How Toronto's Papers Covered the Istanbul Nightclub Shooting and the World Juniors
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How Toronto’s Papers Covered the Istanbul Nightclub Shooting and the World Juniors

It's a new year for the battle of the Toronto dailies, and the competitors are coming out swinging.

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

Front Page Challenge

It’s a new year and a clean slate for all five of Toronto’s daily papers competing for the glory of winning the 2017 Front Page Challenge tournament. The competitors will have to dethrone the current champion, Metro Toronto, whose team was justifiably proud of their achievement in 2016 and is looking forward to defending their title. The game… is on.

globe jan 3
The Globe and Mail

The Globe reports that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the New Year’s Day attack on an Istanbul nightclub that left dozens dead and triggered a manhunt across Turkey for the gunman. The Globe also covers the Canadian angel to the tragedy, with a Toronto-area mother of two among the casualties. The main Canadian story of the day concerns the difficulties local doctors are having obtaining specialized medicines that aren’t sanctioned for use in Canada, mostly because the market here is too small for pharmaceutical companies to license them. An article towards the bottom of the page offers a preview of what will be an ongoing story in 2017: the new landscape in Washington. Republicans are about to assume control of the White House and both legislative chambers on Capitol Hill, putting them in a position to effect sweeping change while showing apparent disinterest in issues such as transparency and conflicts of interest—two themes used by the GOP to hammer President Obama and his once-likely successor, Hillary Clinton. Judging by past Republican rhetoric, you would think they would be rolling out the impeachment charges against Donald Trump the second he takes the oath of office, but on Monday, House Republicans voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics.

post jan 3
National Post

The massacre in Turkey is the top story in the Post, with a focus on mourning the victims of the mass shooting. There are two patriotic hockey stories on page one this morning: coverage of Team Canada’s victory over the Czech Republic in the World Juniors, and Matthew Fisher’s report on Canada’s ball hockey rink on their base in Kandahar, Afghanistan being dismantled and brought home. The boards of the rink are now bound for the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa for a future display. The Post is also making use of the few weeks they have left to slag Barack Obama as the sitting U.S. president: today’s feature “Too little, too late Obama” upbraids the man who gave the order to kill Osama bin Laden for finally discovering “where they kept the courage pills” and “swaggering around the globe” in his final weeks in office, talking tough about Israel and Vladimir Putin. And a church in Victoria, B.C. is making headlines after putting up a concrete wall topped with a black metal fence to keep out homeless people and drug dealers loitering outside, an arguably un-Christian move. In response, someone spray-painted “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do?) on the wall.

star jan 3
Toronto Star

The Star‘s typo-free front page starts the year off with a grab bag of stories. They’re the only paper to point out that the World Juniors tournament, despite all the media attention, is not well-attended—last night’s game in Montreal was played in a half-empty Bell Centre. The top story this morning is about a GTA-based volunteer helpline for Muslim youth that has seen an overwhelming surge in calls from the U.S. since Donald Trump’s election. The vast majority of calls are now going unanswered, apparently because it’s becoming impossible for the helpline staff to keep up. The Star also reports that a year after the federal government promised to crack down on employers breaking the rules on hiring temporary foreign workers, only three businesses have been busted for non-compliance. And Shawn Micallef reports on the effect the Airbnb market is having on Toronto’s rental and hotel markets, after discovering that one of his neighbours is renting out their apartment.

metro jan 3
Metro Toronto

Metro profiles the Milton mom among the dead in the Istanbul massacre, but the paper’s top story this morning is “Mixed In The Six,” which is not the title of @Norm’s new mixtape, but rather a new pop-up event aimed at building a community for multi-racial Torontonians. And Matt Elliott throws down this morning, issuing a New Year’s Resolution for mayor John Tory to “stop pandering to the car crowd” and drop his “War on The Car” rhetoric for 2017.

sun jan 3
Toronto Sun

Only two stories make the front page of the Sun this morning: “Czechs Bounced,” which gloats over Team Canada’s advancement to the semifinals in the World Juniors, and the Sun‘s latest crusade against Premier Kathleen Wynne. Wynne’s cap-and-trade carbon tax took effect January 1, which has already sent gas prices spiking north and given the city’s motorists “gas pains” subject to more potential pocketbook complications (a falling loonie, future rises in the price of oil). The only way anyone will be able to afford keeping their car on the road might be winning the upcoming Oriental Pearl Baccarat Tournament at the Great Blue Heron Casino in Port Perry—featured in an ad at the bottom of the Sun‘s front page.

This week’s winner: The National Post has the strongest imagery and layout of all the Toronto papers this morning and jumps to a shocking early lead on our 2017 standings.


Newspaper Number of Wins
Metro 0
Toronto Sun 0
Toronto Star 0
Globe and Mail 0
National Post 1

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