Statistics provided by The Daily has show that more than 6.8 million foreign immigrants have moved to Canada since 2011 and these people identified themselves as visible minorities, which represented 19.1% of Canada’s total population (Statistic Canada, 2013 May). Among the recent minorities population in Canada, there are about 56.9% individuals who came from Asia (Jin & Kim, 2011, p.555). Asian immigrants comprise the largest visible minority groups in Canada, especially Chinese, who numbered over half of the visible minorities’ population. Needless to say, when crossing the borders, Asian immigrants have soared and brought their cultures, such as languages, norms, values, and beliefs into Canadian multicultural society, which itself is multicultural in nature. Based on this, professors Viswanath and Arora (2009) in their article, Ethnic Media in the United States, considered that the increasing presence of members from diverse ethnic identities is directly leading and influencing the growth of multicultural society (p.39). As such, Asian-oriented media firms that operates small ethnic media (weekly newspapers and networks) to help Asian audiences to meet the information and entertainment needs, in addition to construct and sell the commercial and cultural commodity to Asian audiences (Jin & Kim, 2011, p.551) have also grown as well. This means that ethnic media both serves and is promoted by ethnic minorities who struggle to integrate and thrive, at the same time, to maintain their own identity in their new “habitat”. In addition, this also shows the “rise in the ethnic population has stimulated the meteoric growth of ethnic media” for global migrations to perceive and understand their lives outside the home country, especially, for audiences who have different cultures, languages, gender consciousness, class status, religious beliefs, racial/ethnic identities, norms, and values to shape “how they interpret meanings out of media materials and how they weave the meanings into the fabric of their daily lives” (Shi, 2009,p.598). To deepen the understanding of the role of ethnic media plays in immigrants’ lives and its influence in Canadian multicultural society, this paper focuses on the case of Sing Tao Daily, a Cantonese newspaper in Canada, to explore the impact the immigrant presses brings to the Canadian multicultural society, in order to illustrate how the “rapid growth of commercially successful independent ethnic press with a distinct local [and national] focus”(Deuze, 2006, p.263), how the immigrant newspaper narrates a transnational, and how the growth of ethnic press be attributed to mainstream media in global market.
The Need for Ethnic/Diasporic Media
Shocking figures regarding increased visibility of minorities and their media has been demonstrating a fact that ethnic media is now a significant part of the media landscape in the western world. The President of The National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, Thomas S. Saras (2012) stated that many people in Canada are struggling to learn official languages as 40% of the population in Canada whose mother tongue is neither English nor French, therefore “the ethnic press and media of the country performs a unique function within the boundaries of the Canadian mass media” (para.1). In addition, editor Siri Agrell (2012) of the newspaper The Globe and Mail also claimed that ethnic channels has been bringing international programming to Canadian viewers, licensing contents are from China, Korea, Russia, Greece, Vietnam and various other countries, which displayed that ethnic media have been filling a gap in Canada. Likewise, it also showed that immigrants will have more comprehensive accounts of news from their home. As well, they are able to seek comfort with familiar voices from homeland and the new environment they are now living in so that they can become more engaged with other citizens in Canada. The article also elaborated that there are 32 ethnic communities in Canada with populations of more than 100,000. Due to the large amount of Canadian immigrants and distinctive ethnic groups, Canadian regulators believe their relationships with the newspapers vary accordingly and provide third language media publications to inform their readers who are in a language more readily understood than the official languages of Canada. This shows that the role and function of minority medias have become more crucial in societies undergoing radical transformations today (Deuze, 2006, p.276).
The Ethnic Press in Canada
Today, ethnic presses have become an enduring feature of every Canadian’s life because they provide the need for self-representation and for establishing communication links between different co-existing communities, which have led to the gradual and constant development of tools that satisfy their information needs. Since Chinese origin Canadians make up roughly one-fifth of the population of Vancouver – a sizable consumer market, it attracts media outlets such as Sing Tao Daily one of the few Chinese language newspapers in Canada and owned by the Sing Tao Group of Hong Kong and the Toronto Star. News coverage of Sing Tao Daily includes national, provincial, local news, international news, Hong Kong news, and news from other parts of China (both Mainland China and Taiwan) (Torstar, 2014, para.2). Ethnic presses like Sing Tao Daily have helped transform the media landscape by providing relevant information to reach Chinese newcomers in Canada, which would help them preserve their cultural identity and staying in touch with events from their homeland and Canada (Lindgren, 2011, p. 1). On the other hand, ethnic news also fulfilled the unique ideology role that offers a land of opportunity for these immigrants to “showcase and preserve diversity of culture, heritage and language within the great Canadian cultural mosaic” (Hustonin, 2012, p.V.). In summary, scholar Park (1922) in his article, The Immigrant Press and Its Control, also concluded that the immigrant press was an active force in shaping immigrants’ worldviews and “their relationship or sense of belonging with places and that the immigrants were embracing a sense of belonging to more than one place” (as cited in Cheng, 2005, p.145). Park’s statement directly confirmed the ideology role of the immigrant press on helping or hindering readers’ assimilation into western society.
In addition, professor Karim (2003) states that those ‘diasporic sites’ are mainly based on the “cultural border between the country of origin and the country of residence” (as cited in Shumow, p.1078). Understanding these cultural sites and how they are created, immigrant journalists who are playing in the “formation of their work, and the inherent transnational nature of these media outlets that allows them to shift their focus depending on the demands of international events and the needs of local audiences” (Shumow, p.1078). From this point of view, the works of immigrant journalists create diasporic media institutions to sustain their ethnicity band ease their transition into [multicultural] society (Viswanath& Arora, 2009, p.39). On the other hand, author Yu Shi (2009) in her article, Re-evaluating the alternative role of ethnic media in the U.S.: The case of Chinese language press and working-class women readers, stated that, “ethnic media are often regarded as media by and for ethnics in a host country with content in ethnic languages… can be published by big ethnic media groups and by small organic ethnic communities” (p.599). The statement from author Shi appealed that ethnic minority media provides alternative cultural ‘software’ to download into immigrants’ ‘hardware‘ to help them learn about Canadian culture, history, and social services. Meanwhile, ethnic minority media can also promote the privileges and the responsibilities inherent in Canadian citizenship to the immigrants (Karim, 1998 June, p.6). In addition, the statement also observed that the key of ethnic media is to develop a knowledge base and sense of ethnic identity in Canadian multicultural society.
Sing Tao Daily: The Best Source of Advertising Information
Otherwise, advertisements not only represent the most important means of financial support for ethnic newspapers (such as Sing Tao Daily and Ming Pao) and corporations in Canada, but they will also often improve immigrants’ lives in Canada. Statistics provided by 2007 Canadian Chinese Media Monitor show that Sing Tao Daily offered the best source of advertising information than any other ethnic presses in Canada. Although the advertisement sub – corpus is the smallest in terms of words, advertisements occupy a consistent part of each issue of Sing Tao Daily News because of their dimension, which ranges from one third of a page to a whole page. Based on this, professor Sherry Yu and Catherine Murray (2008) in their article, Ethnic Media under a Multicultural Policy: The Case of the Korean Media in British Columbia commented that the role of ethnic newspaper is to look for ways in which the translocal citizens can achieve a balanced sense of belonging to both Canada and their country of origin. The variety of products and services being advertised are obviously targeted at a readership with specific needs. By this way, Sing Tao Daily helps Asian immigrants in dealing with the different and often problematic aspects of immigrant status, which in turn promotes multicultural citizenship and social cohesion (p.101) between ethnic individuals. Thus, Karim (2010) believed that, “[c]ertain ethnic media provide extensive coverage of Canadian current affairs and other information that would help members of minorities remain informed about the larger society. [Also, the] type of coverage would presumably promote integration into the Canadian public sphere and encourage active citizenship” (p.263). Thus, ethnic presses bring Asian immigrants the perspective of beyond the nation-state and potentially lead to a cosmopolitan understanding of the self and one’s community (Georgiou, 2006, p.39). At the same time, political economists Vincent Mosco (1996) identified this as an array of structures and practices that functioned as instruments of transnational corporate and state power, which is centralized through the “transnationalized companies and their government supporters was to press for the introduction of commercial media systems to permit advertising and programming that would cultivate consumerism” (p.73). Consequently, even though sometimes ethnic media may colonizes between different minorities in a multicultural society, ethnic presses will benefit multicultural society since they can guide different groups to identify themselves as a member of a particular ethnic group in the multicultural society, in order to better understand cultural differences and even increase their knowledge in regards to their own culture.
A Case Study of Sing Tao Daily Newspaper
Historically, Chinese-language presses have developed into two-tiered systems, such as nationwide newspapers and regional/local ones since the 1970s. The term ethnic press is used to refer to newspaper addressed to a specific immigrant community and written in the language or one of the languages used by that community in their home country. Sing Tao Daily is Canada’s most widely read Chinese language newspaper, and it’s the only Chinese language newspaper located in 3 different Canadian cities in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. The news, lifestyle and leisure contents of Sing Tao Daily are published in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters to satisfy growing immigrants from both Mainland China and Hong Kong (Torstar, 2014, para.2). Also, the supplements of Sing Tao Daily are published in several weekly magazines to satisfy the needs of different Chinese audience groups. For example, Every Saturday Sing Tao Weekly is an entertainment and lifestyle magazine with mostly Canada local content. Like Sunday Star Magazine, it is a tabloid – sized entertainment and news magazine with mostly Hong Kong content from time to time.
The image of Multimedia Publication not only displays the Sing Tao Daily Newspaper and its supplements, but also represents how immigrant communities seem to maintain strong and visible links to their place of origin and sense of cultural belonging in Canadian multicultural society. As ethnic newspapers, Sing Tao Daily plays a key role in shaping newcomers’ sense of place (Lindgren, 2011, p.1) by delivering the contents, such as ethnic and local news, into immigrants, which in turn offer convenience for different minorities and help them to better understand the new community when “ethnic news organizations put home country news ahead of local news coverage” (Hans, 2011, para. 1). The Sing Tao group helps and maintains a sense of cultural belonging for people with Chinese origin and keep newly arrived Chinese immigrants informed and connected. Additionally, Ohio State University’s school of Journalism & Communication Professors Viswanath and Hillard Fleishman Arora (2009) stated that, Sing Tao Canadian media group also involves in online publishing, printing, outdoor advertising, radio and magazine publishing, which is kind of a cultural transmission: the ‘multicultural channels’ and ‘ethnic newspapers’ setting “as community boosters” for Chinese audiences (p.47). They also believed that, “[ethnic] media transmit information on cultural and religious celebrations… [which] strengthen the ethnic identity in the multicultural community” (Viswanath & Arora, 2009, p.48). In summary, Sing Tao Daily transmits information about society in a way that helps newcomers adapt to their new home.
As the number of language scripts and translation capabilities of Sing Tao Daily grows, an increasing number of non-English speakers come to understand communities and issues through “the simultaneous consumption or ‘imagining’ of the stories in local newspapers” (Lindgren, 2011, p.1). This not only reveals that Sing Tao ethnic presses have access to community information which “almost instantaneously changes the dynamics of diaspora, allowing for qualitatively and quantitatively enhanced linkages” (Karim, 1998, p.12), but also demonstrates the newspapers’ contribution in “shaping perceptions of place in the formation of a nation”(Lindgren, 2011, p.1). Based on this, professor Lindgren (2011) pointed out that the role of Sing Tao Daily in shaping newcomers’ sense of place reflects a growing interest in the nature, practices and roles that ethnic media outlets play in highly diverse communities (p. 2).
The Third Language Press Sing Tao Newspaper Local News
Ethnic presses, like Sing Tao Daily Newspapers, are relatively small and widely scattered and allow for narrowcasting to target specific audiences rather than those that provide the means for mass communication which have generally been favored (Karim, 1998, p.8). This characteristic asserts that ethnic media is trying to reach their audiences and providing remarkable opportunities for diasporic communities. Additionally, University of Texas’s journalism professor Sang Y. Bai (2010) also stated that immigrants tend to depend on the diasporas media in their native languages to receive information about their new host country as well as about their local communities (p.386). This meant that ethnic media is serving the needs of certain ethnic minorities in the society, and it also can contend with how Canadian third language presses and channels depend on its ability to cohesively and effectively reach audiences in a balance between both commercial and cultural considerations (Huston, 2012, p.20). In fact, visiting scholar Schiller (1995) called this phenomenon “Transmigrants”, which identified that “immigrants whose daily lives depend on multiple and constant interconnections across international borders and whose public identities are configured in relationship to more than one nation-state” (as cited in Cheng, 2005, p.156). In other words, his statement illustrated that contemporary immigrants are becoming firmly rooted in their new countries but still maintain multiple links to their homelands.
On the contrary, Florida International University professor Moses Shumow (2014) deliberated this phenomenon as the process of ‘glocalization’ and also be considered as ‘local’ within ‘global’ (p.1077). This meant national identity always had to compete with ‘local’ and later with ‘global’ identities (Chakravartty & Zhao, 2008, p. 54). As well, it is imperative that ethnic presses in Canada establish their roots, share their identities, and have strong implications for “influencing the identities and practices of its readers” (Shi, 2009, p.598). As a matter of fact, ethnic presses service different cultural groups by collecting the newest international information to help them connect with societies. Indeed, it echoed that “the third language media integration in Canada diasporic groups find ‘a safe place’ to reconnect with their communities around the world, share their resettlement experiences and ‘reach out’, locally and globally”(Huston, 2012, p. 29). This emphasized ethnic presses on both the local and the national level, in relation to the global, in order to undermine “the polarized approach in showing how relationships between major national players may be moderated or intensified by local relationship power” (Chakravartty & Zhao, 2008, p.171). In a nutshell, professor Cheng (2005) believed that the notion of multiple homelands is one of the social realities and one of the key concepts for the intellectual community to understand contemporary social life (p.156). By examining whether the ethnic presses have become a help or hindrance in the assimilation process, the cultural impacts of Canadian editions of Sing Tao Daily enable Hong Kong immigrants to soak in an imported and mediated Hong Kong lifestyle and thereby become “culturally closed” (Cheng, 2005, p. 145). On the other hand, immigrant newspapers construct and narrate a transnational sense of belonging in Canada’s multicultural society.
Transnationalism Belonging into Multicultural Society
Sing Tao News Corporation Limited provides the business of media ownership and services; at the same time, it also owns the news media website singtao.com. Sing Tao Daily is Hong Kong’s second largest newspaper outlet and its publications have been published by 9 overseas news bureaus and circulated in 100 cities around the world. Sing Tao group’s widespread news outlets not only target the Chinese immigrants marketplace and help facilitate easy access to homeland news for Chinese language readers outside China, but also serve the purpose of integrating different minorities in a multicultural society and promote ethnic group cohesion (Liu& Wu, 2006, p.6). Reporter Amo (2009) pointed out that Sing Tao Daily is targeting a specific clientele with their news service.
Sing Tao Daily Newspaper Asian Business News
The idea is to create a one-stop shop for Asian business news. They’re attempting to attract business executives across North America (para.1). From this point of view, professor Gabriel A. Huston (2012) explained that “because of the geographic movement of large Chinese population, third language Chinese presses provide news, advertising, and community information, support cultural sustainability and offer a necessary public forum for their respective communities, with content that is largely produced in Canada for domestic and interested global third language audiences” (p.31). Huston’s statement showed that “the creation of common [Canadian] markets for [newspaper] can accompanied by concrete measures to promote production and favor the free circulation of cultural commodities to assimilate different cultural groups” (Canclini, 2005, p.101). This in turn will better integrates new immigrants into a multicultural society. On the other hand, as ethnic newspaper companies have controlled more of the newspaper market in today’s society, political economist Vincent Mosco in his book, The Political Economy of Communication, believed that they might grow into a conglomerate concentration as transnational corporations built with other media businesses that buy up media properties (p.113). Thus, professors Chakravartt and Zhao (2008) summarized and agreed that “local and transnational corporate entities that are skilled at navigating the global economy to their advantage” (p.171).
Moreover, author Karim logically considered that ethnic presses are the “transnations” of diasporic communities, which can be a significant aspect of the globalization processes (1998, p. 2). By understanding those cultural presses and how they are created as “transnations”, Karim also explained that the inherent transnational nature of these media outlets that allows them to shift their focus depending on the “demands of international events and the needs of local audiences” (as cited in Shrow, 2014, p.1078). On this basis, author Armand Mattelart (1994) in his book Mapping World Communications clarified this fact as “the world market became a space of transnational regulation of the relations between nations and people” (p.XV.). Mattelart’s statement not just appealed that ethnic presses can help to uncover some of the complexities inherent in transnational migration that challenge traditions and linear notions of immigrant assimilation and acculturation, it also recognized the globalization of the media industries sector that has resulted in the formation of an international civil society (Schiller, 2001, p.47). Furthermore, Herbert Schiller in his article, Transnational Media: Creating Consumers Worldwide explicated that globalization process has resulted in an international order organized by transnational economic interests that are largely unaccountable to the nation states in which they operate. The transnational corporate system of Sing Tao Daily has the product of a rationalized and commercialized communications infrastructure, which transmits massive flows of information and has extended its marketing reach to every corner of North America (Schiller, 2001, p.47). This statement exhibited that the growing economic imperatives and the social obligations of ethnic media have led ethnic cohesion and cultural maintenance in Canadian multicultural society, which should be encouraged in a multicultural environment.
Again, ethnic press, Sing Tao Daily, helps immigrants integrate into multicultural society, which also shows that ethnic media democracy in Western capitalist society. From the public sphere liberal perspective, writer Arjun Appadurai declared that as Sing Tao Daily News “increasingly link producers and audiences across national boundaries, and as these audiences themselves start new conversations…, we find a growing number of diasporic public spheres” (as cited in Karim, 1998, p.2). This meant that ethnic press evaluates the higher value citizen participation since it as a tool helps new Chinese immigrants to understand more of western culture in ways that will enhance their quality of life and their ability to solve problems (Shi, 2009,p.602). Otherwise, it also indicated ethnic presses help constituting a public sphere that “that realm of social life where the exchange of information and views on questions of common concern can take place so that public opinion can be formed” (Hackett & Zhao, 2005, p.11). Meanwhile, Carleton University Professor Karim (2010) also confirmed that ethnic presses in Canada can contribute to ethnic organizations and “help members of minorities integrate into the larger society” (p.261). As well, he explained that “[n]ewspapers are the most common form of ethnic media” (Karim, 2010, p.261) since ethnic newspapers have recently made the decision to refresh its image and editorial content by positioning itself as the newspaper of choice for the Chinese immigrants which directly help overseas Chinese “bridge the gap to mainstream America” and “improve their quality of life” (Shi, 2009, p.602). From this point of view, ethnic presses, including Sing Tao Daily, have constructed and narrated a new relationship with specific segments of Asian immigrants, especially relatively wealthy and educated middle-class immigrants (Shi, 2009, p.602) as they can “identify themselves as member of a pluralistic society” (Jin & Kim, 2011, p.553). As a matter of fact, Yu Shi, who is a professor from Pennsylvania State University, asserts that ethnic newspapers play an essential role in preserving ethnic cultures, maintaining individual and collective ethnic identities, and providing crucial information about Canadian society for immigrants (2009, p.604). Particularly, ethnic media has become sites that not just draw ethnic identities “mixed with images representing the experiences of individuals negotiating real life in the new country”, but also interact with individuals and groups as well as tie the relationship between ethnic communities in Canadian multicultural society (Jin& Kim, 2011,p.554).
Media and Globalization
The case of Sing Tao Daily News highlights “the commercial and consumerist approaches of transnational communities to develop links within their diasporas communities” (Karim, 1998 June, p.4). Also more specifically, it locates the diasporic phenomenon within the context of globalization processes to contribute to cultural maintenance (Karim, 1998 June, p. 2). Different group’s people have a chance to know about different norms and customs within a multicultural society, which would promote further cultural harmonization and avoid racism as well as various kinds of discrimination. As a result, they would become successful on the national and global stages and become targets for takeovers by global media conglomerates (Karim, 1998 June, p.15). According to Xinhua News remarks Chinese newspapers “intend to play an active role in supporting the multicultural policy of the [Canadian] government and promoting friendship and cooperation between China and Canada” (as cited in Liu &Wu, 2003, p.3). Based on this view, writers Liu and Wu (2006) illustrated that reading ethnic newspapers in Canada can be used to recognize ethnic group identification and increase the strength of association between social locations and their own culture (p.12). This meant that the influences of the ethnic newspapers are to provide information and entertainments to immigrants and to incorporate interactions between the newspapers’ discourses and the readers’ discourses (Shi, 2009, p.601). This also provides an in peace on immigrants’ culture, “their ethnics of communication, and the choice of their communicators … Information is life itself, a vital flow for staying in tune with the times, hence the permanent conflict between the need for transparency and the maintenance of an image” (Mattelart, 1994, p.220). As well, ethnic media holds symbolic cultural values and enhances people’s minds to understand Canada’s multiculturalism more efficiently and represents that part of society within certain ethnic and racial origins that have at most minor impacts on life chances or opportunities (Huston, 2012, p. 30). With mainstream media controlled by corporations and political interests, third language media became a serious competitor to mainstream media as they vie for Canada’s lucrative Asian markets. The opportunity for both Canadian mainstream media and ethnic presses is to build bridges through “forms of collaboration to gain more effective access to the markets that they are competing for, share ‘know-how’ and ultimately appreciate and come to better understand Canadian diversity and multiculturalism” (Huston, 2012, p.32). In other words, scholar Shumow (2014) also believed that immigrants are supposed to assimilate into, and see the process of adjusting and adapting to life in a new country as happening much more in fits and starts, particularly in a global city (p.1085). Therefore, ethnic presses not only help immigrants assimilate to new, unfiltered contends, but they also reflect on the dynamics of globalization by creating a participating culture that provides equal rights to interpret each ethnic group and community (Nandy, 2009, p.146).
Likewise, in the article Multicultural Policies and Integration via the Market, writer Canclini (2005) wrote ethnic media as “a key condition for the development of democratic forms of citizenship today [in Canada]. People need access to international information and must have the capacity to intervene in meaningful ways in global” (p.100). In addition, he discussed the multicultural “integration requires constitutional and political reforms that guarantee the right of diverse group in the context of globalization” (Canclini, 2005, p.101). Ethnic presses are kind of media delivery platforms that “human being are driven to communicate with those with whom they share similar sets of cultural meanings (Kairm, 2010, p.260). This connoted the cultural meaning of ethnic media that Chinese language newspapers help immigrants assimilate, and pick up the identity labels prescribed by the dominant ideology (Kairm, 1998, p.606). Still, Kairm (2010) confirmed that “ ethnic media has developed in Canada under official multiculturalism” (p. 262), which helps minority group to understand the ‘world’ around them and forming a bridge between their own cultural and other cultures in Canada. In like manner, the statement from author Kairm also identified the management of Canadian government in their multicultural society and “the relationship between political communication in ethnic media and the level of political participation of immigrants in Canadian society” (Yu & Ahadi, 2010, p.55). Based on this, professors Yu and Murray (2007) considered that ethnic media, just like the mainstream media, is not free from market pressure. Instead, they have given the absence of a government policy on subsidizing or mandating public and/or not-for-profit third language medias (p.105).
What seems to be happening is a dual development of increasing use and popularity of (minority) community media with a strong participatory or dialogical element, and marginalizing of such media with the dominant discourse and practices of mainstream media. Academic researcher Mark Deuze (2006) believed that the minority ethnic media heralds such sites of media production as ‘shaping a vigorous public sphere’ (p.266). From this point of view, ethnic media serves “the public sphere in modern democracies is the space between Government and society in which private individuals exercise formal and informal control over the state: formal control through the election of governments and informal control through the pressure of public opinion” (Yu&Murray, 2007, p.105). All in all, the role of ethnic media has been successful since it deeply relates to each ethnic community to “serve as community representative, to provide a public sphere for ethnic groups in Canadian society as in many other places” (Jin&Kim, 2011, p.553), which can help ethnic groups to better organize themselves and sustain their cultural heritages within the multicultural society of Canada and other countries.
Challenges of Ethnic Presses in Canada
Admittedly, even though ethnic presses actually live up to claims that they help newcomers understand their adopted communities, help groups retain cultural links with home countries and act as bridges between communities (Lindgren, 2011, p.2), some of the critics still argue that there are still many challenges facing ethnic communities in terms of obtaining information from ethnic media outlets. Unavailability of the eligible respondents, incorrect contact information from secondary source, and reluctance to participate or share company information (Media Directory, 2006- 2007) will also cause inconvenience for ethnic groups access information in a multicultural society; in addition, it also challenges mainstream newspapers. Alternatively, professor Shi also confirmed that many Canadian third language media enterprises are transnationalized, which is harder to identify transformation mechanisms and structures (2009, p.598). After that, Mahtani (2008) has confirmed that the shortcoming of “the ethnic media, like the mainstream media, is not exempt from the practices of misrepresenting and underrepresenting the immigrant voice” (as cited in Lindgren, 2011, p.10). Moreover, a report from a Chinese ethnic newspaper, Sing Tao Daily, noted that ethnic newspapers choose the middle class author’s emphasis to ‘help Chinese, including new immigrants, who understand more of the American culture in ways that will enhance their quality of life and their ability to solve problems’ since middle class audiences demand a more high-brow content (as cited in Shi, 2009, p.602). From this point of view, ethnic media mainly focuses on middle – class Asians and considers them as the only representation of Asians. Meanwhile, this practice will ignore the realities of many other Asian immigrants. Although ethnic media may not be deemed as helpful to newcomers (Yu&Ahadi, 2010, p.55), the ethnic media as multiple delivery platforms in North America have been touted as potentially powerful enabling and transnationalizing media affecting on both majority and minority groups in a multicultural environment.
In conclusion, ethnic presses can be regarded as multiple delivery platforms in Canadian multicultural society because “understanding the role of ethnic news outlets as intermediaries that promote understanding among different religious, cultural and racial groups is a matter of some urgency”(Lindgren, 2011, p.10). In addition, they lead to a better understanding of how ethnic groups turn to the ethnic media for information and how ethnic media represents the immigrants’ voices. In turn, ethnic media allows immigrants to appreciate the positive aspects of globalization in Canada. When Asian immigrants misapprehend other cultures and the resulting misapprehension could potentially create a culture shock, ethnic media can help minorities better fit into Canadian society, enjoy activities from other cultures, and gain countless new experiences from interactions within this dynamic society. Based on this, professor Huston summarized that immigrants to Canada have relied on printed and digital information in their home languages to understand, adapt, integrate, and maintain a sense of community and culture. Ethnic media in Canada displays the Asianization of Canadian society since “Asian corporations bring third languages into the Canadian communication landscape setting a ‘cascade of interactions’ in our evolving intercultural self-identity and provides a platform for discussion, interactivity and engagement” (Huston, 2012, p.10) with immigrants in Canada. Thus, Writer Ball-Rokeach (1976) concluded that multicultural ethnic channels and Chinese ethnic newspapers have the same functions as any other types of ethnic media, which can play a large role in limiting the range of interpretations that “audiences are able to make, hence predicting media effects on audiences”(as cited in Liu & Wu, 2006, p.14). Therefore, in Canadian multicultural society, Canadian media should take the needs of different ethnic groups into account, as the role of ethnic media is vital in terms of enriching people’s lives and bridging in the distance between majority and the minority groups.
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