Monthly Archives: May 2013

MIL Activity 12.2: A picture of globalisation

Write a short (200 word) entry in your learning journal describing some of the ways that globalised goods or services are used in your local context.

Blueberries are a regular feature of my breakfast. In winter, they fly in from Chile. In summer, from New Jersey or British Columbia. Bananas and coffee arrive from Costa Rica. Milk is local.

There are no Canadian-made electronics in my home. If/when China stops exporting, I will be forced to use my phone, computer etc. until they wear out or find others on the black market.

The local Wal-Mart contains little or no domestic product. In addition to providing cheap products to budget-conscious shoppers, it exports their money to the US and overseas. Costco provides the same services for those with more disposable income.


The 2013 clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh implicated Loblaws, our major grocery chain, which includes Joe Fresh, a line of clothing manufactured in Bangladesh and featured in each megastore. There were several images of the Joe Fresh label among the rubble and debris during the rescue efforts. The CEOs of each company made public statements, not claiming naïve innocence but pledging to help the injured and to improve working conditions among garment workers.

There is no question of living in a globalised culture. The question becomes, ‘how do we do so ethically?’


Activity 12.1 – Globalization – who owns?

Who owns the local newspaper, radio and television stations?
Canada has one public television broadcaster and a few private broadcasters.
Recently, its major internet and telephone provider purchased its largest private television network.
There are one or two major newspaper chains.
There are several radio networks, including one public network.
There is also a very large number of weekly/monthly independent newspapers.
For the most part, Canadian media institutions are Canadian-owned.
Who owns the social media networks?
These are the shared networks used by other North American and European countries: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Do all of the news sources seem to give the same story, or do they present alternative views and diverse sources?
There is little diversity in the perspective of news sources.
News outlets subscribe to news services (Reuters, Canadian Press, Associated Press), all of whom employ stringers in foreign countries.
They get most of their news from government and corporate news releases.
There are small publications attached to marginalized groups, but these have small audiences.
With the advent of the internet and alternative news organizations and bloggers, there is now greater diversity of perspectives. Gawker is one example. A Canadian example is, which promotes an alternative POV.
The low cost of publishing on the net has provided a place for dissenting voices, like

Bomb Girls Defused


Global Television has cancelled Bomb Girls by pretending that a made-for-TV movie tying up plot ends is good news. The cancellation is for the usual reasons: low ratings. Lots of other shows have been cancelled for low ratings and some have been famously supported until they could build an audience. Bomb Girls could be such a one and is a good candidate because it does such a fine job of serving an important and underserved demographic: women 18 – 49. Read the rest of this entry

Understanding and Appreciating Attack Ads

Justin Trudeau’s early days in Parliament as the new Leader of the Liberal Party were accompanied by Conservative Party attack ads. Attack ads criticize personal attributes of their targets rather than the policies they might promote. All political parties use attack ads, but the Conservative ads have been harsh and effective. Mr. Trudeau is the 4th Liberal leader in a short time, each of whom were the objects of strong attack ads. Mr. Trudeau follows Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff and interim leader Bob Rae, who took over after Mr. Ignatieff lost his seat—and Official Opposition status—in the 2012 election. Read the rest of this entry