Ethnic media’s coverage of Canada’s federal election closely mirrors mainstream press

Coverage of my analysis:

An analysis of how ethnic media covered the federal election suggests their approach mirrored that of the mainstream press, findings the study’s author says highlight a key point about the so-called “ethnic vote” in Canada.

“One can’t assume nor should one assume that the ethnic vote in Canada is separate than the mainstream vote,” said Andrew Griffith, a former director of multiculturalism policy for the federal government.

Griffith undertook the analysis as part of an election effort called Diversity Votes, a project aimed at providing a deeper understanding of the ethnocultural makeup of the electoral map, and its implications.

The growing diversity of the Canadian electorate has seen the federal parties finding more ways to woo voters in specific ethnic groups, especially in ridings where single communities have enough voters to swing a race.

In the 2019 campaign, that took the form of everything from promises targeted directly to certain communities, ads in a variety of languages and, in a first, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh answering questions in Punjabi, which he speaks fluently.

But Griffith said that despite what the campaigns may have been trying to do, his findings show the ethnic press were covering the same issues as the mainstream media.

Ethics, relations with China and climate change were widely covered, as were the parties’ strategies and tactics, which he said was partially a reflection of the use of translated stories from the English or French press.

The Liberals and the Conservatives received equal coverage throughout the campaign. Before the race began in earnest in September, the People’s Party of Canada, along with its controversial positions on multiculturalism and immigration, received more coverage than the Greens or the NDP.

The NDP finally got a boost after the first English-language debate, where Singh was praised for his performance.

Singh’s candidacy marked a milestone in Canadian politics, as he is the first visible minority leader of a major political party. Still, Griffith said that Punjabi-language outlets, as well as those serving the Punjabi community in places like Singh’s home base of Brampton, Ont., focused far more on the local campaigns overall.

The 2019 election saw an increase of visible-minority candidates, with the biggest rise coming from the NDP.

In 2015, according to Griffith, 13 per cent of their candidates were visible minorities, and that rose to 22.9 per cent in 2019.

The number of ridings where visible minorities represented 50 per cent or more of the population rose from 33 per cent in 2015 to 41 per cent in 2019, according to census data he analysed. [Note: 33 ridings to 41 ridings, not percent.]

Griffith’s review of media coverage examined 2,500 stories in outlets representing a variety of different language groups, as well as publications in English that cater nearly exclusively to specific communities.

The goal was to assess whether someone relying exclusively on the ethnic media would have a comparable understanding of the issues to those who rely on mainstream news outlets, and the research suggested they would.

“In other words, rather than ethnic media providing a parallel and separate space and reinforcing silos, ethnic media for the most part serves an important role in political integration through its coverage of the main political issues common to all Canadians,” the analysis concluded.

Source: Ethnic media’s coverage of Canada’s federal election closely mirrors mainstream press

My report: Ethnic media 2019 Election Coverage: Commonalities and Differences

Ethnic media election coverage 29 October to November 3

Latest weekly analysis of ethnic media coverage. For the analytical narrative, go to Ethnic media election coverage 29 October to 3 November:

 

This is the last of the weekly analyses. The complete set can be found at: Ethnic Media Coverage.

I will be working on a summary report over the next few weeks regarding the close to 2,500 articles monitored 20 July to 3 November, building upon my pre-writ analysis in Policy Options, How does ethnic media campaign coverage differ?.

Ethnic media election coverage 21-28 October

Latest weekly analysis of ethnic media coverage. For the analytical narrative, go to Ethnic media election coverage 21-28 October:

Ethnic media election coverage 13-20 October

Latest weekly analysis of ethnic media coverage. For the analytical narrative, go to Ethnic media election coverage 13-20 October:

Ethnic media election coverage 7-12 October

Latest weekly analysis of ethnic media coverage. For the analytical narrative, go to Ethnic media election coverage 7-12 October:

Ethnic media election coverage 29 September to 5 October

Latest weekly analysis of ethnic media coverage. For the analytical narrative, go to Ethnic media election coverage 29 September to 5 October: UPDATE

How does ethnic media campaign coverage differ? My analysis in Policy Options

Drawing on over 1200 ethnic media pieces in the eight weeks prior to the election call as part of diversityvotes.ca, my analysis assesses the major themes and issues covered:

Canadians who rely on ethnic media as their main information source receive coverage of issues comparable to that of mainstream media.

A major focus of this 2019 election for the various campaigns will be courting voters from immigrant and visible minority communities, who are a majority of the population in 41 ridings, and 20 percent or more in an additional 93 ridings.

For full article: How does ethnic media campaign coverage differ?

Ethnic media election coverage 22-28 September

Latest weekly analysis of ethnic media coverage. For the analytical narrative, go to Ethnic media election coverage 22-28 September:

Ethnic media election coverage 15-21 September

Latest weekly analysis of ethnic media coverage. For the analytical narrative, go to Ethnic media election coverage 15-21 September:

Ethnic media election coverage 8-14 September

Latest weekly analysis of ethnic media coverage. For the analytical narrative, go to Ethnic media election coverage 8-14 September: