Reporting story from Legislature on Social Development Guardian does not identify or use word “disability”
The front page story in Saturday’s Guardian
is an example of the media bias against Islanders with disabilities. The Guardian failed to report the story by ignoring the references to people with disabilities who are the subject of the report.
It is akin to a newspaper reporting “Family evacuated to city street in middle of winter night” without telling the readers their house was on fire.
What’s particularly galling is to read the story and realize they probably left the word “disability” out as a policy.
The report by MLA Paula Biggar from the Standing Committee on Social Development pointed out the inadequacies of the Social Assistance Act and the PEI Disability Support Program to address the needs of Islanders.
The Guardian story does not contain and of the words “disabilities, disability, or disabled”.
Does it need to?
60% of PEI’s families living in poverty are there due to the disability of a family head, it seems strange that the Guardian would not report that as part of their story.
The actual legislative record
contains the words disability and disabilities. One of the recommendations of the report was “Sixth, that the Government of Prince Edward Island review the various recommendations put forward to your committee regarding services for senior citizens, particularly those with a disability, with a view to improve access to provincial services. Your committee also encourages government to expand its current offering of programs by the addition of programs tailored to the needs of Island seniors.
The Guardian reported none of that.
It seems to be a repeat of past bias shown by the Guardian to real stories about Islanders with disabilities. The Guardian is quite adept at reporting on cute children featured as Easter Seals ambassadors or “special” sporting athletes.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network