News, Geography and Disadvantage: Mapping Newspaper Coverage of High-needs Neighbourhoods in Toronto, Canada
journal contributionposted on 2021-05-21, 12:09 authored by April Lindgren
The quantity and subject matter of news coverage has been implicated in the success or failure of efforts to address social exclusion, poverty and other complex problems in disadvantaged city neighbourhoods. Using a methodology that combines traditional content analysis with computer-based mapping of geographic references in local news items, this study examines the Toronto Star newspaper’s news coverage of 13 troubled neighbourhoods in Toronto, Canada. The results indicate that the paper is making only a limited contribution to the story-telling practices that are key to the development of neighbourhood engagement. It also suggests that media coverage may be a significant contributing factor to negative stereotyping that shapes internal and external opinions of the neighbourhoods. Both results have the potential to undermine strategies aimed at addressing problems such as social exclusion and poverty.