Brawn: Lessons from lecture fresh as headlines

Fresh from attending the Electoral Reform Town Hall at King’s University College where the influence of the media on the electoral process was one of the focuses in the break-out group in which I participated, imagine how pleased I was to see an example of an aspect of this phenomenon when I picked up a copy of the Western News.

In a three-column story spread across the front of the front page of this issue was an article headlined, Feds applaud BrainsCan potential to lead the world (Sept. 15). What I find interesting is that a quote by Peter Fragiskatos, MP-London North Centre, forms the entire first paragraph of the story. The second paragraph begins:

“Fragiskatos joined Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West …”

The article continues describing the funding announcement and the excellence and importance of the program.

What I want to know is, how particularly important were Young and Fragiskatos in the selection of this research group for funding by the granting institution of the Government of Canada? Of course Fragiskatos and Young are Liberal members of Parliament. I might ask the two other London-area Members of Parliament, Irene Mathyssen and Karen Vechio, if they would have been opposed to the allocations of funds to this project. As well, it would be appropriate to point out the funding mentioned in the article for the program came from the Government of Canada. The money the Government of Canada allocates comes from funds in which all of the people of Canada have an interest.

By reporting in this way, the media – of which Western News is a part of – influences the way people perceive certain electable individuals.

I hope I have made my point.

Roderic Russell Brawn