Mary-Lynn Young


Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs


Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Racialized early-career journalists in Canada and alternative journalistic approaches (2023)

Media and feminist scholars argue that journalism has been a white male bastion, and the norms and practices of journalism reflect its context. Prior research also indicates that minority journalists often have to withhold their racial identity and personal experiences to comply with the professional norms and values of journalism. Informed by Critical Race Theory (CRT), this thesis investigates the professional lived experience of journalists from racialized backgrounds in Canada regarding unorthodox journalism practices, relationality as racialized professionals, and early-career experiences. By conducting seven semi-structured interviews with early-career Asian Canadian journalists, this study identified four main themes: (1) journalists challenge traditional journalism practices through endorsing trauma-informed journalism, which values building rapport with sources and minimizing harm; (2) positionality and intersectionality impact their news judgement, values, and journalism practice; and evidence suggests that racialized journalists have formed a robust and supportive network of connections; (3) early-career journalists are vulnerable to precarious employment; (4) there is still a lack of representation of racialized people in editorial positions. This thesis highlights the significance of trauma-informed journalism and argues that further research in this area could yield new possibilities for journalism ethics and practice.

View record

Canadian news media coverage of the George Floyd protests: a content analysis (2022)

This thesis examines how four English-language Canadian news organizations reported on the Black Lives Matter protests that sprung up after the killing of George Floyd in 2020. A framing analysis of 55 articles from four news outlets in two of the countries’ largest English-speaking cities examined how the news media used language, framing, and sources to report on the protests. I coded for several key variables, including overall tone, sourcing, and the presence of marginalizing and legitimizing framing devices. This thesis found that all four news outlets were more likely to use an overall positive tone to frame the protests and protesters by emphasizing peacefulness and highlighting the underlying reason for the protests. The results replicated previous research on the Black Lives Matter protests by Elmasry and el-Nawawy (2017), which found that most of the news articles from their sample framed the protests positively. My findings also determined that government officials were quoted the same amount as protesters, while police were under-quoted compared to past research. Future research should continue to examine how the Canadian news media frames social protest movements to determine if this study's findings indicate a shift in the protest paradigm.

View record

"The @UFC and Third Wave Feminism? Who Woulda Thought?: Gender, Fighters, and Framing on Twitter (2015)

Most professional sports, such as hockey, tennis, and basketball, separate men’s and women’s sports leagues. In 2013, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) disrupted this pattern by showcasing its first women’s mixed martial arts (MMA) fight in a once male-only fight league. While the UFC’s inclusion of female fighters is a step forward for gender equality, the change does not come without issues. This essay focuses on the framing of female UFC fighters on Twitter over a four year period. Through an intersectional feminist analysis, it examines how Twitter users frame female fighters’ bodies in relation to gender, race, class, and sexuality. It argues that there is an imbalance in attention paid to female fighters in regards to gender, race, class, and sexuality, and this constructs contradictory messaging about feminism, female fighters’ bodies, and the UFC on Twitter.

View record

Cultivating the Public Sphere: CBC Radio Market Share in Context from 1999-2007 (2011)

This study examines the audience performance of CBC Radio. Adopting an innovative statistical method from a 2002 study authored by Robert Picard, this study accounts for competition among radio stations to present a meaningful picture of CBC Radio's performance against expectations. This is done on a province-by-province basis from 1999- 2007, the most recent period for which market share data is available through Statistics Canada. The study finds that CBC Radio's performance generally exceeds expectations by a modest margin, though performance is noticeably stronger in British Columbia and weaker in Prince Edward Island.

View record

A content analysis of US newspaper coverage of Canada and the UK's healthcare systems during Amercia's healthcare reform (2010)

This study examines how Canadian Medicare and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) were represented in US newspaper coverage between January 2008 and the first quarter of 2010, a period marked by changing healthcare policy in America and dramatic shifts in the journalism industry at large. Through a content analysis of print news from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, this paper tracked and assessed reporting dimensions and coverage themes to illustrate the quantity and quality of coverage. The analysis was based on the seminal work of Pauline M. Vaillancourt Rosenau, who performed a content analysis of newspaper coverage of Canada’s healthcare system between 2000 and mid-June 2005 in the NYT and WSJ. Findings from this thesis reveal that recent US newspaper coverage of Medicare, though narrow, is more accurate and balanced compared to coverage during Rosenau’s study timeframe. The NHS received far greater attention in US newspapers, indicating that outside factors, potentially including collaboration in the Iraq war, have spawned greater US media interest in the UK at large. On occasion, this study found coverage of the NHS to be critical, relying on anecdotal evidence to suggest systematic failure of aspects of healthcare in the UK. With respect to coverage themes, wait lines for treatment was a dominant issue in US newspaper reporting of both Canadian Medicare and the NHS. Medical tourism and problems associated with paying for universal healthcare also emerged in US representation of the NHS. This paper concludes with a discussion of outside factors that may have influenced American newspaper coverage during the study period. Considering the current state of print journalism, this paper predicts that, in the years ahead, American print coverage of foreign healthcare will continue to decline. However, in conjunction with this, it is likely that increased online representation of foreign healthcare stories will occur, as new journalism platforms, such as blogs, continue to proliferate. Finally, as American reporters continue to gain greater access to online healthcare research databases, this study suggests that the quality of US coverage of Medicare and the NHS is likely to improve.

View record

Campaigning Online: The Internet, Elections and Democracy in Canada (2010)

As political engagement declines in Western democracies, the Internet has been held upas a promising site for citizen participation and engagement. This optimism has been fuelled byrecent political events that seem to confirm the Internet's democratic potential. Barack Obamachannelled the Internet's power for fundraising and voter mobilization in the 2009 U.S. election.Likewise, Iranian voters successfully used social media such as Twitter to organize protests ofthe country's 2009 presidential election. This paper presents a first look at how Canadianpolitical parties are using and responding to online communication tools during electionscampaigns. Specifically it examines the role of online communications tools in building anddeveloping a campaign platform. Moreover, it discusses whether these activities represent ashift towards a strengthened democracy or are simply reflective of current political culture. Thefindings are based on data gathered through semi-structured interviews with political strategists involved in the 2008-09 federal, British Columbia provincial and Vancouver municipal elections. This study found that online communication during election campaigns has little influence on the shape of the policy platform. However, political parties have been quick to adopt new online communications platforms allowing them to market their candidates and policies. Moreover, the Internet has shaped traditional campaign functions allowing parties to recruit funds, voter information and volunteers online. Rather than fundamentally shifting the character ofdemocracy in Canada, the current use of online communication tools seems to be defined bythe existing political culture.

View record

Current Students & Alumni

This is a small sample of students and/or alumni that have been supervised by this researcher. It is not meant as a comprehensive list.

Membership Status

Member of G+PS
View explanation of statuses

Program Affiliations


If this is your researcher profile you can log in to the Faculty & Staff portal to update your details and provide recruitment preferences.


Follow these steps to apply to UBC Graduate School!