world and satellite links connected the concerts as they were happening. • Make Poverty History is a coalition of non-profit organizations around the world and is dedicated to eradicating poverty. The concerts were held to increase awareness of global poverty and influence world leaders to take action to end it.
Live 8 & the G8 • Why July? Officials from the world’s 8 leading industrial countries – the Group of 8, or G8 – were meeting in Scotland at the time. Leaders of the G8 countries, which include Canada, meet every year to discuss international issues.The concerts were called Live 8 as a play on “G8.” • The Live 8 organizers asked the G8 leaders to:- ensure justice in trade - cancel debt in the poorest countries - deliver more and better aid to those countries.
Making Poverty History • About 3 billion people around the world participated in the concerts via radio, TV, and Internet links. During the concerts, more than 26.4 million ppl sent text messages to support the goal of making poverty history. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZzpqtekRoI
Missing Voices • The concerts were mainly put in place to help the continent of Africa. However, only two African-born performers were invited to perform. • (Youssou N’Dour from Senegal and Dave Matthews from South Africa) • Some critics wondered what this said about the organizers’ attitude to Africans. In response, African entertainers organized African Calling, a concert in England that featured African performers, though this event was not televised. (Figure 3-15, pg 80)
Homework • Answer the following questions based on what you learned/know about Live 8: 1. Was the idea to not include lesser known African artists a smart one on Live 8’s part? 2. Without the int’l celebrities, would Live 8 have captured int’l media interests? 3. What does this say about media responses to world problems and about celebrity status in the media?
A Quick Response • Another advantage of increased communication technology: it is often the catalyst for a generous response from people around the world. • Ex: the tsunami of December 26, 2004. This tsunami, which was caused by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean, caught the attention of the media and the world. By the end of that day, more than 150,000 people in 11 countries were dead or missing and millions of others were homeless.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9DMiy_DVok&list=PLBDFE8870B11E8BF5 (7parts – P1=10:58)
Prioritizing Fundraising • People around the world responded by offering money, supplies, and other help. • money donated to help people cope with this disaster exceeded money that other groups had raised during fundraising campaigns lasting years.
EX: non-profit organization Doctors without Borders had campaigned to raise money for the crisis-torn Darfur region of Sudan. They raised $350,000, much less than expected. • Compare this to the tsunami tragedy: Doctors without Borders took in $5 million – without making any requests for aid.
Why do some tragedies get more than enough money for disaster relief why others fall drastically short?
Differing News Media Coverage • One reason : media coverage. Research has shown that disasters that are covered more by the media receive more aid. • The Red Cross analyzed 200 English-language newspapers worldwide and found that “the tsunami generated more column inches in 6 weeks than the world’s top 10 ‘forgotten’ emergencies combined over the previous year.”
Which Stories to Tell? • By February 2005, ppl around the world had donated the equivalent of $500 US for each person affected by the tsunami, compared with just 50 cents for each person affected by a war that had been raging in Uganda for 18 years. • Why the difference in coverage? • Research has shown that news editors sort stories by death tolls. They like disasters that are sudden and easily explainable. Stories about continuing tragedies that don’t have clear causes or solutions attract less media coverage. (Voices pg. 81)
Quickly get with a partner and for the next couple minutes name as many Canadian TV shows as you can. Now, with that same partner name as many American TV shows as you can.
What is pop culture? • Though media coverage of world events can shape the way you view the events and the ppl involved, pop culture also shapes your point of view and your identity. • Pop culture is a short form for “popular culture,” which is the culture of the ppl. It often refers to current cultural trends that are spread by commercial mass media.
Pop Culture = American Culture • Many ppl equate “pop culture” with “American culture” because they believe the commercial mass media are controlled by American transnational corporations. Critics of globalization say the American media giants have the resources to dictate what becomes popular around the world. In the process, other voices and ideas may be lost.
Highest-Grossing Films of All Time • text pg 82 • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films • Which companies made these movies? • How many of them are American-based transnational corporations? • What difference does it make to global cultural diversity that these media companies – and their movies – are American?
Pop Culture & Identity • Contemporary (modern) mass media and communication technologies mean that many more ppl can share in various aspects of pop culture, such as TV shows, trendy products, fashion, music, movies, and even info. about celebrities. • When you take part in activities associated with pop culture – whether you are buying a particular brand of MP3 player or listening to the music of a particular individual or group – it influences your values and beliefs and helps define your identity. Your choices also help define what becomes “pop culture.”
Universalization of Pop Culture • Global media and communication technologies enable creators of pop culture to sell their products anywhere in the world, and this had led to the universalization of pop culture. Universalization is the spread of practices, culture, customs, and trends around the world. • Everyone with access to a TV, movie screen or a computer with an Internet connection can share in cultural events and trends. But some ppl warn that this universalization leads to cultural homogenization because so much of pop culture is produced in the US and exported around the world. (Figure 3-18)