NewsWatch Canada has received much media coverage with its report on the top 25 missing news stories:
A group of thirteen student researchers from the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen Cross, studied a wide range of mainstream and independent news sources to find the top 25 underreported stories for the one year time period between September 2010 and August 2011. These underreported stories were chosen because of their national and international importance and demonstrate issues that are critical to our health, safety, and democracy. Such omissions in major Canadian news media imply that the news provides only a partial reflection of the information citizens need for a functioning democracy, and suggests that we must rethink the role and structure of the large news organizations in Canada. The following summarizes the top 25 stories (in order of importance) from the full report. For more details on the top 25 stories, and our methodology, please read the full report or visit the website: http://pages.cmns.sfu.ca/newswatch.
1. Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
CETA, a free-trade agreement between Canada and the EU that is being negotiated behind closed doors, will give European corporations access to government procurement actions down to the municipal level, including public institutions such as hospitals and public utilities.
2. Canadian Mining Companies Lack Accountability
Canadian mining companies are responsible for a large percentage of environmental and human rights abuses around the world, yet are not held accountable.
3. Corporate Lobbying Shaping Laws
Corporate lobbyists around the globe are spending billions of dollars in order to write and determine policy at the national and international level.
4. Crisis in Long Term Care
Long term and assisted living care for the in Canada is facing a crisis in the form of early hospital evictions, hospital over-crowding, affordability, and quality of care in private and unregulated residences.
5. Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Canada
More than 600 indigenous women across Canada have gone missing or been murdered in the past 30 years, 75% of aboriginal girls under the age of 18 have been victims of sexual abuse, and aboriginal girls and women are nearly three times more likely to become victims of violence.
6. State of Native Reserves in Canada
Appalling third world conditions on Aboriginal reserves have stagnated in the past ten years, and indicators of wellness such as housing, education, and water quality have actually declined.
7. Health Effects of Canada’s Tar Sands
Toxic waste from Canada’s tar sands contaminates the environment while nearby Northern Albertan communities find themselves increasingly affected by cancer.
8. Long Term Effects of Fukushima
Japan’s nuclear disaster is far worse than governments have revealed to the public. Effects from the fallout have been felt in both the U.S. and in Canada but their significance has been downplayed.
9. Abandoned Oil Wells Cause Environmental Hazard
Abandoned Albertan oil wells must be cleaned up to avoid environmental contamination, but the companies that own them have little incentive to do so given the huge costs and weak regulations.
10. Global Disposable Workforce
Thousands of migrant workers are admitted into Canada every year for short periods of time, but their rights are often abused or ignored.
11. Militarizing Canada’s Foreign Policy
The Conservative Government’s militarization of Canadian foreign policy is re-shaping Canadian identity.
12. Negative Impacts of Fracking
Fracking, the process by which water laden with toxic chemicals is pumped into shale bedrock in order to fracture it and release natural gas, is destroying British Columbia’s wilderness and polluting fresh water resources.
13. Devastation of the Oceans
Ocean overfishing, acidification, and garbage pollution threatens the global food chain and will result in the complete depletion of edible fish resources within forty years.
14. Big Pharma Testing for Profit
Pharmaceutical companies are carrying out ethically concerning drug trials with little regulatory controls on populations in poor developing countries.
15. Soldier Suicides and the Mental Health Cost of War
The inherent threat of mental and emotional instability in the military causes more U.S. soldiers to die from suicide than combat. What is the impact on Canadian soldiers?
16. Threat of Public Relations to Newsrooms and the Public Sphere
As traditional journalism continues to lose revenue and suffer from declining budgets, newspapers are increasingly dependent on PR agencies for news information.
17. Canadian Interference in Haiti
Canada has been involved in an array of Haitian affairs for decades, including military intervention, banking investments and corrupt elections.
18. Disaster Capitalism in Afghanistan
Civilian casualty rates and refugee numbers skyrocket as a result of the war in Afghanistan while foreign investors are cashing in on multi-billion dollar Afghani development projects.
19. Impact of Climate Change on Canada’s Boreal Forest
Canada’s boreal forests are being destroyed by warming global temperatures, which result in intensified insect infestations and increases in forest fires.
20. Asbestos Exports
The Canadian government continues to support the export of carcinogenic asbestos to developing countries despite national and international outcry.
21. Effects of Industrial Farming
Industrial farming methods have vastly detrimental effects on food sovereignty, health, and the environment.
22. BPA on Sales Receipts
BPA, a toxic chemical that causes developmental problems, has been found on a wide range of consumer goods including ubiquitous sales receipts. More than 90% of Canadians are routinely exposed.
23. Pharmaceutical Companies “Ghost Writing” for Medical Journals
Pharmaceutical companies put public health and safety at risk by ghostwriting in medical journals for the purposes of maximizing drug sales.
24. FBI’s War on Islam
All over the United States law enforcement officers, from FBI agents to beat cops, are being trained to fear Islam.
25. Failure of the War on Drugs
The global war on drugs fails to address the socio-economic implications of drug use and trade, and as a result global drug consumption is on the rise.
For More information please contact: Dr. Kathleen Cross, Co-Director, NewsWatch Canada
School of Communication, Simon Fraser University.
8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC. V5A 1S6. Canada
ph. 778-782-3861 or fx. 778-782-4024