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The Ethics of Intercultural Communication


Edited By Bo Shan and Clifford Christians

The revolution in media technologies and the political upheavals intertwined with them demand a new media ethics. Given the power of global media corporations and the high-speed electronics of media technologies worldwide, more and more people are either brought together through dialogue and communication technologies or assimilated by them into a dominant culture. In cultural conflict all over the world, people tend to emphasize absolute differences when they express themselves, and under conditions of censorship and oppression citizens are increasingly prone to violence. To take seriously dramatic technological changes in a complicated world of cultural diversity, media ethics does not simply need to be updated but moved forward in a new intercultural direction. The Ethics of Intercultural Communication presents a futuristic model for doing so.
Focusing on Oriental and Western cultures, the book’s key case studies are China, North America, and Europe, where intercultural issues are relevant to an increasingly borderless world. Chapters focusing on a single nation or culture analyze findings from a cross-cultural perspective. Comparative studies appeal to transnational theories and norms.
Multi-ethnic voices in any community are increasingly understood as essential for a healthy society, and the media’s ability to represent these voices well is an important arena for professional development and for enriching media codes of ethics. The news media are responsible for mapping the profound changes taking place and this book teaches us how.
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Chapter Thirteen: Original Voices and New Paradigms: Indigenous Media and Social Transformation in Canada


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Original Voices AND New Paradigms

Indigenous Media and Social Transformation in Canada1


Native people are doing for themselves what cannot be accomplished by the mainstream media. They are sharing their communities’ concerns in their own voices, uninterrupted by cultural interpreters and reporters who lack the background to understand the complex issues of contemporary Native life.

—Peggy Berryhill, Native American broadcast producer (Alia, 2010, p. xi)

Some of the world’s least powerful people have become world leaders in creative and ethical media citizenship. Indigenous peoples are using radio, television, print, and a range of digital media to amplify their voices, extend the range of reception, and expand their collective power. Many of the major developments originated in Canada or were nurtured by Canadian Inuit, First Nations, and Métis journalists. I have extended Ien Ang’s (1996) idea of the “progressive transnationalization of media audiencehood” to the internationalization of media audiencehood and production, which I call the New Media Nation. It is a global movement that includes Indigenous media in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America.2 No real “nation” in the political science sense, it originates in a shared colonial inheritance and an international political and social movement of Indigenous peoples that foster important social, political, and technological innovations. Its creators and users engage in transcultural and transnational lobbying and access information that is sometimes inaccessible within...

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