Media @ McGill

Normand Landry

Submitted by Susana on

Radical and alternative media practices in Canada

My thesis project is to observe key aspects of the relations linking media, civil society and democracy. The latter is understood both as a mode of regulating social conflicts and as a process of governance. The Canadian communication system is framed by both the fundamental principles that shape Canadian civic life and by political and economical constraints. This project has the ambition of exposing the incoherencies, failures and contradictions at the heart of this system. Within the diverse practices that constitute the alternative and radical media scene, I intend to focus on a series of case studies- each relating to distinct elements of the Canadian media system that are brought into question by these practices . These will include culture jamming (for example the case of Adbusters), independent and radical on-line publishing (Indymedia) and national and international lobbying on communication and cultural policy (Coalition for Cultural Diversity). The close monitoring of these specific practices reflects three objectives.

First, it is instructive regarding the making of information of a political nature. Secondly, it will provide details on the sharing of information by social agents in the context of the growth of civil society as a political actor involved in local, regional and supranational politics. Thirdly, these alternative practices are relevant to critiques of the cultural industries and Canadian communication policies and laws.

This would, in turn, underline some of the tensions existing between a media system that results from a certain configuration of the political economy of Canadian communication and the ensemble of the criteria framing Canadian democracy.