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Convergence after the collapse: the “catastrophic” case of Canada

Edge, Marc (2011) Convergence after the collapse: the “catastrophic” case of Canada. Media, Culture & Society, 33 (8). pp. 1266-1278. ISSN 0163-4437

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Convergence has been a controversial concept since it was first advanced by many in the 1990s as the inevitable future form of mass media. Media owners urged the loosening or removal of regulations restricting cross-ownership of media, but others expressed concern about the increased size and influence of media conglomerates enabled by convergence (Bagdikian, 2004; Klinenberg, 2007; McChesney, 1999). The lofty financial expectations that multimedia owners had for convergence initially went unrealized however, after the bursting of the stock market ‘bubble’ in technology stocks in the early 2000s. While some online-only ventures failed, this period proved only a temporary setback for most cross-media operations. An even deeper recession at decade’s end, however, left most multimedia companies in dire straits financially, and in a few notable cases even in bankruptcy. This cast even more serious doubt on the long-term viability of convergence as a business model for media. This article examines the situation in Canada, where convergence was perhaps adopted most widely at the millennium due to a lack of restrictions on cross-media ownership. It shows how the unregulated convergence of Canadian media in 2000 resulted by decade’s end in television station closures, political consternation, a bitter labor dispute, and public campaigning for regulatory relief by media corporations claiming financial hardship. As is often the case with politics and convergence, however, hyperbole and reality diverge considerably.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2011 05:04
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2012 02:40

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