Date of Award

5-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Geography

Major Professor

Thomas L. Bell

Committee Members

Lydia M. Pulsipher, John B. Rehder, Leslie C. Gay, Jr.

Abstract

As our access to information increases with the aid of communication technologies, there is concern about cultural homogenization. Ironically, however, in the face of globalization in the media, the local often becomes increasingly important. This study explores how Canada’s cultural policy toward the media, known as the Canadian Content regulations, has both local and global implications. I examine how Canadian Content regulations apply to radio, and how these radio regulations influence broadcasting in the St. John’s, Newfoundland radio market. Interviews with radio station personnel (e.g. DJs, program directors, music librarians) and radio listeners show that radio stations in St. John’s emphasize local (Newfoundland) music in the face of more popular Canadian and American music. In addition, this emphasis on local content ensures the survival of these stations in light of new radio broadcasting technologies such as the Internet and satellite radio. Furthermore, the act of broadcasting local music on the radio in St. John's has allowed radio listening to become incorporated into listeners' Newfoundland cultural traditions. In this way, the radio becomes a medium through which station personnel and listeners present their culture by showcasing music and actively preserve their culture through the broadcast of music that speaks of times past, or current issues facing Newfoundlanders. Finally, when talking about their experience listening to Newfoundland music on the radio, several themes emerged: connection between Newfoundlanders and their identity and culture, connections with other Newfoundlanders in Newfoundland, connections to Newfoundland as a place, and connections with Newfoundlanders living off the island. Generally speaking, this study shows that radio technology brings both the local to the global through Internet broadcasting, and the global to the local through satellite radio broadcasting.

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