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A Comparison of Public Policies and Research on Cultural Diversity in Mexican, Canadian and US Television
Unformatted Document Text:  Cultural diversity and the mass media 5 5 Federal, 2003, December). It also prohibits explicitly any content which discriminates against ethnic groups (Ley Federal de Radio y Television, 1962, Art. 63). As Freedman (2004, May) argues, references like these to diversity and pluralism appear in policy or legal documents that are highly deregulatory and liberalizing in character. This is true for the US case, where a recent review by the FCC´s of media ownership regulation ended in a decision to loosen ownership rules and sanction further cross-media ownership (Freedman, 2004, May). It is also true for the Mexican case, where federal administrations have advocated neoliberal policies from the mid-eighties up to the present day (Lozano, 2002). Mexican audiovisual and telecommunications industries have experienced significant changes which started in the early 1980s, consolidated in the 1990s, and have dramatically transformed the supply and consumption of these services in the early 2000´s. Many years before the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Mexican government embraced trends and economic policies geared toward liberalization, deregulation, and privatization of the economy in general, and the audiovisual and telecommunications sectors in particular (Crovi, 2000; Gómez Mont, 2000; Sánchez Ruiz, 2000a). The same happened in Canada, where according to McDowell (2001) recent communication and cultural policy strategies could be defined as a neomercantilist approach: “The rhetoric of support for Canadian culture continued while actual public expenditures on cultural programs were frozen or reduced” (p. 131). The consensus among communication scholars in the three countries is that much more needs to be done to make sure the mass media will in fact promote and maintain cultural diversity. The proposals start with a careful and in-depth discussion about what constitutes diversity in the mass media, and with reviews about the real impact of former media policies in the achievement of diversity. One of the most thorough revisions is the

Authors: Lozano, Jose-Carlos.
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Cultural diversity and the mass media
5
5
Federal, 2003, December). It also prohibits explicitly any content which discriminates
against ethnic groups (Ley Federal de Radio y Television, 1962, Art. 63).
As Freedman (2004, May) argues, references like these to diversity and pluralism
appear in policy or legal documents that are highly deregulatory and liberalizing in
character. This is true for the US case, where a recent review by the FCC´s of media
ownership regulation ended in a decision to loosen ownership rules and sanction further
cross-media ownership (Freedman, 2004, May). It is also true for the Mexican case, where
federal administrations have advocated neoliberal policies from the mid-eighties up to the
present day (Lozano, 2002). Mexican audiovisual and telecommunications industries have
experienced significant changes which started in the early 1980s, consolidated in the 1990s,
and have dramatically transformed the supply and consumption of these services in the
early 2000´s. Many years before the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), the Mexican government embraced trends and economic policies geared toward
liberalization, deregulation, and privatization of the economy in general, and the
audiovisual and telecommunications sectors in particular (Crovi, 2000; Gómez Mont, 2000;
Sánchez Ruiz, 2000a). The same happened in Canada, where according to McDowell
(2001) recent communication and cultural policy strategies could be defined as a
neomercantilist approach: “The rhetoric of support for Canadian culture continued while
actual public expenditures on cultural programs were frozen or reduced” (p. 131).
The consensus among communication scholars in the three countries is that much
more needs to be done to make sure the mass media will in fact promote and maintain
cultural diversity. The proposals start with a careful and in-depth discussion about what
constitutes diversity in the mass media, and with reviews about the real impact of former
media policies in the achievement of diversity. One of the most thorough revisions is the


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