Media advisory - Expert to testify at Cornwall Public Inquiry on impact media coverage may have had on individuals, institutions

    CORNWALL, ON, Oct. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of the community context
evidence currently being heard at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, a well-known
media expert will provide insight into the impact media coverage may have had
on the community and whether that coverage influenced institutional response
to allegations of child sexual abuse.
    The presentation of evidence by media expert Dr. Mary Lynn Young will be
heard on Oct. 29 and 30. Rarely, if ever, has an analysis of the role of the
media and its impact been presented as evidence at a public inquiry. The
intent of Dr. Young's evidence is to assist in understanding the impact of
media coverage and whether or not it was a factor in the responses of some
individuals or institutions.
    The Inquiry has been tasked with inquiring into and reporting on the
institutional response of the justice system and other public institutions in
relation to allegations of historical abuse of young people in the Cornwall
area. Having nearly completed hearing testimony from witnesses who are victims
or alleged victims of child sexual abuse, the Inquiry is now hearing community
context evidence. Much of this form of evidence is provided by individuals who
were not themselves victims of childhood sexual abuse, but who became involved
in issues related to allegations of abuse. Some of the witnesses scheduled to
appear have held to the view that there was disregard for - or suppression of
- information regarding abuse of children and youth.
    Dr. Young is the acting director and an associate professor at the
University of British Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. She is a
former national business columnist for The Globe and Mail and, for a decade,
was a reporter at a number of major metropolitan daily newspapers in Canada
and the United States including The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, The
Hamilton Spectator and The Houston Post. Dr. Young's research interests
include the sociology of the newsroom, media representations of crime and the
economy and media credibility. She is also an award-winning university
educator, a public speaker on current media and policy issues and a media
    Below is the complete witness list for the week of Oct. 29, 2007.
Hearings begin at 2 p.m., each Monday and 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to Thursday.
Please check the Inquiry website ( weekly to ensure the
dates have not changed:

    - Oct. 29-30       Dr. Mary Lynn Young (media expert)
    - Oct. 31          Dick Nadeau ODE (overview of documentary evidence)
                       Carmen Prégent
    - Nov. 1           Commissioner Julian Fantino

For further information:

For further information: Joan Weinman, (613) 294-5679

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