The Magazine

 Harriet Eisenkraft

The World According to Ideas

For Writers and producers, Ideas is more than just a job-it's a way of life

It’s been described as unique, essential and on the leading edge. Some compare it to a pulpit. Others say its community is made up of eccentric, committed people who honor intellectual curiosity and share a social conscience. The object of their esteem is, surprisingly, a radio program. The show is Ideas, now in its twentieth […]

 Michael Enright

Requiem for a Magazine

The late editor of Quest on his loss and ours

When a corporation goes broke, it declares bankruptcy. Or goes under. Or is “forced to shut its doors.” But when the same thing suddenly happens to a magazine (and the event is usually sudden), people use the words “died” or “was killed.” Which is an odd use of the terms. The people who describe the […]

 Lynn Kelly

The Grange Ordeal

One hundred and ninety one days of personal and professional dilemmas

Last January 3, a swarm of reporters scrambled up and down the ski slopes of Banff, Alberta, in pursuit of two Toronto newlyweds. Mr. Justice Samuel G.M. Grange had just delivered his long-awaited report on his inquiry into the 1980 and ’81 baby deaths at the Hospital for Sick Children, one of the most controversial […]

 James Little

Leaps and Boundaries

Private property versus the public's right to know: should reporters be forgiven their trespasses?

Bob Barnes stood near Runway 06-R, at what was then known as Toronto International Airport, and watched the DC-3 descend. It was June 22, 1983-the second day of summer-and, though not yet nine in the morning, already hot. Barnes and his maintenance crew had been grading a road near the runway when they stopped to […]

 Sylvia Macdonald

Wide of the Market

Upscale readers were the target, but a lot of good writers were hardest hit

When the Print Measurement Bureau released its 1983 study, it contained bad news for Quest, the controlled-circulation magazine published by Comac Communications Inc. According to PMB ’83, Quest had lost 600,000 readers since 1981. Within months ad revenues started to nosedive. In an attempt to save the magazine, its circulation was cut from 710,000 to […]

 Eleanor Wallace

Climate of Fear

How a sensational and sexist press hyped hysteria in the summer of '82

On May 28, 1982, Jenny Isford, 19, was discovered on a lawn five doors from her home in North York. She had been raped and strangled. Less than a month later, the body of Welsh nanny Christine Prince, 25, was found floating in the West Rouge River near the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo. On July 12, […]

 Linda Cooper Wolstat

Death Wish

In its crusade for capital punishment, The Toronto Sun played hanging judge

The phenomenon is well known and well documented: when a number of police are murdered in the line of duty, the murders inevitably result in yet another campaign for the return of capital punishment. Although often guilty of a certain sensationalism, most media vehicles try to maintain at least a semblance of objectivity in the […]

 Liz Williams

Mass Appeal: Papal Visit a Media Bland Out?

The CBC’s coordination of the TV coverage of Pope John Paul II’s 12-day visit to Canada last fall, touted as the biggest media event of the decade, could have drawn considerable criticism. But most of the stations that had to rely on the public network were surprisingly uncritical. This harmony existed from the outset. When […]

 Sheila Cunningham

Win, Place, Show: Poll Reporting as Bookmarking

Reporting public opinion polls is a firmly entrenched element of election campaign coverage. But whether polls influence election results is the subject of a continuing debate. Alan Frizell, codirector of the Carleton School of Journalism poll, told The Toronto Star that after the 1980 federal election the school did a poll asking people why they […]

 Noah Erenberg

All in the Family: Faith, Hope and Old-Time Religion

Family Canada Publications Inc., a Winnipeg-based company, determined to close what it calls a “huge gap” in the Canadian magazine market, plans to launch Family Canada, a monthly “profamily” general-interest magazine, this September. FPC is owned by the Family Institute of Canada, a two-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to “reinforcing JudeoChristian ethics and the strengthening of […]