International News and the Distribution Question: China, Falun Dafa and Pluralism in Canadian Media Policy

Ian Kivelin Davis


This article examines and critiques Canadian regulation of foreign media by focusing on a series of conflicts over the purpose and role of the Chinese press in Canadian society. While globalization entails increased connection across borders, introducing foreign media can also import social conflicts. In this way, national media regulators can find themselves caught up in complex and unfamiliar geopolitical contests. To illustrate how media globalization is a site of cultural struggle, I point to three cases in which Canadian authorities weighed in on the controversial Chinese-language news. Distribution decisions from these authorities tended to refuse consideration of political and economic inequalities among media stakeholders. Calling attention to these inequalities, the article asks if guiding regulatory principles of pluralism and multiculturalism are sufficient to recognize new forms of power in a more multipolar media world.

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