Movements and Messages: Media and Radical Politics in Quebec


165 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-919946-40-2






Translated by David Homel

Marguerite Andersen is a professor of French studies at the University
of Guelph.


In Movements and Messages, Marc Raboy, writer, journalist, broadcaster, and university lecturer based in Montreal, studies the attempt by social and political movements to shape their own communication strategies in opposition to control of communication by the State and mainstream media.
Quebec provides a fertile terrain for this study as there were, in the sixties and seventies in Quebec, numerous communication initiatives, which eventually contributed to the building of a new culture. Raboy is not at all uncritical vis-à-vis these media initiatives, which did not provide complete answers and sometimes reproduced existing patterns of domination. In his opinion, however, the relationship of communication media and forces of social change is a key factor in history.
Anyone interested in communication theory and/or the history of modern Quebec should put this slim volume, packed with information and analyses, on his/her reading list. Many details can be learned here on Quebec newspapers and social activist groups. Although Raboy has not included media from areas other than the Montreal area, counter-culture, women’s, and anglophone publications, his insight into the role of alternative media in the history of Quebec, 1960-1980, is tremendous. And hopeful.
Reading Raboy’s study is invigorating and should inspire social activists to find new forms of communications. The bibliography provided is very complete, an appendix contains a chronology of events related to politics and communications in Quebec, 1900-1950, of great clarity. An important book for anyone interested in militant action and action-research.


Raboy, Marc, “Movements and Messages: Media and Radical Politics in Quebec,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,