Escaping Extinction - The Amer Essay

1386 Words6 Pages

Much has been written, and even more said, about what constitutes the Canadian character, what identifies the quintessential Canadian. Two features clearly emerge as dominant elements in the make-up of both English and French-speaking members of our family: Canadians are constantly brooding over who we are, what gives us our Canadian character, and what makes us different from other nations. Most other nations never think about such things, or take the answers for granted. Secondly, there is a keen awareness of, interest in, and concern with all things American, that is, with the United States of America. This is a main factor that contributes Canada to becoming the 51st State.
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There are at least six major factors explaining why Canada is so vulnerable to the television world of the United States. First, the physical proximity of so many Canadians to the United States border places a vast majority of the population within the reception area of American signals with the aid of only a cheap rooftop antenna. New technologies, particularly cable, and, more recently, satellites, have placed almost the whole of the country within reach of American programming. Secondly, 80 percent of Canadians speak English and therefore have no problem in savouring the goodies produced south of the border.
Thirdly, the American entertainment industry is the most vital and vivacious in the world. Growing largely out of the enormously successful and widely applauded American film industry, television programs and stars have found easy acceptance everywhere. American television has from the beginning, and until the advent of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in the late 1960’s, been conceived as a commercial medium whose major role is to deliver audiences to advertisers. The content has therefore been designed to appeal to the largest possible audiences. The format and the type of drama originated by the American entertainment industry have in the most recent era created new

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