Amateur reporting affecting the validity of crime journalism

Steven Avery, the focus of crime documentary Making a Murderer, in a lineup

As sensationalist crime reporting becomes more popular, some are questioning its accuracy, and the impact that it can have on public opinion

By Amanda Henderson Jones and Victor Depois

From bloggers to YouTubers, many content creators portray themselves as journalists in spite of the lack of quality control of these platforms. With the development of streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube, crime reporting has undergone major changes.

While the content they produce is often categorized as true crime – a non-fiction genre in which the author examines an actual crime and details the actions of real people – experts like criminologist Michael Arntfield are worried that these creators are more focused on entertainment than facts.

Continue reading →

Unpaid internships in Quebec: media workers not spared

Concerns are raised about whether working for free is worth the experience gained

A student holds a poster that says “Working for Free?! No Thanks” at a protest on Nov. 21 in Montreal. Courtesy of Mackenzie Lad

By Mina Mazumder and Raphael Pirro

The recent student strike against unpaid internships had the media focusing on a situation that touches tens of thousands of students across Quebec. Among the 39 student associations actively protesting unpaid internships, only one represented students in the field of media, journalism and communications.

Continue reading →

Fighting for equality in sports journalism

Their numbers are growing, yet women continue to face harassment in the male-dominated field

Jessica Rusnak in a media scrum in the Montreal Canadiens dressing room. Photo courtesy Chantal Poirier

By Tim Abdiyev and Lissa Albert

When Jessica Rusnak was a rookie reporter for Montreal’s English sports radio station, she found herself at a post-game press conference after a 5-4 loss, asking then-coach of the Montreal Canadiens Jacques Martin what she knew was a tough question.

Continue reading →

Seeking the truth in the age of fake news

 

Left, U.K. tabloid The Sun, June 2004. Right, Quebec-based fake news site,World Daily News Report Nov. 2018

Quebec news may attract a smaller audience than U.S. politics but the francophone province still has to protect itself from fake news and misinformation

By Alexia Martel and Nicholas Ward

Alexandre Bissonnette burst into a mosque in Quebec City, killing six and injuring eight on Jan. 29 2016. This terrible incident could have resulted in an explosion of fake news, like in the United States, where similar incidents such as the Boston bombing saw significant misinformation, but it didn’t. Following the mosque shooting, Quebec media was not taken over by attacks of racism or name calling as the ones that took place after the Boston marathon. The few far right websites that accused the shooter of being a converted islamist or a white supremacist were quickly refuted by fact checkers, and subsequently lapsed into silence.

Continue reading →

Is Canadian media open enough to LGBTQ journalists?

Marchers at the Montreal Pride Parade, 2017. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons

By Anthony Fortugno and Kiara Bernard

“I like to think institutions would judge a potential job candidate simply based on their skill and experience and not on their physical presentation,” says Jill Page, an openly bisexual transgender woman working as an editor and columnist at the Montreal Gazette. 

Continue reading →

Media struggle in Thunder Bay

Seven deaths were investigated through a coroner’s inquest in Thunder Bay. Courtesy of CBC.

 

Nine dead indigenous teenagers in Thunder Bay. No convictions. A new podcast tackles the town’s troubling problems.

By Aviva Lessard and Hussein Kamel

Between 2000 and 2011, seven indigenous teenagers died in Thunder Bay, Ont. Since then, two more have been added to the list. Seven of the bodies were found in the rivers.

In 2015-2016, an inquest was ordered by the Ontario coroner’s office after the families of the deceased students and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation lobbied for years. It looked into the deaths of Jethro Anderson, 15, Curran Strang, 18, Paul Panacheese, 21, Robyn Harper, 18, Reggie Bushie, 15, Kyle Morrisseau, 17, and Jordan Wabasse, 15. There have been no convictions for any of the deaths. Many feel that foul play may have been involved, but police have deemed most of the deaths as undetermined.

Over the years, lack of media coverage of these young murdered teens has left many wondering why more solid reporting hasn’t been done.

Continue reading →

Back to work: New evidence shows growing interest in labour reporting

Unionized workers in front of a SAQ, Montreal. Photo courtesy Arielle De Pagter

 

By Paula Dayan and Thomas Delbano

When 23-year-old Amina Diaby, a refugee and temporary worker at a Toronto-area industrial bakery died from a work accident, Toronto Star reporter Sara Mojtehedzadeh decided to go work undercover at the plant to find out more. As the Work and Wealth reporter of the paper, she had spent three years researching and covering various stories of precarious work in Canada. Diaby’s death was not the first one at that plant.

Continue reading →

Russia: where activist journalism can get you killed

Kremlin

For Isi Leibler, leaving the country was the only alternative

By Vlad Egorov

Despite the presence of heavily armed airport security, Isi Leibler felt the sense of danger lift when she returned to Israel in 2007. The Tel Aviv native had been working as a journalist in Russia for seven years, covering domestic and international politics during Vladimir Putin’s time in office. “It was like something from a movie, almost unbelievable,’’ Leibler recalls. “I was always feeling like I was being followed, many times I even saw people taking pictures of me.’’ After receiving threats via anonymous mail demanding that she stop writing critically about Putin’s regime, Leibler decided to move back to her home country.

Continue reading →

Too little, too late

Media continues to ignore the victims of human trafficking

By William Loweryson 

Sarah Brody’s life began unravelling at the age of 17 in Montreal. Sarah (not her real name) was first approached through friends by a young and charming man. Flattered by his attention, his promises of money, groceries and drugs, Sarah began to feel as though her abject life was taking a turn for the better.  “I became totally dependent on him,” she says.

Just weeks after their first encounter, the man told her that he wanted payback for everything, and that she would have to work for him to do so. She submitted, fearful of his violent temper and threats. “What seemed like an easy way out, turned out to be the hardest years of my life,” she says.

Continue reading →

Radio playground for local artists

UdeM’s CISM tops Quebec francophone university radio charts

By Simon Tousignant

The inconspicuous door, one of thousands around Université de Montréal, stands atop a flight of steep stairs overlooking Blvd. Édouard-Montpetit. Its only distinctive aspect, a small CISM sign with faded lettering, is nailed to the door’s left side. The door’s tiny window is plastered by band stickers; some old, some new. Few passersby know that this door leads to one of the biggest francophone university radios in the world.

Continue reading →