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Is journalism losing its purpose?

Reporters used to be local — a journalist would be assigned a neighbourhood or a beat, focusing all their energy on collecting information, finding sources, and writing stories that truly mattered to the community.

Now, the media is becoming nationalized. Global News, owned by Chorus Entertainment, will be laying off 70 employees across the country, including camera operators, reporters, anchors, and control room staff. As a result, local news from the Maritimes will now be broadcast out of Toronto. The local anchors have been let go.

“Fewer journalists will be out gathering news from every region from Vancouver to Halifax,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, the trade union for communications and media workers. “If the Maritime newscasts now come from Toronto – how can you still call that local news?”

Unifor blames lax rules set forth by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Last year, the commission softened requirements on local programming, no longer making it mandatory to have “feet on the street”.

Before this announcement, the Toronto Star announced the “suspension” of their internship program, which generally employed a number of journalism students and recent graduates in both summer and year-long contracts. The reason, they say, was purely financial. As a former intern in the Radio Room, (which luckily will still be operated by students), these kinds of jobs are critical to the professional development of young journalists. It is one of the few internships in which a student is expected to perform as a regular staff member, and gets paid to do so. Those kind of internships are few and far between.

It seems every few months more media jobs are being lost. What does this all mean? It means a grim future for journalism, in which the jobs are fewer and fewer, and those who are hired can’t expect any job security. It also means that local stories, stories that can only be told by having feet on the ground, will be lost.

What’s not lost on me is that the CBC’s frontrunner show The National is able to afford four anchors, but Global News can’t afford to have a single person broadcast out of the Maritimes. Reporters need to be able to have their feet on the ground and tell the stories that should be told, not being pushed to the brink with no resources and little compensation. It’s time for everyone to step up — the government, the media, and the public — to ensure that local, community journalism endures.

Why I’m working for myself during my “year off” travelling

The phone call that determined my present lifestyle happened nearly two years ago in the midst of a bout of post-travel blues and a too-short adventure in Colombia. I had just come back from two weeks in Medellin and returning to the grind brought on a feeling not dissimilar to the familiar nag one gets upon putting off a major project. I knew I wanted to travel more extensively, but didn’t know when. When I expressed this to my nomad of an older brother, he gave it to me straight: “Before you look for your next job, just take a year or six months off.”

I have just taken that plunge.

If each job is a stepping stone, my latest move is the first block on a detour that’s taking me South, back to The City of Eternal Spring to travel and freelance from a new place. I‘ve left my job and rid my apartment of the possessions that made it more than just a configuration of walls and halls. My plan: say adios to Toronto and travel South America for a year – tops. This is not, however, a stunt to escape my line of work. I’m part of the group of people who love their work. I’m ambitious. I always was. Since journalism is well-equipped to be transient, I’m taking my assignments – and new ones – with me to Colombia.

During this chapter I’m my own boss, and that is equal parts thrilling as it is uncomfortable. This is week number one of a lifestyle I’ve decided to sample for 12 months. I’m leaving my comfort zone approximately 4,000 kilometres away because I’m curious to know what happens when you hit pause and realize the person you most have to answer to is yourself. Contrary to my routine up until this point, I’m the one who sets my pace and the expectations. I’m the one responsible for the re-evaluations that come with that too. I’m the one who creates the assignment, even if it’s daunting.

This is a decision that comes during an era where articles geared towards career-minded women like me reflect the cultural climate, using words like ”entrepreneur” and “side hustle,” but also terms like “burnout” and “imposter syndrome.” I’m still early in my career and yet I relate to all four of those terms. The first two empower and motivate. As for the latter two… not so much, and I’m not willing to be confined by them.

I’m part of the large group of women who love their work, but I’m also part of the large group of women who spread themselves too thin, self criticize, and go about their work giving more without receiving more, and then judging the final product too harshly. Call me a millennial, but I think that cycle begs for a revamp – and I don’t feel bad for saying that. There is so much I’m appreciative of (my physical being is healthy and intact, I finally have a degree and years of hard work to my name, I’m financially stable, I have a solid support network) that I now want to build upon that, pen stories that have an impact, and not let it go to waste.

In overhauling the day-to-day routine, you decide what you toss out and you move forward with what can make you better. Sometimes, that’s a tough call to make and yes, it’s often daunting, but rarely has succumbing to intimidation led to the best path.

On dark, quiet nights, I often sat alone at my desk after a long work day in commitment to the side hustles that padded the bank account and afforded me the chance to do this. My current exercise: making sure I don’t tear down what I built for myself in confidence.

Toronto: A Christmas Prince is the worst holiday movie ever

I hated Netflix’s A Christmas Prince. There, I said it! This royal holiday-themed rom-com is terrible and you should stop watching it right now!

Warning: Spoilers!

The storyline follows journalist wannabe Amber, who finds herself thrust into an assignment covering the return of a playboy prince to his homeland for, potentially, his coronation. After being unable to get any information from the official press sources, Amber sneaks into the castle and poses as a tutor for the Prince’s younger, wheelchair-bound sister. Cue family drama, adoption papers, a coup, romance, and of course, a fancy ball with beautiful gowns.

Sure, some of it is quite cute. The younger sister, Emily, is probably the only good thing about the low-budget film. But, for a journalist, the movie is excruciating. I watched A Christmas Prince with my sister, who got a little frustrated when I kept yelling at the television saying things like “that would never happen” or “my god woman, are you an idiot!”

How on earth did some people watch this movie 18 days in a row! Even Netflix couldn’t believe it.

Suffice to say, I will not be one of the people watching this movie again. Here are a few of the journalistic problems I caught while wasting away for an hour and a half:

Word length and quote misinformation: Before we get into the drama with the prince, Amber is tasked with re-writing a colleague’s article that was double the word limit. His piece also included a quote from someone Amber says was not on the floor, meaning the quote was made up. That is a serious infraction of journalistic standards and would result in a firing of that reporter — or at least a stern talking to by a senior editor.

Newsroom budget: There is no newspaper in North America that would be able to send a random copywriter to a foreign country to cover an inauguration. Either they already have boots on the ground, or they aren’t interested in the Royal Family. Whatever budget this newsroom had — I want it!

Lack of ethics: This woman (I refuse to call her a journalist), sneaks into a home and pretends to be a child’s tutor. In any real scenario, this would get the woman arrested, fined, and possibly jailed. But, in A Christmas Prince, her editor actually encourages her to get lots of photographs and video of the Prince with her phone. While there are instances of journalists going undercover in order to get a story — the rules for doing so are quite strict. Amber is not exposing mistreatment or abuse. Rather, she is invading the personal privacy of a family, including a minor, for personal gain. She is also stealing the identity of a woman who is supposed to be Emily’s tutor. This is unacceptable.

Side note: how come no one in the castle checked Amber’s identification to make sure she had the credentials to spend time alone with a child?

Amber’s “notes”: I want to know how she wrote this story. The film allows viewers a sneak into the “questions” Amber has about the prince, all of them really simplistic. She also includes little tidbits like “I have to dig deeper”, as if, as a journalist, she needs to remind herself to do her job. In fact, her notes read more like a diary – “I think I’m finally starting to get to know the real prince…so not what I thought” or “The prince is definitely starting to trust me…but can’t seem like I”m prying.” All of these notes indicate a malicious attempt to invade someone’s privacy, not a journalist objectively writing down the facts of a story.

Objectivity and blackmail: At some point in the movie, Emily finds out that Amber isn’t actually her tutor and is, in fact, a reporter. Instead of kicking her out of the castle, Emily blackmails Amber into writing a positive story about her brother, or rather “the truth” as she puts it. Amber agrees. While the prince may not have been a playboy, Amber is still negotiating with a source.

Theft of private property: Amber finds the prince’s adoption papers in his father’s cottage getaway and takes them with intent to print. First of all, these documents were procured out of a lie. Second of all, they were not simply sitting on a table where Amber happened to come upon them. She searched through desks, diaries, and papers, and stole them!

Basic security notes: After finding the adoption papers, Amber is interrupted by the prince, who asks her to go for a walk. She says “one minute,” throws her coat on, and leaves the room — leaving all of the private documents on her bed for anyone to find! Journalism 101 indicates that if you have a private document or source, you should do all you can to secure those documents.

I’m not even going to touch upon the bias that presents itself when you fall in love with the subject of your story.

In the age of fake news, it is incredibly important to represent journalism in a fair and accurate way. A Christmas Prince should be ashamed that it is catering to the

What did you think of A Christmas Prince? Let us know in the comments below!

Can we now agree the appropriation prize was absurd?

It’s been a few weeks since the proposal of an appropriation prize destroyed a number of journalists’ careers. I’ve held my tongue this long because I couldn’t figure out what I was feeling. I also didn’t know if, as the editor of Women’s Post, this was an issue I should address. I am a white woman in an editor position after all.

As I followed the story and watched as writers and editors that I trust wrote on social media in support of an appropriation prize, my first thought was ‘how could they be so stupid’. I know they were frustrated and worried for their colleague, who had just been forced to resign his position, but I couldn’t believe they would go so far as to actually support the creation of an appropriation prize. I was disgusted at the thought, utterly confused as to their motives, and honestly embarrassed for my profession.

I asked one of our writers at Women’s Post — a woman of colour —if this was an issue she wanted to tackle. Her response surprised me. Feeling like a broken record after having written on appropriation and other PoC issues countless times before, she thought that it might make more sense for me to write it this time. “It would be one white person telling another white person what they’re doing is wrong in a relatable way, rather than a person of colour trying to reason – once again- that we’re not being over dramatic.”

It all started when Hal Niedzviecki, former editor of Write, said that people should be encouraged to imagine other people’s culture and identities. “I’d go so far as to say there should even be an award for doing so — the Appropriation prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t even remotely like her or him.” Niedzviecki later said he didn’t think such a prize should actually exist. Maybe it really was an unfortunate and insensitive turn of phrase, but it was enough to get the rest of the media riled up.

Afterwards editors, journalists, and managers from big Canadian news publications pledged moral and financial support towards the creation of the appropriation prize on social media. Many of them have since been forced to resign or were reassigned to other positions.

The first question I had after reading this story is this: why any journalist, editor, or member of the press, would support such an idea in the first place?

Cultural appropriation is when someone adopts or uses elements of someone else’s culture to the detriment of that culture. This, of course, is an overly simplistic definition, but somehow even the root of cultural appropriation was lost as these editors jumped on the appropriation prize bandwagon, pledging money to make it a reality.

To be clear: No one is arguing that a white reporter, editor, or artist can’t learn about other cultures. No one is saying they can’t cover an issue that matters to a person of colour or take part in cultural activities with the intent of listening with earnest and broadening their horizons. But, the idea that these same people should be able to pretend to understand the trials and tribulations other cultures face on a daily basis is, frankly, absurd.

As a journalist, I pride myself on my ability to listen and learn. It’s actually what I love about my profession. Every day I get to learn something that I didn’t know before. But, there is a line between ‘learning’ and ‘understanding’.

Let’s take an example from last weekend, from when I attended a dream catcher workshop — quite the sensitive topic in the news right now. Is this cultural appropriation? Frankly, yes; however, I was taught by an Indigenous Ojibwe person. He explained what each element of the dream catcher meant, showed us some sacred objects, and taught us about his struggles as a young man from an Indigenous culture. It was fascinating and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

And yet, I would never claim to be able to write about those same experiences myself, pretending that after one afternoon I can interpret his struggles. I wouldn’t take the stories this Indigenous man told us and use them (or something similar) in my own work. And to the extreme, I wouldn’t buy a headdress at a festival because it looks ‘cool’ or dress up like Pocahontas on Halloween.

In the end, it’s about respecting what you know — and what you cannot begin to understand, despite the research you may have done. In a multicultural society like Canada, the voices of Indigenous people, people of colour, and other minorities are incredibly valuable, not just to the media, but to everyone who lives in this country — how can anyone support a “prize” that essentially eliminates it?

It’s time for a little honesty and a lot of reflection. The one positive consequence from this whole scenario is it opened up a necessary dialogue about the lack of diversity in newsrooms and forced people within the media to recognize their own faults. This is a good thing.

But, if so many high-profile people within the Canadian media think an appropriation prize is okay, there is a lot more educating to do. There are still people who think this is an issue of freedom of speech or that it’s some sort of racist endeavour against white people (which is complete bullshit).

The media, including Women’s Post, still has a lot to learn about cultural appropriation and why this kind of conversation is not okay. I urge all editors to reach out to other cultures for THEIR perspectives on stories that affect them. Allow people of different races, ethnicities, and religions to write freely in your publication so their voices and opinions can be heard.  Let’s not pretend that we know everything. This is about accepting there are issues we do not, and cannot, understand. As journalists, this should be second nature.

Appropriation is complex and I recognize that, for artists and journalists alike, it can become even more complicated. But, can we all agree the idea of a prize celebrating people for appropriating someone else’s culture is absurd, disrespectful, and just plain wrong?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Morning pages are a creative writing process every journalist needs

Writing is not only a honourable vocation, but it is also an immersive and enlightening way to help sort out your thoughts on a day-to-day basis.

Setting aside a few minutes every morning to write as soon as you wake up helps to begin the day with a clear mind and create a monumental sense of clarity. The concept of the ‘morning pages’ was originally introduced by Julia Cameron in ‘The Artist’s Way’ , a book written in 1995, as a method of encouraging creativity. The theory is that prior to going to bed, you will set out three blank lined pages and a pen by your bedside. Upon waking up, you start writing the morning pages. Beginning your day by writing will introduce interesting thoughts and can often lead to beautiful moments of intelligibility.

The idea is deeply related to understanding how the subconscious and dreams correlate with daily emotions and it tries to make a creative bridge between the two worlds. People often dream about things that don’t seem to make sense or aren’t realistic, such as flying through the air or falling without dying. Writing three pages each morning helps record last night’s dreams and possible reasons why a bad or good dream may have occurred related to deep-seated feelings from daily life.

It is also a mindful exercise that allows people to begin their day by being still and aware of themselves rather than jumping out of bed to tackle the day head-on. As someone who isn’t a morning person, easing into the day in a gentle way is essential, and writing with the materials ready on the bedside is the perfect solution. But, you don’t have to write about your dreams — you can write about anything you want. There are no deadlines or expectations (besides filling the three pages), and any type of writing is acceptable. Switch between stream of consciousness writing about life to a short poem or even a short story if your heart desires. As a writer, this kind of control over my creative intellect is emotionally healing and empowering.

Creating a private writing space that is out of the public eye is essential for any artist. It will keep your personal love of writing intact and also resolve any internal writing block dilemmas that arise. Try it for a week and you will find yourself more connected and aware of your own feelings. Without a doubt, you will be surprised by the feelings and ideas that arise — it may even change your life.

When a sexist comments on Women’s Post

Last week, Women’s Post published an article about the success of Canada’s female athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. It was a great piece and it received a fair amount of attention from our sport-fan readers.

However, Monday morning I opened up my computer to check the website’s status and found something shocking underneath that very article: a comment by Roosh V, North America’s favourite hateful misogynist.

At Women’s Post, we have a strict policy in regards to our comment section. We will publish almost anything. It doesn’t matter if opinions differ, but as long as the comment is not hateful, sexist, or racist, we will publish it.

Women’s Post will NOT be publishing Roosh V’s comment.

The comment includes a link to an article published on his website Return of Kings, where he writes about how women shouldn’t win real medals in the Olympic Games, rather they should be awarded “a giant knockoff of that cheap Hanukkah gelt (chocolate gold coins) that Jewish children get for the holiday season.” The post goes on to say that women are the weaker sex and shouldn’t be considered real athletes.

Before deciding to delete the comment, the staff at Women’s Post got together to express their concerns and their frustrations. As women ourselves, we had a lot of reasons for wanting to address Roosh V in an article on our website. We wanted to let him know exactly what we thought of his activist group and his theology. At the same time, we didn’t want to give his organization legitimacy by acknowledging it and linking to the post.

But, the biggest question we asked ourselves was this: should we let our personal feelings dictate what our readers — which I still can’t believe includes Roosh V — write in our comments? After much discussion, the answer in this particular case was yes.

The post Roosh V included in his comment was everything that Women’s Post despises. It was hateful with no purpose. It took obscure facts and altered them to make women sound like pathetic and weak creatures that need to be coddled and taken care of by strong, athletic men. It argued that women have no place in society other than staying in the home and taking care of a man’s needs. And finally, it demeaned the vast accomplishments women have made over the last week and a half. It was sexist and hateful — and therefore has no place on this website.

To solidify this argument, let me say this. These types of activist groups and comments are not welcome here at Women’s Post. We will not give them credence. We will not allow them to insult or offend women using our publication. There is no wiggle room.

Women’s Post has written about Roosh V previously, but this will be the last. We refuse to waste more precious space and time defending our choices against a man who thinks women are scum.

And that’s all we are going to say about that.

#MoreThanMean: when is online trolling harassment?

“I have trouble looking at you while I’m saying these things.”

This is the point the #MoreThanMean campaign is trying to make: that what people say online has a real impact on real people. What’s more —those messages can also be considered as harassment.

A video created by podcast Just Not Sports (@JustNotSports) circulated the Internet last week that aptly proves this point. It features sport writer, columnist/broadcaster Julie DiCaro and Sports on Earth’s NFL writer Andrea Hangst, who have found themselves the target of some truly terrible messages on social media.

But, they are just “mean”, right? As proven by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, reading mean tweets can be funny. So, these women did just that. Except, instead of reading the messages themselves, they had men read these “mean” tweets to their faces. This was the result:

 

 

The video itself is cringe-worthy. The men seemed increasingly uncomfortable with the level of hatred and sexual violence exhibited in these anonymous tweets — with good reason.

 

“One of the players should beat you to death with a hockey stick like the whore you are. Cunt.

“This is why we don’t hire any females unless we need our c*** sucked or our food cooked.”

“Hopefully this skank Julie DiCaro is Bill Crosby’s next victim. That would be classic”

 

And those weren’t even some of the worst ones. The men were apologetic as the tweets went from “mean” to violent. Many of them pleaded with the director to skip a few of the statements. They couldn’t look the women in the eye.

DiCaro and Hangst were prepared for these messages. They had already seen the tweets before the video was taken, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt.

A lot of the people watching this video completely misunderstood the point it was trying to make. Probably half of the comments attached to the Youtube page called it a feminist ploy. Some people thought it devalued the criticism and hate messages male sport reporters received on a daily basis. Others claimed the comments weren’t actually considered harassment —they were just mean statements and these women should get a backbone.

Here are some of the most recent comments as of Monday afternoon (spelling mistakes included):

LurkerDood: What’s with these pussy ass guys?! What’s so hard reading mean tweets?

opinionated hater: some of these are hilarious

Polarhero57: And bullshit that dudes don’t get any of this. It’s not harassment, it’s the fucking internet. This is completely staged.

Ali Bakhshi: If your biggest problem right now is people saying you should be raped on the internet then you seriously need to realise how privileged you are.

Micheal Bay: This is just another stupid feminist thing, these women are exposing themselves, in reality they’re sluts!

nalyd321: to be honest none of these were really that bad

quezcatol: it is also ironic how a fatso, like that big red haired women – can write about sport, that hippo shouldnt tell real athelte what they need to work on. she hasnt done shit in her life herself.

Screenshot 2016-05-02 15.39.13

There is a childish undertone to the word mean. “So-and-so was mean to me”, kids will say. That so-and-so will then be told to sit in a corner and think about what he/she had done. The people sending these messages are, most likely, adults who have nothing better than to say incredibly sexist, discriminatory, and purely callous things because they know they can get away with it. Blocking or ignoring these people is the equivalent to asking them to sit in a corner. It does nothing and they are free to come back online to harass others. These are childish penalties for adult crimes.

Harassment is defined as aggressive pressure or intimidation. It can involve unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends and humiliates. Making obscene sexual remarks is considered also sexual harassment. There is no specification that it has to be done face-to-face, and that is the point of the #MoreThanMean campaign.

In this case, these tweets were more than mean. They were violent, inappropriate, and deserve to be blocked and reported by social media networks. They were harassment.

I used to be a Sports Editor at my student paper — the first woman in four years to hold the position. I can say with personal experience that my gender made a difference. Coaches didn’t take me as seriously and neither did the players. At my first hockey game, the player I was interviewing said I should enter the changing room to speak to his teammates. Not knowing any better, I did. I immediately knew that he was messing with me when I saw all the players in jock straps, but I decided to just walk up to the one player I needed to talk to, ignore his smirking, get my answer, and then calmly (but swiftly) get out of there.

And this was all before the prevalence of Internet trolls.

I’m lucky this incident was a one-time thing, but it definitely opened my eyes up to the gender barriers women face in the sports world.  With the prevalence of social media, female reporters and broadcasters have opened themselves up to all sorts of attacks — just because they are women in an industry dominated by men. This is absolutely unacceptable. Most of the women in the sports industry are talented, knowledgeable, and capable. They should not have to feel like they need to defend themselves.

There shouldn’t be a need for a viral video and a trending hashtag to bring attention to the blatant sexism these women are facing in this industry. It’s time for society, and social media, to step up. Share this video and spread the message.

Don’t be #MoreThanMean.

Be #MoreThanGrateful that you don’t have to read these tweets every day.

International Women’s Day – true leadership and journalist integrity

When I think about strong women, I think of women who have stayed true to their profession, who lead with integrity. As publisher of Women’s Post, it would be easy to simply trash men, to talk about women’s rights and the need for women to have more power. But it would be wrong.

Ethics are tools that help people stay true to the balance our society relies on to move forward. When that balance is shifted so that women or men gain too much power, our society as a whole suffers. I am proud that Women’s Post not only promotes the successes of women, but defends men from the attacks of women using their power unjustly.

In journalism, there are far too many writers who give way to sensationalism, who twist their words for political gain and twitter followers. This was obvious today, as I read Jennifer Pagliaro’s fiction in the Toronto Star where she writes “Tory proclaimed his transit priorities were SmartTrack and the Scarborough subway. He said SmartTrack would provide relief on the Yonge line while knocking Olivia Chow’s support of the relief line subway.”  This is so blatantly false that the writer in me screams foul.

I’m hoping that Pagliaro just hasn’t done her homework, because I hate to think that she might be attempting to use her platform as a journalist to twist the truth.

When John Tory was running for Mayor of Toronto, he came out in strong support of what he coined the “Yonge Relief” subway line.  I remember thinking how clever it was that he had changed the name from the downtown relief line to the Yonge relief line. By calling it a relief line for Yonge Street he was explaining to the public the actual function of the line – to offer riders from Scarborough and Etobicoke an alternative way of getting across the city.

That’s why I cringe today as I read Pagliaro’s words in the Toronto Star because it assumes that just because Tory suggested Smart Track that he was against the relief line, which is simply not true at all. If she were to do her homework she could have discovered that he has promoted the relief line for years. Pagliaro even suggests that Olivia Chow’s support of the relief line was authentic. As a transit advocate, I remember well that we could not get Chow to come out in support of the downtown relief subway line, because her loyalty was to Transit City and LRTs. Tory was constantly knocking her support of the relief line. When Chow came out claiming her love for the relief line all I could do was laugh and wonder if the journalists would notice/remember, or if naive young woman might fall for it —  indeed Pagliaro did.

When I ran for Mayor in 2010, I was very fortunate to have Mayor Tory’s two sons – George Tory and John Tory running my campaign. I’m not sure how big a role their father actually played, but I always had the feeling that he was quietly advising them. We decided to make the relief subway line a pivotal part of our campaign, because most transit experts insisted it was the highest priority line in the city. I remember going into a debate with John Jr. instructing me to answer every question with “the relief line or a subway.”  I balked when he told me he didn’t care if the question was about social housing, or land use planning — that I should answer “relief subway line” to every question or he would quit the campaign. And before I went up on stage he grabbed all my notes and told me I wouldn’t need them.

The next day all the papers were calling me “Subway Sarah” and I jumped to third place in the polls.  I was in absolute awe of the Tory boys and their father.

Back then reporters said our idea for the relief line was wishful thinking.  But over the years, as CEO of the Transit Alliance, my team and I worked to build awareness and support for the relief line, hosting many events in which John Tory would take part. He always spoke in support of the relief line, emphasizing it’s importance. Tory never gave up on the relief line, and that is why I wonder what Pagliaro is trying to do in her column?

International Woman’s Day is about the strength of women to lead within our society. We do this by staying true to ourselves, our profession, and each other. But yet again, I find myself defending a man against the political attacks of a woman who irresponsibly uses her stage to distort the truth.

Becoming a good journalist takes hard work. It isn’t easy to get beyond your personal assumptions and report the facts without bias, and in the world of twitter it is hard to avoid the temptation when given a global stage to write from. But a true journalist doesn’t take advantage of the stage they stand on. She does her homework, uncovers the truth, and writes the facts.

Today, critics are piling on Mayor Tory simply because he is willing to admit that a campaign strategy – Smart Track — may not be feasible. They forget that when he announced Smart Track during the campaign he insisted it was an idea, a vision, and that studies would be needed to see if it could work. They want to ignore the fact that Mayor Tory coined the term the “Yonge Street Relief line” and that he was one of the first to advocate for it.  I want to remind the Mayor of a great quote from Jean Sibelius: “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”