Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

Homelessness Coverage, Social Reality, and Media Ownership: Comparing a National Newspaper with Two Regional Newspapers in Canada


Mao Y, Richter MS, Kovacs Burns K and Chaw-Kant J

The media plays an important role in the discourse of homelessness. The purpose of this study was to compare how two Alberta newspapers (Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal) and one national newspaper(the Globe and Mail) covered homeless issues in terms of population, main themes, article type, monthly differences, and critical time periods. Through purposive sampling technique, 449 articles from 1987 to 2007 were selected for analysis, including 128 news articles from the Edmonton Journal, 152 from the Calgary Herald and 169 from the Globe and Mail. A content analysis showed that these newspapers have different agenda settings for homelessness related issues. We argue that the differences among the newspapers’ coverage on homelessness are directly related to media ownership, and the unique economic and political structure and ideology at national and provincial levels.


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