How Canadians Communicate IV
400 pages, 6 x 9
4 colour photos
Release Date:01 May 2012

How Canadians Communicate IV

Media and Politics

Athabasca University Press

Over the past thirty years, the fundamental character of politicaldiscourse has been transformed. As the influence of on-the-spot TVcoverage and opinion programs grew, print media – newspapersespecially – began to lose their dominant position in thepolitical landscape. More recently, Facebook, Twitter, blogs andBlackBerrys have emerged as important tools for political reporting andanalysis and as platforms for the conduct of political campaigns. Whilethe Canadian party system has proved surprisingly resilient, therhythms of political life are now very different. A relentless, 24-hournews cycle has resulted in the “permanent” campaign. Theimplications of this new political style and its impact on politicaldiscourse are issues vigorously debated in this new volume of HowCanadians Communicate, as is the question on everypolitician's mind: How can we draw a generation of digital nativesinto the current political dialogue?

With contributions from such diverse figures as Elly Alboim, RichardDavis, Tom Flanagan, David Marshall, and Roger Epp, How CanadiansCommunicate IV is the most comprehensive review of politicalcommunication in Canada in over three decades – one that posesquestions fundamental to the quality of public life.

Journalism has fallen on hard time and journalists have neither the incentive nor the resources to maintain the standard of informed independence that once characterized their profession. How Canadians Communicate IV carefully dissects the multiple causes of this condition and redefines the concept of political communication in Canada. David Smith, University of Saskatchewan
David Taras holds the Ralph Klein Chair in mediastudies at Mount Royal University. He served as an expert advisor tothe House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage andco-edited the first two volumes in the How Canadians Communicateseries. He is the co-author of The Last Word: Media Coverage of theSupreme Court of Canada. Christopher Waddell isdirector of the School of Journalism and Communication at CarletonUniversity and holds the Carty Chair in business and financialjournalism. He was formerly national editor for The Globe and Mail andParliamentary bureau chief for CBC television news.

List of Illustrations


The Past and Future of Political Communication in Canada: AnIntroduction / David Taras

PART I: The Changing World of Media andPolitics

1.   The Uncertain Future of theNews / Florian Sauvageau

2.   On the Verge of TotalDysfunction: Government, Media, and Communications / EllyAlboim

3.   Blogs and Politics /Richard Davis

4.   The 2011 Federal Election andthe Transformation of Canadian Media and Politics / David Taras andChristopher Waddell

5.   Berry’d Alive: TheMedia, Technology, and the Death of Political Coverage /Christopher Waddell

6.   Political Communication andthe “Permanent Campaign” / Tom Flanagan

7.   Are Negative Ads Positive?Political Advertising and the Permanent Campaign / JonathanRose

8.   E-ttack Politics: Negativity,the Internet, and Canadian Political Partis / Tamara Small

9.   Myths Communicated by TwoAlberta Dynasties / Alvin Finkel

10.  Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: CanadianForces News Media Relations and Operational Security / RobertBergen

PART II: Citizens and Politics in Everday Life

11.  Exceptional Canadians: Biography in the PublicSphere / David Marshall

12.  Off-Road Democracy: The Politics of Land, Water, andCommunity in Alberta / Roger Epp

13.  Two Solitudes, Two Québecs, and the CinemaIn-Between / Dominique Perron

14.  Verbal Smackdown: Charles Adler and Canadian TalkRadio / ShannonSampert    

15.  Contemporary Canadian Aboriginal Art: Storyworkingin the Public Sphere / Troy Patenaude

16.  Intimate Strangers: The Formal Distance BetweenMusic and Politics in Canada / Richard Sutherland

Final Thoughts: How Will Canadians Communicate About Politics andthe Media in 2015? / Christopher Waddell



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