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      How does the media portray drinking water security in Indigenous communities in Canada? An analysis of Canadian newspaper coverage from 2000-2015

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          Abstract

          Background

          Drinking water insecurity and related health outcomes often disproportionately impact Indigenous communities internationally. Understanding media coverage of these water-related issues can provide insight into the ways in which public perceptions are shaped, with potential implications for decision-making and action. This study aimed to examine the extent, range, and nature of newspaper coverage of drinking water security in Canadian Indigenous communities.

          Methods

          Using ProQuest database, we systematically searched for and screened newspaper articles published from 2000 to 2015 from Canadian newspapers: Windspeaker, Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and National Post. We conducted descriptive quantitative analysis and thematic qualitative analysis on relevant articles to characterize framing and trends in coverage.

          Results

          A total of 1382 articles were returned in the search, of which 256 articles were identified as relevant. There was limited coverage of water challenges for Canadian Indigenous communities, especially for Métis (5%) and Inuit (3%) communities. Most stories focused on government responses to water-related issues, and less often covered preventative measures such as source water protection. Overall, Indigenous peoples were quoted the most often. Double-standards of water quality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, along with conflict and cooperation efforts between stakeholders were emphasized in many articles.

          Conclusion

          Limited media coverage could undermine public and stakeholder interest in addressing water-related issues faced by many Canadian Indigenous communities.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4164-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 69

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            Climate change and journalistic norms: A case-study of US mass-media coverage

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              Cultural circuits of climate change in U.K. broadsheet newspapers, 1985-2003.

              This article argues for a cultural perspective to be brought to bear on studies of climate change risk perception. Developing the "circuit of culture" model, the article maintains that the producers and consumers of media texts are jointly engaged in dynamic, meaning-making activities that are context-specific and that change over time. A critical discourse analysis of climate change based on a database of newspaper reports from three U.K. broadsheet papers over the period 1985-2003 is presented. This empirical study identifies three distinct circuits of climate change-1985-1990, 1991-1996, 1997-2003-which are characterized by different framings of risks associated with climate change. The article concludes that there is evidence of social learning as actors build on their experiences in relation to climate change science and policy making. Two important factors in shaping the U.K.'s broadsheet newspapers' discourse on "dangerous" climate change emerge as the agency of top political figures and the dominant ideological standpoints in different newspapers.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                519-830-8202 , lams@uoguelph.ca
                ashlee.cunsolo@mun.ca
                asawatzk@mail.uoguelph.ca
                james.ford@mcgill.ca
                519-824-4120 , harpers@uoguelph.ca
                Journal
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                1471-2458
                27 March 2017
                27 March 2017
                2017
                : 17
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8198, GRID grid.34429.38, Department of Population Medicine, , University of Guelph, ; 50 Stone Rd E, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 Canada
                [2 ]Labrador Institute of Memorial University, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8649, GRID grid.14709.3b, Department of Geography, , McGill University, ; Montreal, QC Canada
                Article
                4164
                10.1186/s12889-017-4164-4
                5368908
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000003, ArcticNet;
                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2017

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