John McGrath

The Body Politic

Columnists are supposed to be provocative and contrarian. In Canada, nobody does it better than Terence Corcoran. But how much of his bombast and umbrage is just for show?

The shelves in Terence Corcoran’s office at the National Post are piled high and deep. There are books and files on Canada’s debt, media concentration in America, financial planning and, of course, global warming. His files are legendary among co-workers, packed in boxes and cabinets lining the walls and floor, their subjects named in thick […]

 Jacqueline Nelson


Did the media overreact when reporting the Maple Leaf tainted-meat outbreak?

On August 18, 2008, a smattering of newspapers across the country dutifully cautions Canadians to toss out the meat in their refrigerator drawers. The Victoria Times Colonist prints a story on page A4 headlined “Warning issued about meats” running fewer than 100 words. It’s about a possible contamination of Sure Slice roast beef and corned […]

 Jenelle DaSilva-Rupchand

Proceed with Caution

Sex sells. But shouldn’t the facts be right first? The naked truth on why you should be leery of stories on rising rates of rampant and risky teenage sex

Five 16-year-olds cram around a table at their usual after-school hangout, a deli in west-end Toronto. Munching the last bites of their bagels, Marina, Carly, Ellen, Sophija and Nevena discuss headlines about their apparent sex lives. They don’t snicker about anal sex or become awkward at the mention of contraception. Instead, these youths embrace frank […]

 Daniel Kaszor

Declarations of Independence

Privately owned alt-weeklies are quick to point out the failings of their big-corporate counterparts. But are the indies really a better alternative?

Ron Garth wasn’t going to sell out just to keep his paper afloat. He needed to find another way. As the publisher and owner of Vue Weekly, an alternative paper in Edmonton, he had watched the publication struggle financially since its inception in 1995. Dan McLeod, owner of Vancouver’s The Georgia Straight, had owned part […]

 Molly Doyle

Guerillas in our Midst

The Citizen Janes represent a trend that’s raising a little hell in newsrooms. But just how good is citizen journalism?

Roz and Leanne Allen stand in front of the Butcher’s Choice section of Loblaws. Dressed in dark grey dress pants, black shoes and a brown shirt, Roz holds a small pink and white video camera. “Okay, everybody, we made it into one of Toronto’s biggest grocery stores and Maple Leaf is back in a big […]

 Claudia Calabro


For half a century Lister Sinclair treated CBC listeners to lively discussions on the world as he thought it. He was, for example, as comfortable holding forth on Law and Order as he was on classical music. The life and death of a celebrated public intellectual

Kool and the Gang’s “Get Down on It” fades out, and a relaxed Lister Sinclair begins: “For a moment there, I felt a sense of panic, meaning I didn’t quite remember what I was supposed to say next, but that isn’t real panic. Real panic is quite different.” He goes on, “Real panic is the […]

 Alison Gorham

Book Camp

The writers, the parties and one memorable elk: a look at two decades of Banff’s exclusive Literary Journalism program

“For a while, an elk at the Leighton Colony … was so menacing that the studios had to be closed off. One writer gratefully announced that this was the most original excuse for not writing that she’d ever been provided with-‘A crazed animal is keeping me away from my word processor!’ When the writers finally […]

 Lora Grady

Gearing Up

The race is on to become Canada’s premier site for online news. An update on who’s leading, who’s lagging and why some private competitors feel has an unfair advantage

I feel a surge of election-night excitement as I push through the lobby doors of the Sun Media building just east of downtown Toronto. It’s 8:30 p.m. on October 14, 2008, one of the most important nights for online journalism. But when I get to‘s third-floor office, all is quiet, aside from rapid fingers […]

 Liam Eagle

When Equinox covered the earth

For 18 years, Canada's magazine of discovery had mammoth ambitions—and one fatal flaw

In the spring of 1996, in a tower of blue glass in what was then the city of North York, Ontario, the small staff of Equinox gathered around the fax machine for what had become a yearly ritual: reading the list of National Magazine Awards nominees. The staff’s excitement grew as the pages spilled out. […]

 David Fielding

Three Men and A Dirty Little Baby

How a gang of sarcastic assholes from Montreal turned a streetwise free magazine into an international empire based on attitude, irony and fart jokes

From downtown Manhattan, it’s a 10-minute ride on the L train to the warehouses and loading docks of recently gentrified Williamsburg, Brooklyn, once the heart of New York’s industrial park. Outside a former toy factory, among renovated lofts and studios filled with artists and young urban hipsters, the words “Vice Magazine Publishing” are scrawled across […]