Broadcasting and the electronic media of the Americas is the primary theme of this special issue of the Journal. U.S. scholars have studied systems all over the globe, yet little is known about our closest neighbors, especially Canada and Mexico. Included in this special issue is research from a variety of different countries of North, Central, and South America. It is intended to encourage research on the broader spectrum of international topics relating to the countries and electronic media systems of the Western Hemisphere.
This issue was edited by two guest editors, David R. Spencer, Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, and Joseph D. Straubhaar, Professor, Department of Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin. These coeditors began last year with a call for papers, which produced numerous submissions. A limited number were selected for publication here to illustrate the breadth of research activities currently being undertaken.
In the mid-1980s the first small steps were taken to eliminate the borders between two North America nations, Canada and the United States. Mexico eventually joined the agreement. Although it was relatively easy to figure out the dimensions under which hard goods could be shipped north and south, cultural goods were another matter. This collection of articles examines the role of North and South America media in a day and age of free trade. In many respects, it is a study in power and how one party relates to another when messages cross both borders and languages.
In this issue, two articles focus on South America. Avila-Saavedra looks at the telenovela in Ecuador, a soap opera genre also popular in Mexico, Central American, and South American television. Wiley discusses the evolution of Chilean television in a rapidly approaching globalized world. Two articles focus on a history and criticism of Canadian broadcasting. Terzic provides a glimpse of policy history and political economy as it relates to the development of the pay-per-view system in Canada. Darnell and Wilson look at the sexist language of Vancouver radio, "Talk Radio for Guys." Two articles on Mexico provide a look at Mexico's systems from a cultural perspective. Lozano discusses Mexico's public policies in relation to cultural diversity, and Wilkinson writes both history and critical analysis related to Mexican television within a North American Free Trade Agreement environment. Eyal and...