Photography functions both as a Mass Medium and as content for other Mass Media. It can be used as a means of documenting events and as an artistic medium to entertain/comment . The CBC News has been running a series of articles exploring Ottawa‘s past through archival photography. As with any form of Mass Media, these pieces of media reveal target audience, values. beliefs & ideologies, and convey intended and unintended messages.
The Anglo-Irish police officer in front of a French Canadian owned store reveal/suggest the cultural-socioeconomic structural lines of Canadian society . To further cement this image a truly Canadian, note the shop window. Red Rose Tea, advertised for sale in the shop window, is a classic emblem of Canada. Red Rose Tea was a beverage company established by Theodore Harding Estabrooks in 1894 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. It is considered an iconic part of Canadian culture and many consumers have a strong emotional attachment to the brand ( Only in Canada, eh ? Pity….. ).
The white working men pose depict their social class and the style of clothing of the time. Notice the little girls to the left dressed in very adult clothes of young ladies. Childhood was seen as miniature adulthood and girls & women had roles to fill that were as defined as the men posing in the shot.
The young girls in the following shot, infant Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her sisters, resided in Ottawa during the WW II, they too had roles to play, even as children. They were emblems of a social structure, a society & people under threat, and the Yousuf Karsh portrait is intended to portray/represent a mother and her children who have sought sanctuary.
The potential of heroism & compassion can also be portrayed in scenes of tragedy and calamity , as the following images demonstrate.
Clicking the images will take you( new tab) to original CBC articles which include more images and information. Consider the values, beliefs & ideologies the that the CBC is trying to convey about Canada, Canadian culture and Ottawa, in our 150th year.
Jesse Wente has appeared on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning as film and pop culture critic for 20 years and currently serves as Director of Film Programmes, at TIFF Bell Lightbox, overseeing theatrical, Cinematheque and Film Circuit programming. A self-described ‘Ojibwe dude’ with a national and international lens, he encourages audiences to consider diversity and inclusion into the future view of their organization, industry and country.
Well known as a film critic and broadcaster in Toronto and across Canada, Jesse was the first nationally syndicated Indigenous columnist for the CBC, covering film and pop culture for 20 local CBC Radio programs. He has also been a regular guest on CBC Newsworld’s News Morning and Weekend Edition, as well as Q.
Jesse is Ojibwe, and his family comes from Chicago and the Serpent River First Nation in Ontario. He is an advocate for Aboriginal Arts, most notably on screen. He draws attention to the imagery used by Hollywood in portrayals of indigenous peoples and stresses the need for a culture to have influence on their own depiction. His pieces on The Revenant, Beyonce and sports mascots were among the most shared on CBC.ca . SOURCE: National Speakers Bureau
An editorial introducing the concept of an “appropriation prize” for the author who can best embody the cultural experience of a minority group in Canada comes off as an attempt to steal one of the few things Indigenous people in Canada have left — their story, according to one Indigenous author.
“We’ve lost our land, we’ve lost our languages and almost the last thing we have left are our stories and our voices,” said D.A. Lockhart, a member of the Moravian of the Thames First Nation in Chatham-Kent.
“To have somebody come in and say we’ll tell those better than you … is sort of a painful kick while you’re already down.” SOURCE: Appropriation Prize Controversy an Opportunity for Learning CBC NEWS
Mass Media consumes Mass Media, turning other forms of Mass Media into content and incorporating/emulating other Media’s Codes & Conventions. In this process, appropriation of topics, subject matter and other aspects of content will be distorted intentionally & unintentionally through the Values, Beliefs & Ideologies of those delivering the Mass Media Text/Message. It becomes very easy for Mass Media creators & producers to appropriate a culture other than their own through adoption & adaptation; we are only confronting the past and potential damage that this creates when a cultural group is overwhelmed by a more powerful (politically/economically) cultural group. The question of who controls the narrative and to what purpose becomes a significant part of Mass Media, Media Literacy, and society at large.