In the age of opinion journalism



"Objective" commercial journalism, which prevailed for much of the 20th century, appears to be transforming into opinion journalism.

Frédérick Bastien, a researcher with the Department of Political Science at Université de Montréal, examines the impact of this paradigm shift on political communication. Observing the evolution of journalism and election reporting in Canada, he found that journalists are less inclined to see themselves as conduits of information, and are increasingly making their own voices heard. The fierce competition between different media organizations requires journalists to stand out, to have something original to say, or even to sacrifice true reporting for "infotainment".

The researcher found that journalists are increasingly making their own voices heard.

For politicians, this shift represents a major challenge. How can they get their message across to the public without it being distorted by the journalistic filter? For their part, citizens are having trouble gaining access to what politicians are actually saying, which constitutes a major problem in a democratic society. Understanding the mechanisms that govern the world of journalism is crucial to improving communication between politicians and citizens, and to better understanding the role of media in political communication.

Frédérick Bastien's work has been published in Questions de communication and Revue canadienne de science politique, and has been the subject of chapters in L'État du Québec 2012, L'échange politique à la télévision : interviews, débats et divertissements politiques and La télévision de Radio-Canada et l'évolution de la conscience politique au Québec. Mr. Bastien has also been presented his work at conferences in Canada, Brazil, Spain and Switzerland.