How the left-leaning, scotch-drinking, bullshit-detecting, high-school-dropping, joke-Googling, single-mom-ing, storytelling, serial tweeting, cheese-puff-cooking Tabatha Southey became one of our leading political humourists.
By Loren Hendin Tabatha Southey hadn’t expected to hear anything back. She’d sent three children’s stories to a publisher, but, six months later, nothing. Oh, well, she’d sent them only at the urging of a friend anyway. She had been driving with writer and editor Jane L. Thompson, two toddlers, and a baby buckled up in […]
Love her or hate her, Genesee Keevil of the Yukon News stands as an example of how the North should cover the North: fearlessly
Five years ago, three Yukon News reporters held a meeting tosee who would cover which political party on election night. Genesee Keevil, who had been at the News for two years, drew the right-of-centre Yukon Party. It wasn’t the short straw. She wanted the assignment, as did others. When she arrived at the conference room […]
In the mind of John Stackhouse, the Globe of the future could involve tearing down much of what readers value most. Will it mean brighter days or trigger an unmitigated disaster?
Visitors to The Globe and Mail’s Toronto headquarters often comment on how sedate the place is—nothing like the frenzied, shouty bullpen newsrooms of pop culture. It’s more akin to a mid-sized corporate office; a grey and workmanlike place where serious people are engaged in serious work, putting together a very serious newspaper. So by Globe […]
Why Canadian magazines have come to bury humour, not praise it
The Set-up Definition: the premise of a pre-arranged outcome A writer and an editor are lost in the desert. They’ve been without food or water for days, and it’s beginning to look like this is the end. Then, they see a shimmer on the horizon. They run toward it. It’s an oasis! An editorial team […]
After an incident involving a former Ontario politician and a bike courier, newsrooms leapt into action. A blow-by-blow account of what journalists got right and wrong—and a PR firm’s mysterious role in revealing the real story
Only three people know what happened on that Toronto street on the night of August 31, 2009. One is dead, and the other two aren’t talking publicly until the trial is over, if they ever will. The best version of events the rest of us can put together is this: At about 9:45 p.m., the […]
In the aftermath of Michelle Lang’s death, a reflection on the journalistic impulse to go into battle
Outside, a C-130 Hercules whines on the runway—probably American, thinks Matthew Fisher, a Canwest correspondent. He’s inside the Canadian media tent at the Kandahar Airfield in mid-January, telling me about the old days of war reporting. His tone is matter-of-fact, the result of working in over 14 war zones in 25 years. Back in the […]
Mildred MacDonald couldn’t hack it as a 1950s housewife. But as a radio reporter? No sweat. How this proper lady with a passion for storytelling became an accidental pioneer
Not again; what a bother. But oh, it can’t wait. Music—that’ll do it. Aha! Dinah Shore: two minutes, 30 seconds and here comes the song. She’s ready, Dinah starts; and off she goes—Mil’s gone. This always happens to Mildred MacDonald. Her 23-year-old bladder behaves with urgent, octogenarian unpredictability. That is, only when she’s on air. […]
The incredible shrinking Queen’s Park press gallery is a stark example of what happens when resources run dry. What’s going: informed citizens and democratic accountability. What’s coming: a potential breeding ground for political corruption
The morning Question Period at Queen’s Park ends and reporters scrum politicians streaming into the halls. The exchanges aren’t rapid-fire shouting matches, there’s no staccato of camera flashes and politicians aren’t trying to outrun reporters chasing them down and barking questions. About two dozen journalists swarm Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, some holding television cameras that […]
In the mind of Michael Cooke, the Star of the future looks a lot like the heyday of Fleet Street tabloids. But can past glories be reborn online?
Michael Cooke stomps around the newsroom, asking anyone who will listen, “Are we pictured up?” TheToronto Star’s editor-in-chief will hold a front-page story if it has no art. He’ll barge around spouting his catchphrase, his doggedness bordering on absurdity. In April 2008, police charged Christine Bedford with assault after she threw coffee in a man’s […]
Smart rock criticism in the dailies was once number one with a bullet. Now the pages are full of boosters who never mind the bollocks
On a Saturday night in December, a large crowd packs Lee’s Palace in Toronto to watch a performance by the Handsome Furs. The Montreal band, husband-and-wife team Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry, starts around midnight under a red glow. For the next hour, all heads face forward—barely turning, if only to dance—captivated by the act’s […]