7 News Archive
More than one way to cover an election
By Ulli Diemer
Seven News, November 20, 1976


If you’re ever inclined to be unhappy with 7 News, or to think that 7 News is biased, consider another local paper, the City Dweller, owned and published by Eric S. Rosen.

Campaign managers for the election campaign of Alderman John Sewell and Alderman Janet Howard aren’t sure whether to laugh or to cry at the City Dweller’s own unique way of covering the election.

The current issue of City Dweller, dated December, covers the civic election race - well, sort of. It certainly does cover the campaign of Garry Stamm, who lost out in 1974, and who is taking another crack at it this time around. In fact, it covers Stamm’s campaign to the tune of devoting its entire front page, its entire third page, and three quarters of its fifth page to him. Stamm is given a total of 381 square inches of coverage, including 9 separate stories and 5 photographs.

Alderman Sewell is mentioned only in an article announcing Stamm’s candidacy, in which it is claimed that “support for Sewell continues to drop”. The article claims that support for Sewell “dropped dramatically” from 1972 to 1974, and that it’s still going to go down. If City Dweller’s predictions are as good as its arithmetic, Sewell is in no trouble. For the fact is that Sewell’s percentage of the vote increased in 1974 compared to 1972.

Meanwhile City Dweller can’t even bring itself to mention Ward Seven Alderman Janet Howard, who is running a joint campaign with Sewell, and who beat Stamm last time around, by name. She is referred to only once, as “his running mate”.

City Dweller, which is distributed in St. Jamestown, gives prominence to Stamm’s charge that Sewell “neglects the real needs of the people who live here” (in St. Jamestown). You’re entitled to your own opinion on that, but you won’t find out from City Dweller that Sewell got more votes in St. Jamestown than Stamm did last time around.

You won’t find out from 7 News either, if you live in the private sector of St. Jamestown. Despite protests from tenants, St. Jamestown’s owners won't let 7 News be distributed in their buildings ...

This article was published in Seven News, Volume 7, Number 11, November 20, 1976

Related Topics:
Election CampaignsElectionsMedia BiasMunicipal Elections