About OMMI

The OMMI is an innovative research initiative undertaken by the University of Ottawa in partnership with the City of Ottawa, and in collaboration with an extensive network of media producers, consumers, and scholars.

The initiative, a first in Ottawa, aims to improve our collective knowledge of media consumption and production in the Ottawa Chinese, Latin American, Somali, and South Asian communities.

Why study multicultural media?

As the 5th biggest Canadian entry point for newcomers from around the world Ottawa is experiencing an extraordinary increase in ethno-cultural diversity, which has been accompanied by a proliferation of multicultural media, actively created by our ethno-cultural communities. Yet, little is known about the challenges and opportunities that such media may represent in terms of fostering greater social inclusion, labour market integration, and economic prosperity.

Against this backdrop, the OMMI will seek to answer the following research questions:

  1. How can multicultural media contribute to the wellbeing, inclusion, and integration of visible minorities in Ottawa?
  2. What untapped opportunities does multicultural media represent for the City of Ottawa, for the ethno-cultural communities, and for the economy?
  3. What opportunities and challenges does multicultural media represent for Ottawa and its citizens?

What is in the works?

The OMMI will be carrying out its first round of research in three sequential phases, from September 2011 to July 2015 .

Phase 1: The OMMI worked with community partners and collaborators to administer 1212 surveys in Ottawa’s Chinese, Spanish speaking Latin American, Somali, South Asian communities in order to create baseline knowledge on the four ethno-cultural communities’ access to and use of media. Please see our Resources page for selected OMMI survey results.

Phase 2: The OMMI will engage in detailed qualitative and quantitative content analyses of media sources identified in Phase One, and will contextualize and deepen these analyses through an initial round of focus groups with consumers of multicultural media and interviews with multicultural media producers.

Phase 3: The OMMI will be holding focus groups to validate its findings from  Phase Two, and will disseminate its overall findings through workshops, reports, publications, media releases and conference presentations.

Following this initial round of research, the OMMI hopes to work in collaboration with its partner and network to inform policies and standards at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels. The OMMI also hopes to engage the Ottawa community in action-initiatives capable of fostering greater well-being, social inclusion, and labour market integration for newcomers to the city as well as greater prosperity for Ottawa.

What types of media are included in the initiative?

Reflecting the great diversity of media usage across different ethno-cultural communities, the initiative includes all types of print, broadcast, and digital media.  These may include, but are not limited to: news, blogs, movies, sitcoms, religious programs, cultural programs, commercials, and children’s programs.

What is the geographic scope of the initiative?

The OMMI focuses on the media consumption habits of the Chinese, Spanish speaking Latin American, Somali, and South Asian communities in Ottawa, and on the multicultural media productions of these four communities in Ontario with a particular focus on Ottawa. Thus, while the geographic scope of the media consumption study includes local, provincial, national, and international sources, the scope of the media production study will be limited to Ontario.