The GMMP and Gilchrist’s article have provided us with critical tools for assessing and analyzing gendered and racialized press coverage in Canada and across the world. In her article about the distinctions between representations of white and Indigenous missing women in Canada, Gilchrist reveals that what is at stake here is not simply that some people are under represented or even misrepresented. She argues that the symbolic annihilation of Indigenous women “contributes to Aboriginal women’s unequal treatment in other societal domains, further entrenching their marginalization in Canadian society.” This is a vital observation to make about the role that representations play in sustaining systems of power. Gilchrist and the many feminist scholars upon whom she draws in her research reveal that there fundamental racialized inequalities at play in the news. They also reveal that through the news and press coverage, inequalities and injustices are readily explained away through the deployment of what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie describes as “single stories.”
The fundamental observation of this module, and indeed a key claim of this course, is that representations – even those representations that we might presume to be trustworthy – often fail to tell a full story.
Draw on your reading of Kristen Gilchrist’s article on Newsworthy Victims to answer the True/False questions in this question set:
And now for some questions about the module as a whole:
CHALLENGE ONE: Select a news article that reports on some form of violence or assault on a cis- or trans-woman. Your article should be from a major American or Canadian newspaper or news site, published in the last five years. Using the method of interpretive analysis modeled by Kristen Gilchrist in the scholarly article we read this week, consider how this article reproduces – or perhaps challenges – ideas about “worthy” victims.
Not sure where to start? The University of Alberta library provides access to a database called Canadian Newsstream. Here, you can find full text access to major Canadian Newspapers including: Edmonton Journal, Regina Leader Post, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, and the Globe and Mail.
CHALLENGE TWO: Explore this infographic from the Global Media Monitoring Project. Use the method outlined by GMMP project to gather information about the representations of gender in an hour of local or national broadcast news. Create a chart to collect data and share what you’ve learned. How does the news that you studied compare to statistics provided by GMMP?
Remember to check into eClass to submit upcoming activities and assignments, participate in the discussion board, and communicate with your instructor.