NewsWatch Canada undertakes independent research on the diversity and thoroughness of news coverage in Canada’s media, with a focus on identifying blind spots and double standards. Housed in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University as a research and educational project by four faculty members, our recent work has included news analysis seminars for undergraduates and publications on issues of news monitoring and news analysis.
Every year at SFU, NewsWatch Canada offers an upper division research seminar to students interested in media-monitoring studies. The course (Cmns431) focuses on patterns of under-and over-reporting in the mainstream news in order to uncover key trends and patterns in news omission. Each year Cmns 431 explores a different topic or aspect of news content, with themes ranging from representations of gender in news (Fall 2009)science and the politics of global warming in Canadian print media (Summer 2007) to media coverage of the 2005 BC provincial election. (Much of the work of these seminars is available on this website). This small seminar allows senior students the opportunity to explore the current state of commercial news outlets and gain valuable knowledge on how the news operates to inform and engage democratic participants. The seminar also creates opportunities for students to learn research methods and project management.
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Note: Newswatch Canada began as Project Censored Canada (PCC) in 1993 as a collaborative project of the School of Communication at SFU, the University of Windsor and the Canadian Association of Journalists. It was renamed NewsWatch Canada in 1998.