Northwest Passages: Framing by Local, National and Public Media in Canada's Arctic

Tyler W. S. Nagel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


During the summer of 2016, the largest cruise ship ever to transit the Northwest Passage traveled through the Canadian Arctic, carrying more than 1,600 passengers and crew. That event resulted in a tremendous influx of tourists, considering the population the entire territory of Nunavut is only 36,000.

This study examines how local media played a critical role in representing local community values in coverage of that remarkable cruise. The complete English Canadian textual coverage of the voyage by three media segments was compiled: local media, national media, and a national public broadcaster. A framing analysis revealed significant differences in how each of the three media segments frames the news. Local media placed significantly more emphasis on political, bureaucratic, and environmental frames than did national media, yet used human interest frames at about the same frequency. Furthermore, local media's selection of frames was more diverse than was evident in coverage from national media or the public broadcaster.

In addition, the study reveals that the public broadcaster frames stories independently of local and national media, a finding which serves to emphasize the distinct value of each media segment in forming complete coverage of this story.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1263
Number of pages20
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 25-Nov-2020
Externally publishedYes

Cite this