Research on Settlement Programming Through the Media

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Date: 2007

CIC funded DiversiPro, a research company, and Dr. H. Karim, from Carleton University, to conduct research on settlement information in the media.

Each produced a report entitled Research on Settlement Programming through the Media, which are available for download here.

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Key findings from this combined research indicate that:

  • Newcomers want practical information on employment, health care, education and housing;
  • There is insufficient information on where to go to get settlement related information;
  • There is a lack of translated material on settlement related subjects;
  • Ethno-cultural media are looking for clear and reliable settlement information in multiple languages but cannot find it;
  • Print is preferred over video and T.V. as it can be read repeatedly;
  • Newcomers gravitate to ethno-cultural media as a way to connect to the host society through a familiar medium;
  • Newcomers experience difficulty in using automated services or accessing internet websites that exclusively or predominately are in English or French.

Summary of Research

This project on Settlement Programming through the Media analyzed selected mainstream, ethnic and neighbourhood media in Ottawa, GTA, Windsor and Sudbury. Ethnic media contents produced for Afghan, West African, Arab, Caribbean, Chinese, North Indian, Hispanic, Somali, Tamil, Portuguese and Russian communities were scrutinized. The team of researchers examined the contents of TV, radio, newspapers and websites according to the following settlement information categories: Employment, Housing, Immigration, Citizenship, Legal Services, Education, Health, Consumer Information, Community, Recreation and Politics.

Extensive quantitative analyses were conducted of the collected data. The project also comprised focus group sessions in the four cities and in-depth interviews with media producers and editors.

Research conducted by DiversiPro Inc. explored settlement-related information, specifically the key messages and stories directed at the targeted communities, including newcomers and others involved in the immigrant settlement field, through the media, both mainstream and ethnic.

Through qualitative and quantitative analysis (content analysis, community discussions, questionnaires, interviews, literature review and best-practice reviews) this research has found that information for newcomers in both the mainstream and ethnocultural media is in short supply. In fact, nearly 40 percent of the ethnocultural media practitioners who responded to questionnaires could not recall any specific examples of settlement coverage they had carried.