Some of the most pressing environmental issues, such as climate change and global warming, have been discussed, examined and contested in online news media. However, little research has been completed on the reporting styles of Canadian media, and in particular, Canadian online news media’s coverage of the oil sands. This paper examines media content and discusses the concept of media bias by examining the differences in reporting styles of the online formats of the CBC, the National Post, and The Globe and Mail, and discusses to what degree these news websites are providing balanced coverage from an environmental point of view. Through a content analysis of a collection of news articles, this study allows for an in-depth examination of which oil sands voices, such as oil companies, and environmental or government organizations, for example, are given a balanced amount of coverage. The study finds that stories on the oil sands are very limited and that there are a number of different news frames that are missing from the coverage, including the oil sands’ potential harm to humans and wildlife. The oil sands have become a pressing issue for Canadian oil companies, environment groups, and oil consumers, and as the sands continue to take a large toll on the environment, the sands will only become more contested and questioned.
Willard, Josh, "Questionable Coverage: Canadian Online News Media And The Representation Of The Oil Sands" (2011). Graduate Major Research Papers and Multimedia Projects. Paper 11.