Multicultural Media Use and Immigrant Settlement: A Comparative Study of Four Communities in Ottawa, Canada

  • Rukhsana AhmedEmail author
  • Luisa Veronis


Multicultural media serve as important sources of information for immigrant settlement. However, little is known about the role of multicultural media in the process of immigrant settlement. Our aim was to address this gap and to advance understanding of multicultural media use and immigrant settlement through a detailed empirical study involving four ethnocultural and immigrant communities (EICs)—the Chinese, Spanish-speaking Latin American, Somali, and South Asian—in Ottawa, Canada. Using a conceptual framework combining notions of immigrant contexts of reception, and immigrant settlement and information seeking, we present and analyze the findings of a large survey data set (N = 1212) comparing types of multicultural print, broadcast, and digital media use by immigration category, length of stay, and yearly household income. Based on our findings, we argue that variations exist in the use of multicultural media both within and across the four participating EICs; while factors such as availability of multicultural media as well as length of stay in Canada and, to some extent, household income play a role, immigration category is less significant. Furthermore, we advance that although EICs do use various types of multicultural media, they tend to favor digital media. These findings contribute to improved understanding of the role of multicultural media use in the everyday lives of EICs and provide directions for future research and for the development of relevant policies and practices to address immigrant information needs and facilitate their settlement process.


Multicultural media Immigrant settlement Ethnocultural and immigrant communities Survey Ottawa, Canada 



We acknowledge the funding received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for the broader project of which this study is a part. We also acknowledge the collaboration and dedication of everyone involved with the project. A special acknowledgement is extended to our survey participants, project team, research assistants, partners, collaborators, and volunteers.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Research Ethics Board approval has been obtained from the University of Ottawa to conduct this study.


This study was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC, Project no. 890-2010-0137).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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