While a headline on one story about the killing of highly regarded family physician Dr. Elana Fric Shamji put the focus on the wrong person, The Globe’s coverage has been balanced
By Sylvia Stead for the Globe and Mail
I’ve heard criticism this week from doctors and other readers upset with our coverage of the death of Dr. Elana Fric Shamji, a highly regarded family physician and associate professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Fric Shamji was found dead late last week, and her husband has been charged with her murder.
They say the coverage has focused too much on him and not enough on her. “The media coverage around this murder has been typical of media coverage of male violence against women … In one article, all of his achievements and credentials are listed, but none of hers. All too often, victims are reduced to just ‘victims’ … This is another example of misogyny in media and it needs to stop,” said one.
“The title of the article includes that the accused is a doctor, and not that the amazing, accomplished woman who lost her life was a doctor? How about ‘Accomplished Toronto physician killed – husband charged with murder’? Please don’t allow the accused’s pedigree to come into play … His job doesn’t matter. Elana’s accomplishments do,” said another. A third said “humanizing the (overwhelmingly male) predators and murderers of women while presenting their victims as victims only with their professional or educational achievements ignored contributes to the epidemic of violence against women. … The fact that (Dr. Shamji) was a surgeon should be a footnote in these stories, if mentioned at all.”