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Source: Malaspina University College

Malaspina Media Lecture Series great place for open dialogue

October 20, 2006

The public is invited
to dig into some hot topics during Malaspina University-College’s new Media
Lecture Series.

The five-part series is hosted by the Malaspina Media Studies Department and
will include discussion on a variety of media-related issues including media
coverage of war, micro-radio, the role of corporate media in today’s world
and politics.

"In addition to being fun and interactive, the Media Lecture Series gives
the community a chance to engage in a more critical way with the media,"
said Naava Smolash, a Malaspina Media Studies professor who will kick off
the series with her Oct. 27 lecture and discussion, "Detained without
Charge: Security Certificate Coverage in Canada’s National Newspapers".

"Media Studies, and the media lecture series, bring out real debate over
vital questions of our times: are the corporate media informing us of what
we need to know?"

Smolash, who is currently completing a PhD at Simon Fraser University, has
been fascinated by media since she started her undergrad degree. She’s
worked in several student and community newspapers and did her master's
thesis on nationalism and racism in the Canadian print media during times of

Smolash’s lecture will examine how Security Certificates work in Canada and
how national media outlets like The Globe and Mail and The National Post
framed this issue during the period of two hunger strikes by detainees.

Established in 1991, Security Certificates are a document issued under the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that allows the Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency
Preparedness to detain non-citizens indefinitely pending deportation,
without disclosing the reasons for the detention to the detainees or their
lawyers. Amnesty International calls this process "fundamentally flawed and

"Security Certificates are a test case for the media because they are so
contrary to the way we think Canada works," said Smolash.

"The idea that people can be detained here indefinitely without charges or a
trial, and that even the lawyers of the detainees do not know why their
clients are detained, is simply astounding to most Canadians."

"Canada's self image as a gentle, fair, and democratic country comes into
question when you start to recognize all of the people whose stories rarely,
if ever, make it into the mass media," she said.

"Ten thousand people are detained and deported each year in Canada, and
hundreds of thousands of people live in Canada on temporary worker visas,
working on farms, in manufacturing and the service industry as domestics and
caring for children. They work for very low pay and without having equal
rights or protection even as workers under the law."

Smolash’s lecture will be followed by "Challenges and Strategies for
Visualizing War and Conflict" with Debra Pentecost, Nov. 24; "Micro-radio:
Narrowcasting to Create Community" with Marian van der Zon, Jan. 26; "It
Takes More Than Spin to Win" with Kathryn-Jane Hazel, Feb. 23; and "The
Canada/Cuba Image Dialogue: Photography, Ethnography, Ideology" with
Marshall Soules, Mar. 23.

The Friday afternoon events are at the Nanaimo campus, building 355, room
211 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to these free discussions.
For information about Media Studies programs at Malaspina go to


For more information contact: Toni O'Keeffe, Director of Communications &
Public Relations. Phone (250) 740-6341; FAX (250) 740-6474; E-mail



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