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Doug Ford's election media strategy revealed | CTV News – CTV News Toronto

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Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has limited his media exposure throughout the first two weeks of the provincial election campaign – choosing scrums selectively, restricting public appearances and rejecting media interviews.

Political analysts call this the “front-runner” strategy and say it started long before the writ was drawn.

“It’s been a strategy they’ve implemented for, I want to say, a better part of a year and a half now,” Muhammad Ali, a senior consultant with Crestview Strategy, told CTV News Toronto.

“There was a point when Doug Ford was doing daily press conferences and all of a sudden, he just stopped doing those and they became really spaced out.”

At that point, cabinet ministers like Health Minister Christine Elliott became the go-to “bearers of bad news” when it came to pandemic restrictions. According to Ali, this kept the PC leader from being overexposed and saying things off-the-cuff that may be controversial.

“This is an attempt by his team to control how much exposure he gets and to make sure that it minimizes how much he potentially could rock the boat, because at this point, they’re polling so strongly, the only way that they could really collapse, ultimately, is if Doug Ford started saying things that put off voters.”

“And so far it’s working.

Cristine de Clercy, an associate professor in political science at Western University, called this the “front runner strategy.”

“As the premier and someone who has quite a significant level of name recognition among voters and is a front runner, according to the polls, Mr. Ford has much less incentive to seek interaction with the media,” de Clercy told CTV News Toronto.

Already, Ontarians have had four years to get to know Ford, which de Clercy says dilutes the leader’s incentive to open himself up to potential embarrassment, miscommunication or criticism.

“In fact, some strategists argue that if you’re a leader that’s in a so-called front runner position where it seems you’re doing well, and your party is likely to be elected, then actually, you want to minimize contact with the press.”

De Clercy said that’s because interacting with the media is a two-sided coin. On one hand, it’s an opportunity for a leader to get their message and name out to the public, but on the other, there is a risk of facing public criticism.

In essence, there is more upside for first time provincial leaders, like Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, to pack their days with media-friendly events.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes an announcement during a campaign stop at the Finishing Trades Institute of Ontario, in North York, Ont., on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

This “cost-benefit” analysis, de Clercy explains, means Ford is more willing to engage with the press when he feels he can control the message. Monday night’s debate exemplified this.

Despite disappearing after the first leader’s debate in North Bay, Ford walked out to greet reporters for a scrum after the second election debate in Toronto.

“One way I would interpret that is that he was pleased with his performance, he thought he did well, and he did a good job in presenting his party’s views, and so, he was a little bit more receptive to engaging with the press than if he thought he had done poorly or been treated unfairly in the debate,” she said.

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER LEADERS?

At Monday’s debate, Del Duca stayed the course with his campaign strategy–to tell “his story” and help voters get to know him better.

In most of his responses, Del Duca tended to make reference to various family members. His election advertisements read the same way, with his wife, children and dogs making a prominent appearance, and in some cases taking up the majority of the timeslot.

This approach is how some politicians “humanize” themselves, Ali said.

“People, when they see the leader of a party, they think of them as sort of like a robot or something. They don’t see them as relatable,” he said.

In an effort to distinguish himself from the Kathleen Wynne government, whose party lost the majority of their seats in 2018, Del Duca has cast the new roster of liberals as being members of the “new” Ontario Liberal Party, with “some success,” Ali said.

Instead of indulging in familial narratives, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who has enjoyed a decade’s worth of public exposure in her current position, took a more combative route at the second debate, directing much of her energy towards criticism.

“The strategy of being very critical and sort of feisty in her exchanges with Mr. Del Duca and Mr. Ford clearly reflected that her party is in many ridings, probably as we speak, locked in a very close race with either the Liberals or the PCs,” de Clercy said.

For the Greens, de Clercy says their platform is crafted strategically to reach certain groups of people who are interested in health care, education and community investment in infrastructure, all while pursuing these goals within a comprehensive environmental framework.

Ali, for his part, said he felt like Schreiner was the real winner of Monday night’s debate.

“He came across as the most articulate communicator,” he said.

AN UNSPOKEN PARTNERSHIP

Right before the writ was drawn, Ford shared a podium with Prime Minister–and Liberal–Justin Trudeau to announce an investment in electric vehicle manufacturing, the last of a series of joint events in the province.

At the time, Del Duca argued that Ford was using this as a campaigning opportunity, a claim both the PC leader and prime minister denied.

Since then, Ford has not said anything about the federal government during his campaign stops, insisting at Monday’s debate that he is a team player who will work with whoever is in power in Ottawa.

“What they had long learned from polling was that Doug Ford polls better when he’s doing an announcement with the federal government and he’s working in tandem with him,” Ali said. “And so they’ve intentionally not really made any criticisms, points of contention against the federal government.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, shakes hands with Ontario Premier Doug Ford after reaching and agreement in $10-a-day child-care program deal in Brampton, Ont., on Monday, March 28, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Meanwhile, Del Duca has yet to hold an event with the prime minister. Ali warns that Trudeau may be trying to stay out of the provincial election, with the understanding that he will also have to work with whoever is elected premier.

“It doesn’t benefit (Trudeau) and he needs to work with Doug Ford to deliver a lot of sort of the bigger platform pieces,” Ali said.

Meanwhile, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has spent time in the GTA during the campaign period and even attended a rally with Horwath.

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AJ Contrast wins One World Media Award – Al Jazeera English

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Al Jazeera Digital’s innovation studio site highlights challenges women with disabilities face in navigating megacities.

Al Jazeera’s immersive storytelling and media innovation studio, AJ Contrast, has won a top prize at the One World Media Awards in London.

One World jurors conferred the win in the Digital Media category for AJ Contrast’s interactive site, Inaccessible Cities.

The project brings audiences into the experiences of three women with disabilities as they struggle to navigate their cities – Mumbai, Lagos and New York.

Winners were announced across 15 categories during a ceremony in London on June 16.

The One World Media Awards recognise excellence in unreported stories from the Global South that “break stereotypes, change the narrative and connect people across cultures”.

Inaccessible Cities added the award to numerous other wins so far this year in the Drum Online, Gracie, New York Festivals and Telly Awards.

More than one billion people – 15 percent of the global population – experience some form of disability. Many live in urban areas.

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The Inaccessible Cities site begins with a simple question: “How would you get around a megacity if you couldn’t walk, see signs or hear cars passing by?”

“It’s a great honour to be recognised by the One World Media Awards,” said Zahra Rasool, head of AJ Contrast.

“Our aim has always been to highlight unreported stories about the people most impacted by inequality, often in the Global South.

“With Inaccessible Cities, we wanted to show how a lack of accessible public transport and infrastructure impacts people with disabilities – especially women – from fully and independently participating in society.

“Our aim is to continue inspiring a new standard for digital news content that’s fully inclusive of people with disabilities and to bring awareness to their challenges.”

In keeping with AJ Contrast’s emphasis on collaboration, the team worked closely with journalists with disabilities, local talent and the women who are the subject of the interactive experience.

“We are very proud of our AJ Contrast team,” said Carlos van Meek, Al Jazeera’s director of Digital Innovation and Programming. “Despite the production challenges brought on by COVID-19, this driven, talented team has continued to innovate and set the benchmark for immersive storytelling.”

Other Al Jazeera Digital teams made the One World long list, including the AJLabs series Visualising the Afghan War and two films by short documentary unit AJ Close Up – Russia’s Banned Youth and Norway’s Afghan Sons.

The Al Jazeera English broadcast channel also was long listed in the News category for the 101 East documentary India’s COVID Warriors. Jurors evaluated a record number of entries from 96 countries.

The complete list of One World winners can be found in the One World Media winners’ gallery.

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Toronto politician accused of homophobic social media posts resigns from city council – blogTO

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Rosemarie Bryan, a newly appointed city councillor for Toronto’s Etobicoke North district, resigned from her position just hours after several homophobic tweets were surfaced from her social media account. 

Bryan was meant to fill the seat of departing City Councillor Michael Ford who resigned his position after his recent victory in the provincial election.

Rather than have an election to fill the open seat, the convention is for the departing city councillor to recommend his or her replacement and as we learned this week, the current city councillors basically agree to the recommendation without any proper vetting or due diligence.

All was fine and well until a number of anti-2SLGBTQ+, Islamophobic and anti-Asian social media posts were surfaced by local journalist Jonathan Goldsbie.

Councillors quickly realized they might have been a tad too hasty to back the appointment which was done through a simple vote. Only two councillors voted against confirming Bryan.

“I want to state unequivocally that had I seen these posts before the vote, I would have never supported Rosemary,” wrote councillor Buxton Potts in a tweet. 

Many of the councillors who voted for Bryan now admit the process needs to change and that the confirmation of replacement councillors has relied too heavily on the recommendation of the departing one.

In this case, no councillors appeared to do any due diligence that could have possibly surfaced the social media posts before Bryan’s appointment was confirmed. 

Some of Bryan’s old posts include shared content from Tucker Carlson and statements from preachers that claim “homosexuality is wrong” and that “divine order is needed in [] churches,” along with comments of approval from Bryan that had, at one point, clearly supported these messages. 

Bryan’s social media posts were first uncovered by Goldsbie on Friday night when he tweeted that City Council’s newest member is a person who has “repeatedly shared anti-LGBTQ content on Facebook” which, the discovery shocking enough on its own, was found at the start of Pride weekend

Councillors began to weigh-in just moments after Goldsbie’s revelation, regretting not digging enough earlier to uncover what would later make a huge difference. 

Bryan issued a statement late Friday stating she was “so devastated” that past social media posts she made “are now being thrown against” her decades of commitment to the community. 

Bryan claims she will “remain committed to helping [her] community in every way that [she] can.”

Many people are still upset at the fact that Bryan was ever appointed in the first place.

People are also critiquing her “apology” or lack thereof, saying that the only apology issued was an apology about the fact that she was discovered. 

Mayor John Tory tweeted that he has now “asked City officials to review the overall appointment process ahead of future Council appointments.”

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Newest council appointment resigns after controversial social media posts surface – CityNews Toronto

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]

  1. Newest council appointment resigns after controversial social media posts surface  CityNews Toronto
  2. Newly appointed Toronto councillor resigns after controversial social media posts resurfaced  CTV News Toronto
  3. Toronto politician accused of homophobic social media posts resigns from city council  blogTO
  4. Toronto’s newest councillor resigns hours after she was appointed  Global News
  5. View Full coverage on Google News



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