Canadian Newspaper Ownership in the Era of Convergence
Rediscovering Social Responsibility
Canadian Newspaper Ownership in the Era of Convergence investigates the current state of Canada's newspaper industry in light of recent developments-increasing concentration of ownership, multi-media convergence, and controversy over the actions of proprietors. Case studies examine how Conrad Black's acquisition of newspapers in the mid-1990s, bringing his total ownership to over half of the country's dailies, followed by the subsequent purchase of the most important of these by CanWest Global, has actually influenced the content of newspapers. Canadian Newspaper Ownership revisits "social responsibility" in the context of the changed media landscape as a means of prescribing how newspaper owners and employees might conduct themselves in the public interest.
About the Authors
Canadian Newspaper Ownership featured in article about the state of Canadian newspaper industry, Carolyn Nikodym, VUE Weekly, June 16-22, 2005
"Editors Walter C. Soderlund and Kai Hildebrandt, veteran media academics at Ontario's University of Windsor, walk us through frightening media convergence theory and painstakingly deconstruct Conrad Black's reign at the height of his Canadian media dynasty, when he amassed the largest news company in Canadian history. We tag along as they analyse the Asper family empire and hold up CanWest's latest national editorial policy as the best evidence of what can happen when newspaper owners decide to use their clout to shape public debate....the authors make an articulate and viable case for an ideal media ownership." Karen Kleiss, The Edmonton Journal, July 17, 2005
"Hildebrandt, Romano, Soderlund, and Wagenberg (all U. of Windsor, Ontario, Canada) add to their extensive body of published research on the impact of media ownership concentration on the health of Canadian democracy. Opening chapters provide an overview of the relationship between the press and democratic politics, and an historical review of the problem of concentration of media ownership in Canada. These are followed by two extensive case studies on ownership concentration in traditional newspaper chains and on the immediate consequences of convergence-the intensification of conventional concentration by consolidating different types of media under one corporate owner." Reference and Research Book News, November 1, 2005.
"In the essays they gather, Soderland and Hildebrandt (respectively, political science and communication, Univ. of Windsor) provide a comprehensive empirical analysis revealing that as some Canadian news organizations merged, the discussion of politics within the corporations' newspapers shifted to favor Canadian right-wing political perspectives and agenda....this book is well written and each essay includes helpful notes. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." R. A. Logan, emeritus, University of Missouri-Columbia.
"...Canada now has a highly concentrated pattern of media ownership.... Canadian Newspaper Ownership in the Era of Convergence focuses on two case studies, examining the effects of Conrad Black's purchase of the former Southam newspapers (among others), and CanWest Global's policy of requiring chain publishers to carry national editorials written at the company's head office....The book concludes with a call for chain owners to allow editorial autonomy for individual newspapers, subject only to broad guidelines. Given the serious objections to government regulation, proprietors are urged to adopt a renewed sense of social responsibility as the best way to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of chain ownership." Gene Allen, University of Toronto Quarterly, Winter 2008
"Soderlund and his colleagues are strong advocates of the idea that newspapers are held in trust by their owners and therefore have important civic duties to perform, such as promoting understanding and discussion of the issues of the day. ... The book is very much about the Canadian experience."—David Hutchinson, Glasgow Caledonian University, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 19.2
Other Titles by Walter C. Soderlund
Other Titles by Kai Hildebrandt
Other Titles in BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Media & Communications