The Impact of the News Media in Shaping Canadian International Development Policy

Martin, E. Undercurrent

Canada’s development assistance policy has recently undergone an extensive revision and these changes have remedied flaws identified in Canada's policy. This flawed policy was the product of a myriad of forces and one significant factor that is often overlooked is the contribution of the media. Canada's news media has often been criticized for its poor coverage of the developing world, in both volume and content. This paper will examine these deficiencies, and how this behaviour shapes government policy. The paper will discuss parallels in coverage and policy, examining CIDA's spending in both volume and regional allocation. Further, public attitudes of ODA will be discussed, exploring the complex relationship between the public, decision makers and the press.