Archive for April 17th, 2015|Daily archive page

The challenges of reporting on Quebec student protests | J-Source

J-Source is the Canadian Journalism Project, a meta-organisation examining the (more or less lamentable) state of journalism in Canada. The article on the Québec protests against the raising of post-secondary schooling fees is interesting, though narrow: there is no deep investigation of the Whys mobilising the students–nor of the logic that enables the police, particularly in Montréal, to act so brutishly and as if they had been trained in Ferguson, USA. (There’s a history of Montréal police violence against visible minorities, for one. But Montréal is hardly unique; all the big Canadian cities have shown themselves to be…. big cities.)

But to return to the issue here, the student protest and journalism on it. The Québec protests are not unique. This spring saw protests by graduate student employees and contract staff at the major Toronto universities, York University and the University of Toronto. Both these are very large, very complex (with overlapping department areas) and compromised by their embrace of a tiered faculty system that has succeeded in codifying a veritable faculty caste system.

The issues were as complex as the universities’ layered histories could make them. Yet there was little deep investigation, little analysis of the dynamics in play, of the personalities, of the actualities. Instead, there was stale narrative.

The challenges of reporting on Quebec student protests | J-Source.

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