December 10, 2010

Media ignores victimized Native women

Are missing & murdered Aboriginal women not considered “newsworthy”?

By Martha TroianA new publication released today takes a critical look at the differences between news coverage for missing/murdered Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women.

In “'Newsworthy' Victims? Exploring differences in Canadian local press coverage of missing/murdered Aboriginal and White women,” Carleton University PhD candidate Kristen Gilchrist reveals what is evidently a sharp contrast in the amount and content of press coverage between these two groups.

Gilchrist examines news coverage of six cases of women who went missing or were murdered throughout 2003-2005; three were of Aboriginal descent from Saskatchewan, and three missing/murdered non-Aboriginal women from Ontario.

Gilchrist’s findings revealed the following:

  • Non-Aboriginal women were mentioned in the local press a total of 511 times compared to 82 times for Aboriginal women;

  • Aboriginal women received 53 articles compared to 187 articles for non-Aboriginal woman;

  • 135,249 words published in articles related to the non-Aboriginal women’s disappearances/murders, and 28,493 words about Aboriginal women;

  • 37% of the articles about non-Aboriginal women appeared on the front page versus 25% of articles about Aboriginal women.

  • Gilchrist also found that articles concerning missing/murdered Aboriginal women were often hidden and placed in so-called ‘soft news’ sections of papers.
    Comment:  Needless to say, how our culture and media portray women is a prime contributor to how we treat them. For instance, do we honor them as peacemakers or dismiss them as whores?

    For more on the subject, see:

    Native women = whores in SCALPED
    Irene Bedard abused
    Male warriors and female princesses
    Women and Indians as peacemakers
    500 red dresses for victimized women

    1 comment:

    Rob said...

    For more on the subject, see:

    More on why missing & murdered Aboriginal women are not considered “newsworthy”