Fourth-year journalism student Michaela Bax-Leaney has been awarded a Carleton University Research Opportunity summer internship to study the news media’s portrayal of Indigenous issues.

CUROP is a full-time, paid research internship described by the university as “an exceptional research and learning opportunity for students to work on a project of their choice, under the guidance of a faculty member. Along with learning about their research subject, the program allows students to develop skills in proposal writing, information analysis, project management and networking.”

Under the internship, which is open to all undergraduate students, successful applicants receive a $7,500 stipend to conduct their study during the summer months. CUROP recipients will present their projects at an Undergraduate Research Showcase currently scheduled for Oct. 5, 2021.

Michaela’s project is titled: “Canadian news media’s Indigenous amnesia.” In her proposal, she described how her research would explore how and why the country’s news outlets “often fail to capture the historical and colonial contexts necessary when reporting on Indigenous communities.”

Michaela, whose path to a journalism degree has included a Combined Honours in History, plans to use case studies and interviews “to assess journalistic practice and identify both shortcomings and solutions for Canadian journalists.”

She added: “Employing a solutions-based journalism approach, I will utilize the historical research skills honed through my coursework in the history department with the public policy-based analytical skills of my journalism studies” to produce “a journalistically-styled longform narrative that will incorporate primary source material and digital elements for a digestible, engaging, accessible final product.”

Journalism professor Randy Boswell, a former national reporter with Postmedia News who often covered Indigenous issues, is supervising Michaela’s summer research project.

He said Michaela’s research plan “combines her interests in journalism, history and social justice to probe an area of vital interest in contemporary journalism scholarship: the news media’s coverage of Indigenous issues in light of the many media-related recommendations in the 2015 final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the heightened attention in the past year towards systemic racism across modern society.”

Thursday, April 1, 2021 in ,
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