Spring 1998- Question the Sun

January 01, 1998


Question the Sun! is the result of a series of content analysis studies undertaken by students in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University in the Spring semester of 1998.  The work has been refined and condensed into a 50-page report by Donald Gutstein and Robert Hackett, SFU faculty members.The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of increasing concentration of newspaper ownership by Conrad Black and his company, Hollinger Inc.he first goal of the research is to assess how well the Vancouver Sun covers diverse viewpoints in its pages.  The second goal is to determine if Hollinger ownership has affected the Sun’s ability to reflect the diversity of its community.

Key findings

  • The Vancouver Sun does not even-handedly represent the diverse groups and viewpoints in the community it claims to serve.  The Hollinger regime has not made the Sun more representative of the community.
  • Contrary to corporate claims that ownership doesn’t influence or constrain news coverage, there is evidence that it does, at least in coverage of the giant media corporations themselves.
  • Some modest improvements (providing increased access for the left-of-centre Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in comparison to the right-of-centre Fraser Institute) have been offset by greater disparities in other areas, such as business and labour reporting.

Read the entire report here.