Dominance of US Sitcoms in Canada and Globally Name: Xiaolin Zheng Course: Cmns 130 Word count: 1607 Date: March 26, 2012 US sitcoms have played a dominant role globally nowadays from three main aspects which are geographic, cultural, and political aspect. Media policies and regulations play the most important role in the dominance of US sitcoms in Canada and globally. Media policies and regulations are not just technologically decided or economically inevitable, however they are the results of systematic involvements into media systems founded on a complex collection of political principles and objectives.
Media policies and regulations are political actions that are intended to promote more broad ways of managing public life. The media policies are designed to protect the citizens, defend national security, and increase competence and capitalize on the flow of market forces. What makes the US sitcoms to dominate in Canada and globally? According to Brophy’s study showed that the characteristic of Canada‘s communications environment is its proximity to the US have made a massive penetration of US products and ideas into Canada in many ways (Lorimer, Gasher, and Skinner, 2008).
From the geographic aspect, the proximity of Canada to the United States makes a very good condition for the US culture to permeate through Canada. That’s why the United States can very easy and fast to spread culture to Canada. The influence of the US controls the trend of pop culture. We found it from our daily life such as what we wear, what we listen to, and what we watch. Like MacGregor said that from film, to music, to literature, America’s influence wash into Canada like an unstoppable wave (MacGregor, 2010, para. 5). This situation provides Canadian audiences more choices for entertainment programs. On the other hand, this causes competition in Canadian media industry which can make better quality of TV programs. But it also brings crisis to Canadian media industry, and this is what pluralists concern about. Therefore, they aim to make regulations to protect Canada’s media industry. From the cultural aspect of why the US sitcoms is popular in Canada and globally.
Basically, there are some similarities of Canadian culture and the US culture such as both multi-ethnic, multi-racial societies, and share a common language. Therefore, people from these two countries tend to watch the same movies and TV shows, listen to same music. That’s why US sitcoms can easily spread to Canada. And Canadian can get the humor of the US sitcoms. Moreover, one important factor is creativity which makes the dominance of US sitcoms globally. We found creativities from stories and characters.
For example, one of my favorite TV shows “The Big Bang Theory” has been very popular in Canada and globally. It’s also the first time a TV series has posted an average audience above four million viewers in Canadian primetime since electronic records began in 1994(Vlessing, 2011). And the creativity of the story and characters like the combination of four nerds and a babe make this show achieved success. Like Mitz discussed that there are several different forms of situation comedy, but the one thing in common is that they make people feel good and happy (Mitz, 1980).
Media policies have enabled the US sitcoms to dominate in Canada and globally. There are two political perspectives that give contrasting explanations of media policies and regulations which are pluralism and neo-liberalism. According to Brophy’s study showed the definition(as cited in Grossberg, 2006, p. 16) that pluralism is often deployed by participants to describe and justify existing media policy arrangements, while neo-liberalism is more likely to be used in a way that critiques, rather than defends, the current terms and conditions of media policy.
There were claims that the American society was dominated by economic and political leaders that distorted the operations of the democratic system, in response, the liberal pluralists argued that American politics is a competitive field that contained different interests contended for authority and influence but there was no distinct dominant voice. The media policies are mostly influenced by special interest groups which interfere with democracy. Pluralist’s views to content policy have played a role in dominance of US Sitcoms in Canada and Globally.
America has ensured that there is a balancing of principles regarding freedom of expression and the promotion of a responsible media environment in which citizens are sheltered from harm and their civil rights to representation and confidentiality are respected. Despite the fact that America policy makers, directed by the force of the first amendment, are normally more reluctant to intercede in media content discussions than their British complements, it is nonetheless the case that both states have formed media policy structures that center on structural and behavioral matters.
United States can influence and manage their media to a great extent. Additionally, powerful companies also have a great influence on the mainstream media. In various places major international corporations own media firms and openings. Often, a lot of media institutions exist on advertising bill, which can cause the media outlet to be influenced by different corporate interests. On the other hand, the ownership interests of the media outlets may affect what is aired and is not covered. Narratives can end up being prejudiced or excluded so as not to upset the audience.
The capability for citizens to make well-versed decisions is important for a free and performance democracy but now becomes endangered by such attentiveness in possession. The thought of corporate media itself might not be an awful thing, for it can promote healthy competition and offer a check against administrations. However, the apprehension is when there is a focus of ownership because of the risk of increased financial and political power that can itself be inexplicable (Shah, 2009).
According to neo-conservative philosophy, the USA has an accountability to intercede, pre-emotively if needed, to make the globe safe for its report of democratic state. It is America’s duty to prevent intimidating non-democratic influences from dominating areas critical to the public interests and otherwise try to build an intercontinental environment favorable to the state values. This has resulted to the exploration of neo-imperial foreign regulation, the employ of military power to protect and extend America’s interests across the world.
Additionally, neo-conservatism has well-built moral positions on family, abortion, and homosexuality. The according to an article published in the Canadian Journal of Communication, America has long dominated global trade in television particularly sitcom programming. Even though exact measures are hard to find, it is anticipated that America accounts for approximately 75% of globe television show exports whereas the broader entertainment commerce had net exports of approximately $5. 5 billion within 1988, coming second after aerospace.
According to Varis, there have been no major changes in media rules and regulations since 1973; the United States has continued to dominate Canada and the whole world. There have been restrictions on British sponsorship, including limits on merchandise placement, an outlaw on the sponsoring of information and current affairs presentations and the persistence on editorial sovereignty from the influence of guarantors. This has also contributed to dominance of US Sitcoms in Canada and internationally (Hoskins & McFadyen, 1991). According to Segrave, Hollywood studios have quickly dominated both domestic and worldwide programming.
In America, the eight main studios manage almost all programming during the 1950s. Hollywood’s efforts in international markets were not rather so successful; however by the 1990s, America distributors took over 75 percent of the global television trade. Hollywood's attempts in television were frequently frustrated by governments that documented the airwaves as a public source and interfered in varying degrees to maintain the studios' encoding off the air within their countries. American movie industry still managed to find found various ways to offer American fare to distant viewers.
Free communication is important as it offers information through which the public can assess the claims of the rival groups and thus ensure the formation of public opinion take the continuous role of arbitrator among contestants. The Fairness Doctrine obliged American presenters to cover topics of political significance, no matter how contentious they might have been, moreover to give equal time to political aspirants to express their discrepancies (Vlessing, 2011). In conclusion, constructive media policies have enabled the US sitcoms to dominate in Canada and globally.
Both the liberal pluralism and neo-liberalism give useful explanation of how the current media policies arrangements have significantly enabled the US sitcoms to dominate in Canada and globally. From the discussions and the articles discussed, media policies and regulations is a way to achieve media success. Since the United States put in proper and suitable media rules, the whole world recognizes its sitcoms. America culture is also powerful for the cultural and geographic conditions so it is still influence the world. Media policies and regulations have enabled the United States sitcoms to dominate in Canada as well as the entire world.
References Lorimer, R, Gasher, M, and Skinner, D. (2008) Mass Communication in Canada MacGregor, K. (2010, September 18) Proximity, policy, and culture: Canada’s post-WWII relationship with the United States. Retrieved from http://heavywords. org/2010/09/18/proximity-policy-and-culture/ Vlessing, E. (2011, October 28) The Big Bang Theory proves itself with Canadian ratings Retrieved from http://playbackonline. ca/2011/10/28/the-big-bang-theory-proves-itself-with-canadian-ratings/ Rick, M. (1980) The Great TV Sitcom Book. New York: Richard Marek Publishers. Grossberg, L. (2006) Media Making: Mass Media in a Popular Culture Shah, A. (2009) ‘Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership. ’ Global Issues. Retrieved from http://www. globalissues. org/article/159/media-conglomerates-mergers-concentration-of-ownership Hoskins, C and McFadyen, S. (1991) ‘The U. S. Competitive Advantage in Global Television Market: Is it Sustainable in the New Broadcasting Environment? ’ Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 16, No 2. Vlessing, E. (2011) ‘U. S. , British Shows Dominate Banff Rockie Award Nominations. ’ The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved from http://www. hollywoodreporter. com/news/us-british-shows-dominate-banff-179452