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The Role Of Journalism In The Flq Crisis

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The Role Of Journalism In The Flq Crisis
The Role of Journalism in the FLQ Crisis
Michael Yang
JOUR1000A

Introduction

Any discussion regarding the defining moments in Canada’s history must include the infamous October Crisis of 1970. Occurring throughout the province of Quebec, particularly in the metropolitan areas of Montreal, the socio-political implications of this affair were so significant that its effects can still be felt four decades later. However, many tend to overlook the substantial role that the media played in shaping the series of events that would eventually culminate in the first, and only, peacetime usage of the controversial War Measures Act and forever smear the relationship between Quebec and the Canadian government. Although many only see the major players as the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) and Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and his federal government, the media played such a large role in sensationalizing the events and making tangible goods out of abstract concepts – such as civil liberties and public safety – that it should be considered its own entity in its entirety.
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Given Canada’s historical inexperience with acts of terrorism and its relative freedom of press, the unforeseeable irresponsible and erroneous behaviour of the media in dealing with the October Crisis should effectively paint a picture of how the media should not handle similar situations. Thus, the role of the media during the FLQ crisis should be considered a defining moment within the history of Canadian journalism, albeit for the significant negative impact it had on society during the latter months of

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