Locking Out the Mother Corp: Nationalism and Popular Imaginings of Public Service Broadcasting in the Print News Media

Authors

  • Sue Ferguson Journalism, Wilfred Laurier

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2007v32n2a1826

Keywords:

Broadcasting (public), Discourse analysis, Multiculturalism

Abstract

Abstract: Early promoters of public-service broadcasting (PSB) in Canada emphasized its democratic and nationalist merit. Of these twin pillars, only nationalism appears to still be standing. In this article, the author surveys the vision of PSB that emerged in the national English-language print media during the 2005 CBC/Radio-Canada lockout and suggests that our peculiar brand of multicultural nationalism (which underestimates the divisions within civil society) has subsumed democratic values. Yet, she argues democratic principles—particularly those of access, participation, and publicness—are critically important to defending the relevance of PSB in the current environment of seemingly endless media choices and borderless technology. Résumé : Les premiers promoteurs de la radiotélédiffusion de service public au Canada mettaient l’accent sur ses mérites démocratique et nationaliste. Aujourd’hui, de ces deux piliers, il semble que le mérite nationaliste soit le seul qui tienne bon. Dans cet article, l’auteur analyse la vision de la radiotélédiffusion de service public que l’on retrouve dans la presse écrite nationale de langue anglaise au cours du lock-out de CBC/Radio-Canada en 2005 et elle suggère que notre type spécifique de nationalisme multiculturel (qui sous estime les divisions de la société civile) a englobé les valeurs démocratiques. Toutefois, l’auteur affirme que ces principes démocratiques—en particulier ceux d’accessibilité, de participation et de valeurs publiques—sont extrêmement importants lorsqu’il s’agit de défendre la pertinence de la radiotélédiffusion de service public dans le contexte actuel de soi-disant choix infinis de médias et de technologies sans frontières.

Author Biography

Sue Ferguson, Journalism, Wilfred Laurier

I have a political economy and feminist background, so anything touching on those areas would be fine -- theoretical or more empirically based work. Along side doing some work on public broadcasting (which I approach largely from a political economic perspective I suppose) I'm dipping my toes into the area of children's media (games and toys, as well as print media) and commodification.

Published

2007-06-21