Today's Date: March 4, 2024
IceCure's ProSense® a Promising Alternative Treatment for Extra-Pelvis Endometriosis: Independent Study Presented at ECR 202   •   OpenSSF and Linux Foundation Training & Certification Announce Scholarships to Support Women in Jordan Entering the Cybersec   •   Therapeutic Solutions International Granted Patent on Commercially Available QuadraMune® Nutraceutical for Increasing Natura   •   Beam Suntory and University of Kentucky Advance Strategic Partnership: $9.3M Investment for the James B. Beam Institute for Kent   •   Pittsburgh Public Schools Host Taste Test for National School Breakfast Week with Healthier Generation, UPMC Children's Hospital   •   Insight Recognized as One of Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for 2024   •   Paychex Named One of The World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere for 16th Time   •   Sinclair and Reading Is Fundamental Launch Sinclair Cares: Supporting Children’s Literacy   •   JCPenney Celebrates Women’s History Month Through Community Grant Initiative   •   Just Salad Serves Up Lunchtime Nostalgia with Reusable Bowls Featuring Beloved Sesame Street Characters   •   nVent Named One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies®   •   Senior Living Communities Use Technology to Provide High Level of Care, Reassurance to Family Members   •   MAKING THE MARCH BREAK OF CHAMPIONS - THERE'S A (SCOUTS CANADA) APP FOR THAT   •   US Foods Doubles Down on Community Giving Support With Nearly $2 Million in Additional Funding   •   Mendez National Institute of Transplantation Foundation Launches "Do You Know?" Kidney Awareness Campaign   •   America250 Launches New Nationwide Student Contest: ‘America’s Field Trip’   •   FS is the first ethanol producer in the world to receive ISCC CORSIA Low LUC Risk certification for SAF production   •   Ranpak to Hold Conference Call to Discuss Fourth Quarter 2023 Results   •   Christian Art Announces the Inaugural Laudamus Award for Sacred Art - £25,000 First Prize   •   INSOL International Names John T. Young, Jr. of Neinda Advisors in 2024 Fellowship Class
Bookmark and Share

Low-Income Neighborhoods Bad Rep Tied To Lack Of Media Resources

 The crime beat is an integral part of news media. Urban news consumers especially expect to see the latest violent crime recaps on their nightly newscasts and across the pages of their local papers. But if you think your news is increasingly composed of crime stories, you might not be wrong. According to one Ryerson University researcher, today’s lean newsrooms and tighter deadlines are having an unintended outcome: low-income, urban neighbourhoods are being underrepresented in media while their crime stories are being over-reported.

April Lindgren, professor in Ryerson’s School of Journalism, authored a study that examined news coverage of 13 troubled neighbourhoods in Toronto. Designated by the city, United Way Toronto and a task force of civic leaders as “priority areas,” these regions struggle with poverty, and inadequate social services and infrastructure. Her work set out to investigate the amount of coverage these areas received, as well as the nature of the coverage.

Lindgren’s team conducted a content analysis involving 28 issues of the city’s most widely read newspaper, the Toronto Star, between January and August 2008. To avoid overrepresentation of major news events, newspapers were chosen using constructed week sampling (e.g. Monday from the first week, Tuesday from the next week, etc). From there, spatial/geographic references in news articles and photographs were used to create a visual map of media coverage. Three distinct geographic areas were included in the study: the priority neighbourhoods, the downtown core and 96 non-priority neighbourhoods surrounding the city centre. Among Lindgren’s findings was imbalanced news coverage of low-income, urban neighbourhoods.

The downtown core received more extensive coverage than the priority and non-priority neighbourhoods. Furthermore, sports and arts/entertainment stories dominated news coverage in the downtown core, accounting for 38.4 per cent of downtown coverage.

In comparison, police-related topics were the most common subject matter (31.15 per cent) dealt with in news items that mentioned locations in the priority areas. This finding, however, conflicts with local crime indicators, which suggest that criminal activities are more likely to occur in the downtown core than in the priority neighbourhoods.

The discrepancy, Lindgren believes, may be due to the realities of modern journalism. “Newsrooms are spread thin, and police news is cheap to produce and easy to come by,” said Lindgren. “Some reporters, for example, work out of bureaus located in police stations. What’s more, police services issue frequent news releases and make media relations officers available to talk to reporters, making for convenient story writing.”

Lindgren points out that crime news also dominates media coverage of priority areas because there is so little reporting of other issues from those communities. “There are very few stories about other topics, partly I think, because news organizations say they cannot afford to have reporters stationed full-time in neighbourhood bureaus,” Lindgren said.

The emphasis on crime news may contribute significantly to the negative stereotyping that shapes the internal and external opinions of priority communities, and may undermine strategies to address social exclusion and poverty.

Lindgren points out that the problem is not limited to the Toronto Star. “The issues that came to light in the study are probably writ large in other media, too,” she says. “All media outlets are constrained by a lack of time, personnel and money. I’m not advocating for nice, feel-good stories, but to really understand what is happening in the priority neighbourhoods, we need stories that don’t just focus on crime and policing.”

Lindgren’s research is part of a larger, ongoing project that examines the news media’s role in cities. “News, Geography and Disadvantages: Mapping Newspaper Coverage of High-needs Neighbourhoods in Toronto, Canada” was published in the summer 2009 issue of the Canadian Journal of Urban Research

Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers close to 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to 28,000 students, including 2,000 master’s and PhD students, nearly 2,700 tenured and tenure-track faculty and staff, and more than 130,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit 
www.ryerson.ca

Source: Ryerson University

 



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News