Media Coverage of Carleton Arrests
Just a thought, folks. Has anyone else been following the media coverage of the shameful arrest of peaceful pro-life protesters at Carleton University? Today an article came out in the National Post’s Holy Post section that I thought was interesting. Although it didn’t really focus on the insanity of arresting a group of peaceful protesters for “trespassing” on their own campus, which they paid thousands of dollars every year to attend, or why pro-life protests should be required to host their protests in a small auditorium off the beaten track (no doubt the Carleton Student Union’s next move would have been to move them in a basement behind a locked door). However, it was a fairly thoughtful piece about the use of graphic images in the pro-life movement, specifically the GAP protest style, and whether by using it they were doing more harm than good. This got me thinking about how the other major newspapers are framing the issue. After all this is a big story, right? Students get arrested on campus for protesting. If this had been a protest against the war or other human rights causes, arrests would be all over the newspapers, right? I should have known better. In my scouring of the Internet, I found a short story piece by the Ottawa Citizen… and nothing else. I scanned the major news outlets in Canada, the CBC, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, The Globe And Mail… not a single one had picked up the story. A full three days after the Carleton University students were arrested and, besides the National Post, the greatest source of news on this issue is an independent blog associated with the Vancouver Sun. Not a single major news outlet thinks it’s in the best interest of Canadians to know that a group of protesters have been arrested by their university in blatant violation of their right to free speech. In fact, here is a fun piece of trivia for you: what is the first thing that comes up when you type in “student arrested for protest Canada”. That’s right, we do. In the whole country our humble blog is the first thing to come up on what should be a huge media story. I don’t know whether to be flattered or horrified. My dearest wish is that somehow I am wrong, that by the time I post this I will be made a fool of a media storm sweeping down to express outrage at the violation of these protesters’ rights. However, given my experience in the movement, I’m not holding my breath.