No Laughing Matter Zubi.pdf


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NO LAUGHING MATTER: POLITICAL SATIRE IN CANADA
Master of Arts, 2015
Beisan Zubi
Communication and Culture, Ryerson University (York University)
Abstract:
In the past decade, television political satire in Canada has faced many
obstacles to its potential in becoming as politically transformative as it has been
in the United States. Where Stephen Colbert and John Stewart set the agenda
and keep their government to account, Canadian political satire has not been
agenda-setting, neutered by many factors including a hostile federal
government, highly concentrated media ownership, a seemingly uninterested
public, and a handcuffed public broadcaster. This work argues that this state of
stagnation is not necessarily permanent, and applies practical, historical, and
theoretical research to prove that political satire is effective, that effect is not
being seen in Canada, and owing to a high internet connectivity rate in Canada
and other medium-specific factors, online content is the key to Canada’s
political satire future.