Media Probe
The Canadian Journal of Communication

Year Published:  1977  
Pages:  24pp  
Inactive Serial

Resource Type:  Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number:  CX431

This publication offers a critical look at the media industry from people who work in it. The first piece is an address by Graham Spry, co-founder of the Canadian Radio Leauge in 1930. The league advocated privacy of public ownership in broadcasting, thus preventing radio from passing completely into the hands of money changers.

Abstract:  This publication offers a critical look at the media industry from people who work in it. The first piece is an address by Graham Spry, co-founder of the Canadian Radio Leauge in 1930. The league advocated privacy of public ownership in broadcasting, thus preventing radio from passing completely into the hands of money changers. Spry expresses concern about who will determine the ownership and policy of distribution of the national networks of cable systems. He warns that this new technology is American in origin and primarily commercial in purpose. He is concerned about the insignificant public debate over this issue and leaves us to consider the fundamental principle: "a society that has lost control of its information has lost control of itself."

Another article examines the relationship of advertising and editorial policy. The analysis shows, for example, that 42 per cent of advertising revenue for an issue or Macleans was for alcoholic beverages. This, the author shows, affects volume and patterns of alcohol sales, drinking styles and developing habits of young people. He calls the media to resonsibility for alcohol related problems which cost the Ontario taxpayer over $134 million a year. This doesn't reflect that alcohol is involved in over 50 per cent of deaths due to traffic accidents in Canada.

In "The Media Midases," the Canadian Media is shown as maintaining increased profits and retained earnings without using this income to improve broadcasting programming and newspaper content. In their growth process, the author argues, mass media "has become elite, hierarchical power centres, losing diversity, mocking freedom of the press, and growing into bureaucratic, one way business organs, without participation or much feedback and totally lacking in anything called communication." The control by who move into the media as another investment without considering it as a community service leads, the author shows, "to manipulation of media by corporate ideology which destroys Canadian identity, resulting in lack of opportunity for Canadian talent and absence of in-depth reporting. This present, authoritative structure, he concludes, "with all its human alienation cannot endure for long and must be supplanted by a truly communicative system of small scale units, overcoming fragmentation with a national consensus forming system all publically owned."


Periodical profile published in the connexions directory 1977
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