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 political discourse has been transformed. As the influence of on-the-spot TV coverage and opinion programs grew, print media – newspapers especially – began to lose their dominant position in the political landscape. More recently, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and BlackBerrys have emerged as important tools for political reporting and analysis and as platforms for the conduct of political campaigns. While the Canadian party system has proved surprisingly resilient, the rhythms of political life are now very different. A relentless, 24-hour news cycle has resulted in the “permanent” campaign. The implications of this new political style and its impact on political discourse are issues vigorously debated in this new volume of How Canadians Communicate, as is the question on every politician's mind: How can we draw a generation of digital natives into the current political dialogue?

With contributions from such diverse figures as Elly Alboim, Richard Davis, Tom Flanagan, David Marshall, and Roger Epp, How Canadians Communicate IV is the most comprehensive review of political communication in Canada in over three decades – one that poses questions 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 media studies at Mount Royal University. He served as an expert advisor to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and co-edited the first two volumes in the How Canadians Communicate series. He is the co-author of The Last Word: Media Coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada. Christopher Waddell is director of the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University and holds the Carty Chair in business and financial journalism. He was formerly national editor for The Globe and Mail and Parliamentary bureau chief for CBC television news.

List of Illustrations


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


PART I: The Changing World of Media and Politics

1.       The Uncertain Future of the News / Florian Sauvageau

2.       On the Verge of Total Dysfunction: Government, Media, and Communications / Elly Alboim

3.       Blogs and Politics / Richard Davis

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

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

6.       Political Communication and the “Permanent Campaign” / Tom Flanagan

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

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

9.       Myths Communicated by Two Alberta Dynasties / Alvin Finkel

10.   Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: Canadian Forces News Media Relations and Operational Security / Robert Bergen


PART II: Citizens and Politics in Everday Life

11.   Exceptional Canadians: Biography in the Public Sphere / David Marshall

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

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

14.   Verbal Smackdown: Charles Adler and Canadian Talk Radio / Shannon Sampert           

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

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

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





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