"oral communication tends to maintain cultural practices through time, while written
communication favours the establishment and maintenance of social relations through space,
such as empire and power blocs spread over large geographic areas across many different
oral --> time bias (egyptians, close-knit society and preservation on outlooks, values and
understanding over long periods of time)
written --> space bias (emphasized basic social control -- the rule of roman law -- across space)
basically, oral is more sustainable, written spreads further
Greece = oral
"took innis' ideas to the modern period"
-argued that the printed book transformed Western societies so that working with this technology
encouraged particular ways of thinking, namely, logical, linear thought, as well as individualism,
concpetuality, science and monothesism -- "typographical man"
-however David Ze (1995) argued that printing with movable type had no parallel effect in Korea
-mcluhan was first analyst of the impact of the new media of communication (radio, tv,
-media transformed society before our very eyes though we couldn't observe it (until his theory
- instant communication between two points on the globe, referred to this reality as global
-oral society -- knowledge is invested in the community and preserved by certain members of
society rather than books
- don't know how to do something? ask a community member
-as a result, community is heavily dependent on each of its members for its well-being
-interruptions to close-knit ties can mean a loss of important knowledge for the community and
can threaten its long-term existence
-Classical Greece -- epic technique (rhythmic, six-beat lines called hexameters, rigidities and
elasiticies, elasticies could vary)
better way to understand space bias and written: The globe and mail is an extension of toronto...
message is easier to spread over a far space than oral (but them what about electronic?) mcluhan and electronic society: p49
-global village (wide spreading as well as intimate and interdependent, village)
- 19th century, news took weeks by packet boat to get from NY to New Orleans: now distance is
by and large insignificant (MOSCO)
-joshua meyrowitz argued that electronic media weakened strong division between children and
adults, as well as eroded gender differences
- Erving Goddman claims that be exposing the secrets of different social worlds, television
affects the character of social relationships and breaks down barriers between them
- Martin Eslin: argued that spectacle has replaced reasoned analysis -- dramatization >> replaced
-example: Iraq War, TV reporters with American and British troops were constrained from
having much communication with the people affected by the invasion and thus often presented a
narrow, highly selective view of a broad and politically complex crisis
-"the camera never tells the whole truth"
Literate communication is divided into 2 forms: the prosaic and poetic
Electronic communication has 3 submodes (p54): broadcast, point-to-point, network systems
-one to many, glows one way
-one-to one, flows two-way or interactively
-one to-one, one-to many, or many-to-many and the flow is usually interactive
technological determinism: tends to frame technology as the fundamental shaping social
variable and society as a mere expression of the dynamics of technology (neither Innis or
McLuhan were avowed technological determinists)
-a regular business of printing books in Switzerland and smuggling them into France was an
important precursor to the French Revolution
-printing press undermined the power of the Catholic Church and its priests to act as
intermediaries in delivering religion to the people and led to mounting support for a restructuring
or 'reformation of Church doctrine and to the development of Protestantism
-John Milton 1644 anti-censorship essay: Areopagitica advocating the free flow of ideas
-1695 Licensing Act in did printing in England gained its freedom
-Statute of Anne, first copyright act in 1710
-'the acquisition of such knowledge allowed a new class of citizens to emerge and gain through
education to compete with the aristocracy for the right to govern"
-the growth of industry complicated social relationships as urbanization and migration stamped
the landscape with the spatial and temporal edifices and rhythms of industrial production.
-also gave birth to the nuclear family
it was in this context that modern communications media took form.
Raymond Williams-- the press developed for political and economic informational the
photograph for community, family and personal life; the motion picture or curiosity and entertainment and telegraphy and telephony for business information and some important
-williams called 'specialized means' to close the geographical and social distances created by
industrial production and to serve new social interests and needs
-telegraph 'shrunk space through time'
-by having less time for messages to travel, spaec is shrunk
-telephone was first and foremost, a business tool
-18th and early 19th century, newspapers being aligned with poltiical parties
-1800s canada, newspapers were generally under the control of partisan political interests
-but by the 20th century, the cost drove them into the control of business from politics to profit
-Edmand Burke refured to the press as the fourth estate, meaning that alongside the other
'estates' or institutions of social governance -- the clergy, the nobility and the commons-- the
press played an important role as a kind of political watchdog
-in liberal theory, the funciton of mass media is to preserve liberal democracy; the system which
the media now exists
-they're expected to monitor abuses of power
-but in Marxist approach, the media doesn't work on behalf of the community, but it promoted
the ideology and the interests of the dominant classes of society. (the medai reflects the interests
of their capitalist owners in maintaining a politically stable society)
-Curran and Fiske (1987-1990) take a middle ground
-Analysts have identified four different sites where the power of media ownership and control
may be located in society (p68): within the state; as part of social or poltiical movements or
parties; as private enterprises; as public or government enterprises at arm's length from the
government of the day (eg. CBC or the BBC)
-1879 John A Macdonald introduced Canada's first National Policy: the building of a
transcontinental railway, a traiff designed to limit the entry of manufactured goods from the US
and Britain, efforts to entice immigrants to settle the praries
-because of the large investment necessary, Bell Telephone was given a monopoly so that it
might exploit economies of scale when building that system (large land, small population, harder
to wring a profit in Canada)
-expensive transmission systems so Canadians can stay in touch of each other
-vastness of country, small size of population, regionalism
-Pierre Trudeau 1971, Canada became a multicultural country
-1932 Broadcasting Act and 1993 Telecommunications act. These statues gave voice to the
public interest in the development of these communication systems and set in law the public
goals and ambitions that underlie them.
-the Canadian media were and are strong supporters of freedom of speech, but less enthusiastic
about the role of the government in the economy -the federal govt notes that culture 'includes the knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, customs and all
other capabilities acquired by a particular society'
media institutions are also called cultrual industries
-many laws and reglations dealing with the cultural industries are administered by Heritage
-multiplier effects, investment leads to direct and indirect jobs
-Canadians have never been a position to produce enough programs to fill the transmission
capacity we have developed.
-when the govt. perceives that the structure or operation of the media may be moving against the
public interest, it can establish a public inquiry to examine media operations, as it did with the
1970 Special Senate Committee on the Mass Media, the 1980 Royal Commission on
Newspapers, and the 2001 House of Commons Standing Committee study of broadcasting.
- Picard identifies four groups served by the media: media owners, advertisers and media
workers -- to which we would add, governments.
- our new age resulted in 'prosumers' -- media consumers becoming media producers (eg.
-Resources are the ingredients media organizations require in order to generate and disseminate
their product or service; media economics studies how these resources are acquired or paid for
-4 categories: labour, technology, capital, and material resources
-some media forms are more resource-intensive than others and therefore demand greater
investment (Eg. movies)
-Capital: not only refers to money, but money that is invested in media enterprises with the
expectation of a return on investment
-excitement of digital media: less resource intensive
-but they also lower what economists call the barriers to entry for new participants in media
-free market economy -- popular in west civ.
-the crumbling of international trade barriers and advancements in technology have increased the
global flow of communication services across borders, resulting in the availability of many more
cultural choices from abroad than we've ever had before
-globalizatoin, 'a new communications geography'
-some media are privately owned (by individuals, companies, and respond to the profit motive,
negotiating a compromise between the most profitable products and consumer demand), others
public (by governments, by non-profit societies, by co-operatives, and respond to what they
percieve to be collective needs and wants, mostly inareas of the economy where private enteprise
cannot satisfactorily meet collective needs and wants)
-private ownership stems from The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)
-market's invisible hand whereby 'the private interests and passions of men' are directed to
serving the interests of society as a whole. -Robert Heilbroner explains that Smith's laws of the maretplacce 'show us how the drive of
individuals... result in competition"
-but monopoly capitalism disrupts this competitive balance by huge corporations seeking to
minimize smaller ones and eliminate them
-economic success is not always a reliable gauge of value in mass media's sense (meritocracy)
-Applebaum-Hebert Committee in Canada (1982) noted that governments often intervene in the
cultural sphere in cases of market failure, when the market does not or cannot serve adequately
the cultural needs of society.
-markets may also fail to accomodate infant industries (industries that can't compete right away
with well-established and larger ones)
-for example, Canadian feature film and television
-Free-market or laissez-faire economics reduces all goods and services to the status of
commodities, objects that attain their value through marketplace exchange
-Raymond Williams reminds us that the organization fo communication within a capitalist
economy imposes 'commercial constraints', so that 'you can say that at times freedom in our kind
of society amounts to the freedom to say anything you say, provided you can say it profitably"
-Commodities, by definition, are 'validated' strictly through sale
-when cultural activities are organized commercially, their purpose becomes the generation
-There are tensions between public good and private commercial interest, Canada's Broadcasting
Act recognizes these by assigning social responsibilities to all license-holders, including
minimum Canadian-content regulations and special additional responsibilities for the public
-Sector 19 of the Income Tax Act provides recognition in the form of effectively restricting
majority of Canadian newspapers, magazines and broadcasting stations to Canadians
-conflict between 'the media' and 'the state' for control of communications
-the state needs to communicate in order to govern, to command allegiance from its citizens, and
to generate a sense of community among its inhabitants
-no media industry in Canada is governed exclusively by free-market economics
-state presence is more apparent in the broadcasting sector
-public radio in Canada has been commercial free since 1974
-both private and public are regulated
-National Film Board (founded 1939) tend to produce documentary, experimental, animation and
-1994, CRTC opened all telephone services to competition
-Ted Magder (1993) argues that state intervention in the cultural sphere has been motivated by 2
objectives: national identity and economic growth
-Public enterprises seek other kinds of return: cultural development, industrial
development, job creation, national identity formation -Public ownership is devoted to providing communication as some kind of public service
based upon public goals: to enable citizenship, to foster a sense of community on regional
and national scales, to promote regional and national cultures.
-Canada has used public enterprise throughout its history extensively, most notably through the
-public ownership removes the element of choice from our decisions about media consumption
and can cause resentment among those who have to pay for services through their tax dollars but
don't use them
-2008, Stephen Harper Bill C-10 an amendment o the Income Tac Act allowing hte federal govt.
to deny tax credits to film and television projects considered offensive for reasons of violence,
hatred or sexuality (2007 Canadian Film: Young People Fucking)
-Private ownership: 2 basic forms -- closely held by an individual or a very small group (often
family members), or the ownership of a company can be widely held by a large group of
shareholders who buy and sell their interest in a company through the stock market
-Chain ownership, a common form of media organization in Canada, is the linking, or
horizontal integration, of a number of companies in the same business-- typically, newspapers,
radio stations or television stations-- occupying different markets
-a vertically integrated company, for instance, will have subsidary companies involved in every
aspect of an industry 9eg. major Hollywood companies not only own production studios and
distribution companies, but have subsidaries involved in theatrical exhibition, television and
video/DVD rental to ensure their films reach audiences and generate revenues)
-Conglomerate ownership is characterized by large companies with a number of subsidary
firms in related and unrelated businesses.
-shareholder risk is reduced
-Convergence is the name given to the economic strategy media conglomerates employ in an
attempt to create synergies amont their media properties
-Advertising costs are built into the sale price of potato chips and breakfast cereakm so that a
share of the money we spend on groceries, snack, cltohing, beer, gasoline, and cosmetics pays
for media programming
Shaw communicatinos Inc.
PostMedia Network Inc.
Rogers Communication Inc.
CTVGlobeMedia Inc. Ch.7
-Communications policy establishes (by internaional regulatory bodies) and national and
regional governments to ensure that media serve not only their owners and content creators, but
individual citizens and society as a whole.
-in Canada, communications policies can be developed by govts in committee or b public
agencies like the Candian Radio-television and Tele-communications Commission (CRTC)
-all countries patrol communication borders: to prevent the illegal circulation of materials, to
ensure the cultural integrity of financial data, to protect national cultural industries
-Cees Hamelink (1994) describes communications policy as a by-product of global contact
between peoples, companies and government.
-Berne Convention: granted protection to foreign public works (freedom of postal transport
within countries belonging to the Union)
-Printing press promted the notion of intellectual property, believed it stems from Vienna
-UNESCO became the principal forum for discussion about how to resolve political tensions
produced by the expansion of the world communications system (particularly b/w East and West
during the Cold War)
-boasts "having heard the voice of Canada'
-Litt depicts it as exclusive to an elite group of cultural nationalists and academics,
comandeereed by Canadian cultural nationalists and interest-group politics, and dismesses as
-Raboy maintains that the transparency of public debate on broadcasting between 1986 and 1991
allowed certain social groups to be included in the rewriting of the Broadcasting Act
The Aird Commission 1929
-officially the Royal