Mass Media in Canada

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Mass media has been an integral part of life in Canada. Its early developments largely stem from French and British ties, which later transition to American influence, sparking the rise of media. Mass media became an outlet that was able to link core Canadian institutions as well as social and cultural understandings in conjunction with the advance in technology, industry and urbanization. This paper will explore the development of mass media in Canada between the mid-nineteenth century and the 1930s with particular focus on the factors that attributed to its rise ¬– newspaper, magazines, advertising as well as radio and film supported by early technological advancements.
Early European interests in North America impacted the level of reading materials and cultural ideals associated with the region. British control aimed to invest their time into exploitation of the resources while leaving little room for cultural or intellectual undertakings amongst the vastly illiterate society. Available books and periodicals often came from France and found their way into the hands of Quebec’s elite while English Canada remained dependent on the British (Vipond 15-16). It did not take English Canadians long to become influenced by their southern neighbors as their mass media expansion seemed stagnant in comparison to its growth in the United States. The beginning of Canadian newspaper was slow; however, the delivery of the printing press into the British colonies of Nova Scotia and Quebec in the mid-eighteenth century helped the industry take off. The sharing of local news became of paramount importance given the use of local print mediums to relay information unavailable in imported mediums, although its success greatly depended on governmen...

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...e impact having examples of American ideals readily available had on the country. The progress newspapers, magazines, advertising, radio and film have experienced reflect the growth and maturity of Canadian industry. However, Canada’s close proximity to the United States challenged their ability to produce media of a similar span and scope early on. Social, cultural, political and economical institutions and conventions grew independently while also being stimulated by American success and influence. The dynamic between the two countries and the presence of American based media still continues to challenge what Canadians see as their distinct national identity. Beyond the 1930s, Canada has continued to develop mass media industries far superior to early successes and these industries have helped to create a Canadian identity separate from that of the United States.
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