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No news for the NDP

Posted by cwaddell under Election 2011, Election 2011 Faculty links, Election 2011 Media commentary, Media Commentary

Christopher Waddell

Week two and are we seeing the first glimpses of the NDP’s nightmare? The party complained in the last two elections that it and leader Jack Layton were being ignored in much of the campaign media coverage. Prior to this campaign there were rumours that some media organizations in a bid to cut costs would only travel with the NDP part of the time.

Last week CBC, CTV and Global nightly national newscasts all featured stories on the NDP campaign almost every night but this week has started out very differently.

Only CBC led with the election – Global led with Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 problems and CTV focused on the sentencing in adult court of the two young offender murderers of an 18 year old girl in BC.

All three networks had full stories tonight from the Conservative tour that featured an ATV-riding Stephen Harper pledging to kill the long gun registry in Welland. All three also had clips in the same Conservative story from the local NDP candidate who is seeking re-election, saying the issue in his riding is unemployment not guns.

Only CTV had a story from the Liberal campaign in Atlantic Canada. CBC had just clips on policy from the other leaders – Ignatieff on tuition-free university or college education for veterans and Layton on proposed Canada Pension Plan changes (noting it was a recycled idea). The National was in Vancouver and featured several stories about individual ridings and the parties pursuing the Chinese and Indian vote. The newscast focused on Conservative efforts to win ridings – including one Liberal and one NDP seat the Conservatives lost by small margins in 2008.

On Global the NDP campaign was mentioned only in a graphic on CPP – no story. On CTV there was a Layton clip in the Harper story but no NDP story tonight.

One night is not a enough to identify a trend but stay tuned for the rest of the week.

Christopher Waddell is director of the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. He is a former reporter, Ottawa bureau chief for the Globe and Mail and a former CBC-TV parliamentary bureau chief and executive producer-news specials for CBC TV News. You can follow him on Twitter @cwaddell27