Here are some of the most in-touch, thoughtful and downright cool Montrealers you should be following on social media.
Erin O’Toole’s first news conference as Conservative leader was a brief encounter, just 15 minutes of questions and answers.
It was too brief, in fact, to gauge what kind of relationship O’Toole will have with the media over the long term, and particularly, whether this new Conservative leader will be as ill-disposed toward the Ottawa press gallery as his two immediate predecessors.
Does it matter? Maybe not to members of the media, who take these things in stride.
But the Conservatives’ mistrust of the Ottawa media has tended to go hand in hand with wider, more generalized resentment of elites, experts and public servants. That’s populism, Canadian-style.
How O’Toole handles the media may well give some clues as to how much he intends to hitch his new leadership to the right-wing populism that has been bubbling up in Canada and in Donald Trump’s America.
The departing Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, used his farewell speech on Sunday night to take several swipes at the “media establishment,” which he cast as only slightly less evil than the 1980s-era Communist “red menace.”
“The mainstream media bias in this country has never been more obvious,” Scheer said in one of roughly half a dozen parting shots at those he clearly believed to be his foes.
“Don’t take the left-wing media narrative as fact,” Scheer said. “Please check out smart, independent, objective organizations like the Post Millennial or True North. There are other places to get news. Let’s stop being the silent majority.”
One assumes that these independent organizations would have had a mixed reaction to this spirited political endorsement, especially True North, which bills itself as a registered Canadian charity, and a “non-governmental, non-partisan” organization. (Funnily enough, just like WE Charity — but that’s another story.)
O’Toole was friendly and forthcoming at his brief news conference on Tuesday, in keeping with his post-victory promise to treat everyone, even non-Conservatives, with respect.
However, his leadership bid was not without his own swipes against the media, most notably his platform promise to partially defund the CBC. If he becomes prime minister, O’Toole promised, he would slash the national broadcaster in two large ways: he would end all financing to CBC’s digital news operation, and he would cut funding for CBC English TV and its cable news network by 50 per cent right away, fully privatizing them by the end of his first mandate. The radio and French divisions of CBC would be spared.
“It’s 2020,” O’Toole said on his website. “Canadians have hundreds of channels to choose from, thousands of online options, and lots of Canadian content. We don’t need CBC television.” This is red meat to the Conservative base.
Writing about the Conservatives’ antipathy to the media is always tricky, because it runs the risk of sounding like whining. For what it’s worth, reporters are accustomed to being resented by politicians of all stripes, and they don’t last long in the business if they’re thin-skinned about it.
But the Conservatives’ criticism of the media is freighted with the conviction that journalists are partisan, and cover their party in a way that’s intended to keep it out of power. Negative coverage of the Conservatives is almost always perceived by the base as dark collusion with Liberals — Canada’s deep state.
This sentiment was laced through Scheer’s farewell speech on Monday night, as it was through the regular anti-media pronouncements from former prime minister Stephen Harper.
Practically speaking, there’s also a handsome monetary payoff to hating the media. Fundraising blasts that target the CBC have proven over the years to be one of the biggest generators of dollars to Conservative party coffers, right up there with email warnings about Liberals coming to get people’s guns.
Politicians of all varieties are fond of saying that in this era of social media, they don’t need the traditional media as much as they once did — that they can “detour” around TV, radio and print and go straight to the online platforms that are often echo chambers for the already-persuaded.
But the Conservatives, interestingly, didn’t do any kind of online program for their leadership announcement on Sunday night, even attempting to time it to end before people tuned into the hockey game on TV. If you were a non-Conservative trying to follow the action on Sunday night — or lack of it, due to technical difficulties — you needed to follow traditional media.
Maybe that’s the sign of a truce with their perceived foes. Or it could be that the Conservatives’ resentment of the media is so well-established now that it’s become an Ottawa tradition in itself — one that any good populist would want to smash down. That would definitely be a new look for the party.
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7 Montrealers you need to follow on social media
We’re living through generation social media — there’s no way around it, and while the benefits and pitfalls that come along with social media are constantly being debated, being mindful about who you choose to follow is one of the simplest ways to ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform.
Looking to freshen up your feed with a new curation of Montreal-based YouTubers and Instagrammers? Here are some of the most in-touch, thoughtful and downright cool Montrealers you should be following on social media. From high-end fashion influencers to uplifting and inspiring personalities, these local social media stars are sure to breathe some fresh air into your feed.
Former Bachelor star Vanessa Grimaldi is best known around Montreal for her contributions to special education programs across the city. As the founder of No Better You, an organization that provides the necessary tools to help give students in the special needs community a voice, Grimaldi’s personal Instagram offers an insider’s glimpse into the happenings around the city with a distinctly positive and uplifting lens.
Documenting her life online since 2013 when she was received a cancer diagnosis in her early 20s, speaker and wellness advocate Nalie Agustin offers an unfiltered look into what it really means to be a cancer thriver and twentysomething in Montreal. Whether it’s a glamorous speaking event abroad or a visit to the doctor’s office, Agustin’s refreshing honesty and positive approach to life will inspire you to live every day with gratitude — no matter what the universe may throw your way.
While Instagram is increasingly becoming a spot to share longer, more meaningful blog-style captions rather than just esthetically pleasing images, Audrey Rivet seamlessly integrates the two. Her “beige-tinted” Instagram feed is a visual feast of destinations in and around Montreal while her honest captions and stories — including topics surrounding mental health, body image and social justice issues — provide a welcome dose of depth and realness.
A self-proclaimed “skin care enthusiast and visual storyteller,” Josiane Konaté is the founder of Maison Petite & Bold, a curated online marketplace that offers head wraps, home decor and various other lifestyle items made in West Africa. Aside from her role as owner and curator at Maison Petite & Bold, Konaté’s colourful and bilingual feed is full of timeless fashion inspiration, parenting realness and happenings around the city.
At first glance, Tiffany Lai’s Instagram feed appears to be an artfully arranged curation of interior decor, fashion and travel highlights — but look beyond the esthetics and you’ll quickly find the YouTuber and Instagrammer’s musings centre just as much on mental health, self-care and educating her followers on what it means to be anti-racist (particularly when it comes to promoting awareness around cultural appropriation in the restaurant industry).
Born and raised in Lebanon, Grece Ghanem has lived many lives, to say the least. The microbiologist-turned-personal trainer and Instagram style icon has been profiled everywhere from Vogue to Harper’s Bazaar — and for good reason. The fiftysomething content creator is redefining what it means to be a style icon in the digital age by way of an artful blend of enviable style, joie de vivre and self-confidence.
Katie DiCaprio is a marketer, podcast host and entrepreneur with a penchant for keeping it real on Instagram. Known as @mtlkatie on social media, DiCaprio has garnered attention for her unfiltered take on the greater influencer and marketing world; specifically for her ability to pull back the veil on little-known industry terms, feed esthetics and strategies that the average social media user should be aware of when they’re considering who to follow and what content to consume.
Source: – County Weekly News
Is the Media Getting Better at Covering Suicide?
Mental health advocates have long criticized the mainstream media for getting it wrong when reporting suicide. These criticisms are based on a historical corpus of research indicating that suicide was frequently reported in an inappropriate manner in the media. Common issues include glorifying or romanticizing suicide and giving excessive detail about the suicide method used. A recent review paper indicates that such coverage could contribute towards “copycat suicides.”
Indeed, one well-publicized U.S. study found a 10 percent increase in suicide mortality after the 2014 death of Robin Williams, which was partially attributed to inappropriate media coverage. Similar increases in suicide mortality were witnessed in Canada and Australia after the death of this well-known celebrity.
As such, mental health advocates take the view that working with the media is an important suicide prevention activity. This has led to initiatives in a variety of countries including Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. Here in Canada, concerted action to improve media reporting of suicide is steered by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, which has organized several activities to improve media coverage of suicide.
One of these activities is the creation and dissemination of best practice guidelines to promote the Responsible Reporting on Suicide, contained in a glossy booklet called Mindset. Over 5,000 copies of Mindset have been distributed to reporters and journalism schools across Canada in recent years, and Mindset is freely available on the internet.
Mindset encourages journalists to write about suicide in a manner that avoids content that may contribute to copycat suicides. This includes avoiding glorifying or romanticizing the suicide and omitting details about the suicide method used. Similarly, Mindset encourages reporters to include content that can foster positive behaviours such as educational information, quotes from experts, and suicide helpline numbers.
In other words, Mindset balances recommendations to avoid certain potentially harmful content, with recommendations to include certain potentially helpful content. These recommendations overlap considerably with Responsible Reporting on Suicide recommendations produced by other organizations in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K., as well as by the WHO.
Given this situation, it is important to assess the media’s adherence to these recommendations, as low adherence may contribute to copycat suicides, while high adherence may play a role in suicide prevention. As such, my colleagues and I recently examined adherence to Responsible Reporting on Suicide recommendations in a large sample of Canadian news articles published between April 2019 and March 2020. The results of this study were published this month in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, and they reveal some interesting findings.
On the one hand, there was high adherence to many recommendations. For example, over 90 percent of articles did not glamourize suicide or give a simplistic explanation of suicide. Moreover, over 80 percent of articles did not include sensational language or use discouraged words.
On the other hand, there was low adherence to other recommendations, especially those related to content that is potentially helpful. For example, less than 1 in 4 of the articles quote an expert, include help-seeking content, or educational material. Furthermore, around 40 percent mentioned the suicide location or the method, which is discouraged in the recommendations.
Interestingly, articles about a high-profile suicide or about a murder-suicide had the lowest rate of adherence to the guidelines. With regards to high-profile suicides, only 7 percent include help-seeking information, and 2 percent include attempts to educate about suicide. Similarly, around 70 percent of articles about murder-suicide detail the method used, while around 30 percent use sensational language. In contrast, articles focused on suicide policy, research or events had the highest rate of adherence.
In sum, this study revealed that a substantial proportion of articles adhere to many suicide reporting recommendations, especially recommendations to avoid or omit certain content. However, several recommendations are commonly underapplied, especially those related to the proactive inclusion of potentially helpful content, indicating room for improvement.
Interestingly, these results overlap considerably with another just-published study led by Steven Sumner at the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), which also found a scarcity of positive protective elements in news articles about suicide, particularly in U.S. news articles
To conclude, the media has a vital role to play in suicide prevention, and we should be thankful for their efforts to date. But more can be done, and this will require renewed collaboration between journalists, researchers, and suicide prevention experts. This can include targeted engagement with newsrooms, journalism schools, and individual journalists. Such efforts may further improve suicide prevention and ultimately help those in need.
Readers can obtain 24-hour emotional support from national telephone helplines including the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566 (1-866-277-3553 in Quebec); and the U.K. Samaritans on 116 123. Readers elsewhere can obtain local helpline numbers and suicide prevention resources via the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
To find a therapist, visit the Psychology Today Therapy Directory.
Source: – Psychology Today
Social media use linked with depression, secondary trauma during COVID-19 – Science Daily
Can’t stop checking social media for the latest COVID-19 health information? You might want to take a break, according to researchers at Penn State and Jinan University who discovered that excessive use of social media for COVID-19 health information is related to both depression and secondary trauma.
“We found that social media use was rewarding up to a point, as it provided informational, emotional and peer support related to COVID-19 health topics,” said Bu Zhong, associate professor of journalism, Penn State. “However, excessive use of social media led to mental health issues. The results imply that taking a social media break may promote well-being during the pandemic, which is crucial to mitigating mental health harm inflicted by the pandemic.”
The study, which published online on Aug. 15 in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, included 320 participants living in urban districts of Wuhan, China. In February 2020, the team gave the participants an online survey that investigated how they accessed and shared health information with family members, friends and colleagues on social media, specifically WeChat, China’s most popular social media mobile app.
The team used an instrument created to measure Facebook addiction to assess participants’ use of WeChat. Using a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, the survey assessed participants’ views of WeChat in providing them with informational, emotional and peer support. The survey also assessed participants’ health behavior changes as a result of using social media.
Statements related to informational support included, “I use WeChat to gain information about how to manage the coronavirus epidemic,” and “If I have a question or need help related to the coronavirus epidemic, I can usually find the answers on WeChat.” Statements related to emotional support included, “My stress levels go down while I’m engaging with others on WeChat,” and “The health information on WeChat helps me alleviate feelings of loneliness.” Statements related to peer support included, “I use WeChat to share practical advice and suggestions about managing the coronavirus epidemic,” and “I have used some of the information I learned from WeChat friends as part of my management strategies for coping with the coronavirus epidemic.”
The survey also investigated participants’ health behavior changes related to the use of WeChat, asking them to rate statements such as, “The health information on WeChat has changed many of my health behaviors, such as but not limited to wearing face masks, using sanitizer, or washing hands.”
To assess depression, the researchers used a 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale in which participants rated statements such as, “I couldn’t seem to experience any positive feeling at all,” and “I felt that life was meaningless.”
According to Zhong, secondary trauma refers to the behaviors and emotions resulting from knowledge about a traumatizing event experienced by a significant other. Using the Secondary Trauma Stress Scale, the researchers asked respondents to rate statements such as, “My heart started pounding when I thought about the coronavirus epidemic,” and “I had disturbing dreams about the coronavirus epidemic.”
“We found that the Wuhan residents obtained tremendous informational and peer support but slightly less emotional support when they accessed and shared health information about COVID-on WeChat,” said Zhong. “The participants also reported a series of health behavior changes, such as increased hand washing and use of face masks.
More than half of the respondents reported some level of depression, with nearly 20% of them suffering moderate or severe depression. Among the respondents who reported secondary trauma, the majority reported a low (80%) level of trauma, while fewer reported moderate (13%) and high (7%) levels of trauma. None of the participants reported having any depressive or traumatic disorders before the survey was conducted.
“Our results show that social media usage was related to both depression and secondary trauma during the early part of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan,” said Zhong. “The findings suggest that taking a social media break from time to time may help to improve people’s mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Other authors on the paper include Yakun Huang and Qian Liu of Jinan University.
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