"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Speaking of Media

If I were a billionaire I would purchase a subscription to the Toronto Globe and Mail for every journalist working in the US.

Unlike American journalism which is so desperate to be inoffensive that it becomes uniformly empty, the Globe is eager to give people things to think about and talk about. If today's issue is an indication, the Globe is almost as deficient as the US press in its focus on sustainability issues. So it's not as if I had no complaints. But the stupefying and mystifying feeling of reading the US press, even the Times these days, is blissfully absent.

Today's headline: Failed State Gives Rise to Famine

Today's feature photo: Born to Run?

other interesting items in addition to the previously mentioned McLuhan piece:

As Leopard Habitat Dwindles in India, Humans Become Prey

Gang Violence: Why We Need a CeaseFire (opinion by Sheema Khan)

Heartbreak Charm and Betrayal (review of movie Project Nim)

Oddly, most of the headlines of the articles (all except the opinion piece) I picked are different on the web. Apparently the Globe has not escaped the peculiar journalistic confusion about article titles.

As I contemplate moving from writing about writing about sustainability to actually just writing about sustainability, I take inspiration from the fact that competent journalism still survives in North America; that I'm not just imagining the possibility. (But the belief that the author of a journalistic article ought to choose the title still seems like an innovation for some reason!)
Image: Globe and Mail columnist Sheema Khan


joe said...

Michael: I get the feeling that many of us on the left side of the Canadian political spectrum have given up on the the Globe and Mail since their completely bizarre and indefensible decision to formally endorse Stephen Harper in the last federal election.

They also haven't published a story on climate change since 2009...


For what its worth, thetyee.ca is a great, independent source of BC and Canadian news and opinion.

joe said...

A modest clarification: the Globe hasn't published any in-depth climate change stories since 2009, and they have published a grand total of 2 news stories so far this year (one on contrails, and one on geo-engineering)...

Michael Tobis said...

My host here is also uncomfortable with my endorsement of the Globe.

I only saw a one-day slice. I am not necessarily agreeing with their editorial policy. If they supported Harper, I agree that this is bizarre and indefensible. The Globe may fail to understand the risks of reconverging Canadian and American culture.

(When I was a young they were essentially indistinguishable save for the better mass market snacks here in Canada - an advantage which by the way, seems to be fast fading, grumble, where are the Glossettes, the Cherry Blossoms, the ultrathin potato chips, the Thrills gum? It's all that Lays and Hersheys crap here now. And the last Aero bar I have seen for sale was in Texas!).

One way they can rediscover the difference, though, is by comparing their stories with the shallow drivel that runs in any American daily.