Monday, 22 October 2012


Today in Journalism class the instructor told us that we are going to be doing a U.S. election assignment. 

That made me start thinking about what types of things different Canadian publications cover, and what types of things they should cover. I guess I started thinking about why Canadian publications and media outlets cover political happenings in the United States, or in Europe or the Middle East. Should we be concerned about stuff that happens far, far away?

I think the answer is yes.

Whoever gets elected in the upcoming election in the States will probably affect Canadians in ways that I do not know, but more importantly, Canadians have the right to knowledge about what’s going on anywhere in the world. That is one of the most amazing things about being Canadian: unlike different parts of the world, we are not limited when it comes to information. 

If I want to go and read about the political climate in Syria, I can do that and I can rest assured that the website will not be blocked by the government. In fact, I can look up anything from terrorist attacks to various religions to gay porno and no one is going to stop me because I live in a country defined almost entirely by freedom and our media outlets reflect that. Through interning at a newspaper this summer, I learned I can write about different things too, and (in most cases) I won’t have to worry about being the target of a violent attack over it. At least not when I am in Canada.

So I think that covering the upcoming U.S. election is important because people are interested in it. It is also important because the election over there will probably have an influence over the way things are done here. But most of all, it is important because as Canadian media outlets and journalists, we are taking advantage of a right that, unfortunately, is not recognized in all regions of the world. We are taking advantage of a right to know whatever we want.

If this seems simple it's because it is, but overall I am glad I live in a place where I can call information my own for the taking (and distributing). I am glad I grew up in a place where, as a one time aspiring journalist, I knew I could write about things that matter to me and matter to the Canadian population and my life would not be threatened, as was the sad case with the young girl in India recently. 

Now back to creating things that I would not be allowed to show in other countries. Bye!

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