Bailey Gerrits

Study program:
PhD Political Studies
Current affiliation:
Queen's University

Bailey Gerrits (political studies, Queen’s University) is examining media coverage of domestic violence and the way that Canadian media seem to portray this phenomenon as “un-Canadian.”

Doctoral research

Towards Understanding Canadian News Coverage of Domestic Violence

Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. News coverage of domestic violence is one of the largest sources for the public to learn about these incidents. Two questions structure Bailey’s doctoral research: 1) what are the recent patterns in news coverage of domestic violence; and 2) how are newspaper stories and, by extension, news patterns regarding domestic violence produced? Bailey hopes that her project will not only fill scholarly gaps, but will also prove directly relevant for advocacy and policy work on this important issue.

Bailey is pursuing a PhD in political studies at Queen's University, where she is investigating recent news coverage of domestic violence in Canada, examining how news discourses are produced in four Ontario cities: Thunder Bay, Kingston, Ottawa, and Toronto.

Bailey holds a bachelor of arts (honours) and a master of arts in political science from the University of Alberta. She received the Duncan Alexander MacGibbon Medal in Political Science for academic excellence during her undergraduate degree. Bailey has researched how women and men politicians in Canada are covered differently in the news (gendered mediation). Bailey has also researched activism, gender-based violence, and anti-violence awareness campaigns.

Bailey volunteers for various organizations that focus on ending sexualized violence and other human rights violations. She was also involved in community-based research projects that investigate how to better prevent sexual violence among youth and on university campuses, and more recently, she was involved in planning a conference that focused on sexual violence prevention in post-secondary contexts. Combining her academic passion for media analysis with her community leadership in the field of gender-based violence has profoundly shaped Bailey’s vision of violence prevention initiatives and human rights discourses; it is this passion that largely motivates her doctoral research.