How Toronto's Papers Covered A Russian Terror Attack and the NHL Skipping The Winter Olympics

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How Toronto’s Papers Covered A Russian Terror Attack and the NHL Skipping The Winter Olympics

Sports has the papers pretty bummed out today.

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Illustration by Brett Lamb

In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.

Monday’s terrorist bombing of the St. Petersburg subway is front page news on all five of Toronto’s papers this morning, dominating the two big sports stories of the day, the Blue Jays blowing their first game of the season and the shocking announcement that the NHL will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


globe april 4
The Globe and Mail


The Globe‘s coverage of the subway bombing in Russia is surprisingly below the fold this morning, with Canada’s National Newspaper™ leading instead with Canada’s Team™, the Blue Jays, taking the field at Baltimore’s Camden Yards yesterday afternoon, a game they lost without their closer Roberto Osuna, who begins the season on the disabled list. The Globe also provides an update on China’s efforts to work out an extradition treaty with Canada, which, according to our new ambassador to China, John McCallum, has barely advanced past the planning stage. The Globe only briefly mentions the NHL’s decision to sit out the 2018 Olympics on Page One, although they use a big chunky font in all-caps for the headline.


post april 4
National Post


The Post leads with the terror attack on the St. Petersburg subway, with a grisly photo of the aftermath of an explosion that killed 11 commuters and injured at least 50. The Post‘s coverage of the NHL’s decision to sit out the next Olympics stresses that this is a result of negotiations breaking down between the International Olympic Committee and the NHL Players Association (a.k.a. that damn union). And the Post, which always tries to make lemonade out of the lemons produced by Conservative governments, has a story today about how the UK’s impending exit from the European Union has resulted in an unexpected “bonanza” for Canada, with two of our universities reporting a spike in the number of “stellar” academics looking for work here.


star april 4
Toronto Star


The Star is doin’ it all today, leading with “Terror In Russia” and indicating the attack might have been the work of Daesh (the paper’s preferred term for ISIS) extremists. The Star is mightily disappointed by the NHL skipping the Winter Olympics for the first time since 1994, but in contrast to the Post’s coverage that faults the NHL players union, sports reporter Bruce Arthur says there’s plenty of blame to go around on this one. The Star is the only one of Toronto’s papers to run on the front page the story about a recent secret meeting in the Seychelles to arrange a back-channel line of communications between the Kremlin and then-president-elect Donald Trump (brokered by the founder of the notorious security firm Blackwater, Erik Prince, whose sister Betsy DeVos just so happens to be Trump’s new education secretary). A bottom-right headline also says “We’re A Nation Of Crybabies,” but before you assume Sue-Ann Levy is writing for the Star now, this is a headline to be taken literally: a new British study says Canada’s newborns have higher rates of colic than in other countries.


metro april 4
Metro Toronto


Metro‘s main focus this morning is on community efforts to help people facing a terrible unfolding famine in East Africa. But beyond their patented cute creature on the cover, this morning’s front page is an understated one, syndicating Bruce Arthur’s Star column and featuring a shot of Putin laying flowers in honour of the victims of the St. Petersburg terror attack.


Toronto Sun



sun april 4
Toronto Sun


The Sun devotes the majority of the cover this morning to the Jays blowing their opening game, no thanks to fill-in closer Jason Grilli, complete with an inset photo of the Orioles celebrating their victory as if they had won the World Series. Grilli appears to be holding his nose as if he was disgusted with himself. However, the Sun is a little foolish to give up on the Blue Jays this early into the season: we are only one game behind in the East with 161 games to go, still plenty of time for the Jays to repeat as American League Division Series Champions.


This week’s winner: The Toronto Star has the strongest visual layout this morning, managing to convey the destruction in St. Petersburg without featuring the dead and injured, and providing solid front-page analysis of the NHL’s controversial decision to sit out next year’s Winter Olympics.

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Illustration by Brett Lamb


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