White Millionaires and Hockey Skates: Racialized and Gendered Mediation in News Coverage of a Canadian Mayoral Election

Randy Besco, Bailey Gerrits, J. Scott Matthews


We investigate gendered and racial mediation in news coverage in the 2014 Toronto Mayoral Election. Drawing on a content analysis of a large sample of election stories in two major daily newspapers, we find significant differences across candidates in the prominence of coverage received and in the media’s attention to candidates’ racial and ethnic characteristics and immigrant status. In particular, we find that a non-White woman candidate (Olivia Chow) was significantly less prominent in media coverage and significantly more likely to be racialized than other candidates, despite being a well-established politician and the frontrunner in polling for a sizeable portion of the election period. These findings highlight, among other things, the significance of the intersection of race and gender in the study of electoral politics and political communication.


gender, race and ethnicity, newspapers, elections, urban politics

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