Editorial

Gertrude J. Robinson (McGill University)

As this issue of the Canadian Journal of Communication comes to you, we are only a few weeks removed from the Canadian Communication Association's conference in Charlottetown, PEI. The Learneds are meeting on the campus of the University of Prince Edward Island where the CCA will hold its meetings June 3-5, 1992. The theme for this year's conference is "Nation and Community: Facing the Future." Conference papers will address the nature of Canadian society, its constituent groups and their relations to one another, and the changing role of the state, especially vis-à-vis culture and communication.

In the course of this conference, the Journal, which is owned by its subscribers, will hold its Board and Subscriber Meeting on June 4, 1992, at 12:30 p.m. Please consult your conference schedule for the meeting place and bring sandwiches to sustain you during the session. Important discussion issues this year concern the continued financial viability of the Journal; its service to the academic and journalistic communities; special issue ideas; student input and satisfaction; as well as subscription rates and book review matters. Board members and editorial staff look forward to your participation and ideas. Three new colleagues selected to replace the outgoing Board members will also be welcomed.

This issue, entitled "Sense and Nonsense: Perspectives on Cultural Issues," brings together a variety of articles which investigate ways in which cultural phenomena can be studied. They raise both theoretical and practical issues and we therefore hope that the issue will be used as a source for reading lists on communication and culture courses taught at universities across Canada. The collection features Canadian examples of cultural analysis and explores the influence of cultural studies approaches from Britain and France which have provided substantial analytical insights. Three articles explore the strengths and weaknesses of various types of discourse analysis, while the commentaries debate the vexing Canadian "cultural identity" issue. Murray Forman develops a semiotic procedure for analyzing press coverage of Canadian skinheads while Maurice Charland, also of Concordia, explores rhetorical methods for making sense of the Montreal fluoridation controversy. Martin Montgomery & Stuart Allan in turn scrutinize the implications of discourse analysis as developed in the work of Michel Pêcheux.

The Commentary section offers a review by Paul Attallah of the controversy surrounding the reception of Richard Collins' 1990 book entitled Culture, Communication & National Identity. The arguments of at least three scholarly rebuttals are rehearsed and analyzed, indicating that issues of cultural identity and its preservation in media programming are salient not only in Canada but elsewhere. Recent broadcast policy proposals in Australia and in western European countries have hotly debated the Council of Europe's proposal for "Television without Frontiers." Gaëtan Tremblay's query "Is Quebec Culture Doomed to Become American?" explores the same issues in a context closer to home, as does the short research article by T. F. Carney from the University of Windsor. Finally, we have a short research piece by Ray Morris on the interpretation of cartoons in several political systems. We hope you will enjoy reading this issue.



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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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