Covering Difficult Stories about Minorities

How minority groups are covered by the media versus how minority groups WANT to be covered in the media are questions that come up year after year.  Isn’t airing the ‘dirty laundry’ the price of actual acceptance in a community or is it mere sensationalism? 

After the Toronto Life kerfuffle about its Asqa Parvez cover story, a number of groups complained that the latter was true, but is that the full story?  Hopefully there will be a vigorous debate during the South Asian Journalists’ Association (Toronto branch) upcoming panel discussion on this very issue.  

SAJA Toronto and the Centre for South Asian Studies present THE COMPLEXITIES OF ADDING SOME ‘COLOUR’: COVERING DIFFICULT STORIES ABOUT MINORITIES

Thursday January 22 at 7:00 pm (doors open 6:30 pm)

Room 201N, The Munk Centre for International Studies, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto

As reporters, we are often told a story needs to cover the five W’s:  Who, What, When, Where and Why?  But in a diverse city like Toronto, that simple definition can come with some complex baggage.

What happens when the story involves reporting on an ethnic minority, and airs some dirty laundry?  A drive-by shooting, a case of domestic violence or a social scandal?  How do these stories get discussed in the newsroom?  What happens when you go out in the field?  Do you need a deeper cultural understanding or is the racial/ethnic background even an issue?  What are the lines balanced between objectively covering what some would call a subjective topic?

SAJA Toronto and the Centre for South Asian Studies present a panel discussion with senior journalists from the country’s mainstream and ethnic media, looking at the process of covering diversity.  Panellists include Stewart Bell, senior reporter, National Post; Yudhvir Jaswal, publisher, MidWeek Newsweekly;  Naheed Mustafa, producer, CBC Radio;  Mary Rogan, freelance writer, author of Girl, Interrupted – a Toronto Life feature on the murder of Aqsa Parvez; and Angie Seth, News Anchor, OMNI News-South Asian Edition, at OMNI Television.

Moderator: Vinita Srivastava, Assistant Professor; Online Stream Director, Ryerson University School of Journalism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s