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Communication Studies
COMN 1000
David Skinner

Introduction to Communications: Winter Term January 4, 2010 (reading mass comn ch7) Cultural industry= vehicles through which culture (way of life, knowledge, beliefs, organizations, institutions, morals, customs) are produced, circulated and “lived”. They are part of work (those working in the industry), leisure (watch movies…), social and political knowledge (how vote/structure society) and social interaction (how act, know society, and develop society). Cultural industries- magazine, newspaper, film, music/sound recording, new media, TV Problem: economy of scale- easier to import and then produce Canadian cultural policy- federal government supports the industries through agencies, regulations and policies 4 rationales behind policies Mass Comn: p167: 1) demographic participation- citizens should have access to culture and produce own culture 2) cultural development- national identity- support and develop Canadian culture (because of lack of Canadian production and proximity to US) 3) public service- preserving Canadian heritage 4) market failure- government has responsibility to help this industry (funding cut in 2009, arts and culture now stabilized) -price on art difficult- not economic focus on art but rather good values Shade: 1) geographic- overcome distance and make sure can access Canadian products- net neutrality- your right to fair use of Internet content and connection (speed to access certain sites= throttling) 2) distribution not dictated by market 3) social 4) nationalistic Life is unconsciously and consciously shaped by the media- also by developing taste and identity Industry- media privately owned, driven by profit, foreign owned [products] Government tries to create media/cultural industries because the media has ideologies that they can use for their own benefit National policy of 1878 (east-west railway, economy, tariff) allowed for 2 types of companies: Branchplants= subsidiaries of foreign companies (Ford Canada); and Cdn owned= distributed American made goods and/or produced and distributed Cdn goods -didn’t allow US radio networks to come to Canada since then will just be an expansion Geography and demographics are hard to increate private capital and Canadian state -encouraged growth of economy by regulation (tax breaks, breaks) or by direct investment (crown corporations=government owned company) CNR= Canadian National Railway World War I (1914-18)- railway company became bankrupt and others won't invest in Canada so paid off railways and put it in debit. CNR started-made up of bankrupt companies- and had to pay off debt and run the railways Introduction to Communications: Winter Term Airlines: couldn’t make profit -no regular costumers so US airlines made route to Canada (stopovers- go to US then go back to Canada- no direct flights between Canada cities) -once got profit then sold it off Hydroelectric: owned by government because fog and money for private companies -no Canadian economy can exist without the Canadian government Government branchplant/foreign ownership ownership -regulation Cdn producer/distributor no/low profit more profit Gov’t focused on unprofitable activities (not as efficient and effective than privately owned -easiest and fastest way to make money is to import and sell foreign media products Private sector focused on importing media products Government regulation and ownership focused around trying to establish a means of creating products that represent Canadian ideas and values -so in every industry and regulations to promote the development of Canadian media products Economy of scale- cheaper to import Jan. 11, 2010 Convergence= bringing together of text, voice, date, video and sound into a simple medium (radio, newspaper, TV, telephones onto web) Information highway- web of technology (computers, satellites, databases) making more efficient = information revolution –new economy/society -government tried to establish communication companies in each cultural industry –intervened in market to promote Canadian content/communication technology (successful) -but hard because of economy of scale -little representation = cultural sovereignty over culture -government tried to intervene/promote using media industry Telecommunication industry= telegraph, telephone, satellite communication, wireless, data, cell, Internet (mass p151) Telecommunication= the emission… technical system” Common carriers= telecommunication companies who are obliged to offer services (distributing messages/content that either a company or an individual want) for a fee Contract carriers= provides services to specific companies/individuals but do not have to provide to other people or companies. Cultural sovereignty= capacity of a state or group cultural activity (form policies, establish laws/conventions) independent of interference from other governments or groups (CRTC) Free market= general approach to commerce that claims that a free market is the most important and efficient way of serving the best interests of the largest number Consortium= group, usually of institutions, gathered together for a common purpose such as marketing or lobbying policy-makers Introduction to Communications: Winter Term Adam Smith: invisible hand: basic law of marketplace- individual driven by self-interest, prices of goods and services competition between the players -not relevant today: individual competition changed to monopoly (trying to buy each other out) -visible hand is the government intervening to regulate this competition 19thcentury- telegraph, railways, Morse code 1870s-telephone- cities first, wires closer together-more people and less money, found in urban centers- high profit Low profit- rural, bought by the government until private sectors can buy it off and turn a profit -long distance: government grant- Bell, for developing phone lines (monopoly business) Government (subsidies) paid until private companies/branchplant companies could pay for it -in no profit areas- so business could finish Regulations- regulators put the general ideas into action Deregulation= getting rid public responsibility of companies CRTC- regulates telecomn act- interferes and interprets legislation to ensure that the aims of Parliament are being met by controlling entry to the field (licensing) and setting terms for those companies operating there (ensure that they are being met) Polices these goals -the general aims of legislation and the specific rules (point to anonymous vs. telecomn point to point) Broadcasting- same patterns/issues in all Canadian cultural industries -social conditions shape way live- history/background st -1 broadcaster (Frescenden) broadcast a Christmas eve voice message over space (1906) -before only used for point to point (goods-market, battlefield-military, business) After WWI: sold leftover radios in stores (more popular- have audience) -to consolidate market, US companies formed patent cartel (AT&T) and created NBC Talking box- demand increased- patent on radio pieces formed cartel of all companies NBC=AT&T, Westinghouse, general electric,American Marconi company Financed by sell of radios When everyone got a radio- no on else buying, no income for programming, so…: Invented Toll Broadcasting- modelled after telephone billing -changed time for using the system Bought blocks of radio time- ad agencies created programs with advertising built in- commercials- in charge of creating these programs Dominant/popular model-- Increases so much and became so expensive One company couldn’t pay for slots, so more companies joined together—led to commercial sponsorship now Policies= set of laws and regulations that are meant to guide social action and help realize particular goals (social/economic development growth) 2 key elements: legal framework- formal laws and statutes passed by Parliament Regulatory framework= less formal policies and regulations developed from the legal framework by the regulator General principles: Telecommunications Act, BroadcastingAct (legally binding) Interpretations of general ideas-by CRTC- regulation and specific rules Introduction to Communications: Winter Term P152 mass comn: telecomn act- purpose to lay out aids and purposes of telecomn system as federal government sees it Ownership: public- public service –for people, democratic, ideal, independent, funded/owned by state Private- profit, owned by shareholders, through stock market to make money for the stockholders Concentrated- both public and private, government intervention, community media, concentration of media, - owned by CTV/Global, CanWest, Quebecor- private companies , majority of media Chain- horizontal integration- companies in same business operating different markets (owning radio, TV, newspaper in same industry (chain ownership) Vertical integration- companies owning entire production process (studio, distribution, dvd rentals) –Hollywood film studios Cross media- 1 firm in 1 industry buys firm in another industry Radio buying newspaper- Rogers buying National Post Conglomerate- large firms owning different businesses outside and within cultural industry (Disney owning theme park, channels, clothing lines, celebrity, currency) Monopoly- market- lack of competition in given market (Canada- has smaller companies not able to compete with the 3 major companies—regulations..) Highly concentrated media market: Cons: Government need regulations Less jobs for journalists- more stories, less time Audience- fewer choices for information and entertainment-- lack Harder for other companies to break into the monopoly -- of diversity Too much political power Profit driven since need money to pay for their debts- less jobs.. Advertising price put into service –already paying Cultural production becomes profit driven- dumbing down (appealing to audiences), lack of diversity Commercial restraints- conflict of interest of what say (interests/beliefs of company) Pros: Efficient- produced digitally Save costs- content on one can be used in another medium Quality lacking Beneficial for advertisers and creating demands for profit, introducing citizens and needed products Free/low cost to consumers- more profit =more Canadian content if regulated by government/public service- economy of scale Canadian government can focus on health care … Quantity= money Stimulate economy Introduction to Communications: Winter Term Jan.18/10 (reading mass comn ch 6) -Due to backlash from west, CRBC creates French language division (Radio CAN). System resembles “2 solitudes” of country -early CBC and CRBC financed by license fees and advertising (used revenues for ads on US programs to cross-subsidize Canadian production) -from beginning privates complained “regulated by their competitor” 1948: TV starts in US and TV broadcast is over the border- Canada watched US stations 3 issues: 1) sovereignty and Canadian ideas 2) lack of revenue for Canadian broadcasters 3) lack of knowledge of Canadian products for consumers Radio spectrum= the field of frequencies through which signals are broadcast -radio spectrums from the US were ‘bleeding’into Canada –and our signals how to divide radio spectrum Royal Commission (1929)- highest commission from the government -setting up a government owned company to promote the production of Canadian programming and the east/west flow of radio broadcasting 1928:Aird Commission established to solve problems component of broadcasting 2. International wavelength allotment 3.Advertising 4. Canadian content 5. Ownership Aird Commission: radio spectrum- binds country together –government promotes flow of information and national identity 1932: CRBC established as government department (not corporation) controlled by the gov’t, created to undertake network responsibilities (to join broadcasting in different cities= network) and to produce Canadian programs (private sector wouldn’t do this since not profitable) Only way to get own radio system was to get government to pay for it (as important as own railway, airlines…) 1936- B/A creates CBC as crown corporation (both program producer, distributer and regulator) -undertakes unprofitable activities on the commercial margins of the system -private broadcasters focus on creating profits through operating in urban areas and importing US programs -Due to backlash from west, BRBC creates French language division (Radio Canada) –system resembles “2 solitudes” of country -Early CBC and CRBC financed by license fees and advertising (used revenues from ads on US programs to cross-subsidize Canadian production) -From beginning, privates complained “regulated by their competitor” 1948: US TV begins to cross the border 1) Sovereignty-Canadian ideas 2) Lack of ad revenue for Canadian broadcasters 3) Lack of knowledge of Canadian products for consumers 1952: CBC starts TV in major centers. Single station policy for privates in smaller cities and towns -financed by tax on imported TV parts (excise tax) . CBC supplies privates with network service and programming but privates prefer importing US programs over producing own Introduction to Communications: Winter Term 1958: broadcast act B/A and new regulator; board of broadcast governors (BBG) CBC becomes competitor to private sector 1960: CTV (private) network established. Because of regulations that protect revenue/markets, government expects private stations to produce/distribute Canadian content (cancon). But big struggle over cancon- US shows called “Canadian”, prime time defined as 6-12 rather than 7-11 Canadian production- produce low budget Canadian programming or mimic programming from US- produce programs that look likeAmerican shows to share theAmerican market-sell there -Canadian popular culture is heavily integrated withAmerican -structure of the industry shows why Canada is at a loss for identity (cultural sovereignty not represented in Canadian media) Mid 1960s cable threatens to flood system with US networks (fragment audiences) to stop, 1968 B/A creates CRTC with powers to regulate cable Radio-music industry gets push- certain demographics=certain music for certain radio stations technological convergence = bringing together text, voice, date, video and sound into a simple medium such as radio, newspaper, and TV; which creates the information highway; the web of technology (computers, satellites, databases) Feb. 1/10 Book publishing industry: Readings: Mass comn p179-188: historical problems and threat to industry: -distribution costs tons of money because of Canada`s sparse population -US competitive- have an advantage over Canada because of the economy of scale -government intervenes for Canadian content 1) industrial economic suppoty (publishing firms, Canadian owned book publishing firms are given money by both federal and provincial governments—cost of production, size of market 2) cultural support- magazine or book- artistic production 3) structural support- copyright act- importing multiple copies of books from Canadian firms from other places Herk: book fairs and author talks and tours- spending more money and only in Canada since fear might not be successful outside of Canada -after chapters: don’t want to spend money if not sure will be sold- so lack of diversity- only genres that are known to sell well -limited to subsidiaries but expanded in 1967 in both size and number Problems: digital world, global communitities, virtual books, corporate mergers and cutthroat financial balance sheets, modernization of information technology (e-commerce), the beginning of retail superstores (which changes book retailing and distributing), and new ways of distributing the sales of goods and merchandise (which includes the threat of availability of Canadian authors) -big and small publishers and bookstores having trouble keeping their businesses afloat: because of shorter attention spans, franchises, and: Introduction to Communications: Winter Term Chapters: taken over by Indigo and forced smaller publishers to lower prices, “ordered books wildly, deep discounted them, did not pay their bills (p130)” and returned unsold boxes of books to publishers. Indigo was then merged with Future Shop and Indigo Books, Music, and More but had problems because of Chapter’s inventory. In the end, Chapters and Indigo ‘divorced’and divided their assets and remain in competition today. This snowball effect has led to publishing companies having books returned to them, books not being sold, which have an affect over their financing, and thus to their writers who are not getting paid and to other writers trying to get their works published - Problems: less sales, e-books, online buying, rising book costs, end of government grants?, retail giants, web, overprinting / ordering… Jan.25/10 Cultural sovereignty not represented in Canadian media -nation building-connect country to communicate shared ideas in form of broadcasting -meant to express ideas –how know/understand our own reality—Canada not capable of making own programming?-US culture being expressedeconomic structure of industry (negative: CBC not broadcasting public national event (Vanc.2010) but private is) -government helps in order to represent ideas, support Canadian perspectives and ideas (why important)—they fund broadcasting- program production and constructed networks, provincial government: pays for education- grants to education broadcasting 1932: B/Aregulates radio 1936: CBC 1958: TV 1968: CRTC invented, cable aims and cultural purposes to broadcasting (BBG private BBGCBC public) Early 1970s: CRTC: -strengthens content regulation, especially regarding radio spurring the music industry -licenses the first French network in Quebec -licensed Global Television network in southern Ontario (backfire)- more channels, less money for CanCon) -reign in cable limits stations, introduces “simultaneous program substitution”:- cable companies substitutesAmerican ads for Canadian advertisements 1976: Parliament passes Bill C-58:Amendment to Income TaxAct to stop border broadcasters (also benefits to newspapers and magazines--if advertise in medium that isn’t Canadian owned, then not tax deductible - which keeps money in Canada) By mid 1970s, audiences only watching signals originated by “Canadian” cable and TV broadcasters and mainly Canadian commercials -ad revenues stay in Canada but CRTC still struggles to get private stations to spend profits on program production -1976: CRTC becomes responsible for telecommunications regulation as well as broadcasting Introduction to Communications: Winter Term Problem: satellites- overlap into Canadian market: new technology= new threat –new way to watch outside of regulators, hard to control. Government outlaws reception “footprints” -Illegal to get satellite- arrested people, then public debate and changed into: division between federal and provincial government -1980s CRTC begins to license pay-TV to keep audiences tuned to Canadian broadcasters Telefilm created to help finance (privates hardly used their money) Feb.1/10 How to keep ad revenue in Canada: 1) Simultaneous program substitutions (Canada stations showing same program as US, ads have to be Canadian) 2) Bill C58- ad tax: companies have to be Canadian owned to get tax deduction -provide revenue to support Canadian production/programming -not in financial interest so some broadcasters try to find the loopholes (subsidiaries- Ford Canada) Issue: Internet regulation- Geo-blocking: can't access –“in wrong geographic region” since the signal is US/ Canadian -ad/newspapers industry not making money since information is free on the internet Canadian owned: checklist- approved by CRTC *regulation factors of production, not content Can't compare US and Canadian content since not on the same level Mid 1980s- technology change and increasing demands from interest groups means new B/A 1991: New Broadcasting Act (mass comn p154/6) section 3- sets out aims and purposes of the system “death stars” attack this system CRTC: to meet these problems, they licensed more pay-TV and Canadian satellite broadcasters, allowed increased concentration of ownership and cross-media ownership (the bigger they got, the better they can compete with US), backed off on regulation (more flexible about Canadian content in Canadian drama…) Problems for CRTC: how do they ensure the goals of this broadcasting act when technological developments make it increasingly difficult (if not impossible) to control the content of the system 1) Historically the “logic” of regulation is to protect the revenues of private broadcasters then try and force them into producing Canadian content 2) Major mode of financing Canadian broadcasting has been to use ad profits from imported US 3) CBC consistently struggles on economic margins of the system to produce Canadian programming and extend service. 2009 budget $1 billion parliamentary appropriation, $700 million self-generated- per person Canada spends a fraction of what Europe spends on public broadcasting. Private networks try and push out of areas with profit potential (sports, news, Introduction to Communications: Winter Term Olympics –money from ads (CTV) is collected and goes to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) outside Canada)
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