Reflecting Which Canada? A Source Analysis of Canadian Network Television News

By Brad Clark.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

There has been a good deal of research documenting the degree to which mainstream news media have misrepresented, stereotyped or simply ignored racial minorities. A common approach to improve the coverage of marginalized groups—identified by academics, bureaucrats and industry representatives—is the hiring of minority journalists. The theory goes that more inclusive news begins with a more inclusive newsroom. However, this assumption has only been tested in a handful of studies in the United States and never in Canada, a country built on immigration, with a legislative mandate calling on broadcasters to “reflect” Canada’s “multicultural and multiracial nature”. This quantitative study sets out to examine that assumption. A content analysis of Canada’s three national, mainstream nightly English newscasts seriously calls into question the notion that newsroom diversity results in greater news source diversity. White sources are over-represented in these newscasts regardless of the ethnic background of the journalist. This study also reaffirms a very low participation rate by Aboriginal people as both reporters and news sources in mainstream television news.

Keywords: Television News, Diversity, Visible Minorities, Aboriginal, CBC, Global, CTV, Source Analysis, Ethics, Production Norms, Hegemony

International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp.33-45. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 714.903KB).

Dr. Brad Clark

Associate Professor, Broadcasting, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since 2006 Brad has taught in the Broadcast Diploma program at Mount Royal University. Prior to that, Brad spent 20 years working as a journalist for newspapers, magazines, radio and television. He was with the CBC in Edmonton and Calgary for 14 years, including two years on an award-winning investigative unit, and six years as a national reporter, covering the oil and gas industry from such diverse locales as Caracas, Houston, Tuktoyuktuk and Washington D.C. He studied economics at the University of Alberta, and in 1990, graduated from the University of Wales, Cardiff with a Master’s degree in Journalism Studies. He is currently working on his doctorate at Charles Sturt University in Australia.