Racist cop shows, biased news fuel public fears of crime

Portrayals of violent crime in pop culture and media are skewing people's perception of how likely it is to happen to them, says U of A expert

Racist cop shows, biased news fuel public fears of crimeU.S. President Donald Trump tweeted recently that defunding the police would “be good for Robbers & Rapists.” Last week, after signing his tepid executive order on policing, he proffered that “without police, there is chaos.” The reality, however, is that violent crime – the kind that people often think of when rationalizing the need for a…

How did we become so untrusting?

A look at the last 50 years shows a great deal of social change – and a great deal we should have misgivings about

How did we become so untrusting?I’ve been challenged by the content on social media (and televised news) of late. Several friends and colleagues are recoiling from it as well. It all feels so dramatic, so polarizing, so one-sided. How did we get here? How did we become those people? Did we stop trusting everyone suddenly or did the feeling creep…

Traditional media faces uphill battle

Social media account for more than half of ad revenue not because of content but because of superior marketing tools

Traditional media faces uphill battleBy Paz Gómez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Over the years, the legacy press has gone from arrogance to hysteria as social-media firms eat up its advertising lunch. Rather than adjust to modern trends, the once-feared fourth estate is now begging from the institution it’s supposed to watch. Canadian newspapers have joined global…

We need to talk about racism

Racism isn’t easy to discuss, but we shouldn’t shy away from it or we’ll never stop wounds from being inflicted

We need to talk about racismIs our society afraid to discuss the issue of racism?  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest most people would rather not broach this subject. It doesn’t constitute a pleasant conversation at the dinner table or coffee shop, and it can lead to tense moments with family members, friends and loved ones. But while racism…

Want to pay for medical supplies? Stop funding CBC

Our health-care budgets were already greatly strained before the COVID-19 crisis; they’re completely blown out now

Want to pay for medical supplies? Stop funding CBCTwo of the major issues arising from the current medical emergency and lockdown are how much it would cost to prepare for a similar crisis and how Canadians would pay for it (as well as pay for the one we’re enduring). The N95 particulate mask is deemed necessary to ensure that neither the wearer nor…

The White House’s internal battle with COVID-19

The positive cases in the White House have far more to do with America’s battle against the virus than Trump’s choices

The White House’s internal battle with COVID-19Governments around the world have dealt with the pandemic not only in terms of policy, but also personal health and well-being. A smattering of cabinet ministers, backbenchers and diplomats have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Iranian Vice-President Masoumeh Ebtekar, Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Israeli Health Minister Yaakov…

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?

Once a subscription model is implemented, BBC will only survive if it produces content people actually want to watch

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?In February, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said the government had “no intention” of imposing licensing requirements on news organisations and will not “try to regulate new content.” The clarification came after Guilbeault told CTV’s Evan Solomon precisely the opposite. During an episode of Question Period, he explained how Canadian news media organisations should be…

A dose of COVID-19 reality

We need to put the numbers in context, take a close look at Germany's health-care system and be prepared to exit the lockdown

A dose of COVID-19 realityLast week’s column was my first on COVID-19. Here are some further thoughts. Numbers in context A perpetual peeve relates to raw numbers being headlined without reference to the relevant denominator. If you don’t have that context, you get a potentially misleading story. COVID-19 deaths are a striking example. There’s been much focus on the…

We need clarity in this time of crisis

Politicians and commentators have an important role during COVID-19: deliver simple, effective messaging

We need clarity in this time of crisisDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, medical and health experts have provided us with important statistics, charts and analysis on a near-daily basis. At the same time, politicians and governments have introduced everything from wage subsidies to warnings about social distancing. Some information has been easy to understand. But most of it has been difficult for average…
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