From Canada to Brazil: a Model of Society's Participation in Communication Policy Debate?

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Edgard Rebouças


This study observes and analyses how Canada and Brazil are experiencing similar situations with respect to communications issues. Understanding that public hearings are the ideal locus for debating specific public policies, the Royal Commissions of Inquiry targeted at the cultural and media industries sectors were chosen as corpus for analysis. The intention here is to do more than merely describe those commissions’ activities; instead, it is to explore their unfolding, attempting to identify the interplay of the relations and interests involved. This study adopts the theoretical perspectives of Political Economy of Communications and of Cultural and Media Industries. The article proposal assumes that the Canadian model of public hearings might be applied to Brazil. Its conclusions indicate a crisis in which society in general has no interest in joining debates on media-related issues, reflecting the State’s failure to defend the public interest and a strong private lobby to influence those debates results.

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