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Election Coverage Coverage Echo Echo

posted by dru Geography: Canada Topics: elections

September 10, 2008

Election Coverage Coverage Echo Echo


Globe: "A Web ad featuring a defecating bird and fallout over the Greens' exclusion from a televised leaders debate dominated Day 3 of the federal election campaign on Tuesday despite efforts by the two major parties to supplement nasty attacks with weightier content."

The media during an election is a bizarre spectacle indeed. The media decide that bird poop is a huge deal, and discuss it endlessly. Then, at the end of the day, they summarize their own coverage by saying that the substantial announcement were "dominated" or "overshadowed." The summary of their own reporting nonetheless gives top billing to the bird poop, and passing, insubstantial reference to the issues that it concedes are the only ones having any "weight".

In related news, Jack Layton flew a bunch of journalists over the biggest and most destructive industrial project in human history and we get a brief story with a few quotes. And we can be sure that without further prompting, no one will look into it further. The hundreds of journalists assigned to cover the election prefer, undoubtedly, to cover the latest gaffe or bird poop mini-scandal.

I would like to make one modest suggestion: election coverage doesn't have to look like this.

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