"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.
A number of gaps were identified with respect to settlement information in Ontario. Newcomers have difficulty accessing relevant material with ease. Among the key barriers are linguistic and cultural as well as problems in using media technologies. Mainstream, ethnic and neighbourhood media also have specific tendencies that limit the amount and kinds of settlement information they carry. Immigrants in smaller locations have little access to appropriate materials.
If settlement information is to be useful, it has to be accessible and reliable. Primary design considerations should include newcomer diversity, informational needs, and abilities in accessing material. Content development has to consider language, culture, local conditions, settlement needs and dissemination barriers. These efforts should build on the strengths of mainstream media in reporting politics, of ethnic media in covering consumer information, housing and community, and of neighbourhood media in addressing education, recreation and community.
The initiatives to be considered for pilot projects can include: