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Satellites and cultural colonialism

Amid feelings of apprehension and anticipation, Canadians looked skyward as scientists launched satellites into the solar system in the 1960s. The primitive satellite program has since evolved into a highly sophisticated network. Canadian scientists have actively taken the lead in this ever-growing industry, transforming our lives with improved telephone, radio, television, tele-medicine and Internet access.

Will satellites bring conformity around the globe? Broad-based programming via satellites is like cultural colonialism, says Professor Ritchie Calder. One culture will be privileged and promoted at the expense of other unique and important civilizations, he says. New communications vehicles must be carefully governed, he argues. Simply put, it's a matter of cultural survival.
. "I am deeply concerned about the use of broadcasting satellites — what I'm talking about is a transmitter in the sky, sending signals directly into peoples' homes. And my grave misgiving, my very grave misgiving, [is] that a broadcasting satellite over say India, would drench a country not only with political propaganda but with an alien culture." — Professor Ritchie Calder
Medium: Radio
Program: Saturday Evening
Broadcast Date: Feb. 17, 1968
Guest(s): , Lord Ritchie-Calder
Duration: 3:52

Last updated: January 10, 2012

Page consulted on February 14, 2014

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