News, Politics

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau Boycotts Sun News

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Justin Trudeau, 2014; Image: Bernard Weil, Toronto Star
Justin Trudeau, 2014; Image: Bernard Weil, Toronto Star

Justin Trudeau is the leader of Canada’s Liberal party. One day, he hopes to become the Prime Minister of Canada—like his father, Pierre Trudeau was.

But after a journalist insulted his father, Justin Trudeau is refusing to speak with any journalists from the news organization known as Sun Media.

Trudeau made the announcement in a statement released by his office, which said that Sun Media “crossed the line by airing a personal attack on the Trudeau family that was offensive.”

In a news broadcast on TV on Sept. 15, Sun Media reporter Ezra Levant talked about Justin Trudeau’s parents. He made some comments about their private life that were rude and insulting, particularly about Pierre Trudeau.

Levant then wrote a newspaper column, saying many of the same things, which ran in some Sun newspapers.

Now Justin Trudeau says he won’t speak to any reporters from the Sun News television station, or 236 newspapers owned by the company.

Ezra Levant says that for years Justin Trudeau has “avoided” reporters from Sun Media. Sun Media tends to be critical of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.

It is important for news reporters to be able to speak with political figures in order to be able to report on all sides of a news story. When someone won’t speak with reporters, it makes their job much more difficult.

This is not the first time a Canadian politician has “boycotted” (stopped speaking to) certain journalists.

In 2010, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stopped speaking with Toronto Star reporters after they published a story about him that he didn’t like.

And Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been criticized for limiting the media’s access to him.

Thank you to @ToddDevlin (via Twitter) for suggesting this news topic. Follow @teachkidsnews on Twitter and tell us what news topic you (or your students) would like us to report on.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Why is it important for a journalist to stay neutral? Do you think it is possible for a journalist to be impartial or is bias always a reality?

Reading Prompt: Responding & Evaluating Texts
Do you agree with Justin Trudeau’s decision to boycott Sun Media? Why or why not?

Junior
Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Intermediate
Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Language Feature: Quotation Marks – Irregular Usage
Quotation marks are punctuation marks that are most often used to show the words that someone has spoken. However, in today’s article, quotation marks are also used to show that a word is being used in a unique way, a way that it is not often used. It tells the reader that the definition of quoted word is slightly different than in its normal usage.

Ezra Levant says that for years Justin Trudeau has “avoided” reporters from Sun Media. Sun Media tends to be critical of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.

This is not the first time a Canadian politician has “boycotted” (stopped speaking to) certain journalists.

Write a sentence of your own that uses quotation marks to show an irregular usage of a word.