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

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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.

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  1. These are: (a) Chin Radio Ottawa 97.9FM, which offers multicultural/multilingual programming serving 40 distinct ethnocultural communities in over 20 different languages; (b) CKCU 93.1 FM and CHUO FM 89.1, which are campus-based community radio stations (at the Carleton University and University of Ottawa respectively), serving many different communities in Ottawa, including ethnocultural, by broadcasting multicultural/multilingual programming; and (c) OMNI Television, which is owned by Rogers Media, a private media company; it has multicultural TV stations offering a variety of multicultural/multilingual programming.

  2. These are: Canada China News (published weekly, available in print format with some contents available in online format) and Health Times (published weekly, available in print format with some contents available in online format).

  3. Come from China ( is popular among the Chinese as a source of news and information.

  4. Safari Post is published monthly and available in both print and online formats.

  5. The web portal Hiiraan Online ( is used by the Somalis to gather news and information.

  6. These are: Eco Latino (published monthly, available in print format only) and Mundo en Español (published bimonthly, available in online format only).

  7. The CanAsian Times is published weekly, available in print format only.

  8. South Asian Connection (


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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.

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Correspondence to Rukhsana Ahmed.

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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).

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Ahmed, R., Veronis, L. Multicultural Media Use and Immigrant Settlement: A Comparative Study of Four Communities in Ottawa, Canada. Int. Migration & Integration 18, 587–612 (2017).

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