Ipperwash and the Media: Case Study of How an Aboriginal Confrontation was Covered

By John Miller.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A confrontation with police at Ipperwash Provincial Park in 1995 resulted in Canada’s first death of a First Nations protester in more than 100 years of land claims disputes. No media were present when police marched on a small band of protesters occupying the park, but nearly 400 newspaper articles appeared in the month after the shooting of Dudley George. These included 275 news articles, 64 opinion articles (editorials and columns) and 55 letters to the editor. These were analyzed to determine how they conformed to journalistic standards of verification and accuracy: Which sources were relied on; how were the stories framed; whose version of events was given prominence; was the opinion based on fact or stereotypes? This analysis found significant problems with the coverage. It also developed a new “framing” model for stories involving aboriginal-police confrontation.

Keywords: Aboriginal, First Nations, Media, Confrontations, Canada, Journalism, Conflict Reporting

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 579.445KB).

Prof. John Miller

Professor, School of Journalism, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Professor of journalism at Ryerson University and author of Yesterday’s News, a critique about daily newspaper journalism. He is one of Canada’s leading researchers on media and minorities, having published a 10-year census of daily newsrooms (1994-2004) and several content analyses. His research helped him develop a course that has been mandatory for Ryerson journalism students for eight years, Covering Diversity. It won for Ryerson the prestigious Award of Excellence from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Miller is a former newspaper executive with the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily paper.

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