The Canadian Media Concentration Research (CMCR) project, directed by Professor Dwayne Winseck, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, formally launches today.
The issue of media concentration is a contentious one and good data is hard to come by, highlighted by the intense debates taking place over Bell Canada’s current attempt to acquire Astral Media, the eighth largest media company in Canada. With the CRTC’s hearings on the Bell – Astral transaction set to start today, it is a good time to offer access to one of the most systematic, long-term and comprehensive sets of data on the telecom-media-Internet industries and media concentration available in Canada.
The CMCR project offers an independent academic, empirical and data-driven analysis of a deceptively simple yet profoundly important question: have telecom, media and Internet markets become more concentrated over time, or less? While opinions are rife on this issue, good quality data on the subject is remarkably scarce, both in Canada and indeed worldwide. The project aims to fill this gap.
To do so it, it gathers data covering more than a dozen sectors of the telecom-media-Internet industries in Canada: wireline and wireless telecom services; Internet service providers; cable, satellite and IPTV distributors; broadcast television; specialty and pay television services; radio; newspapers; magazines; music; film; book publishing; search engines and social media. The data sets cover the years 1984 through to 2011, with projections for what the Bell-Astral deal would mean for radio, television and the network media as a whole in Canada, should it be approved.
The project kicks off by offering “raw data” for each of the dozen or so sectors covered by the study. Its aim is to put the data on this important topic in the public domain for all to see and to reach conclusions of their own.
The CMCR project is supported by a generous grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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