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Feminist Media Project (2007-2009)

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The Feminist Media Project was started by a group of concerned academics and journalists focused on a feminist intervention in media depictions of missing and murdered women, and the related trial of Robert Pickton in Vancouver, British Columbia, for 26 charges of first-degree murder in the slayings of women.

Details of the trial against Pickton, which begins in January 2007, are bound to generate the most salacious and disturbing media coverage that reinforces stereotypes about women victims of violence and their perpetrators. Recognition of these issues and subsequent change in media representations can only occur through informed public discourse.

The website, which launched in January 2007, is under the direction of Dr. Mary Lynn Young, a faculty member at the University of British Columbia School of Journalism.

Our Approach

We plan to intervene in media representations of the case through research into news media, articles and online discussion Our site offers analysis, commentary and news alerts about the media coverage of the Missing Women from a feminist perspective. It is a comprehensive resource of feminist analysis on the Missing Women case from academic journal articles to an annotated bibliography of recent relevant research involving missing women and violence against women. There is also a section with high-quality media training documents for women-centered organizations.

The Web is providing a podium for new feminist media voices from former sex trade workers who are reporting on the trial for a Vancouver news site to the first Feminist talk-radio station in the United States. Women’s groups in Vancouver have pulled together to request that mainstream media not name Pickton in their news reports; that they focus on the material and emotional reality of missing women and not the gory detail of the trial.

We all know that public discourse is a negotiation among unequal voices. We believe that resistance to dominant understandings of race, class, gender and the media is possible.

We are financially supported by Status of Women Canada and the University of British Columbia.


Dr. Yasmin Jiwani
Associate Professor
Concordia University
Dr. Yasmin Jiwani is a feminist activist and academic. Her academic research is focused on race, gender and the media, with a recent project on women in war. She is well-known in Vancouver feminist organizations for her management of the FREDA Centre, a feminist research organization funded by Simon Fraser University.
Dr. Jiwani joined the project for 6 months and worked on the annotated bibliography, content analysis of the Missing Women and academic research, as well as the media training.

Dr. Minelle Mahtani
Associate Professor
University of Toronto
Dr. Minelle Mahtani has been a television journalist with the CBC and feminist academic, whose research interests include, “Mixed race” identity, media and minority representation, critical journalism, women of colour in geography mixed race, diasporic media and issues surrounding media and diversity. She was one of the initial founders of the project.

Dr. Mary Lynn Young
Associate Professor
University of British Columbia
Dr. Mary Lynn Young has been a newspaper journalist at major publications in North America, including a recent three-year stint as a national business columnist at The Globe and Mail. Her academic research interests include the relationship between gender and media economics, newsroom sociology, developing a new and more feminist model of news, and issues surrounding trust and well being in the news.

Heather Peters
Research Assistant
Concordia University
Heather Peters is a Master’s student in Concordia University’s Communications Department. Her research examines Canadian press representations of women working in the Thai sex tourism industry.

Dr. Yasmin Jiwani, Dr. Minelle Mahtani, Dr. Mary Lynn Young, Heather Peters


49° 15' 40.4136" N, 123° 6' 50.1372" W
Type of project: 
Blog & Web 2.0
Gender studies
Representation of women
Sexual violence
Timerange, Issue-nr, ...: 
2007 - 2009
Language of project: