The election is over, but he post mortems continue, this time regarding the media’s role in the 78-day campaign. From early coverage of the Mike Duffy fraud, breach of trust and bribery trial, to an “angry Tory” calling journalists “lying pieces of shit,” to photos of dead children on beaches changing the channel on refugee and immigration issues during the election, and various endorsements for various parties from multiple media outlets, the media’s role was to some, controversial, and to others, influential. The Globe and Mail’s public editor Sylvia Stead wrote a column about her own paper’s role in the election, and asked whether the coverage was fair and balanced. Ms. Stead noted that the Globe published 231 news and analysis articles, 134 photos and 122 columns related to the election. Of the news stories where one leader or party was featured more predominantly than the others, there were 53 that focused on Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, 45 for NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and 38 for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. And, of all the coverage, Ms. Stead said two received the most complaints: the Globe’s endorsement of the Conservative Party for government but not Mr. Harper, and a feature profile of Mr. Trudeau. “Both stories were well read, but the first left some certain The Globe is pro-Conservative while, to others, the latter meant it was pro-Liberal,” Ms. Stead wrote. “In the end, the most important task for a news organization is to provide the information people need to make a well-informed choice. And, in general terms, I believe the Globe covered all the bases.” In this week’s Hill Times, Murray Dobbin also takes the media to task for its election coverage. “The other democratic institution that needs renewed attention is the media and in particular the newspapers in this country. Regrettably, we have adapted to the outrageous concentration of newspaper ownership in Canada,” Mr. Dobbin writes. “It is instructive to compare the dailies’ count with the social media sites that engaged in the election. B.C.-based Dogwood Initiative has 184,000 “contactable” supporters, Vancouver’s Open Media boasts 300,000 plus supporters and LeadNow, the main strategic voting group, has over 400,000 active supporters. Of course these sites aren’t news organizations and despite the dailies’ declining subscribers and revenue they still have a major impact on framing the public discourse.” Media stars Rosemary Barton (whose interview with former Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, who eventually lost his seat, just after the Syrian refugee crisis became an election issue, was one of the media highlights of the campaign), columnist Susan Delacourt and Maclean’s political editor Paul Wells, who hosted one of the national debates, will be talking about all this and more at a panel discussion. The event, hosted by Carleton University and moderated by journalism school associate director Susan Harada, takes place today from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Carleton’s Residence Commons. Register here.