Monitor the Media



What is Community Media Watch (CMW)?

Community Media Watch is a media monitoring and media engagement program that has been developed in response to the often negative, inaccurate or misinformed portrayals of issues that affect the Arab community.

Why is CMW so important?

Media are a powerful tool that are meant to be a reflection of the communities they serve. What we hear and see in the media significantly shapes Canadian public opinion and influences the actions of decision makers, leaders and the general public. Unfortunately the media don't always get it right and unless we monitor and engage with them, our voices and our perspectives won't necessarily be reflected. With so many outlets out there, engaging the media can be far more effective if our efforts are coordinated and the tasks divided. CMW seeks to do this by bringing together a dedicated group of volunteers.

How does CMW work?

Each member will monitor a designated media outlet and forward any articles to be posted on the site that require further action by other group members.

How much time do I have to dedicate?

Everyone works on a different schedule. Some have more time than others. You can be as active as you want. We just ask that you make a commitment to monitor any particular media outlet and you do your best to follow through. This could take as little as 15 minutes a day.

What benefits can be gained by being part of CMW?

CMW provides a unique opportunity to meet and work with new people who are interested in the same issues/causes as you are. It will also provide you with hands-on training and experience with learning how to market yourself and your cause, how to influence public opinion and increase your effectiveness in working with the media.

For more information, please contact:

How to Write a Letter to the Editor

Make one point (or at most two) in your letter, ideally in the first sentence.


Make your letter timely. If you are not addressing a specific article, editorial or letter that recently appeared in the paper you are writing to, then try to tie the issue you want to write about to a recent news event.


Pay attention to the newspaper’s coverage of the news event. Refute or support specific statements, address relevant facts that are ignored, but avoid blanket attacks on the media in general or the newspaper in particular.


Check the letter specifications of the newspaper to which you are writing. Length and format requirements vary from paper to paper. (Generally, roughly two short paragraphs are ideal.) You also must include your name, signature, address and phone number.


Monitor the paper for your letter. If your letter has not appeared within a week or two, follow up with a call to the editorial department of the newspaper.


Always sign your letters as an individual or representative of a group such as CAFA.


Edmonton Journal

Edmonton Sun

Globe and Mail

National Post