Cloaked Meaning and Moral Craftwork: Progress and Perpetual Problems in the News Coverage of Indigenous Peoples and Canada's Justice System




framing, cbc, investigative journalism, journalism, media, reporting, hegemony, power, Indigenous Peoples, Canada, Justice system


Background: This research offers a critical analysis of the “moral craftwork” of the news media’s coverage of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and the justice system.

Analysis: This study’s thematic analysis of three case studies, spanning almost two decades, suggests a potential shift in how Canadian journalists report on racism and structural inequalities. Recent news coverage points toward a more transparent dialogue about racism.

Conclusions and implications: This study finds problematic journalistic practices linger, occluding a broader understanding of racism and colonialism. This research aims to expand the reflexivity of journalists by spotlighting this type of storytelling.

Contexte : Cette recherche offre une analyse critique de « l’artisanat moral » relatif à la couverture du système judiciaire et des peuples autochtones au Canada par les médias d’information.

Analyse : Cet article effectue l’analyse thématique de trois études de cas portant sur presque deux décennies de reportages. Il indique une transformation possible dans la manière dont les journalistes canadiens traitent du racisme et des inégalités structurelles. En effet, depuis peu, le reportage d’actualités semble appuyer un dialogue plus transparent sur le racisme.

Conclusion et implications : Cette étude remarque cependant que des pratiques journalistiques
problématiques perdurent, empêchant une meilleure compréhension du racisme et du colonialisme. En soulignant ces lacunes, cette recherche aspire à encourager la réflexivité parmi les journalistes.

Author Biography

Brooks DeCillia, University of Calgary

Brooks DeCillia is a longtime journalist and public broadcaster. For more than a decade, Brooks was a national reporter with CBC News, first in Saskatchewan and then in Alberta. His reports regularly aired on CBC Television's The National and CBC Radio One programs, including the World at Six and World Report. Brooks covered stories across Canada, South Asia, Europe and the United States, and was embedded with Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. After working in network news, Brooks became the executive producer of CBC News in Calgary.

Brooks read political communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) as a Chevening Scholar, obtaining a Masters of Science. In December 2017, Brooks completed his PhD at the LSE. His research findings about the media coverage of Canada's military mission in Afghanistan were published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science.

Brooks researches public opinion and nexus of journalism and political communication. These days, he's studying public opinion about renewable energy.  

Brooks likes to ski, bike and take photos.