Throne Speech Coverage: Media focuses on Yousafzai, EU Trade Deal

by | Oct 17, 2013 | Uncategorized


The Conservative government held its Speech from the Throne yesterday to open a new session of Parliament. As expected, the media covered the event heavily, picking apart the Governor General’s words.

We collected over 13,000 online news articles between yesterday and this morning, and analyzed them to see which of the government’s initiatives got the most attention from the press.

The most popular announcement by far was the news that the government was close to signing the EU free trade deal, CETA.

The deal was mentioned in 22 per cent of all articles that mentioned the Throne Speech.


The EU Trade Deal and Malala Yousafzai’s honourary citizenship were the most mentioned thrones speech announcements.

Not surprisingly, another popular part of the speech was the announcement that Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai would receive honourary Canadian citizenship. Yousafzai was mentioned in just over 16 per cent of all Throne Speech articles.

Journalists especially focused on many of the government’s consumer-oriented promises. Reducing wireless roaming fees was mentioned in 11.5 per cent of articles, while the goal of unbundled cable services was mentioned in just over seven per cent.

While the government didn’t announce the lobbied-for inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, it did promise to “renew efforts to address the issue.” This was mentioned in 10.4 per cent of articles.

Many of the most popular announcements involved recent events. This included “Quanto’s” law for protecting service animals, named in honour of a recently killed Edmonton police dog, and a promise for a cyber-bullying law largely in response to several recent tragic events in Canada.

Several journalists also mentioned new rail safety measures, all in response to the Lac-Mégantic accident, which appeared in nearly eight per cent of articles.

Interestingly, though, new disaster relief measures – mostly in response to the Calgary floods – were hardly mentioned.

Senate reform, a hot topic in recent months and briefly mentioned in the speech, was mentioned in just over two per cent of articles.

You can see the full text of the speech here.

Scott McNeil


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