In October 2017, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a “Call for comments on the Governor in Council’s request for a report on future programming distribution models” (CRTC-2017-359) and invited the general public, industry stakeholders and interveners from other sectors to provide input on the future of media distribution models in Canada. With an understanding that the concerns and experiences of older adults tend to be underrepresented in media policies in Canada, some Canadian ACT researchers set out to provide the CRTC with a report that is attuned to the needs of older adults and to their experiences adjusting to the changing landscape of television and radio distribution in Canada. We also sought to issue a series of recommendations to the CRTC, and called attention to the fact that the needs and desires of older Canadian must be taken into account in the defining new policy.
To assemble this report, teams of ACT researchers from Concordia University and the University of Ottawa drew from Canadian data stemming from the first wave of ACT’s cross-national longitudinal study, which focusses on traditional and new media uses of adults over 60 years of age. We also began a series of focus groups and interviews that set out to highlight some of the concerns held by older adults about the current and future states of the Canadian media landscape, and the shifts in media distribution. On December 1, 2017, we submitted a first preliminary report to the CRTC as part of Phase I of its consultative process, and expect to submit a second more in-depth report in early 2018 as part of Phase II of the process.