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The Last Word: Media Coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada

The Last Word: Media Coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada    
Format Softcover
Catalogue No. 0-7748-1244-3
Pages 262
Language English only
Price on sale $15.95 (reduced from $25.95)
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Written by Florian Sauvageau, David Scheiderman, and David Taras; with Ruth Klinkhammer and Pierre Trudel.
Published by UBC Press, 2006.


Amid often-clashing legal and journalistic cultures, who really has the last word?

Media coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada has emerged as a crucial factor not only for judges and journalists but also for the public. It’s the media, after all, that decide which court rulings to cover and how. They translate highly complex judgments into concise and meaningful news stories that will appeal to, and be understood by, the general public. Thus, judges lose control of the message once they hand down decisions, and journalists have the last word.

The Last Word: Media Coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada examines a year in the life of the court and then focuses on the media coverage of four high-profile decisions: the Marshall case, about Aboriginal rights; the Vriend case, about gay rights; the Quebec Secession Reference; and the Sharpe child pornography case. Authors Sauvageau, Schneiderman and Taras explore the differences between television and newspaper coverage, national and regional reporting, and the French- and English-language media. They also describe how judges and journalists understand and interact with one another amid often-clashing legal and journalistic cultures, offering a rich and detailed account of the relationship between two of the most important institutions in Canadian life.
“This is definitely the last word in how the message of a Supreme Court decision is translated and conveyed to its broader publics; it explains the media to the court-watchers, and the Supreme Court to the media-watchers, in a readable, profound, and thoughtful way. Absolutely a must-read.” – Peter McCormick, Political Science, University of Lethbridge
Florian Sauvageau is Professor of Communications at Université Laval in Québec and Director of the Centre d’études sur les médias/Centre for Media Studies. David Schneiderman is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. David Taras is University Professor and Professor in the Faculty of Communication and Culture at the University of Calgary.

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This page last modified: October 21, 2010

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