Stuart

Soroka

Professor
Communication Studies & Political Science
University of Michigan

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Media Observatory: Research

[or return to Media Observatory:Home / Media Observatory:Metholodogy]

Please note that all data provided below are intended for academic or informational purposes only. They cannot be used for commercial purposes without the express permission of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. Please contact Stuart Soroka to inquire about permission to use the data for purposes than those explicitly authorized in this paragraph.


FEDERAL POLITICS

2011 Canadian Federal Election Newspaper Content Analysis

The 2011 Election Content Analysis is the fourth instalment in our federal election study series, begun in 2004. In 2004 and 2006, content analysis was performed by human coders. Beginning in 2008, our analyses have relied on a new, automated content analytic procedure using Lexicoder.

Dictionary-based automation means that our current study covers only English-language press. Our sample currently includes the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette, Winnipeg Free Press and the Regina Leader-Post. (There are some gaps in regional coverage, most notably the East, due to a lack of reliable access to full-text indices for those newspapers.) Our results should thus be regarded as an accurate, but partial, picture of Canadian newspapers' coverage of the 2011 election.

Results will be posted here, as we have them, and will be written up in Maclean's weekly for the duration of the campaign.

The 2011 Canadian Federal Election Newspaper Content Analysis is run in conjunction with the Canadian Election Study and the Canadian Opinion Research Archive

RESULTS

Media Report, 26 March 2011 [.pdf]
Note that the 2 April report contained a minor error for party/leader tone. (The tone for Conservatives and Liberals was reversed; though the general trends were largely correct.) This is corrected in the 9 April and all subsequent reports.
Media Report, 9 April 2011 [.pdf]
Media Report, 16 April 2011 [.pdf]
Media Report, 26 April 2011 [.pdf]
Media Report, 1 May 2011 [.pdf]

MEDIA

Globe and Mail: World Press Freedom Day: Could You Speak Out, Please?
Supporting data: Accountability, 1993-2011 [.pdf]

Maclean's:Why the Conservatives' contempt of Parliament and spending on fighter jets is suddenly old news
Maclean's: Ignatieff is getting a lot more attention and 'better coverage'
Maclean's: The Price of Power
Maclean's: What's the Real Issue Here?

Toronto Star:The Ethnic Conservative Myth, Toronto Star
CBC Radio: As It Happens, May 23rd

FINAL REPORT, Policy Options:June 2011

2008 Canadian Federal Election Newspaper Content Analysis

The 2008 Election Content Analysis extends our previous efforts in 2004 and 2006. While analysis in previous elections was performed by human coders, however, the 2008 analysis relies on a new, automated content analytic procedure Because analysis is automated, we rely on dictionaries (see below) that exist only in English. As a consequence, our 2008 study covers only English-language press. Our sample includes the same English-language newspapers as past samples, the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, and Calgary Herald, as well as the Montreal Gazette and the Ottawa Citizen. There are however some gaps in regional coverage, and we lack Francophone Quebec entirely. Our results should thus be regarded as an accurate, but partial, picture of Canadian newspapers' coverage of the 2008 election.

2008 Final Report, Policy Options [.pdf]
Final Tracking Report [.pdf]
Final Tracking Charts [.pdf]
Vote Projections [.pdf] (raw data to be released shortly)

Articles published during the campaign:
Who's on First?, Maclean's, Sept 10th [.pdf]
The Affair's Over, Maclean's, Sept 18th [.pdf]
Jack the Tortoise, Maclean's, Sept 24th [.pdf]
Campaign in Vain, Maclean's, Oct 1st [.pdf]
Making the News, Maclean's, Oct 8th [.pdf]

2006 Canadian Federal Election Newspaper Content Analysis

Each day of the campaign, beginning Tuesday November 29th, we coded all federal election stories in the main news sections of seven major Canadian dailies.

2006 Coding Methodology [.pdf]
2006 Final Report, published in Policy Options [.pdf]
Final Weekly Report [.pdf]
Final Cumulative Report [.pdf]
Final By-Issue Report [.pdf]
Final By-Newspaper Report [.pdf]
Final Tracking Charts [.pdf]
Vote Projections [.pdf]
Raw Data, in Excel, SPSS and STATA fromats (with codebook) [.zip]

Articles published during the campaign:
The Media Message, Maclean's, Jan 30th [.pdf]
It's Down to Two Things, Maclean's , Jan 23rd [.pdf]
Getting an Easier Ride, Maclean's, Jan 16th [.pdf]
Strength on Unity, Maclean's, Jan 9th [.pdf]
But Seriously Folks, Maclean's, Dec 26th [.pdf]
Running for Coverage, Maclean's, Dec 12-19th [.pdf]
Not Another Poll, Maclean's, Dec 12-19th [.pdf]
It was a Reversal of Fortunes for Leaders, National Post, Jan 22nd [.pdf]
How Negative is Too Negative?, National Post, Jan 7th [.pdf]

2004 Canadian Federal Election Newspaper Content Analysis
Each day of the campaign, beginning Tuesday November 29th, we coded all federal election stories in the main news sections of seven major Canadian dailies.

2004 Final Report, published in Policy Options [.pdf]
Raw data, in Excel [.xls]
Election 2004 codebook [.pdf]

Articles published during the campaign:
Ongoing reports in the Globe and Mail [.pdf]


QUEBEC POLITICS

2007 Quebec Provincial Election Newspaper Content Analysis

Building on our past analysis of federal election campaigns, the Observatory has completed a content analysis of the 2007 Quebec campaign. We coded all provincial election stories in the main sections of four Quebec dailies - La Presse, Le Soleil, Le Devoir, and the Montreal Gazette.
Coding Methodology
2007 Final Report, published in Policy Options [.pdf]
Final Tracking Charts [.pdf]
Raw Data (in SPSS and STATA formats) [.zip]

Media Coverage of the Charest Government

This was our first study based primarily on francophone newspapers in Quebec. The goal was to explore media coverage of the Quebec Charest Government's campaign promises, alongside a more general discussion of the role of mass media in representative democracy. Our review of past work suggests that, at a minimum, (A) mass media should devote a considerable amount of attention to government activities, and that (B) reportage should be thorough, accurate, and critical. Using data collected on five major Quebec dailies (four francophone, one anglophone), we examine the extent to which Quebec media are performing their function as a 'Fourth Estate'.

The final paper, by Maïalène Boutin-Wilkins and Stuart Soroka, is available here [ Boutin-Wilkins & Soroka [.pdf] ]. A French version of the same paper is available in François Pétry, Éric Bélanger, and Louis M. Imbeau, eds. (2006), Le Parti libéral: enquête sur les réalisations du gouvernement Charest, QC: Les Presses de l'Université Laval.


OTHER

Newspaper Ownership Study
This study records any and all changes in the ownership of Canadian newspapers over the last 100 years. These data were gathered alongside the Ottawa Press Gallery Study. The most current version of the study is made available here [ News Ownership [.pdf] ].

Ottawa Press Gallery Study
The parliamentary Press Gallery is responsible for much of what most of us know about public affairs in Canada. Since confederation, its members have provided the bulk of news and perspective on everyday politics in Ottawa. The composition, representative-ness and effectiveness of the Press Gallery are consequently of considerable importance.

This study represents one effort to examine the composition and size of the Press Gallery over time, with an eye on how the Press Gallery may have changed due to, for instance, changes in media consumption by the Canadian public, or shifts in newspaper ownership. The data track the composition of the Ottawa Press Gallery from 1950 to 2004. They record the number of Press Gallery members, by institutional affiliation. Data are also aggregated by media type, ownership and other variables.
Press Gallery Final Report, published in Policy Options [.pdf]
Press Gallery Code Book [.pdf]
Press Gallery Raw Data [.xls]

BC Citizens Assembly Content Analysis
The Media Observatory conducted a content analysis of all articles related to the BC Citizens Assembly, starting from the time the Assembly began to the referendum itself. Raw data are available upon request. Data descriptions and results are available in a comparison of Quebec and BC media content, completed by Maïalène Boutin-Wilkins, and available here [ Boutin-Wilkins [.pdf] , The Enhancement of Democratic Citizenship].