The best way to deal with a blank page (or blank screen) is to simply not have one. Asking how one deals with a blank page is a bit like asking how one deals with an Ed Hardy thumb ring or a pinstriped fedora. Just avoid that whole landmine by not ever having one. It helps to have a backlog of ideas -- more ideas that you could ever possibly need or turn into finished stories. I keep a text file of half-baked ideas to develop should I ever get some spare time -- and some of them aren't half-bad. Be riddled with ideas. Sodden with them. So many ideas that you start to gag just in describing how many ideas you have.
If you are reading this, I am dead. How's that for a lead? Guarantees you read on, at least for a bit. After attending George Gross's funeral in 2008 I half-facetiously remarked to the Toronto Sun's deputy managing editor, Al Parker, that I had been around so long that no one was left who knew me back then, and I had better write my own obituary. "Good idea!" said Parker with more enthusiasm than I appreciated. So here it is, not exactly an obit but a reflection back on a life and a career that I had never planned, but which unfolded in a way that I've never regretted.
In the aftermath of the deadly Bangladesh factory collapse, Loblaw has been admirably vocal about its plans to compensate victims' families and to make checking the structural integrity of factory buildings part of its future audits of suppliers. But the interesting part of this story will come in a few months, once the news cycle has moved on from the disaster in Dakha. Will Loblaw have the fortitude to get out there and remind us all of the disturbing incident in order to update us on the details of its follow-through? Or will it be content to let its customers' thoughts of the collapse quietly fade away, as they are bound to do?
This may be the first time that Joe Fresh has been caught up in a disaster of this scale, but if they don't change the way they do business in Bangladesh, it won't be the last. The brand has to explain what they're doing to ensure that the workers making their clothes aren't walking into a potential deathtrap each morning.
In the mad dash for readers' eyeballs, the media often chooses fast over factual. But who are publications serving by being the first to cross an invisible finish line? What the media often forget is the stands are packed with other members of the media, not readers. Our readers, those we supposedly exist to serve, are often left wondering why no one is running in the race they truly care about: being right. The strongest tie any media outlet should have with its readers is trust. And the fact that maintaining this trust sometimes takes time is something all outlets should remember today.
It's been called the sweetest left turn in the world, the corner of Hereford that leads to the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street. For a few hours, once a year, Boylston becomes the hallowed ground for thousands of runners. Boston on this day doesn't become the name of the city. It's the name of the race, run on Patriot's Day, also known by those who line the 26.2 mile route as "Marathon Monday." Citizens and runners alike love the event. No question. So when I heard about bombs and Boston, it was a shock to the system. I know more than several runners down there and I've literally been in their shoes, struggling down that final straightaway. The finish of the Boston Marathon is the happiest place for a runner, where dreams are fulfilled.
This week, it seemed the entire country was focused on the suicide of Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons. The alleged conscienceless cruelties that now seem inextricably linked to her death have disgusted and sickened so many that Rehtaeh may one day be remembered as the young woman who made us confront our shameful moral and legal deficits -- and do better. Blogger Anne Therriault wrote that when she read Rehtaeh Parsons' story, she couldn't help but wonder, "Where the f**k were all the grownups?" It's a very good question. One that we should keep asking loudly and often.
In the days following the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons -- the teenage girl from Halifax who committed suicide after being gang raped, photographed, and harassed -- the hacktivist group Anonymous is playing a game of chicken with the authorities in Nova Scotia.I spoke with a member of Anonymous who is directly involved with the operation to bring Rehtaeh's rapists to justice, in order to get a better handle on their motivations.
Barely a day goes by in Toronto, or any large city, without some reminder of the pain and damage caused by gun violence. While most agree it's a serious issue, the best way to address it remains a topic of considerable debate. Do we need more police? Better grass-roots community programs? Stricter gun control laws? In this latest installment of our popular series "Change My Mind," Huffpost asked two panelists from today's Direct Engagement Show "Putting the gunz down" town hall to debate the statement: Government can solve Toronto's gun violence problem.
We get it, hockey people (myself included). We know you like to act tough. But, please, please, please... Everybody in the NHL, for the love of whatever imaginary friend in the sky you believe in WEAR A VISOR! Fact is, visors don't save you from everything. They're not supposed to. But, they can still save your career. They can save you from something far worse.
Upon hearing some friends complain about Toronto after a local violent crime hit the news, Eva Karpati became determined to show the world that Toronto is a "wonderful place filled with amazing people." This gave her the inspiration to launch Good News Toronto, a publication that celebrates our local everyday heroes.
From this year's Charles Taylor Prize winner: When Abraham Lincoln embraced the end of slavery, he transformed a domestic civil war into a struggle for the soul of humanity. With this transformation, he now presided over America's first war of humanitarian intervention, with a crusading, explicitly religious moralism at its core.
I visited 14 different cities, looking at some of the best and the worst in urban transportation. Moscow offered both: surface roads gridlocked by a nightmare of free-for-all congestion, and an awe-inspiring and efficient metro system, a legacy of the Soviet era, that kept working like clockwork beneath the streets.