Hard journalism

One of the major reasons I keep my subscription to the Toronto Star are its commitment to local reporting, hard investigative journalism, and its mapping/GIS team. It’s the sort of work that print journalism has to do if it’s to survive. According to the Tyee, journalism professor Stephen Ward explains “The future of journalism is investigative, interpretive journalism.”

The Star’s latest work, Race Matters has buttressed my loyalty. It’s a hard-hitting, multi-pronged, multimedia examination of racial profiling in policing.

The series builds earlier work, when the Star’s Jim Rankin won an appeal against the Toronto Police Services to release crime data. The court ordered the TPS to hand it over, and they did, almost twelve months later, in December 2009.

The world of newspaper journalism works on shorter timelines, so, here on this first week-end in February, the new data has formed the foundation of this look at how law enforcement occurs in our neighbourhoods.

The Star’s investigative and mapping teams’ work on issues of social justice has been prodigious. Repeatedly, they prove the adage that the role of the press is to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”

Here is some of the Star’s other investigative work:

Suspended sentences: Forging a school-to-prison pipeline?

School, Interrupted (series)

School, Interrupted (mapping suspensions by school and neighbourhood)

High School Dropouts (link to postal code map)

Lost in Migration

Crime & Punishment


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