« Une lamentable tragédie » : la représentation des homicides québécois dans la presse francophone et anglophone au Québec entre 1885 et 1915

Authors: Pilote, Gina
Advisor: Fyson, Donald
Abstract: Levels of violence tended to decrease in Western societies at the turn of the 20th century. At the same time, the period is considered by many researchers to have been the golden age of homicide reporting, which for a long time had been relegated to specialized publications. The period coincided with the advent of popular, inexpensive newspapers, whose objective was above all profit, and which became widely accessible. Crime fascinated and sold, especially murders, which the press of the time did not hesitate to cover in its columns. This thesis aims to demonstrate that Quebec, between 1885 and 1915, participated fully in this trend, which had already been well-established elsewhere in the West for several decades. Thus, the francophone and anglophone Quebec press of the time borrowed the styles of representation from its European and American analogues, describing in great detail both homicides themselves and the legal procedures that followed. When a murder was committed in Quebec, the population, through the press, had access not only to the main details of the circumstances surrounding the crime, but also the entire course of the judicial process, faithfully reproduced like a soap opera or a play. The newspaper accounts were however not necessarily true to reality, since they were shaped by the perception of the journalists. In addition, the accounts were above all written with a view to pleasing the newspapers' readership and arousing their curiosity. Though the representation of homicides in the francophone and anglophone press was thus anything but neutral, reading these articles makes it possible to measure the interest of Quebec society with regard to such violent acts, as well as its responses, all of which was strongly influenced by the social codes and values of the time.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2022
Open Access Date: 13 June 2022
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/73582
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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