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Journalist

After Monday’s election, a new chapter in Canada’s legacy begins. With my voter’s privilege and responsibility, I think deeply about the long-term impacts our representatives will have, and find myself increasingly grateful for sources of information that strive to be non-partisan and factual. To make up my own mind, I try to avoid being swayed by political media coverage that functions as entertainment, or crosses the line from persuasion to propaganda by causing emotional responses that might threaten my rational thinking.

Hopefully, the emotional responses can instead trigger a deeper look to see the calculated and creative decisions the funders and media makers have made.

The effect of media makers on politics is well-documented and worrisome. In particular is the role of media aesthetics, according to David Tucker, multiple award winning documentary writer, producer and director, and recently retired Associate Professor in Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts School of Media. Each media presentation is very carefully crafted through decisions including content, background locations and colours, lighting, sound, and camera angles. For example, when photos of political leaders are presented side by side, the subtle differences may suggest the bias of the media outlet. Headlines may slant the content of an article. Bias might be shown by whose opinion gets more space or whether it is placed to be read first or last. Bias is very difficult to avoid.

Journalists and media sources who report unbiased and balanced information have my deep appreciation. Here’s hoping their impact will be a rational electorate.

Eileen White
Wiarton, Ontario


 

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