Canadian Television Today by Bart Beaty

By Bart Beaty

What’s on television? In Canadian tv at the present time, authors Bart Beaty and Rebecca Sullivan discover the present demanding situations and concerns dealing with the English-language tv in Canada. tv in Canada has lengthy been one of many central conduits of nationwide identification. yet has it stored speed with the swiftly altering panorama of Canadian tradition? After providing an outline of the most matters and debates surrounding the Canadian small display, Beaty and Sullivan provide their feedback for the way forward for the medium. They argue that during today’s globalized international, Canadian tv can be a extra becoming mirrored image of Canada’s multicultural society, embracing a broader variety of languages, cultures, and viewing recommendations. Visualizing the aptitude succeed in of a revitalized undefined, Beaty and Sullivan convincingly illustrate the promise and hazard of Canadian tv that serves the cultural wishes of all its electorate.

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As a result, television is one of the most regulated media and has been the subject of a seemingly endless number of governmental studies, commissions, and hearings. The crux of the problem – at least to those who continue to see it as such – is that by and large, Canadians in overwhelming numbers watch American programming more than homegrown fare. For this reason, the debate over television in Canada has tended to be shaped by the perceived threat of the United States and its globalizing homogenization, and also by the notion that American programming is a cheap succour for passive audiences who simply won’t watch what’s good for them.

The vision laid out by Aird was to place broadcasting in the service of the state in order to promote a nationalist spirit and spread the word of federalism at a time when this country was barely out of its colonial crib (Gasher 1997, 16). The Aird vision was carried forward by the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences, or the Massey Commission, in establishing other federalist cultural organizations like the National Film Board, and strengthening the CBC. A goal of the Massey Commission was to create a strongly public, not private, infrastructure for culture and communication that would be directly monitored by Parliament.

The problem with this “have our cake and eat it too” approach isn’t readily solved as long as Canadian television remains stuck in a nationalist sensibility that is rooted in protection from the monster to the south. However, the criticisms of the CTF’s policy of monitoring funded productions for their inclusion of distinct Canadian content is an important one both in terms of the federal government’s insistence on economic viability and in considering a more nuanced, political view of multiculturalism.

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