Fred Fletcher, professor emeritus, communication studies and political science in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University has been awarded MacEwan University’s Medal of Excellence.
The award was presented to Fletcher during MacEwan University’s convocation ceremonies for the Faculty of Fine Arts & Communications in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to the academy.
“Since I have continued to work for the development of communication studies in Canada since my retirement, I was pleased to be recognized for my contribution to the study of political communication, which was also recognized in 2002 by York University which made me a University Professor,” said Fletcher. “Most important to me, I led the team that developed the highly successful Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture (a partnership of York and Ryerson). My most recent work with York political science Professor Daniel Drache is presented in a report titled What the Canadian Public is Being Told about the more than 1200 Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and First Nations Issues: A Content and Context Analysis of Major Mainstream Canadian Media, 2014-2015. The report is summarized in a recent article in Policy Options. Like many retirees, I continue to conduct research and to teach from time to time.”
Fletcher’s published work includes seven books and more than 100 technical papers and journal articles on media-related issues, including pioneering studies of the Ontario Legislative Press Gallery, the Ottawa Press Gallery, and news coverage of election campaigns in Canada, election campaign advertising, communication policy and regulatory issues.
Fletcher has worked in a research role for three Royal Commissions, most recently the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing. He was senior researcher for the Royal Commission on Newspapers and contributed to an earlier commission on the Canadian economy. He was also the founding president of the Canadian Media Research Consortium, which commissioned several important works on the future of traditional media in the digital age. This work continues with the Canadian Internet Project, which conducts national surveys of Internet use and is affiliated with the World Internet Project.
As a consultant, Fletcher has conducted research for and advised many of Canada’s major news organizations, and federal and provincial government departments and agencies. In 2010, he was a consultant on the News Balance Study, a comprehensive content analysis of the CBC’s news reporting. He has also served as a court-recognized expert witness in a number of constitutional cases related to election law and information and media issues.
Before joining York University, Fletcher taught at the University of Washington. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto, and has presented special lectures at many universities, including the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Queen’s University, Trent University, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Swinburne University (Melbourne). He also presented a major lecture on electoral regulation at the state legislature of Victoria (Australia).