Media @ McGill

Alison Jacques

Submitted by Susana on

Coverage of female criminality and deviance in Canada's post-WWII tabloid press

Canadian historians have argued that during the decade following World War II the middle-class nuclear family occupied a position of unprecedented political, economic, and ideological importance. During this same period, a so-called gutter press thrived in Toronto with the publication of tabloid newspapers filled with sordid stories of sex and violence. Despite the popularity of these urban “scandal sheets,” their existence has been largely overlooked by historians and media scholars. I plan to analyze four tabloids that were published in Toronto in the late 1940s and the 1950s: Hush Free Press, John Blunt’s Weekly Flash, Justice Weekly, and The Rocket. This project will comprise two major parts. First, I will provide an overview of Canada’s postwar tabloid press in its historical context. Second, I will examine the content of these Toronto papers, concentrating on their reports of crime and women’s involvement as “criminals.” In particular, I plan to investigate the role these papers played in the construction of dominant discourses of heterosexuality, domesticity, and social order.