DISCUSSIONS: 6 – (June 9) Canada’s press beginning to copy US media sensationalist style?

Rosie DiManno, a Toronto Star reporter, recently wrote a column about three Metro police officers charged with sexual assault.

This is news which the public should read about. However, DiManno may have missed the mark in her style of reporting.

American media seems to bask in the sunshine of sensationalist scripts. They seem to relish the use of explicit descriptions, sensational detail and lurid language. Terrorists, gunned down, 45 calibre, attackers, examples of vocabulary or phrasing which regularly spices American reporting. Look how the NY Daily News portrayed Trump as an international jerk on its front page after he withdrew the US from the PARIS Agreement: “World: Drop Dead!” Sensationalism at its peak.

The Toronto Sun is known for using emotionally explosive language: ‘terrorist,’ ‘suicide bomber,’ ‘hooker,’ ‘attacker.’ The words are not wrong. In fact, they are very correct. However, they convey as certain tone, a kind of emotion which newspapers now are using more and more. Is it a strategy for increasing readership? Very likely. However, it detracts from the professional and objective image held for so long by outstanding news organizations like the Star who now pander to the masses base taste for blood, gore and sensationalism.

Now the Star descends to these lower levels of crass commentary as demonstrated by the following examples from DiManno’s column about the officers’ alleged offences:

“His jeans were around his ankles, his penis exposed and he was pushing my head toward him. Les was holding my head and he said, ‘Suck my c—. And he penetrated my mouth with his penis. I was completely unable to move, at least not in any meaningful way.”


“I had the sensation of my jeans being removed. I recall being vaginally penetrated by something . . . fingers? It did not feel like a penis.

“I remember hearing a voice over me, asking if he should f— me up the a–,” she testified.

“I know that I saw Les standing there but . . . I couldn’t see who was between my legs.”

As she was being vaginally penetrated, another penis was inserted into her mouth, she said.

Read DiManno’s article [Toronto Star]

Rosie, please return to your past style of reporting with a professional tone rather than succumbing to this unrefined level of ribaldry and raciness.

What do you think?

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