This election, the media aren’t ‘beholden’ to party announcements· September 15, 2015
Yesterday’s highly anticipated release of Finance Canada’s Annual Financial Report can be explained with four major news headlines. Read in this order:
Canada posts surplus of $1.9-billion for the 2014-15 fiscal year:Federal surplus is good political news for both Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair (CBC)
This means Harper holds to prediction of budget surplus for current fiscal year (Globe and Mail), and so will the NDP
However the Ottawa Citizen reports: Federal departments left $8.7 billion unspent last year
So this means Trudeau sticks to deficit spending plan — despite surprise $1.9-billion surplus (National Post)
All in all, a good day for each of the political parties’ messages on the economic front.
The refugee crisis took a secondary position in political coverage, but Roméo Dallaire did his best to keep it in the news suggesting Canada could take 90,000 Syrian refugees.
As we ease into the second half of this marathon campaign, it’s becoming clear the media are more interested in their own narrative and aren’t beholden to the Leaders’ Tour as in previous campaigns.
Case in point: the NDP and LPC have each released substantive policy in the past several days, but you’d be hard pressed to find coverage on the subject.
There are two major reasons for this: the political parties’ aggressive message control and the lack of resources (financial and human) available to the media. This is pushing the media into covering the campaign using more regional and local reporters and sending Ottawa-based reporters on assignment to “battle zones”.