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COMM323: Comparative Media Systems

Unit 3: North American Media Systems   This unit offers a comparison between media systems based in Canada and the United States.  You will engage with material that presents the roles of government support and involvement in the establishment and distribution of media and content production in Canada.  Specifically, we explore the Canadian Broadcasting System (CBS), the national media outlet that functions as a corporation, but also under close government regulation.  We will also examine a range of independent interests groups, like the Canadian Radio-television and Tele-communications Commission (CRTC)  and the Competition Bureau.  You will also be introduced to the liberal model within the Hallin & Mancini comparative media system model, which approximates media system in Canada, the UK, Ireland, and the USA; at the same time, you will also watch documentary in which leading critical scholars of our time, Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky, and Justin Lewis expressing their concerns of the notion of “liberal media” and its impact on democracy.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 9 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 3.1.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.1.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.1.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.2 : 2 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.2.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.3: 3 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Discuss the roles of government involvement and support in Canadian media development. - Compare and contrast two paradigms of media governance in Canada and the United States.

3.1 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)   3.1.1 Early Development   - Reading: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “Who We Are and What We Do” Link: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “Who We Are and What We Do” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the web
page.  Make sure that you also click through each one of the “view
highlights” link on this webpage to expand the content to its full
scope.  Canadian media systems differs from that of the U.S.  The
national Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), while operating as
a corporation, is under government regulation at the same time.  Our
discussion of the Canadian media system, therefore, will closely
examine the consequence and rationale of such government-media
relationship.  As you move on with the reading of the history of the
CBC, try if you can find answers to the following questions:
Canadian radio listeners began their media experience by tuning in
to American radio programs.  What kind of impact might this bring to
Canadian media development, and the country’s cultural and national
identity?  Do you think the Canadian government worried about this
influence?  If so, what kind of government policies or regulations
have been implemented during critical phases of media technology
advancement, say, when television was introduced in the 1950’s and
when digital media was introduced in the 2000’s?  What kind of
corporate strategy has been implemented during those critical
phases?  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.2 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Market Regulation   - Reading: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission: “A Competitive Balance for the Communications Industry” Link: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission: “A Competitive Balance for the Communications Industry” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the web
page.  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) is an independent public organization that regulates and
supervises the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications
systems.  The organization represents the interests of citizens,
industries, interest groups, and the government, then report to
Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage.  To continue
our discussion on government-media relationships, please pay special
attention on the recommendation to telecommunications and
broadcasting licensing and the foreign capital merger with Canadian
communications company.  What have been the rationale behind such
regulations?  Now reflect upon subunit 1.4.2, where we reviewed the
responsibilities of Federal Communication Commission (FCC) of the
U.S.  What have been the similarities and differences?  Can you find
expectations on licensing and foreign entity merger with domestic
communications companies that is as explicit and strict?  What does
this difference say about the American influence we talked about
earlier this chapter to Canadian media market?  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.3 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: The Challenges   - Reading: Competition Bureau: Konrad von Finckenstein’s “Study of the State of Canadian Broadcasting System” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

3.1.4 Strategy 2015   - Reading: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “2015: Everyone, Every Way” Link: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “2015: Everyone, Every Way” (HTML)

 Instructions: Click on the link and watch the corporate video,
“2015: Everyone, Every Way.”  Relate the several key points the
CBC/Radio-Canada’s President & CEO, Hubert T. Lacroix mentioned
throughout the video clip.  Why these points are important to CBC? 
So far we discussed the influence from U.S. media, concerns of
foreign ownership, and cross-media ownership.  We also explore
several stakeholders, including independent interests group like
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission,
independent law enforcement agency like the Competition Bureau and
the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which function as corporation
but also receives close government regulation.  All those
discussions paint for us a complex picture in which the
government-media relationship has been different from what we have
in the U.S.  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.2 Mass Media in the United States and Canada: A Comparative Perspective   3.2.1 The Liberal Model of Media Governance   - Reading: New York University in Paris: Sofya Gladysheva’s “The North Atlantic or Liberal Model” Link: New York University in Paris: Sofya Gladysheva’s “The North Atlantic or Liberal Model” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the blog
entry.  This blog follows the Hallin & Mancini comparative media
system model to categorize Canada, the UK, Ireland, and the U.S. as
North Atlantic Model based on commercialization of the press,
connection between ruling parties and the media, and
professionalization of journalistic practice.  After close
examination of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, we might reach
at a conclusion that although Canada and the U.S. media system are
both under the “liberal model,” they also differ from each other,
particularly in regards to the extent to what government choose to
involve in regulating media content distribution and ownership, as
well as the degree to what various stakeholders will involve in the
decision-making process on how the media should move forward in an
ever changing world.  As you finish reading this blog, which was
written by a university senior student, ask yourself: what are the
evidences cited here between the U.S. and Canada have been relevant
to you?  Which arguments don’t seem convincing to you?  Why?  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.2 Critique to the Liberal Model   - Reading: Media Education Foundation: Katherine Sender’s “The Myth of the Liberal Media” Link: Media Education Foundation: Katherine Sender’s “The Myth of the Liberal Media” (Flash)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch the
interview and analysis from Edward Herman from Wharton Business
School of University of Pennsylvania, Justin Lewis from University
of Massachusetts, and Noam Chomsky from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, three of the leading critical scholars of our time.” 
Although their discussion was not specifically situated within the
Hallin & Mancinni comparative media system model, they nonetheless
mention some of the important issues relating to the
government-media dynamics.  For instance, why did Professor Herman
stated that the media in our time have been “voice for the elite?”  
Why did Professor Chomsky argued that “if you want to know how a
system works, you look at its institutional structure... how it is
organized, how it is controlled, how it is funded, so on?”  What
kind of argument are they trying to establish, or critiques they are
trying to provide against the existing notion of “liberal media”? 
Watch the rest of the interview with those questions.  Use this
documentary as a cornerstone to summarize our discussion this
chapter on Canadian media system, government-media relationship and
legislature on media ownership.  Finally, see if you can come up
with our own answer to this question: why is the notion of “liberal
media” considered be a myth?  Do you agree with this or not?  Why?  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.3 Unit 3 Discussion   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM323 Course Discussion Board” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM323 Course Discussion Board”

 Instructions: After reviewing the unit materials, please post and
respond to the following topics on the course discussion board. 
Feel free to start your own thread or respond to other students’
postings.  

-   Canadian radio listeners began their media experience by tuning
    in to American radio programs.  What kind of impact might this
    bring to Canadian media development, and the country’s cultural
    and national identity?  Do you think the Canadian government
    worried about this influence?  If so, what kind of government
    policies or regulations have been implemented during critical
    phases of media technology advancement, say, when television was
    introduced in the 1950’s and when digital media was introduced
    in the 2000’s?  What kind of corporate strategy has been
    implemented during those critical phases?
-   Why did Professor Herman state that the media in our time have
    been “voice for the elite?”  Professor Chomsky argued that “if
    you want to know how a system works, you look at its
    institutional structure... how it is organized, how it is
    controlled, how it is funded, so on.”  What kind of important
    issues relating to the government-media dynamics they are trying
    to tackle here?

 Posting and responding on the discussion board should take
approximately 3 hours.