Canada and the World, Ep. 29: Behind the scenes of Canadian foreign news coverage

A new podcast series from and the Balsillie School of International Affairs

By: /
22 February, 2019

How do Canadian journalists reporting on international issues decide what to cover? What is considered a ‘foreign’ issue from a Canadian perspective? And, which foreign stories will matter in 2019? Podcast host Bessma Momani brings together Toronto Star Washington correspondent Daniel Dale, known for his thorough fact-checking of US President Donald Trump, Globe and Mail foreign affairs reporter Michelle Zilio, based in Ottawa, and OpenCanada managing editor Eva Salinas. What happens by simply adding ‘Trump’ to any given headline? Do foreign policy issues matter now, in this Canadian election year, more than ever? What do we miss when we read only English-language news? From the surge of asylum seekers at the border to finding a resolution in Venezuela, this episode covers the most urgent topics — and questions — raised by Canadian media.

Our host

Bessma Momani is professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Fulbright Scholar. She has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a 2015 Fellow at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She’s a frequent analyst and expert on international affairs in Canadian and global media.

This week’s guests

Daniel Dale has covered President Donald Trump and Canada-US relations as The Toronto Star’s Washington bureau chief since 2015. He was a Toronto city hall reporter and bureau chief from 2010 through 2014. He has won a National Newspaper Award for short features.

Michelle Zilio is a reporter in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau. Previously, she was the associate producer of CTV’s Question Period and a political writer for Michelle has also worked as a parliamentary reporter for iPolitics, covering foreign affairs, defence and immigration, and as a city desk reporter at The Ottawa Citizen. She began her journalism career with a Farm Radio International internship in Ghana.

Eva Salinas is the managing editor of She was previously editor of The Santiago Times in Chile and a freelance correspondent for The Globe and Mail, The Times of London, the CBC, BBC, Al Jazeera and others.

Canada and the World is produced and edited by Matthew Markudis. Each episode can be found on iTunes and other podcast applications.

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Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

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