A group that is teaching people on northern Ontario reserves how to be journalists says the existing coverage of aboriginal issues is pitiful.

Journalists for Human Rights says it studied print and online media coverage only and said it found that stories on aboriginal issues made up less than half of one per cent of all stories published last year.


Journalists for Human Rights, a Canadian media development organization, conducted a quantitative analysis of media coverage in Ontario of Aboriginal people, culture and issues between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2013. The study examined the trends, news spikes and tone of media coverage focused on Aboriginal people. (Supplied)

Spokesperson Robin Pierro said that’s not enough coverage for a group that makes up two per cent of the population.

The coverage that did exist was also mostly of crisis situations — such as the housing emergency in Attawapiskat.

Pierro acknowledged news media organizations frequently gravitate toward conflict or negative stories, but said they are missing positive stories in aboriginal communities.

"If you look at news coverage of Toronto, or Sudbury or Timmins there are other community based stories that don't just focus on crisis," she said.

Pierro says ongoing stories like the recent election in Attawapiskat should be covered more widely.

She also pointed out that one of the group's students helped a CBC reporter who covered the election.

"She is working in collaboration with mainstream media and we'd like to see it get to the point where CBC doesn't have to send someone to Attawapiskat because we have someone there with the equipment and the skills to produce those stories."