The Toronto - 18 Terror Case: Trial by Media? How Newspaper Opinion Framed Canada’s Biggest Terrorism Case

By John Miller and Cybele Sack.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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

Toronto newspapers were quick to deliver opinions when 18 suspects were arrested on terrorism charges in 2006. An analysis of 225 columns, editorials and letters to the editor shows that a significant portion of the published commentary raised unreasonable public alarm, cast suspicion on the followers of a major religion and impugned Islam itself, failed to subject the allegations of the Canadian government and security officials to rigorous scrutiny, and predicted guilt before the suspects were able to exercise their democratic rights to a fair trial.

Keywords: Muslim, Terrorism Suspects, War on Terrorism, Media Coverage, Opinion Columns, Trial by Media

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.279-296. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 695.720KB).

Prof. John Miller

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

Professor emeritus of journalism at Ryerson University and author of Yesterday’s News, a critique about Canada’s daily newspaper journalism. He is one of Canada’s leading researchers on media and minorities, having published a 10-year diversity census of daily newsrooms (1994-2004) and several content analyses. His research and innovative teaching won him the 2009 Career Achievement Award at Ryerson. He is an award-winning reporter and a former senior news executive with the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper. He came to Ryerson in 1986 as chairman of the School of Journalism.

Cybele Sack

Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Cybele Sack completed another research project with John Miller that was published in this journal as “Ipperwash and the Media: Case Study of How an Aboriginal Confrontation was Covered” (Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.1-10). She has also worked as a researcher for CBC News and the New York Times, as a chase producer and field producer for CTV News (producing live interviews for Newsnet), as a freelance journalist for the Globe and Mail and other publications, and as a documentary and current affairs intern for TVOntario. She has a journalism degree for university graduates from Ryerson University, a diploma in television broadcasting from Algonquin College and a Bachelor of Science from Trent University. Before focusing on journalism, Cybele worked in television and video production for various companies, including CTV Ottawa, Global News, Rogers Television and Stonehaven Productions. She also worked in policy and communications for Parks Canada.


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