Protecting information pluralism



What impact do the concentration of media ownership and the development of the internet have on the pluralism of information? For the Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la communication, l'information et la société (Interdisciplinary Research Group on Communication, Information and Society), directed by Éric George from Université du Québec à Montréal, this question lies at the heart of their research interests.

Their findings disprove certain preconceived ideas. For example, one might think that media acquisition by large corporations with vast financial resources would facilitate information production, which is often costly. However, the researchers note a deterioration of journalists' work conditions, often due to the pressure they are under to constantly produce more content in less time.

For its part, the internet has given rise to such enthusiasm that former Canadian Heritage Minister, Bev Oda, affirmed that it would eliminate all concerns about information pluralism. Yet, the researchers have discovered that the traditional information industry leaders conserve their dominant position on the internet, while new players produce very little original content.

It is therefore essential to conduct a pertinent analysis of these changes that have marked the beginning of the 21st century, so as to act when necessary to facilitate the reinforcement of pluralism. The research team's work has been widely disseminated in the rest of Canada and internationally. Articles have been published in Communication, Canadian Journal of Communication and ZER, and the researchers also delivered conferences during the 17th congress of the Société française des sciences de l'information et de la communication (Dijon), the 2010 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Montreal), the 15th international "Informatique et société" symposium of the Centre pour la recherche et l'enseignement en informatique et société (Paris) and the third "Challenges and Uses of ICT" symposium (Athens).

Team

Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la communication, l'information et la société

Director

Éric George, Université du Québec à Montréal

Regular members

  • France Aubin, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 
  • Oumar Kane, Université du Québec à Montréal 
  • Jean-Guy Lacroix, Université du Québec à Montréal 
  • Ndiaga Loum, Université du Québec en Outaouais 
  • Marc Ménard, Université du Québec à Montréal 
  • André Mondoux, Université du Québec à Montréal 
  • Michel Sénécal, Université du Québec à Montréal 
  • Gaëtan Tremblay, Université du Québec à Montréal