In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.
The ruling in the Jian Ghomeshi trial was handed down yesterday and the daily Toronto papers that publish on Good Friday have delivered the editorial angles one would expect from each. Sadly neither Front Page Challenge leader Metro nor the National Post publish today, so anyone expecting to flip open a paper this morning to read Christie Blatchford saying “the system works” will have to wait until the weekend to get their fix.
The Globe and Mail
The Globe is the national paper of record, so their coverage of the ruling is not the only story on their front page this morning, and they devote some real estate to other major stories of the day such as the Syrian refugee crisis and the Zika virus. Their approach to the Ghomeshi story is sober and factual, saying the acquittal “hinged on complainants’ lack of credibility,” with two companion columns that focus on “the judgment” and “the fallout” (both written by men).
The Toronto Star‘s coverage of the ruling is comprehensive, with more emotionally-charged language compared to the Globe, stating in white text on black “Judge Shreds The Three Women As He Finds Ghomeshi Not Guilty.” A second article on the angry reaction in front of the courthouse levels the charge of “mansplaining” at Justice Horkins. A statement from Ghomeshi’s sister is included on Page One and additional articles (written by men and women) are indicated within. The Star‘s liberal readership is the one most likely to be upset by this ruling, and their coverage is particularly reflective of this audience.
The Sun goes for a more cold-blooded approach with the mean, somewhat triggering pun “Jian Beats Rap” as their headline. The bombshell ruling only gets three pages of coverage within the paper, including Joe Warmington’s admiring column hailing Ghomeshi’s selection of defense counsel Marie Henein as the best decision he could have made (“What a character. They call her Matlock in heels. Pat Benatar could play her in the movie or maybe Tatiana Maslany, Wendy Crewson or Kristen Stewart.”). The Sun‘s crusade against the Toronto Maple Leafs continues, with a headline asking them to stop winning hockey games. The Sun‘s front page also questionably trumpets an interview with Rob Ford’s 8-year-old son “Lil’ Dougie” (a brief “media scrum” which, it must be added, was at the insistence of the boy and with the consent of the Ford family).
This week’s winner: The Star‘s coverage of the ruling is the most comprehensive and strikes the balance between acceptance of the judge’s rationale in terms of rendering a decision and mindfulness of the anger this judgment creates in the city around issues of consent, and believing survivors.
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