Canadian Television Today by Bart Beaty

By Bart Beaty

What’s on television? In Canadian tv this present day, authors Bart Beaty and Rebecca Sullivan discover the present demanding situations and concerns dealing with the English-language tv in Canada. tv in Canada has lengthy been one of many important conduits of nationwide identification. yet has it stored speed with the speedily altering panorama of Canadian tradition? After featuring an outline of the most matters and debates surrounding the Canadian small monitor, Beaty and Sullivan provide their feedback for the way forward for the medium. They argue that during today’s globalized global, Canadian tv will be a extra becoming mirrored image of Canada’s multicultural society, embracing a broader variety of languages, cultures, and viewing suggestions. Visualizing the aptitude achieve of a revitalized undefined, Beaty and Sullivan convincingly illustrate the promise and chance of Canadian tv that serves the cultural wishes of all its voters.

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Chapter two, “Programming,” does something that very few works on Canadian television have done: actually consider what’s on. While the dismissal of most Canadian television programming by audiences as low-rent Americanism or pious nationalist posturing does, historically and unfortunately, have some basis in truth, there are some provocative examples that both support and belie this attitude. The underlying anxieties over television’s status as a lowbrow medium and the need to posit Canada as America’s middlebrow other have led to some very interesting strategies in the development of Canadian programming.

However, as the traditional north-south axis of encroaching Americanism is increasingly revealed to be an outmoded way of conceptualizing flow, it is necessary to reconsider the term within the wider currents of global scapes. The signs of this change appear everywhere. Debates now rage over the potential of converging media forms as technologies flow into one another, driven by massive capital ventures and international conglomerates. IN T RODUC T ION : C A N A DI A N T ELE V I SION T ODAY 21 The promises of interactive WebTV or downloadable “slivercasts” raise the possibility of dramatically altering how we watch and even use the television.

In 1982 the Cultural Policy Review Committee, chaired by Louis Applebaum and Jacques Hébert, detoured slightly from the cultural nationalist path forged by the royal commissions that preceded it, first by its refusal to invoke the spectre of American encroachment, and second by accepting some degree of privatization as inevitable, especially now that television was the ascendant medium. In the 1980s, the C H A P T ER ONE : REGUL AT ION 31 cold water of economic realities began to drown out the voices of hardcore federalism.

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