The Mass Media and Political Crisis: Reporting Canada's Constitutional Struggles

David Taras

Abstract


Abstract: This article examines media coverage of the Meech Lake and Canada rounds of the constitutional crisis. How media reporting may have influenced the negotiation process, the controversies that erupted over alleged political bias in the CBC's reporting and over the wide differences that seemed to separate anglophone and francophone journalists and the difficulties that television seemed to have in conveying complex issues are the central themes that are explored. It uses Joshua Meyrowitz's work to examine the extent to which television may have created a ``shared arena'' that intruded on and transformed the constitution-making process. Résumé: Cet article analyse la couverture médiatique donnée au débat constitutionnel, à l'Accord du Lac Meech et à la crise qui les a entourés. L'article explore certains thèmes comme l'influence des reportages sur le processus de négociation, les controverses à propos des allégations de distorsion dans les reportages de la CBC et les profondes différences qui semblent séparer les journalistes anglophones de leurs collègues francophones, de même que les difficultés que rencontre la télévision quand il s'agit d'expliquer des questions complexes. A l'aide des théories de Joshua Meyrowitz, l'article tente de cerner dans quelle mesure la télévision réussit à créer un forum commun qui s'insère de manière active dans le processus constitutionnel.

Keywords


Mass media; Constitution; Meech Lake; CBC; Anglophone/Francophone journalists; Television

Full Text: HTML


DOI: https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.1993v18n2a741

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