Media Constructs Reality: News Coverage of Ontario’s Minimum Wage Increase Slanted Heavily Towards Business Interests



An analysis by PressProgress (Source) of dozens of news articles covering the province’s recent minimum wage increase reveals Canadian newspapers overwhelmingly privileged the perspective of businesses over the perspective of Ontario’s low-wage workers.



Three-quarters of all news coverage (75%) between December 31, 2017 and January 4th, 2018 greeting the new minimum wage – including news reports, opinion columns and editorials – directly quoted or cited figures from business owners, bankers and corporate lobby groups.



Despite a body of credible research from academic sources showing minimum wage increases have clear economic benefits and 53 Canadian economists endorsing the policy, half of all news articles (50%) failed to list any economic benefits whatsoever from raising the minimum wage.

Instead, headlines were dominated by misleading claims of job losses and anecdotes from small business owners.

Full article  HERE

Keep in mind the Mass Media Principles when evaluating any type of media text , journalism, advertisement, cinema, television, music & video,magazines, novels and factual reportage, and any social media.




Constructed Reality & Unintended Messages: Visual Context

Mass Media constructs reality.  Placement of text and visuals  builds associations & context. This in turn conveys messages, both intended and unintended, which contribute to values, beliefs & ideologies.

Links to actual articles:

Trump’s London visit still uncertain after call with May as tensions continue

Some clownfish have no personality, Australian study finds


10,000 Strong Peacefully Protest In Downtown Baltimore, Media Only Reports The Violence & Arrest of Dozens | BLACK WESTCHESTER

10,000 people from across the country peacefully protested in Baltimore in support of the seeking of justice of the death of Freddie Gray. Despite the fact that 100 of the 10,000 acted up and approximately 35 people were arrested after the peaceful protest, (that’s about 1%), much of the mainstream media used attention grabbing words in their headlines like ‘Protest Turns Destructive, (USA Today)’ ‘Scenes of Chaos In Baltimore… (NY Times), Dozens Arrested After Protest Turns Violent (WBAL TV). One website’s headlines read: 1,000 Black Rioters In Baltimore Smash Police Cars, Attack Motorists In Frenzied Protest.

The truth is you had 10,000 plus people come together in unity in support of the fight for justice for Freddie Gray. While the numbers vary, 100 or so were the ones you saw acting up on the news and the 35 persons who were arrested were the ones you read about. But reporting that won’t bring in the ratings that attract a heavy advertising revenue.

AJ Woodson’s   excellent reporting of news biases  demonstrates the basic  Mass Media Principles using recent examples from the American news media’s accounts of the Baltimore Protest Rally. News reporting is a business that has a specific target audience.  It constructs a reality to re-enforce  the values, beliefs & ideologies  of that target audience.  In doing so, it also shapes others’ beliefs & expectations by presenting factual information that is  wrapped in a distortion of emotional hype and visual hyperbole.

Since most people in America & Canada  take in the news in a visual form, as opposed to detailed textual analysis,  emphasis is put on action and emotion.  Scenes of action & emotion are more easily conveyed, but they leave out  cause, effect and linear process that extends into the past in any detail.  Responses to the information increase the tendency towards  quick action based on emotions not rational informed dialogue.

Read the full article for Woodson’s full analysis.


via 10,000 Strong Peacefully Protest In Downtown Baltimore, Media Only Reports The Violence & Arrest of Dozens | BLACK WESTCHESTER.

via 10,000 Strong Peacefully Protest In Downtown Baltimore, Media Only Reports The Violence & Arrest of Dozens | BLACK WESTCHESTER.

Extra ! Extra ! The Golden Age of Journalism

The Golden age of Journalism ? Or……….. The Twilight Age of Journalism ?

On the Sunday Edition (CBC) for June 22 2014, Michael Enright interviewed James Compton . Compton teaches Information and Media Studies at Western University in London, Ontario, and is the co-author, with Paul Benedetti , of a recent article called The Golden Age of Journalism? You’ve Got To Be Kidding.

The core ideas that are explored in the article and interview are related to both the basic Mass Media Principles of Target Audience and Business Interest. The essential observation that Compton and Benedetti are making is that, in the current age of Digital Media, professional journalism is being required to set criteria based on the business needs of the publisher, rather than the higher goals of journalism. The criteria that is used is based on the model of Digital Media. The journalist must produce articles (content) that attracts hits and moves the viewer to other related information (content).


Articles & information are not necessarily news – nor do they have to be in-depth analysis of events and current social/political conditions. Brevity and clicks out weigh careful lengthy analytical reporting. In such an environment, emotional connections and human needs govern the newsworthiness & appeal of a topic or an event. As in advertising, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs govern the shape and delivery of the message (content).

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Of even greater concern, according to the essayists, is the present business model of online journalism leads to fewer and fewer working for less and less – crowd sourcing and volunteerism/internship generating cheap quick content becomes the norm.

Obviously there has always been a tension between publisher’s business interests and investigative journalism’s goals of truth and analysis.The essayists point out that present Digital Mass Media  delivery systems and related technology increases that tension, offering few opportunities for an alternative model to arise.

Technological change has always driven journalism – the expression “hot off the presses “ is not just an old movie cliché.

As Social Media and the ubiquitous digital devices makes news gathering and transmission faster and faster, expectations for gathering and holding the market share of the target audience becomes crucial. The Globe & Mail has taken an interesting approach – Seek out a very specific target audience to make their “upscale” magazine quality newsprint affordable.

The publisher, Phillip Crawley, delivered these comments at the World Publishing Expo(Oct. 8, 2013) in Berlin – “We are really only interested in readers who earn more than $100,000,” . Create a high-end fashion, life style, business oriented publication that can feature high-end products in glossy full-page advertisement. Not exactly Canada’s National newspaper anymore.

New approaches need to be found to bring the journalism into the 21st century, but will it still be journalism ?