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Word Count: 1,387
ESCAPING EXTINCTION 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 No form of cultural activity so clearly displays Canadas cultural dilemmas and their implications for Canadian-American relations as the field of communications This critical and ever more important area is immensely complex It encompasses such diverse aspects as transborder data flows the transnational character of satellite footprints and the implications of one countrys being dependent on another with respect to computer hardware and software More important still it embraces the field of broadcasting the focus on concerns in this essay All of broadcasting but television in particular has the most far-reaching effect on the minds of individuals and therefore on the nature of human society Television is by far the most popular of all the media engaging on the average the attention of Canadians for more than three hours a day Children spend more time in front of a television than in the presence of teachers Dominant perceptions of ourselves of others of this country and its neighbours of desirable lifestyles of national and world affairs of different ethnic religious and social groups perceptions of all of these things are profoundly influenced by the programming available and watched on television No wonder then this medium is a uniquely powerful force in the socialization
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