We read the Toronto Star, unapologetically. We don’t defend it. Rather we commend it. Let it fights its own battles, against those who criticize it for being too this, too that, too left, too right, too liberal, too conservative, whatever. No matter. We read it for two reasons: excellent writing consistently and intelligent and thought-provoking columnists.
We read it because their columnists make us think or as their newly appointed Public Editor, Bruce Campion-Smith writes, “Making us squirm is a columnist’s job.” Plus, their editorials are the epitome of well-written points of view.
Just read their most recent editorial: “A contrast that couldn’t be sharper” Even if one isn’t a supporter of the Biden-Harris ticket or interested in American politics, one cannot help but admire how well the editorial panel of the Star writes their point of view. This is an excellent example of good writing.
Bruce Campion-Smith, Public Editor
Bruce Campion-Smith, the recently appointed public editor, takes on a role that makes him the target of many critics of the Toronto Star. “This reporter is offensive; this reporter is small-minded; this reporter is a racist; and so on.” Campion-Smith defends the Toronto Star columnists well. In his most recent column, “Making us squirm is a columnist’s job,” he explains that these columnists are writing opinion pieces, analytical commentaries. They are trying to provoke thought and analysis rather than just being provocative. He identifies two columnists notorious for sparking readers’ criticisms and complaints: Rosie Dimanno and Shree Paradkar. Both writers add supportive comments to his commentary.
We don’t envy Campion-Smith his job. It must be a thankless one subjecting him to frequent if not daily barbs, criticism and attacks. But again, the Star is to be commended for having such an office providing oversight and defence of input from the public, no matter whether supportive or critical.
Tony Burman is another example of the quality, professionalism and high calibre of Toronto Star writers. Burman is a favourite of ours, providing commentary and analysis relating to international politics. He has received the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television‘s Gordon Sinclair Award for lifetime achievement in broadcast journalism. The Arabian Business magazine named him the second most influential non-Arab in the Arab world. The Canadian Expat Association announced that he had been voted the third most influential Canadian living abroad, behind Michael J. Fox and Wayne Gretzky. Read Burman if you want thought-provoking political analysis, expressed concisely and succinctly. To get a taste of his excellent writing style, read his recent analysis, “Harris could help Democrats erase Trump’s toxic legacy.“
Support print media
These days where more and more people seem to be abandoning print media, there are pros and cons to hard copy (printed) media.
We too like digital media over hard copy. Digital media has many advantages, the biggest being immediacy. It is current. It is now! However, there are joys to hard copy news too. Convenience: keep it at hand on your kitchen table for reading at your leisure. Mark it up: write comments in the piece easily with a pen or marker. Come back to it: save it easily without worrying about having enough technological savvy. A hard copy is practical and convenient, especially for individuals who do not use technology as much as younger people do today.
Support printed media. It can be another paper, but you will be hard-pressed to find better writing than what is printed in the Toronto Star every day.