Recently stumbled upon a report that lists the top 25 underreported news stories in Canadian media between September 2010 and August 2011.
Thirteen Simon Fraser University student researchers analyzed both mainstream and independent news sources to first compile a list of 100 important national or international stories that lacked media coverage during the past year – important being defined as having a significant impact on a large number of Canadians.
They eventually narrowed it down to the top quarter, which includes topics ranging from the state of native reserves (now being addressed in the recent coverage of Attawapiskat), to the militarization of Canada’s foreign policy, to the extent of corporate lobbying on policy-making.
I haven’t read the complete report, but the 63-page summary was an interesting read, with one-to-two page synopses on each story. It also looks at the system, and suggests how it leads to these gaps in coverage.
Here’s the Top 25, in order of their importance, according to the study.
1. Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
2. Canadian Mining Companies Lack Accountability
3. Corporate Lobbying Shaping Laws
4. Crisis in Long Term Care
5. Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Canada
6. State of Native Reserves in Canada
7. Health Effects of Canada’s Tar Sands
8. Long Term Effects of Fukushima
9. Abandoned Oil Wells Cause Environmental Hazard
10. Global Disposable Workforce
11. Militarizing Canada’s Foreign Policy
12. Negative Impacts of Fracking
13. Devastation of the Oceans
14. Big Pharma Testing for Profit
15. Soldier Suicides and the Mental Health Cost of War
16. Threat of Public Relations to Newsrooms and the Public Sphere
17. Canadian Interference in Haiti
18. Disaster Capitalism in Afghanistan
19. Impact of Climate Change on Canada’s Boreal Forest
20. Asbestos Exports
21. Effects of Industrial Farming
22. BPA on Sales Recepts
23. Pharmaceutical Comapnies “Ghost Writing” for Medical Journals
24. FBI’s War on Islam
25. Failure of the War on Drugs
The summarized report is available here, with more details on the topics and the study’s methodology.
And Happy New Year: Here’s hoping that 2012 brings more coverage to underreported issues.