A Colloquium on TVTV

Bob Hanke (York University)

Abstract: This article presents a case study of a televised encounter between representatives of the fields of television, journalism, and academic media study. The article moves from a description of what was, and could be, said during Moses Znaimer's A Colloquium on TVTV to an analysis of invisible fields of cultural production and their effects. I argue that Pierre Bourdieu's work on television offers a valuable sociological perspective on television, intellectuals, and public knowledge, but that Canadian Learning Television's use of media studies may have paradoxical effects. Unless media scholars reflect upon these effects and begin to negotiate the terms and conditions of our appearance on television, our involvement may not increase the power of our analysis.

Résumé: Cet article présente une étude de cas sur une rencontre télévisée entre des représentants des mondes télévisuel, journalistique, et académique. L'article part d'une description de ce que ceux-ci ont dit ainsi que de ce qu'ils auraient pu dire lors du Colloque sur TVTV de Moses Znaimer, pour aboutir à l'analyse de champs invisibles de production culturelle et de leurs effets. Je soutiens que le travail de Pierre Bourdieu sur la télévision offre une perspective sociologique de valeur sur la télévision, les intellectuels, et le savoir public, mais que l'utilisation d'études médiatiques par Canadian Learning Television («La Télévision d'enseignement canadienne») pourrait avoir des conséquences paradoxales. À moins de négocier les modalités de nospassages à la télévision, nous les chercheurs médiatiques aurons de la difficulté à accroître le pouvoir de nos analyses.


Who speaks for television? on what channel? to whom? and with what effect? What possibilities does television hold for mediating knowledge of television? What constraints and limitations do media scholars face when they leave the university setting and act in the televisual public sphere? Given the prevailing conventions of commercial television, the time pressures on thought, and the compressed nature of televised talk, should we even participate? These are only a few of the questions raised by Pierre Bourdieu's On Television (1998). What is remarkable is that Bourdieu, whose previous research into cultural practices, competencies, and their relation to the reproduction of the structure of social power has neglected television (Garnham, 1993), not only decided to bring his unique sociological perspective to bear upon television, but to speak about it beyond his usual academic audience in a televised lecture on Parisian cable television. For practitioners of television studies, a key question is whether Bourdieu's analysis can be translated and imported into settings beyond France (Szeman, 2000).

The purpose of this article is to address such questions by constructing a case study of a televised encounter between representatives of the fields of television, journalism, and television studies in the Canadian context. It represents an exploratory pass of research materials collected through participant observation as well as from primary and secondary sources. Through a two-staged analysis modelled after On Television, I argue that Bourdieu's work, though open to criticism and subject to refinement to take account of national and other differences, offers a valuable sociological perspective on television, journalism, and scholars. Furthermore, Canadian communications thought, which has emphasized political-economic or technological factors (Babe, 2000), has yet to engage with Bourdieu's "unified political economy of practice" - a mode of social inquiry that attempts to jettison the twin dichotomies of structure/agency and micro/macroanalysis (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992, p. 4).

Among the key concepts that have enabled Bourdieu to escape these false dichotomies is the concept of "field." In order to account for what appears and what is said on television, one must take account of television as a field - a structured social space with its own laws of functioning and its own relations of force - and its relation to other fields. Bourdieu argues that television has come to dominate the journalistic field, as well as other, more autonomous fields of cultural production. What any particular social agent (TV host, journalist, intellectual) says or writes is always relative to their position in the field and is always already marked by struggles to transform or preserve a given field and its boundaries. In Bourdieu's view, it is insufficient to say that what gets on television is determined by owners, the government, or advertisers; rather, it is the task of sociology to reveal what is hidden by these obvious factors, namely the "anonymous and invisible mechanisms through which many kinds of censorship operate to make television such a formidable instrument for maintaining the symbolic order" (Bourdieu, 1998, p. 16). For Bourdieu, even though information about fields is attached to individuals, the primary object of social science is the field, and its pressures and effects may be felt by individuals who are not connected or who do not know each other because they belong to the same field. Fields are therefore a critical mediation between cultural practices and social and economic conditions.

Nothing has epitomized the issue of who speaks for television, with what visions and conceptions, interests and investments, better than Moses Znaimer's TVTV: A Television Revolution, originally broadcast on CBC in April 1995. A multilayered collage of Znaimer's "Ten Commandments of Television," ruminations, dramatizations, conversations, television clips, and graphics, the original three-hour program was promoted as a "panoramic survey of what TV is doing to us, and for us." A subsequent scholarly debate about TVTV was published in the Canadian Journal of Communication (Anderson, Gruneau, & Heyer, 1996).

To begin with, there is a striking parallel between the "violent reactions" of French journalists to Bourdieu's On Television (which originally appeared in France in 1996) and Znaimer's indignant reaction to the scholarly debate over TVTV. In his rebuttal to the 16 Canadian and U.S. media scholars who provided their reservations and criticisms of TVTV, Znaimer claims that their essays "bristle with misleading assertions as to my role in TV, my interests, plus many misreadings of my actual words" (Znaimer, 1996, p. 88). He also contends that scholars have misrepresented him as a "champion of 'commercial and tabloid TV serving the status quo' " (p. 89). Incensed by this misrepresentation of his views and interests, he collapses columnists, commentators, and academics into a single, homogeneous field subject to the same conditions of production and criteria of evaluation. Misconstruing the role of peer review in academic disciplines, he says both scholars and journalists write "for the approval of a coterie of colleagues" (p. 91). "Critics," he continues, "are encouraged to be naysayers, to look for flaws.... Only if it is negative can it be held to be credible" (p. 91). With such sweeping assertions and passing reference to "laws of political correctness," Znaimer negates all methods of academic research and criticism as well as all traditions of critical and analytical discourse. Media scholars were also reproached for being "stale-dated pseudo-Marxists" motivated by "hatred for actual practitioners" (p. 92). This polemical image sums up his perception of academics. What is more, he says that the "inability to celebrate," he says, is a "sickness" at the heart of academic life. "What is the origin," he wonders, "of this perverse notion that a background in English Lit. or Sociology or PoliSci. is sufficient to comment wisely on TV?" (p. 92). Such questioning of the functioning of university programs, and his omission of programs in communication, media, and cultural studies, betrays a stunning lack of familiarity with the academic world in general and the aims of higher media education in particular.

On the one hand, the problem, as Znaimer sees it, is that those "who work in TV are so busy doing it that we think and speak too little about its effects and allow others to assess what is happening" (p. 94). On the other hand, the problem, as his scholarly interlocutors see it, is that TVTV postulates that it is "impossible for intellectuals to appreciate and correctly judge television as they have been overconditioned by the written word" (Proulx & Yelle, 1996, p. 38). What is more, Znaimer's approach is to "caricature academics/intellectuals (and by implication intellectual culture) and thereby invoke an alternative cult of the expert" (Cohen, 1996, p. 78).

At the core of these polemics is a struggle between representatives of different cultural fields over legitimacy, authority, and credibility. It is a struggle between a prominent television executive producer and television scholars over what will count as public knowledge about television. In order to explore this issue, what is required is an analysis of television that would take account of the field of television, the field of journalism, and the scholarly field of media study. For it is in the structural positions of television producers, journalists, and scholars within their respective fields of cultural production, and the power relations between them, that we can best account for Znaimer's response and any tendencies toward anti-intellectualism.2 Having received "bad reviews," Znaimer decided to deploy the resources, knowledge, skill, and "talent" at his disposal to re-stage the debate over TVTV and thereby re-assert his ability to tell the public the truth about television. At the same time, the making of A Colloquium on TVTV afforded me an opportunity to read On Television as a program for research and to disclose Bourdieu's theory of television through the empirical work of constructing a case study rather than by engaging in a meta-discourse around his theoretical approach and sociological practice.

In front of the cameras at A Colloquium on TVTV

On October 23, 1999, Moses Znaimer, in co-operation with Canadian Learning Television, Bravo!, Sleeping Giant Productions, and the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies, organized a one-day colloquium on TVTV. The colloquium, taped over six hours with a studio audience of 225 people, brought together a panel of seven "leading media practitioners and theorists" to debate Znaimer's 10 "commandments" about television.3 The mission of Canadian Learning Television, launched September 1, 1999, is to "ensure that the best values of print culture get translated into TV" (Znaimer, 1996, p. 94; see also www.clt.ca). This particular program was part of a larger project to develop a distance-learning course around TVTV and was eventually cablecast May 23-26, 2000.4

In his opening remarks, Znaimer stated:

I did not imagine when we first began this journey of a project that events would transpire that would have me today defending my thesis in the very inner workings, the guts, of our creative domain. With the perimeter breached, the drawbridge useless, the walls unguarded, indeed, festooned with signs of welcome to all those critics of television - the press, the pundits, the politicians, the prelates, and the academics. From this place, seven television signals span out across this city, across the province, and across the country. And one of the things that many people missed who saw, or commented upon, the original program TVTV was not just a theoretical exercise but a case by case presentation and analysis of applied concepts. That doesn't make them right and it doesn't make them immune to criticism, but it does provide some ground on which to establish a defence, an inner perimeter, that I will do my best to hold ably assisted by colleagues.… Our hopes when we made TVTV were reasonably modest. I wanted to articulate what, and how, and why I practice my profession. And we wanted some respect. We think our medium is as capable of art as any other. And we strive to do it artfully. (Znaimer, 1999)

From the outset, it was clear that Znaimer's main stake in the ensuing debate would be to foster the most favourable representation of his position, by continuing, on his "home turf," a series of mutual affirmations and refutations. What is at stake is not merely what television audiences may learn about television, but the "inner perimeter" or border between the fields of television, journalism, and media studies. What is at issue is a television executive producer's bid for social respect and artistic recognition.

To understand what was, and what could be, said in this televised debate, I shall now turn to Bourdieu's two-staged sociological method of analysis. The first stage would be to describe what took place in front of the cameras and, as far as is possible, behind the scenes. This involves consideration of the selection process for the panellists, the arrangement of the set, the role of the moderator, the questions asked, the issues raised by the panellists and the perspectives deployed, and the style of the final, edited program. The second stage, moving from visible TV show to invisible fields, requires us to consider television, journalism, and academia as "fields," that is, as both social spaces and fields of struggle.5 Moving beyond a description of what took place in front of the cameras enables us to analyze invisible structures and their effects, and to explain the tendency toward anti-intellectualism, even though A Colloquium on TVTV was designed to be "open to differential interpretation as well as criticism from opposite or alternative points of view" (Mayot, 1998, p. 1).

In contrast to the self-conscious videographic style of TVTV, or Citytv's own regular program Media Television, A Colloquium on TVTV was a cross between a current-affairs panel show and a televised debate. Executive producer Znaimer was posed to defend his vision of television and to play the academic game of serious reflection, expert discussion, and intellectual give-and-take.

Let us proceed to an analysis of the selection process for the panellists. During discussion of Znaimer's fifth maxim, Znaimer told the panellists that they were chosen "quite consciously, systematically, because of your archetypal values." In "casting" the panellists, he and his colleagues asked themselves, "What's the kind of conversation we expect and hope to have? Who might represent those viewpoints?"

The panellists were John Perry Barlow, Derrick de Kerckhove, Robert Fulford, Liss Jeffrey, Harry Jessell, Bruce Powe, and Father John Pungente.6 This "central brain trust," as moderator Daniel Richler referred to them, represented a mixed group of journalists, writers, practitioners, and academics. This selection leaves the viewer at home with an impression of wide-ranging views and viewpoints. From this guest list, we can immediately infer something crucial about the behind-the-scenes "casting" process: that only one contributor to the original debate published in the Canadian Journal of Communication - McLuhan scholar and a "long-time associate" and creative ally of Znaimer, Liss Jeffrey - was included. Among the other panellists, only one - Derrick de Kerckhove - could make any claim to competence in that branch of television theory known as "medium theory" (Corner, 1997). The primary role of the panellists, whatever their claims to competence happened to be, was to respond to Znaimer's dramatizations of his 10 maxims. In one way or another, all of them have proven themselves as former TV-show producers or hosts, media consultants or commentators, and "fast thinkers" - individuals who are able to think at high speed and to respond well under conditions that make it difficult to think (Bourdieu, 1998, p. 29). So this colloquium excluded, just as TVTV had avoided, some leading scholarly voices from Canadian media studies. In this way, Znaimer lowered the risk that inconvenient facts, new developments in media research or theory, or difficult-to-accept revelations about how commercial television works to maintain the prevailing social order would have to be faced.

The arrangement of the panellists appeared to influence the interpersonal dynamics among the participants. While all of the panellists were seated around a round table, Znaimer stood alone at a podium behind them. The round table implies that journalistic, literary, industry, and scholarly viewpoints have an equal contribution to make to an in-depth understanding of television. But given the seating arrangements, the panellists debated each other to some degree, but only rarely put their own questions to Znaimer. More importantly, the agenda for discussion was determined in advance by the man at the podium. In agreeing to participate, the panellists apparently gave up any influence they might have had in setting the agenda. So even though time pressures were less of a factor than in the regularly scheduled commercial-television programs on which scholars occasionally appear, these arrangements begin to suggest how intellectuals' access to television is "offset by a powerful censorship, a loss of independence linked to the conditions imposed on those who speak on television" (Bourdieu, 1998, p. 15).

Let us look more closely at what happened by looking at the role of the moderator. After eliciting opening statements as to where the panellists stood in relation to the original program and debate, Richler - sensing the panel would be "conflicted" and that agreement might be hard to come by - set the relaxed, humorous tone by sharing an observation about the rock stars' habit of throwing television sets, rather than books, out of their hotel room windows. Overall, however, his intervention was limited to asking individual panellists to react to Znaimer's maxims and keeping the discussion going by posing follow-up questions.

A considerable amount of time, perhaps for the benefit of the viewer who had not seen TVTV before, was allotted to reviewing Znaimer's 10 maxims, intercut with newer promotional material for Citytv's programming and CHUM Limited's specialty cable channels. Following a discussion of each maxim, Richler invited Znaimer to respond or comment, thus providing him the opportunity to have the "last word." Significantly, neither the moderator, nor any single graphic, nor any of the panellists, pointed to Richard Gruneau's "10 Alternative Maxims," which many practitioners of media studies would endorse.7

The other visible participants in this program were, of course, the members of the live studio audience. Very little time was allotted for audience participation, and space limitations here preclude a detailed examination of the audience's limited role. However, two encounters deserve brief consideration here.

The first concerns an encounter between Znaimer and a representative of the local press. During Znaimer's response to the discussion of the first maxim, we were led back into the furor over his misrepresentation by the print press. Exclaiming that press reviewers of TVTV had misquoted him as saying "Print is dead," Znaimer put his complaint to the Toronto Star's television columnist, Antonia Zerbisias. She, in turn, immediately distanced herself from television journalists who rely on television-industry public relations. She then went on to try to raise the issue of how television, and television viewing, was represented on television. Her column, published the following day, continued the furor by making Znaimer's "critic-bashing" the thrust of her review (Zerbisias, 1999). After mentioning that "aside from a few references to media guru Marshall McLuhan, none of the panellists ever mentioned the vast literature on TV nor the great cultural critics from who[m] Znaimer has clearly borrowed," her column skipped on to her own thoughts on "parasocial interaction," to "amusing asides" from a "pop culture prof at York University," to the claim that what critics write "doesn't matter." On the one hand, this claim suggests that the television industry functions without referring to its critics; on the other hand, it indicates how established writers like herself are more inclined toward cynicism, since they are well aware that those who write regularly about television for daily newspapers are inclined to use standards to judge television's products and producers that are dependent on the industry and vulnerable to market pressures and marketing.

The second encounter involves the above-mentioned professor from York University, a leading practitioner of cultural studies. In response to Znaimer's claim that the public interest is better served by private-television entrepreneurs, Jody Berland pointed to a study by broadcasting economists Colin Hoskins and Stuart McFadyen (1984) that demonstrated that an increase in the number of channels does not yield greater diversity and that public broadcasters are the most important contributors to program choice. Znaimer's response to this research finding was to re-frame the properly social-scientific attempt to answer the question of diversity and pluralism as a defence of private media monopoly; to stress the economic necessity, if not profitability, of repeating syndicated programming; and to reiterate the self-serving belief that competition between privately owned specialty channels eventually yields "quality" television. Rather than enabling a follow-up question and risking a detour into genuine debate, the moderator used the clock to cut off the whole discussion and move on to the next maxim. During such moments, the reciprocity between Znaimer's vision of television and blindness to the economic analysis of television became visible.

Television, Bourdieu also notes, is paradoxical in that it "can hide by showing" (Bourdieu, 1998, p. 19). Contrary to those experts in TVTV who extol the power of the image, he emphasizes that "to name is to show, to create, to bring into existence" because the words used "do things, they make things - they create phantasms, fears, and phobias, or simply false representations"( p. 20). Because it is impossible to go over every word that was uttered during the colloquium, I will restrict myself to a few chosen ones, sufficient to display their speaker's conceptions of television and to indicate what each panellist found obvious, unthinkable, normal, or worthless.

John Perry Barlow began by echoing Marie Winn's Plug-In Drug, stating that television is "the most dangerous drug we've ever come up with." Reflecting our "mass hallucination," television is the "triumph of one form of the word over another, namely the verb over the noun." Selective quotes include:

Television has warped the sense of what a story is.… One of the great horrors of television, so far, is that it's been extremely amenable to be a tool of totalitarian thinking and the instrument by which large nation-states become reality-distortion fields.… TV is the most mediated of the media. It is mediated in ways that are invisible to the audience.… I think of television as the apotheosis of industrialization.

Such generalizations, however, did not apply to present company: "Citytv is different because of what it has done to the myth of objectivity, and to have a clearly identifiable point of view in the creator and the organization that he has created." The net effect of Barlow's comments is to render a verdict on television that is a pastiche of Gustave Le Bon's Psychology of Crowds and the post-World War II American critique of "mass culture," except that for Barlow, the Internet has taken the place of art and will create a totally autonomous (and bodiless) "civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace."8 The only exception he sees to television as "mass culture" is Znaimer's contribution to what Umberto Eco, back in the early 1980s, called "neo-TV" (Eco, 1997).

Liss Jeffrey began by pointing out that TVTV's argument was for a "revolution that has in fact happened," one that, unlike Barlow, she does not find "terribly malevolent for our society." "What I think we're going to have to come to terms with is the next revolution - the digital nation, the digital revolution where TV and the image and the word come together." When Richler asked the panellists if they felt "TV is anything more than impressionistic," Jeffrey responded with: "There are lots of kinds of television. I mean, one of the mistakes made about McLuhan was thinking that there was only one kind of television. TV has evolved. I mean not only has it splintered because a lot of different people want different things from it, it is itself many different things. Sometimes it is ephemeral, sometimes it zaps you." While taking issue with Camille Paglia's notion of TV as a sensual, pagan torrent, she was in agreement with her about the need for a "firm education."

Picking up this cue, it was left to Father John Pungente to represent the perspective of media literacy. Television, he stressed, was not only entertainment and information, but "big business" that "sells us values ... politics, ideologies, cultures, etc." Media literacy "ought to teach people how to watch television," to be "literate about the media," and to become "well-watched." Without an explicit definition of the term, or any introduction to the concepts that serve as tools for critical thinking and analysis, media literacy was reduced to a formula whereby the more you know about television's effects, "the less impact it has on you." Media education appeared to be a practice of inoculation, in which one could protect oneself by becoming a discriminating viewer of the "best shows," exemplified by U.S. television programs such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Roswell, rather than Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Even when called upon to defend the value of media education against Fulford's charge that it was diverting students from learning Shakespeare and the "fundamentals," Pungente's response was that popular media culture (e.g., Shakespeare in Love) can be used to overcome student boredom and lead them back to an appreciation of literary high culture. Against Fulford's "traditional education" stance, Pungente's comments acknowledge the value of the popular as constitutive of "experience." Although this dissolves the print-TV dichotomy, it maintains the need to make value judgements within the popular. Here "critical" thinking alternates between rational discernment with some professional knowledge of media effects and confession of one's favourable past responses and current television pleasures. Asked where he stood in the debate over TVTV, Pungente stated: "I would like to say that I go along with Bart Simpson maybe more than anybody else. Bart Simpson once said to his father, Homer, 'It's hard not to listen to television; it's spent so much more time raising us than you have.' "

Robert Fulford, now a columnist for the National Post, wanted the audience to know that he is old enough to know what life was like before and after television, and that, for him, 43 years of life with television has been better than 24 years without it. For Fulford, television "has become a really interesting aspect of life" that "changes all the time"; "the best change now is what traditional programmers find the most disturbing, which is the splitting of the audience into tinier and tinier pieces." Declaring himself to believe exactly the opposite of what Barlow believes, Fulford went on to declare that "TV critics are truly one of the more inadequate forms of literary life." Unable to name one "great TV critic," he suggested that most reviewers "write about television with amused disdain and condescension." In this respect, he shared Znaimer's view of TV critics. Yet, contrary to Znaimer's second maxim, which emphasizes flow, Fulford cited examples of important, valuable television shows such as West Wing, Homicide, and NYPD Blue.

Contrary to Znaimer's fourth maxim, which suggests that the best TV is local stories about ourselves, Fulford believes that "the great thing about TV is where it takes me - to a world of other people who are not like me, who talk to me in ways I can understand." During the discussion of the sixth maxim, he also took issue with de Kerckhove's contention, following McLuhan, that television has become obsolete. To make his point that television has been "developing," he made an analogy to the recording industry and claimed that the number of record companies, evidence of concentration of ownership notwithstanding, has increased since the 1950s. Yet, for all of his optimism about the "craft" of television, Fulford feels that democracy - which he defines as "providing as much freedom as possible for the individual" - is facilitated more by the book than by television, because at any library we may find texts of "astonishing obscurity." Fulford's notion of democracy as personal freedom prompted him to challenge Znaimer's ninth maxim by arguing that "compulsion" has never had anything to do with what audiences choose to read, listen to, or watch. In discussing Znaimer's 10th maxim, his neoconservative stance became clear as he rewrote the history of left cultural nationalism's cultural-policy solution to the problem of Canadian economic dependence on the United States as a rhetoric that framed television as a "problem to be managed." In his revisionist account, the personal "freedom" of the individual is contrasted to state "control" in the form of regulation, but it makes no difference to Fulford whether regulation of cultural industries arises within a paternalistic and economically dependent state like Canada, or a totalitarian one like the former Soviet Union.

Author and literary critic Bruce Powe began by observing that his students at York are "deeply resistant to TV and want the challenge of a literary experience." Agreeing with American televisual intellectual par excellence Camille Paglia, he pointed out that "without the literary context - that is, without training in ambiguity and irony and paradox and contradiction - all of which Moses and most of us have, then you cannot understand television." His general perspective, however, was rendered along more philosophical-poetic lines; taking his cue from pre-Socratic philosophers, who defined each age according to one of the elements, ours is the "great Age of Fire, of electricity, of electromagnetism." In these terms, TV is "one of the great, if not the great, agents of that Fire"; it "brings simultaneously illumination and breakdown. Electronics brings about conditions of a living paradox, a marriage of heaven and hell every day and every night. TV burns us and brightens us at once."

To these metaphors of media, he added McLuhan's metaphor of media as extensions of ourselves: if TV is "an amplifier and enhancer of our perceptions and apprehensions," he asked, how we will find our way to the "heart, which is the warmth that we need in our time and our society?" For Powe, this question overrides the question of technology itself and confronts the intellectual with "mesmerizing uncertainty." Through this literary lens, television appears to be full of odd contradictions and to be a form without closure (reflected in the programs he prefers to watch, such as NYPD Blue and Law and Order). For this literary critic and writer, TVTV is a "romance of television," at the very moment television is no longer "the primary force shaping attention." TVTV may point to the imagery of "couch potatoes" as a negative stereotype of television viewers, but in his opinion the imagery of "bookworm" has had the same function for readers. While admitting that television has some value, his final verdict resembles Don DeLillo's White Noise; given that "solitude is essential for the process of contemplative life, for thinking ... television is part of the noise factor in life."

For Derrick de Kerckhove, "What happens with television is the immigration of the private mind from the head to the screen." In his evolutionist, cognitive-progressivist approach, the debate over television as a "mass medium," and Znaimer's claim about the dominance of image over print, is secondary to the relationship between media and mind. Television is a "stream-of-public-consciousness device" that also "regulates your day." Compared to the Internet, which permits "response-ability," there is no "responsibility" in front of television. Citytv is a "formula" that expresses the "local" very strongly, and it has made a mark by "cultivating flow for its own sake." Yet television, in general, is responsible for "the globalization of emotions." Walter Cronkite and Peter Mansbridge "do represent a form of ready-made consciousness. And we just slip right into it.... What Citytv's taught me is that TV can become what McLuhan predicted, which is that any medium that's invented can become obsolete, that it can become an art form." Asked to clarify what he meant by this, he explained that television is obsolete "as the dominant structure of thinking."

In addition to these varied viewpoints, there was also the "pragmatic" (read: industry executive) view, expressed by Harry Jessell:

When I think of TV, I don't think of words, I don't think of images. I think of numbers. Which, I think, is the way my readers see television. It's rating points and it's dollars. This kind of academic discussion where we talk about the nature of television and its impact on society is unusual. I talk to a lot of executives in this business and it's just not on the charts. My fear is that they may not care. So I'm here to learn, because it's a numbers game.

For Jessell, the field of television completely overlaps with the economic field. The only law is that "Business is business." What the 10th maxim says to Jessell is "Thou shalt not govern TV." What he neglected to mention was that the magazine he edits - Broadcasting and Cable - had recently done a cover story on Znaimer that hailed him as a "prophet of local television."

But as proponents of the so-called electronic frontier are seduced by the promise of technological liberation, and as proponents of "digital democracy" attempt to resolve the crisis of democracy by reinventing it in the image of new technologies, perhaps critical intellectuals who once engaged with media "either in the style of the Brechtian avant-garde or the counter culture, or by supporting state intervention in the marketplace through public broadcasting[,]" are also history (Meek, 2000, p. 88). For all of the apparent differences of opinion about TVTV's take on television as well as differing cultural images of TV, the discussion dissolved at times into a debate surrounding new digital media. In this sense, this colloquium on television also served up polemics on the meaning of new communication technologies and provided viewers a glimpse of a new species of what Allen Meek (2000) has called "electronic intellectuals." Whether it was Barlow talking about the immediacy of the Internet and its ability to bypass television's virtualization of the Gulf War, de Kerckhove on the recent technological developments that will enable us to play television at home, or Jeffrey on the "digital divide" and the promise of computer-networked public space, the television "revolution" was already history. For these panellists, the future of digital media networks in the public interest, which might even include a publicly owned Corporation for Public Internet, was unimaginable.

In spite of the emergence of audio and video streaming, television remains the dominant audiovisual medium of our hypertextual, cyberspace times. The overall style of A Colloquium on TVTV brings a more videographic approach to the conventional format for panel shows and televised debates. The production relied upon roving, self-reflexive camera work, switching to follow the speaker or to insert reaction shots, and postproduction embellishment to package the colloquium into four installments, each representing a different cluster of maxims. The original draft treatment prepared for Sleeping Giant Productions called for additional material on television audiences and a closer look at the actual production process, but this material was never produced, nor was any material added to "balance" the focus on Znaimer's maxims with alternative points of view (Mayot, 1998). Some of the original discussion was excised from the final program, but as I was not provided with the raw, unedited videotape, I am unable to say exactly what was cut from the final version. Suffice to say, then, that the edited in-studio material gives the impression of an unrehearsed, informal colloquium, even though panellists relied on notes and the staging ensured that Znaimer would be seen by viewers at home either addressing the round table or in the background looking, listening, and responding to the panellists or audience members. While Znaimer was certainly accustomed to being on camera, Barlow and Powe worried aloud whether appearing on television, and the emphasis on personal style or mood, encourages the audience to forget what one has to say. This suggests that appearing on television is not merely a matter of personal style and substance. Rather, social styles and stereotypifications of academics and intellectuals are part of common knowledge (Gripsrud, 1999).

From visible show to invisible fields

Let us move beyond the television spectacle of debate to the task of grasping the fields within which these interactions took place. Only with the concept of fields can this image of debate, and the particulars of discourse, of rhetorical strategies, and the moves attempted and effected, be accounted for. Taking the example of political programming, Bourdieu explains the analytical move from the visible to the invisible in the following way.

The scene that unravels on the television set, the strategies that agents deploy to win the symbolic struggle over the monopoly of the imposition of the verdict, for the recognized ability to tell the truth about the stake of the debate, are the objective expression of objective relations of force between the agents involved or, to be more precise, between the different fields in which they are implicated and in which they occupy positions of various standing. In other words, the interaction is the visible and purely phenomonenal resultant of the intersection of hierarchized fields. (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992, pp. 256-257)

In this sense, A Colloquium on TVTV may be examined as a site where the fields of television production, journalism, and media studies overlap. Because of television's proximity to the economic field, there is competition, but competition is not merely a matter of economic gain or weight but also of symbolic weight. To begin to understand what happened onscreen, one must understand what goes on at CHUM Limited and take account of market share and competition as well as the history of Citytv's positioning within the television field.9

When Citytv was one of two independent UHF/cable stations licensed in Toronto in 1971, it entered the field of local television dominated by two national networks - CBC and CTV. The relations between these large-scale national networks and small-scale, independent stations, and the relative weight they had at the time - as indicated by market share - exerted pressures and effects that Znaimer had to take into account. The CBC and CTV's dominance was both economic and symbolic. It was reinforced by technical broadcasting "standards" that kept the entry fee to television broadcasting high. Historically, however, these two national TV networks were subject to the dominance exerted by U.S. commercial television, so Canadian communication and cultural policy, rather than the economic field alone, secured the cultural power and national prestige of the CBC. Benefiting from changes in cable-television regulation and changing technologies, Znaimer's vanguard approach was to program with a difference - soft-core Baby Blue Movies, a game show called Greed - and to take local television production out of the studio and into the streets in the form of "video verité." His strategy was to define the station's "character" or "personality" by programming between the programs and the ads. In this respect, Citytv style was a Canadian forerunner of 1980s American "televisuality," where "style becomes the subject, the signified ... of television" (Caldwell, 1995, p. 5). For a program like Speaker's Corner, the viewer became the content; in programs such as Fashion Television, Movie Television, The New Music, Media TV, Authors, Bravo!Video, and StarTV, personalities within the cultural industries became the content.

Znaimer worked to differentiate Citytv from his competitors in the field at the time (especially the CBC, where he began his broadcasting career) by rejecting what he called "supervisory television," by establishing new criteria of competency, and by producing differences that asserted Citytv's distinctive local flow and participatory mode of address. But Znaimer's resistance to mainstream television was short-lived; when Citytv was faced with elimination from the field, the Bronfman family purchased a 45% share and hired American news consultant Jack de Suze to create CityPulse News, in the image of American action-news formats. This strategy proved successful, but it was a strategy that was totally dependent upon his Znaimer's position in the field at the time.

During the 1980s, he was involved as Citytv's president in numerous CRTC licensing hearings in order to safeguard and improve his position and to impose a vision of private, commercial television most favourable to Citytv's new owners, CHUM Limited, which purchased the station in the late 1970s and began expanding through the creation of new channels and takeovers. By the end of the 1990s, CHUM Limited, owner of specialty cable channels such as MuchMusic, MuchMoreMusic, and Bravo!, was able to exert considerable economic and symbolic influence at the national level as one of Canada's largest media companies. More recently, CHUM Limited's Learning and Skills Television of Alberta (which owns ACCESS - The Education Station and Canadian Learning Television) applied to the CRTC for seven digitally delivered specialty television services; in November 2000, they were awarded English Category 1 licences for Fashion Television, Book Television, Court TV Canada, Drive-In Classics, Sex TV, MuchLoud, MuchVibe, and a Category 2 licence for Academy Television, among others. As vice-president, development, of CHUM Limited, Znaimer is responsible for spearheading joint ventures and affiliate agreements in television, Internet, and broadband in Canada as well as the United States, Argentina, Finland, Colombia, Malaysia, and Spain. At the same time, he has made over a half-dozen local television stations in the image of Citytv, including the New VR (Barrie), the New PL (London), the New NX (Wingham), the New WI (Windsor), the New RO (Ottawa and the National Capital Region), and CIVI (Victoria and Vancouver Island). For his efforts to "revolutionize" TV, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by York University in June 2001.

From this brief sketch, it is clear that Znaimer's viewpoint on the field of television comes from a certain position from within the field. When he claims that by "being cost-effective you could liberate the medium, and expand the number of outlets, and democratize it even to some small degree," he is deploying a rhetorical strategy designed to be as efficacious as possible among industry and policy elites within the conjuncture of neoliberal hegemony, increasing media concentration, technological convergence, and the barely regulated economic dominance of the cable-television industry. In his review of TVTV, Charles Acland notes:

What Znaimer's ten commandments amount to is not a radical vision of the democratic paradise of television; instead, they reveal a fragment of what is an authorized language promoted by policy elites and cultural entrepreneurs alike. In certain circles, most of these claims are received wisdom. If there is a dominant theme running through the list, it is an attack on public culture that reduces the concept of public ownership and service to a simple case of elitism.... In this view, public culture is always politically and ideologically tainted, and the forces of the market are unbiased and pure. (1995, p. 28)

He adds that

in order to understand fully the show and its context, one has to agree that Znaimer has been able to tap into a popular sensibility about Canadian cultural policy. Historically, cultural policy has engaged in a denigration of popular pleasure and thus created a gulf between a perceived "official" culture and people's everyday cultural consumption. It is acknowledged in this country that there are few realms in which the work supported by Canadian policy and that consumed by Canadians are one and the same. Znaimer, then, is quite right to criticize a history of cultural policy that has been as exclusionary as the economic forces it was developed to combat. (p. 31)

Znaimer has continued to tap into this popular sensibility from a particular position within the field of television, wherein the major players are now jockeying for position in the technological race to control the commercial potential of new media. It is a position that is not only antagonistic toward public broadcasting, the nationalistic and protectionist model of regulation, and the notion of public interest; it is also complicitous with a transnational cultural populism facilitated by deregulation and privatization on a global scale. In this race, consumer choice and public tastes become the only acceptable form of "regulation," and the audience rating system magically guarantees the democracy of expression.

Television, according to Znaimer's seventh maxim, is democratic because "everybody gets it"; in reality, as Bourdieu puts it, the "audience rating system can and should be contested in the name of democracy[,]" because "the audience rating system is the sanction of the market and the economy, that is, of an external and purely market law" (1998, p. 66). But in Znaimer's futurology of the next 50 years of television, specialty channels like his and the World Wide Web will attract viewers and advertisers from traditional networks, "packaging them into many smaller, but more committed, communities" (Znaimer, 2000, p. 5). Lifestyle enclaves, communities of consumption, and digital public sphericules have little to do with democratic expression, participation, enlightened collective opinion, or public rationality. However, even though we may live in a "jaded, postmodern world," Znaimer believes that television can bring us education, in the form of Canadian Learning Television - "smartly produced channels that will confirm the value of television as a teaching tool, and will also connect viewers to real courses of study in real accredited institutions" (Znaimer, 2000, pp. 4-5).

Having examined some of the changes in CHUM Limited's positioning that have made it the object of economic takeover talk, I now turn to the relation between the field of television and the journalistic field. With the growth of local television news as a profit centre on the one hand, and tabloidism on the other, the relationship between television and journalism has been reversed; television, as the only source of news for many people, "now dominates the journalistic field both economically and symbolically" (Bourdieu, 1998, p. 42). So the debate between Znaimer and his critics in the press is a spurious one, based on a misrecognition of how television's emphasis on natural disasters, political scandals, human-interest stories, celebrity gossip, and sports, as well as its greater powers of diffusion, have threatened, or altered, serious journalism. By making print journalism his favourite whipping boy, by insisting on a "battle" between television and "print people," Znaimer obscures not only the competition for advertising dollars or market share but the relations of collusion between television and print journalism. During the entire Colloquium, for instance, there was not one word about the effects of advertising on media content, or how ads interrupt the "flow" of programming such as movies. Moreover, Znaimer followed the customary practice of utilizing print journalists as moderators or experts for television talk shows. A truly maverick approach to televised debate would be to have it moderated by someone in media studies who specializes in the political economic, policy, or sociological study of media. Alternatively, a humanities moderator with knowledge of visual culture, for example, might have pointed out that, even as Znaimer was being lauded for his synthesis of art and commerce, TRANZ< - >TECH, the Toronto International Video Art Biennial - a three-day video festival featuring a new generation of artists working in electronic media, whose work is steeped in the history and practice of video art - was completely ignored even though it was taking place the same day and only a few blocks away.

Finally, there is the relationship between Znaimer, a private-broadcasting entrepreneur who had gained national recognition as a television-channel auteur, a curator of television's past, and a prophet of its future, and representatives from the scholarly field of media studies. Four of the seven panellists - Barlow, de Kerckhove, Powe, and Jeffrey - have university affiliations, but only de Kerckhove and Jeffrey are positioned within the field of media studies, and both of them are known for their work on McLuhan.

As Lazersfeld and Merton noted long ago, the mass media confer status upon "public issues, persons, organizations, and social movements" (1960, p. 497). Where once the category of television workers was structurally inferior to journalists, today it may be argued that in Canada, as in France, it is visibility on television that gives journalists greater status, as journalist-media intellectuals. Robert Fulford may write on media issues for Toronto Life magazine, and he may have also given one of the CBC's Massey Lectures alongside Northrop Frye, Claude Levi-Strauss, and Noam Chomsky, but he can not apparently afford to turn down a television appearance. Television gives intellectuals greater access, visibility, and even, as in the case of Marshall McLuhan, celebrity status.

But if, as Bourdieu contends, recognition is one of the internal stakes of the academic field, what happens when media scholars appear within the orbit of television? It is not only that Znaimer was using this mixed group of intellectuals for his own purposes; intellectuals may use television to increase the value of their intellectual shares. This is especially relevant where you have scholars who are themselves marginalized within the hierarchy of fields within a given institution, as is the case with the faculty of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. Ever since McLuhan's death in 1980, and ever since the university closed the Centre for Culture and Technology shortly thereafter, faculty have been struggling for the legitimacy of the program within the fields of study represented at the university.

As executive producer of A Colloquium on TVTV, Znaimer could count on the McLuhan Program's faculty to provide a McLuhanesque viewpoint; they are familiar enough with this tradition to re-present his sometimes obtuse ideas of 35 years ago as profound insights into the contemporary mediascape. Jeffrey, for example, explained that Znaimer's second maxim had some affinity with McLuhan's idea that "the medium is the message," which later became "the medium is the massage." She also reiterated that "the user is the content," claimed that U.S. media scholar George Gerbner's notion of the "cultural environment" was taken from McLuhan's notion of media as environment, and suggested that Znaimer's fifth maxim illustrates that television is not just a "global village" but a "global theatre." McLuhan, "the man with a message" (as Canada Post's Millennium Stamp Collection has dubbed him) exists for many people today as David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1984) caricatured him - a rich stockpile of aphorisms and quotable quotes that can be endlessly recycled on videotape. As Bourdieu observes, "When you transmit a 'received idea,' it's as if everything is set, and the problem solves itself. Communication is instantaneous because, in a sense, it has not occurred; or it only seems to have taken place" (1998, p. 29).

For Bourdieu, however, the even greater threat is that media validation will replace peer evaluation of scholarly works, and the autonomy that is the essential and fundamental condition of intellectual practice will be replaced with the heteronomy of a journalistic field that is increasingly subject to the same market pressures as television. It is the heteronomy of journalism that allows anybody to have an opinion about media and media theorists (especially McLuhan), even if they are not media scholars themselves. This explains why McLuhan scholars such as Jeffrey often find themselves addressing popular misunderstanding and misreadings of McLuhan's ideas. What is more, these conditions may account for the production of books about media by university-based scholars that bypass the peer review of our scholarly journals or university presses. For authors of such works, appearing on television leads to greater diffusion of one's ideas and greater notoriety, but then it becomes difficult to determine how much of this increased recognition is due to peer-reviewed scholarship and how much is due to validation by television. While this may sound excessive, Bourdieu's point is that there is a clear correlation between autonomy/heteronomy and the inclination to resist or to collaborate with the powers that be. Given the McLuhan Program's marginalized status at the University of Toronto, the faculty has an interest in looking outside the academic field for recognition and rewards, in appearing on TV rather than putting academics' collaboration with commercial television into question.

Anti- or anti-anti-intellectualism?

For Bourdieu, anti-intellectualism is not an individual prejudice or personal attitude; rather, he sees it as a "structural constant" that "pushes journalists periodically to impute errors to intellectuals or to initiate debates that will mobilize other journalist-intellectuals, and frequently often exist only to give these TV intellectuals their media existence" (1998, p. 58). I began this article by describing how Znaimer imputed errors to the media scholars who critiqued TVTV's style and arguments. Based on the foregoing discussion and first-hand knowledge, I believe that this "structural constant" has pushed Znaimer to organize A Colloquium on TVTV and to initiate a debate by reiterating his maxims. In this way, he is using television in the way journalists use newspapers and magazines - to control "public existence, one's ability to be recognized as a public figure"(Bourdieu, 1998, p. 46). His rhetoric about a "battle between the image and the word" only serves to hide the relations of collusion between television and print journalism. With his own national educational channel, and the access to public visibility, circulation, and the diffusion that it brings, he is using specialty cable television to join the ranks of distance educators. In order to accrue symbolic capital of his own, he has played off television against "print people," and he has posed as a media intellectual by treating his selected scholarly guests with respect. As a consequence of this seemingly disinterested social interaction, television gains legitimacy from higher education, but TV's powers to consecrate are clearly used to Znaimer's, and CHUM Limited's, own private benefit.

This being said, this television program's use of media studies has paradoxical effects. On the one hand, it consecrates electronic intellectuals as part of the televisual public sphere, and particular agents are accorded an authority that they may be unable to get from their peers in the academy. On the other hand, it conserves the value of only one, highly idiosyncratic, approach - a depoliticized, neo-McLuhanist one that is not at all representative of contemporary media studies in general or television studies in particular. While de Kerckhove has produced work on the cognitive aspects of media and Jeffrey on new media policy, the colloquium as a whole, while bringing together people who would normally not talk to one another, leaves the impression that there has not been much progress in media research since McLuhan. Media scholars and journalists appeared happy to talk things over with Znaimer, to acknowledge his achievements in the field of television, and even to criticize each other to some degree, but Bourdieu maintains that "true scientific agreement or disagreement requires a high degree of agreement about the bases for disagreement and about the means to decide a question" (1998, p. 62). Within autonomous academic fields, it is the social-scientific or other instruments, techniques, and methods of inquiry that provide a basis for co-operation and disagreement between different schools, and for different researchers to judge and criticize each other.

It may be argued that media studies has never had, nor will it ever achieve even if it wanted to, the kind of autonomy Bourdieu deems a necessary precondition of social-scientific practice. Media studies today may be a field that has less to do with substantive theory, models, and empirical data (as Bourdieu envisions sociology), than with, as Stuart Hall once pointed out, critical intellectual work and the shifting problematics that define the questions, the manner in which they are posed, and the way they can be answered (1986). I also have to agree with Marlière's (1998) criticism that Bourdieu's work may overemphasize the impact of television's status-conferral function on intellectuals.

In the Canadian context, the capacity of heteronomous journalist-intellectuals or electronic intellectuals to jeopardize the autonomy of the intellectual field appears to be limited. First of all, in the age of cablecasting and fragmented, rather than "mass," audiences, Canadian Learning Television's powers of diffusion may be quite limited. Second, there is no sign that an appearance on A Colloquium on TVTV will be taken into account in review committees, or that it is more important than peer evaluation or more prestigious than giving CBC Radio's Massey Lecture or a lecture at Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto. Third, with respect to the relationship between theory and social engagement, there may be national differences between Canadian and French intellectual culture that need to be factored into any analysis. Yet as public universities are continually threatened to become more commercially viable, and because programs such as the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology are totally dependent on external support to carry out their mission, appearing on television becomes a way for faculty to gain public attention and attract funding from external corporate or government sources. Znaimer himself has helped promote program activities such as the Coach House Festival and subsidized some its graduate courses. Consequently, the kind of encounter Znaimer has staged, with the collaboration of "heteronomous intellectuals" and with the sincerest of convictions, may, without anyone intending to, weaken the autonomy of the intellectual field of media studies. Bringing whatever research findings these specially selected intellectuals may have laboured to produce into a televisual public sphere and submitting to the conditions I have described, without recognition of mechanisms and relations that partially determine what can be said, may also make it more difficult to tell where common sense ends and public knowledge begins.

Like other scholars, media scholars have an intellectual responsibility not to become, using Bourdieu's metaphor, the "Trojan horse through which heteronomy - that is, the laws of the market and the economy - is brought into the field" (1998, p. 63). In a similar vein, James Clark, a professor of psychology at the University of Winnipeg, recently described the dangers of "excessive emphasis on dissemination of research results by the scholarly community" (2000, p. 5). He points out that "commercialization" puts pressure on us to study topics that "sell," and our participation in and encouragement of market forces make us collaborators "in the growing view that universities need to be more commercial and applied in their interests" (p. 5).When resources for research are scarce, hiring "communication specialists" or "using precious time for sound and video bites is wasteful" (Clark, 2000, p. 5).

On the other hand, Rowland Lorimer, a communications professor at Simon Fraser University, has contended that by "being intimately involved with the operations of the media themselves, the power of our analysis is bound to increase"(2000, p. 14). However, this case study of a televised encounter between television producers, journalists, and media scholars suggests otherwise by revealing what Bourdieu calls the "mechanisms that allow television to wield a particularly pernicious form of symbolic violence" (1998, p. 17). By invoking the solidarity of "colleagues" and by paying due respect to the form of intellectual debate, Znaimer has not acted to demythify television but to preserve television's monopoly over symbolic violence - the power to reveal and conceal by mechanisms that are not recognized as such. In the wake of the initial contestation over the legitimacy of judgments about TVTV, Znaimer produced a TV show about television that legitimates the kind of television he produces and that further consecrates his position as a television producer-auteur -celebrity-intellectual.

Finally, if this case has been properly constructed, it should raise questions about the effects of invisible cultural fields upon any involvement those of us involved in media studies might have. Can there be harmonious collaboration with television without compromising the autonomy crucial to the progress of television studies? If so, under what conditions? Can we, as Bourdieu has proposed, negotiate a collective agreement with the media that will provide us some control over the terms and conditions of our appearance on television? Are there any other ways of actualizing Bourdieu's call for anti-anti-intellectual action? Must we accept the existing terms of our appearance on television or be doomed, as far as the public interest and common knowledge are concerned, to be sucked into the corporate commercial-televisual vortex?


This article is a revised version of a paper originally presented at Brainwatching: Intellect and Ideology in Media Culture, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, ON, May 7, 2000. My thanks to Jody Berland, Naomi Pauls, David Mitchell, and two anonymous peer reviewers for constructive criticism and helpful suggestions.
"In analytical terms," says Bourdieu, "a field may be defined as a network, or configuration, of objective relations between positions. These positions are objectively defined, in their existence and in the determinations they impose upon their occupants, agents or institutions, by their present and potential situation (situs) in the structure of the distribution of species of power (or capital) whose possession commands access to the specific profits that are at stake in the field, as well as by their objective relation to other positions (domination, subordination, homology, etc.)" (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992, p. 97).
The 10 "commandments," hereafter referred to as maxims, are: (1) Television is the triumph of the image over the printed word; (2) The true nature of television is flow, not show; process not conclusion; (3) As worldwide television expands, the demand for local programming increases; (4) The best TV tells me what happened to me, today; (5) TV is as much about the people bringing you the story as the story itself; (6) In the past, TV's chief operating skill was political. In the future it will be, it will have to be, mastery of the craft itself; (7) Print created illiteracy. TV is democratic, everybody gets it; (8) TV creates immediate consensus, subject to immediate change; (9) There was never a mass audience, except by compulsion; and (10) Television is not a problem to be managed, but an instrument to be played.
Following A Colloquium on TVTV: The Television Revolution, an eight-week course was offered through the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Media and New Technology Program. The aim of this course was to learn about Znaimer's "theories" of media, and to compare and contrast them against the more traditional teachings of Marshall McLuhan and others. Contracted to teach the course, I chose to put greater emphasis on comparing TVTV to other documentary programs about television ("Consuming Images" from PBS's The Public Mind and "The Global Eye (1989-1997: Embattled Witness" from the CBC's Dawn of the Eye), on the scholarly responses to TVTV, on evaluating Znaimer's claims against the standards of contemporary media research, and going beyond his notion of criticism by highlighting the body of work represented in Horace Newcomb's Television: The Critical View (1994) and Leah Vande Berg et al's Critical Approaches to Television (1998).
For further elucidation of Bourdieu's concept of "field," see Bourdieu (1990, pp. 140-149; 1998, pp. 40-42), Bourdieu & Wacquant (1992, pp. 94-98), and Johnson (1993, pp. 8-11).
The panellists were introduced by the moderator as follows:
John Perry Barlow is a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, writer, and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that promotes freedom of expression in digital media. He is a writer, commentator, consultant, and lecturer on subjects relating to the virtualization of society, computer security, digitized intellectual property, and the social and legal conditions arising in the global network of connected digital devices. He wrote the widely distributed "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" as well as The Economy of Ideas, regarded by some to be a seminal work on the future of copyright. As a consequence of these and other essays, he was called the "Thomas Jefferson of Cyberspace" by Yahoo! Magazine. Currently, he is a Fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Liss Jeffrey is a McLuhan scholar who teaches graduate seminars in Communications Theory, History, and Technology, and New Media and Policy as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toronto's McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. This year's special topic in the Communication History course is television as revolution and evolution, especially the state of TV in a digital environment. She also teaches the TV and History module at the U of T's Faculty of Architecture and Design. Liss is a former TV producer and has written about TV and its audiences. As acting director of the MZTV Museum of TV, Liss co-curated the exhibition Watching TV at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Dr. de Kerckhove is the Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology and a Professor in the Department of French, University of Toronto. He is an internationally renowned media consultant and lecturer, and is the author of The Skin of Culture and Connected Intelligence.Father John Pungente is a Catholic priest, a Jesuit, a teacher, a broadcaster, and an author. For the past 30 years, John has been involved with the development of media education across Canada and around the world. As well as training teachers in the field, he has developed media education teaching materials ranging from textbooks to the video kit Scanning Television. Currently he is creator, producer, and host of the award-winning Bravo! show Scanning the Movies, as well as TV columnist for CBC Radio's Definitely Not the Opera. John is also the co-author of the recently published More Than Meets the Eye - Watching Television Watching Us, a media education book for the ordinary television viewer.
Robert Fulford has been a Globe and Mail journalist since he left high school in 1950 to work as a junior sports writer at the Globe and Mail. He was editor of Saturday Night magazine for 19 years, and he's hosted a radio program for the CBC and a television show on TVOntario. He now writes a weekly column on cultural issues for the Globe and Mail in Toronto and a monthly column on media in Toronto Life. His work appears in such journals as Canadian Art, Azure, and Queen's Quarterly.
Harry Jessell is the editor of Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, the leading trade magazine in the broadcasting and cable industry in the United States. He has been with the magazine for 21 years. As a reporter in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he covered the rise of the cable and satellite industries and the rapid evolution of TV technology. In 1987, he turned to Washington affairs, reporting on the FCC, Congress, and the federal courts. He was named executive editor in February 1993 and editor in September 1997. He is a 1976 graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Mr. Jessell is based in New York.
Bruce Powe is an author. He has written a novel, Outage: A Journey into Electronic City; two books of philosophy and criticism - The Solitary Outlaw and A Canada of Light - along with stories, essays, and reviews that have been published across Canada, the United States, and Europe. He is also a poet, a critic, and a teacher at York University. His work has been called enigmatic, unclassifiable, and visionary. His novel Outage was the first book launched electronically right here on Bravo!
Gruneau's (1996) 10 alternative maxims are: (1) Television is not an independent or autonomous agent of social change; (2) Television does not have inherent or "essential" political meanings; (3) Television audiences are not simply random collections of pleasure-seeking individuals who become swept up in TV's torrent of sensual imagery; (4) The production and composition of audiences for television, and for different television genres, has varied historically; (5) Professional and popular definitions of "the best" television production practices are not inherent in the technological possibilities of the medium, nor in universal aesthetic categories; rather they are socially produced and culturally variable; (6) Television is not a transparent medium, a "window on the world"; rather, it is a complex social and cultural production that frames and shapes our perceptions of reality; (7) Arguments about television's inherently transparent or popular-democratic qualities deflect attention away from TV's relationships to power and ideology; (8) The pleasures of television derive from both "flow" and "show," "process" and "conclusion"; (9) When you compare and contrast different types of media systems (e.g., private versus public television), their institutional differences are a central concern; and (10) An emphasis on the differences between various media is usefully balanced by a consideration of their similarities, possible shared origins, and points of future convergence.
This quote was taken from: URL: http://www.eff.org/Publications/John_Perry_Barlow/barlow_0296.declaration.
The historical sketch that follows draws upon Jeffrey (1996), McCracken (1995), and Pevere & Dymond (1996).


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