Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Communication Studies

First Advisor

Winter, James P.,


Mass Communications.




This thesis presents a case study of the objective framework which guides journalism. Following a chapter about the philosophy of objectivity in the social sciences and challenges to this philosophy, the journalistic method of objective reporting is questioned, based primarily on critical approaches taken by Michael Schudson, Gaye Tuchman, Michael Parenti, Robert Hackett, W. Lance Bennett, Herbert J. Gans, and Richard Ericson, Patricia Baranek and Janet Chan. Other theorists such as Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky, Ben Bagdikian, and J. Herbert Altschull aid in developing a framework for examining the claim of an objective press. This thesis examines the Kanesatake (Oka) crisis of the summer of 1990, as a case study in journalistic objectivity. The Mohawks' claim to the land, the people including the Warriors, and the development of the crisis of 1990 are explained. Follow the Oka crisis, a group of journalists gathered to evaluate their coverage of the crisis. Because reporters were present on both sides of the barricades, the journalists concluded that their coverage was balanced. However, there were allegations of biased journalism coming from many sides. In order to evaluate the journalists' assumption, a discourse analysis was conducted for 30 dates chosen from the 78-day Oka standoff for Montreal Gazette and the Globe and Mail. Two other mainstream newspapers, the Ottawa Citizen and the Winnipeg Free Press, were analyzed based on eight dates. The study uses an analytical framework drawn from Parenti (1986) and Cirino (1971). Through an examination of the words and images used, the sources, omissions, headlines, and photographs, the reporting is revealed to have followed the conventional standards of "objective reporting"--a reporting method which shelters a bias in favour of the status quo.Dept. of Communication Studies. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .R433. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-06, page: 1494. Adviser: James P. Winter. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.