First World War media coverage in Canada and Britain

Crowds gather to read the war news, Victoria 1914

Crowds gather to read war news in Victoria BC in 1914

Since last autumn I’ve closely monitored First World War Centenary media coverage in Canada and Britain. In the UK the “big push” is underway and engaged on all media fronts: print, radio, television and the web. Considering the centenary hasn’t officially begun yet the BBC has done an amazing job of building awareness both nationally and locally with special attention paid to life on the home front. Not surprisingly efforts extend well beyond the Beeb with museums, archives, schools and dozens of local organizations publishing, sharing, blogging, tweeting and organizing special commemorative events.

In sharp contrast is the coverage in Canada which to date has been minimal. The CBC is missing in action [Edit: pleased to report that IDEAS about World War One aired on CBC Radio between June 23 – 27] however there are signs that other media organizations are stepping up to do their bit.

The Toronto Star has certainly done so by featuring what is undoubtedly the highlight of Canadian First World War Centenary coverage to date: Walking the Western Front by Katie Daubs and Richard Lautens. The pair just completed a two-month walk of the trenches in France and Belgium while publishing 50 – yes FIFTY! – stories on the First World War. The articles and the accompanying photographs are a fine tribute to those who served our country a century ago.

Another excellent series, this one just getting underway, is Remembering the Great War by the Waterloo Region Record. Many of the stories contain a multimedia element including this introduction to the Remembering Project. It is definitely worth checking out.

If you or your organization has a First World War Centenary project underway or in the planning stages please contact me as I would be happy to feature it on my blog.

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