May 24, 2013 1:09 pm
Updated: May 24, 2013 7:19 pm

Alleged Rob Ford video not hurting Toronto’s international reputation: study


TORONTO – While Torontonians may be totally engrossed with the most recent scandal at city hall, outside of the country, Mayor Rob Ford is only a small part of the city’s significant media coverage, according to a new study.

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And the study claims, despite dozens of international headlines and mentions in the comedic routines of several American late-night shows, the allegations against the mayor have not significantly hurt the city’s reputation.

The study, conducted by Cormex Research, examined 29 newspapers from around the word between May 21, 2012 and May 20, 2013.

It then categorized the stories based on subject and tone to see if they would make someone more or less likely to visit, support, immigrate to or like the city.

One of the first revelations made by the study was that despite Toronto’s apparent obsession over the allegations, it was not the most highly covered Toronto-based story internationally.

In fact, the lead-up to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the festival itself, references to TIFF during the world wide Argo premiere, the VIA Rail terrorist plot, the Eaton Centre shooting and the Radiohead Stage collapse all received more coverage than the most recent allegations against the mayor.

Last week, the Toronto Star and Gawker reported they had viewed video purporting to show what could be the mayor smoking what looks like crack cocaine.

The mayor has called the allegations “ridiculous” and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, said the mayor told him they were “untrue.

Global News has not seen the video and cannot verify its authenticity.

The study found that only 1.2 per cent of Toronto’s global media coverage concerned the mayor.

However the mayor does account for a significant share of the city’s negative media coverage internationally: 9 per cent over the twelve months and 15 per cent in 2013.

The recent scandal is also not the most negative story Toronto has seen in the past year: The Eaton Centre shooting, the stage collapse at the Radiohead concert, and the recently thwarted VIA train plot all garnered a bigger negative impact on the city’s global profile than the mayor.

But it’s not all bad news.

The majority of international coverage about Toronto has been overwhelmingly positive, the study suggests.

In fact, the study suggests, “Toronto is cool.”

“Most of the coverage about Toronto is about its arts and culture scene, followed by science, research and innovation news mostly coming from the University of Toronto and other post-secondary institutions as well as hospitals operating in the city,” the study says.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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