Sample Essay: Homelessness in Canada

Essay Instructions:

  1. Pick an important/newsworthy issue that’s currently being covered in the media and track the media coverage on this issue. The issue is homelessness. (Links are below)
  2. Track media coverage of your issue this week. As you track the issue, notice how the various media cover the story. What is their perspective? Assess the factors impacting the issue, and discuss how the issue evolves over time. Specifically, Collect coverage from the following sources:




Please cite all sources using APA.

  1. Analyze media coverage for each week. Below are some sample questions to guide your analysis. You may have other points to add as well.
  2. a) Identify the various stakeholders.
  3. b) From what perspective does each of the media sources cover the story?
  4. c) Do any of the media sources seem to take a side? Please explain.
  5. d) What are the key message points that are communicated in the various media?
  6. e) How is the story developing this week in each of the various media?
  7. f) What conclusions are drawn, if any, by the media?
  8. g) What are your thoughts about the media coverage of the issue? For example, is the issue covered thoroughly and in an unbiased manner? What evidence is there of this? Have reporters gathered information from a variety of sources? Are any questions left unanswered? Do you feel that, given the media coverage, the general public should have a good understanding of all sides of the issue?
  9. h) Have you changed your opinion about this issue? Why or why not?
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Response to the Essay Prompt





Homelessness in Canada

            Canada has experienced a rise in cases of homelessness over the recent past, prompting extensive media coverage on the issue. Cleverly (2017) notes that there is a rapid increase in the number of people who are camping at Victoria city parks, noting that there were 304 pitched tents in April 2017. The increase in homelessness in Victoria is similar in other cities, despite the government’s continued efforts in funding social housing. The Canadian government asserts that homelessness is a major challenge to many Canadians, which in turn presents challenges to the community (Canada, 2017).

            The homelessness issue has various stakeholders, with the central government being a major player. The other stakeholders in the issue include the private sector, not-for-profit organizations, communities, as well as the regional governments (Canada, 2017). To highlight the importance of some of the stakeholders solving the homelessness problem, Ackermann and Nassar (2017) highlight the importance of the Coast-to-Coast walk, which is aimed at raising funds for the more than 2,500 homeless veterans. In this walk, the community, the private sector, as well as the not-for-profit organizations take part, raising funds that are channeled towards the housing of the homeless veterans. News1130 highlights the importance of this walk, noting that volunteers from across 17 cities participate in the walk (Ackermann & Nassar, 2017).

            Some of the media houses report on the homelessness issue positively, highlighting the efforts by the various stakeholders to end the problem. Other media houses report on the issue negatively, noting that the problem is only escalating, with more people becoming homeless in the recent past. Times Colonist, for instance, notes that there is a need for the federal government to invest more in housing, to ensure that homelessness reduces, or else the number of homeless people will continue growing (Cleverly, 2017). One can, therefore, deduce that the Times Colonist perceives the federal government as not doing enough to end the problem. On the other hand, News1130 notes that there is a need for Canadians to help each other to end the problem, noting that it would take a concerted effort from all the stakeholders (Ackermann & Nassar, 2017). Thus, one can argue that some of the media houses perceive the homelessness as a consequence of the federal government’s insufficient investments in housing, while others view it as a problem that ought to be handled by all the concerned parties collectively.

            Some of the media sources appear to be taking sides by asserting that the stakeholders, especially the federal and regional governments are doing less to reduce the cases of homelessness. Metro News, for instance, argues that homelessness is not because of a lack of moral, rather, it is a result of the failure by the government as well as the society (Mochama, 2017). News1130, on the other hand, notes that homelessness results from a lack of awareness by the society, thus a need for the society to be aware of the problem and its severity. Therefore, one can deduce that the media sources take sides when reporting on the issues, with some blaming the government, whereas others blame the society and the lack awareness on the magnitude of the homelessness problem.

            The key messages that the media house are communicating on the issue surround the creation of awareness on the issue and the government taking a more central role in addressing the problem. Metro News reports on the role that the members of the society are playing to solve the problem, citing that more than $90,000 has been raised through crowdfunding to assist the homeless people (Mochama, 2017). Times Colonist, on the other hand, reports on the failure to the government, noting that in 1989 the federal government spent $114 per Canadian to make housing more affordable. In 2018 however, the federal government plans to spend $50 on housing, highlighting the reduced government’s reduced funding on housing.

            The Times Colonist reports on the rising number of people who are tenting in the Victoria city parks, due to the growth in homelessness. Metro News, on the other hand, reports on the increasing willingness of people to contribute to the efforts of eradicating homelessness in Canada, citing that homelessness is not a lifestyle choice. Furthermore, News1130 reports on the efforts by Canadians to increase the awareness about the problem, highlighting the Coast-to-Coast walk that is aimed at creating awareness regarding the issue.

            The media covers the issue extensively and in an unbiased manner, and notes the stakeholders who have failed and the things that can be done to address the issue. For instance, the Times Colonist describes the problem as it is currently while highlighting its history, noting instances such as the reduced funding by the government to make housing more affordable (Ackermann & Nassar, 2017). The reporters gather information regarding homelessness from various sources, which include government records and accounts by some of the victims and other members of the society. News1130, for example, uses sources such as the Coast-to-Coast walk organizer, Debbie Lowther, to get an unbiased perspective and statistics regarding the homelessness issue.

            On reading these news sources, one changes the perspective towards homelessness. Initially, one would think that homelessness is because of lack of morals or being irresponsible. On reading these sources, however, one vividly understands that homelessness a consequence failure by the government and the society. The awareness raised by these media sources is essential since it will change many people’s perspective on homelessness, thus enabling them to take a more active role in addressing the problem.


Ackermann, J., & Nassar, H. (2017, June 10). Coast to Coast awareness walk for homeless veterans – NEWS 1130. Retrieved from http://www.news1130.com/2017/06/10/coast-coast-awareness-walk-homeless-veterans/

Canada. (2017, June 5). Government of Canada takes action to address homelessness in the Montréal Area – Canada.ca. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2017/06/government_of_canadatakesactiontoaddresshomelessnessinthemontrea.html?=undefined&wbdisable=true

Cleverly, B. (2017, June 7). Tenters on the rise in Victoria’s parks. Retrieved from http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/tenters-on-the-rise-in-victoria-s-parks-1.20449358

Mochama, V. (2017, June 7). Homelessness isn’t the result of a lack of morals: Mochama | Metro News. Retrieved from http://www.metronews.ca/views/metro-views/2017/06/06/vicky-mochama-on-homelessness-.html

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