Media @ McGill

The Canadian and U.S. elections: did the media do their job?


NB: This event has been recorded and is now available for download. 

In the wake of both the Canadian and the US elections, Media@McGill is pleased to present a special event which aims to provide a space for public exchange concerning the role of media in both elections. Each speaker will center her or his presentation on the role of media during the U.S. and Canadian election campaigns and in the post-election period.

The event is 18 November, 2008, 5h30pm, Faculty Club (map). 3450 McTavish, McGill University.

Ndimyake Mwakalyelye, a television reporter for Voice of America TV will be discussing the U.S. elections; Manon Cornellier, political reporter for Le Devoir, will talk about both the Francophone and Anglophone Canadian press; John Ibbitson, Globe and Mail Columnist, will deal with both the U.S. and the Canadian elections. Each panelist will develop her or his own angle of analysis.

Focusing on specific features of media coverage of the Canadian and the US elections, the panel will take up the question of whether the media did their job during and right after the elections.

As Media@McGill Acting Director Will Straw says, “ With Facebook, partisan cable news networks, political blogs and traditional newspapers fighting for a role in the political process, the question of the media’s role in elections has become more complicated and urgent than ever.”

Biographies of the 3 panelists/presenters

NdimyakeNdimyake Mwakalyelye is co-host and reporter for VOA TV to Africa's latest program, In Focus, a daily English-language television program for viewers in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to that, Ms. Mwakalyelye was host and reporter for Perspectives, also a daily show for VOA TV. Perspectives aimed to address issues of interest to the American as well as African audience. Among the issues tackled was the coverage of the U.S. election by the media, and the fairness of media coverage of the two candidates – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

In addition to her television work, Ms. Mwakalyelye has worked as a reporter and co-host for Studio 7, a live, daily news radio program produced by VOA, focusing on Zimbabwe.

Before joining Voice of America, Ms. Mwakalyelye worked for New Jersey Network, New Jersey's only public broadcasting station. Ms. Mwakalyelye was born in Tanzania, but grew up in Zimbabwe. She has a BA from Howard University, and an MA from American University, both well-known institutions located in Washington, DC.

ManonManon Cornellier is a graduate in communication from UQAM. She is a political columnist for Le Devoir, where she started working in 1996, and produces a weekly review of the opinions and commentaries published by English-Canadian daily newspapers. She has covered federal politics since 1985, first as a freelance journalist for La Presse, TVA, TFO and Québec-Science before joining the Canadian Press French service in 1990. Winner of the Judith-Jasmin Journalism Award 2007, in the Opinion category, she is a contributor to L’actualité magazine and several electronic media. She published «The Bloc» (James Lorimer Publishers) in 1995 and is now completing a Masters in Political Science at the University of Ottawa.

JohnIbbotsonJohn Ibbitson is a veteran political writer for the Globe and Mail and the author of The Polite Revolution, John Ibbitson is one of Canada's most respected political journalists. His commentary, written with great style and searing insight, has played a major role in shaping the way Canadians think about our country and our politics, at all levels of government.

There is no region of politics that John Ibbitson has not reported on. From 2002-2007, he was the political affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail, before being named their first columnist based in Washington, where he currently writes on developments in American politics and society, and what they mean for Canada and the world. Prior to this, he covered municipal and provincial issues for Southam newspapers, and wrote for The National Post. For his full bio, click here.