Toronto Star

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Toronto Star
Toronto-Star-Logo.svg
The Toronto Star
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s)Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. (subsidiary of Torstar)
PublisherJohn Boynton
Editor Irene Gentle
Founded1892;127 years ago (1892) (as Evening Star)
Political alignment Social liberalism [1] [2] [3] [4]
Headquarters 1 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5E 1E6
Circulation 308,881 weekdays
419,236 Saturdays
267,697 Sundays in 2015 [5]
Sister newspapers StarMetro
ISSN 0319-0781
OCLC number 137342540
Website thestar.com

The Toronto Star is a Canadian broadsheet daily newspaper. Based on 2015 statistics, it is Canada's highest-circulation newspaper on overall weekly circulation; [6] although it is a close second to The Globe and Mail in daily circulation on weekdays, it overtakes the Globe in weekly circulation because the Globe does not publish a Sunday edition. [7] The Toronto Star is owned by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of Torstar Corporation and part of Torstar's Daily News Brands division. [8]

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

A broadsheet is the largest newspaper format and is characterized by long vertical pages.

<i>The Globe and Mail</i> Canadian newspaper

The Globe and Mail is a Canadian newspaper printed in five cities in western and central Canada. With a weekly readership of 2,018,923 in 2015, it is Canada's most widely read newspaper on weekdays and Saturdays, although it falls slightly behind the Toronto Star in overall weekly circulation because the Star publishes a Sunday edition while the Globe does not. The Globe and Mail is regarded by some as Canada's "newspaper of record". The newspaper is owned by The Woodbridge Company, based in Toronto.

Contents

During the 2010s, the Toronto Star has expanded its national presence through the acquisition of titles such as the StarMetro chain of free daily newspapers and the digital political news website iPolitics .

<i>StarMetro</i> (newspaper)

StarMetro is a chain of Canadian free daily newspapers published in Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Toronto, and Vancouver. The chain is a joint venture between the Canadian publishing conglomerate Torstar (90%) and Swedish global media company Metro International (10%). The chain was originally branded as Metro prior to rebranding on April 10, 2018. It is no longer affiliated with the French-language Métro newspaper published by TC Transcontinental in Montreal.

iPolitics is a Canadian digital newspaper, which covers stories in Canadian politics. Similar in scope and format to the American publication Politico, the site was launched in 2010 by editor James Baxter, and offers daily coverage of political news, a quarterly print magazine, political analysis podcasts and specialized parliamentary monitoring services.

History

Horatio Clarence Hocken, founder of the Star Horatio Clarence Hocken.png
Horatio Clarence Hocken, founder of the Star

Formation

The Star (originally known as the Evening Star and then the Toronto Daily Star) was created in 1892 [10] by striking Toronto News printers and writers, led by future Mayor of Toronto and social reformer Horatio Clarence Hocken, who became the newspaper's founder, along with another future mayor, Jimmy Simpson.

1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar, the 1892nd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 892nd year of the 2nd millennium, the 92nd year of the 19th century, and the 3rd year of the 1890s decade. As of the start of 1892, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Mayor of Toronto

The Mayor of Toronto is the leader of the municipal government of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The mayor is directly-elected in municipal elections every four years alongside Toronto City Council. The mayor is responsible for the administration of government services, the composition of councils and committees overseeing Toronto government departments and serves as the chairperson for meeting of Toronto City Council.

Horatio Clarence Hocken Canadian politician

Horatio Clarence Hocken was a Canadian politician, Mayor of Toronto, social reformer, a founder of what became the Toronto Star and Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of British America from 1914-1918.

The Star was first printed on Toronto World presses, and at its formation, The World owned a 51% interest in it [11] as a silent partner. [12] That arrangement only lasted for two months, during which time it was rumoured that William Findlay "Billy" Maclean, the World's proprietor, was considering selling the Star to the Riordon family. [lower-alpha 1] After an extensive fundraising campaign among the Star staff, Maclean agreed to sell his interest to Hocken. [12] [14]

<i>The Toronto World</i>

The Toronto World was a newspaper based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, that existed between 1880 and 1921, with a Sunday edition that operated from 1891 to 1924. Founded by William Findlay "Billy" Maclean, it was popular among Toronto's working class and similar in style to The New York Herald. It was said to be the "editorially boldest" of the Toronto press, and was notable for its irreverence, noisy exposés of civic corruption, skilful skirting of the libel laws, and opposition to the religious establishment. Journalists such as Hector Charlesworth, Joseph E. Atkinson and John Bayne Maclean first worked there, before moving on to senior positions at other publications.

William Findlay Maclean Canadian politician

William Findlay Maclean was a Canadian politician.

The paper did poorly in its first few years. Hocken sold out within the year, and several owners followed in succession until railway entrepreneur Sir William Mackenzie bought it in 1896. [15] Its new editors, Edmund E. Sheppard and Frederic Thomas Nicholls, moved the entire Star operation into the same building used by the magazine Saturday Night . [16] This would continue until Joseph E. "Holy Joe" Atkinson, backed by funds raised by supporters of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, bought the paper. [16] The supporters included Senator George Cox, William Mulock, Peter Charles Larkin and Timothy Eaton. [17]

William Mackenzie (railway entrepreneur) railway entrepreneur

Sir William Mackenzie was a Canadian railway contractor and entrepreneur.

Frederic Thomas Nicholls was a Canadian businessman, electrical engineer and politician. He was a Conservative senator representing the senatorial division of Toronto, Ontario from 1917 to 1921.

<i>Saturday Night</i> (magazine) Canadian general interest magazine

Saturday Night was a Canadian general interest magazine. It was founded in Toronto, Ontario in 1887 and was Canada's oldest general interest magazine. The magazine ceased publication in 2005.

Atkinson's influence

Joseph E. Atkinson, c. 1910s Joseph Edward Atkinson.jpg
Joseph E. Atkinson, c. 1910s

Atkinson was the Star's editor from 1899 until his death in 1948. Its early opposition and criticism of the Nazi regime [18] saw the paper become one of the first North American papers to be banned in Germany. [19]

Nazi Party political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945

The National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of Nazism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920.

Atkinson had a social conscience. He championed many causes that would come to be associated with the modern welfare state: old age pensions, unemployment insurance, and health care. The Government of Canada Digital Collections website describes Atkinson as

a "radical" in the best sense of that term.... The Star was unique among North American newspapers in its consistent, ongoing advocacy of the interests of ordinary people. The friendship of Atkinson, the publisher, with Mackenzie King, the prime minister, was a major influence on the development of Canadian social policy. [20]

Atkinson became the controlling shareholder of the Star. The Star was frequently criticized for practising the yellow journalism of its era. For decades, the paper included heavy doses of crime and sensationalism, along with advocating social change. From 1910 to 1973, the Star published a weekend supplement, the Star Weekly .

Shortly before his death in 1948, Joseph E. Atkinson transferred ownership of the paper to a charitable organization given the mandate of continuing the paper's liberal tradition. [21] In 1949, the Province of Ontario passed the Charitable Gifts Act, [lower-alpha 2] barring charitable organizations from owning large parts of profit-making businesses, [22] that effectively required the Star to be sold. [lower-alpha 3]

Atkinson's will had directed that profits from the paper's operations were "for the promotion and maintenance of social, scientific and economic reforms which are charitable in nature, for the benefit of the people of the province of Ontario" and it stipulated that the paper could be sold only to people who shared his social views. [24] The five trustees of the charitable organization circumvented the Act by buying the paper themselves and swearing before the Supreme Court of Ontario to continue what became known as the "Atkinson Principles": [25]

Descendants of the original owners, known as "the five families", [lower-alpha 4] still control the voting shares of Torstar, [26] and the Atkinson Principles continue to guide the paper to this day. In February 2006, Star media columnist Antonia Zerbisias wrote on her blog:

Besides, we are the Star which means we all have the Atkinson Principles—and its multi-culti values—tattooed on our butts. Fine with me. At least we are upfront about our values, and they almost always work in favour of building a better Canada. [27]

Involvement with broadcasting

The Old Toronto Star Building, 80 King St West, in 1961 TorontoStar3.jpg
The Old Toronto Star Building, 80 King St West, in 1961

From 1922 to 1933, the Star was also a radio broadcaster on its station CFCA, broadcasting on a wavelength of 400 metres (749.48 kHz), whose coverage was complementary to the paper's reporting. [29] The station was closed following the establishment of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission and the introduction of a government policy that, in essence, restricted private stations to an effective radiated power of 100 watts. [29] The Star would continue to supply sponsored content to the CRBC's CRCT station (which later became CBC station CBL), an arrangement that lasted until 1946. [29]

1970s to present

In 1971, the newspaper was renamed The Toronto Star and moved to a modern office tower at One Yonge Street by Queens Quay. The original Star Building at 80 King Street West was demolished to make room for First Canadian Place. The new building originally housed the paper's presses. In 1992, the printing plant was moved to the Toronto Star Press Centre at the Highway 407 & 400 interchange in Vaughan. [30] In September 2002, the logo was changed, and "The" was dropped from the papers. During the 2003 Northeast blackout, the Star printed the paper at a press in Welland, Ontario.

Until the mid-2000s, the front page of the Toronto Star had no advertising aside from lottery jackpot estimates from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

On May 28, 2007, the Star unveiled a redesigned paper that features larger type, narrower pages, fewer and shorter articles, renamed sections, more prominence to local news, and less so to international news, columnists, and opinion pieces. [31] However, on January 1, 2009, the Star reverted to its previous format. Star P.M., a free newspaper in PDF format that could be downloaded from the newspaper's website each weekday afternoon, was discontinued in October 2007, thirteen months after its launch.

On January 15, 2016, Torstar confirmed the closure of its Vaughan printing presses and that it will outsource printing to Transcontinental Printing, leading to the layoff of all 285 staff at the plant as Transcontinental has its own existing facility, also in Vaughan. [32]

The Star brand

One Yonge Street - Current head office, built in 1970 Toronto Star Building.JPG
One Yonge Street – Current head office, built in 1970

Editorial position

Like its competitor The Globe and Mail , the Star covers "a spectrum of opinion that is best described as urban and Central Canadian" in character. The Star is generally centrist and centre-left, and is more socially liberal than The Globe and Mail. [34] The paper has aligned itself over the years with the progressive "Atkinson principles" named for publisher Joseph E. Atkinson, [35] who was editor and publisher of the paper for 50 years. [36] These principles included social justice and social welfare provision, as well as individual rights and civil liberties. [36] In 1984, scholar Wilfred H. Kesterton described the Star as "perpetually indignant" because of its social consciousness. [34] When Atkinson's son Joseph Story Atkinson became president of the Star in 1957, he said, "From its inception in 1892, the Star has been a champion of social and economic reform, a defender of minority rights, a foe of discrimination, a friend of organized labour and a staunch advocate of Canadian nationhood." [36]

Another of the "Atkinson principles" has been a "strong, united and independent Canada"; in a 1927 editorial, the paper wrote "We believe in the British connection as much as anybody does but on a self-respecting basis of equality, of citizenship, and not on the old basis of one country belonging to the other." [36] The paper was historically wary of American influence, [36] and during the debates over the North American Free Trade Agreement, the paper was frequently critical of free trade and expressed concerns about Canadian sovereignty. [37] The paper has been traditionally supportive of official bilingualism and maintaining Canadian unity in opposition to Quebec separatism. [36]

In the 1980s, Michael Farber wrote in the Montreal Gazette that the Star's coverage was Toronto-centric to the point that any story was said to carry an explanation as to "What it means to Metro." [38] Conversely, Canadian sociologist Elke Winter wrote in 2011 that the Toronto Star was less "Toronto-centric" than its rival, The Globe and Mail, writing that the Star "consciously reports for and from Canada's most multicultural city" and catered to a diverse readership. [34]

Election endorsements

In the 50 years to 1972, the Star endorsed the Liberal Party in each federal general election. [39] In the 14 federal elections between 1968 and 2015, the Star endorsed the Liberal Party ten times, the New Democratic Party two times, and the Progressive Conservative Party two times. [35]

Elections in which the Star did not endorse the Liberals took place in 1972 and 1974, (when it endorsed the Progressive Conservatives), and 1979 and 2011 (when it endorsed the NDP). [39] [35] In the 2011 election in which the Star endorsed the NDP under Jack Layton, [40] but to avoid vote-splitting that could inadvertently help the Conservatives under Stephen Harper, which it saw as the worst outcome for the country, the paper also recommended Canadians vote strategically by voting for "the progressive candidate best placed to win" in certain ridings. [41] For the 2015 election, the Star endorsed the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau. [42]

In Toronto's non-partisan mayoral elections, the Star endorsed George Smitherman in 2010, [43] and John Tory in 2014. [44]

Features

Toronto Star paperboy in Whitby in 1940 Toronto Star paperboy Whitby.jpg
Toronto Star paperboy in Whitby in 1940

The Star is one of the few Canadian newspapers that employs a "public editor" (ombudsman) and was the first to do so. Its newsroom policy and journalistic standards guide is also published online. [45]

Other notable features include:

The Star states that it favours an inclusive, "big tent" approach, not wishing to attract one group of readers at the expense of others. It publishes special sections for Chinese New Year and Gay Pride Week, along with regular features on real estate (including condominiums), individual neighbourhoods (and street name etymologies), shopping, cooking, dining, alcoholic beverages (right down to having an exclusive on the anti-competitive practices of the Beer Store that led to major reforms on the sale of alcohol in Ontario grocery stores in 2015 by Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ed Clark), automobiles (as Wheels), and travel destinations.

Since the mid-2010s, the sports and business sections are consolidated on some days and eventually, all weekdays.

Competitive position

Reliefs recovered from the demolition of the former Toronto Star building on King Street. Located at the Guild Park and Gardens in Scarborough. Toronto Star pyramid.jpg
Reliefs recovered from the demolition of the former Toronto Star building on King Street. Located at the Guild Park and Gardens in Scarborough.

The advent of the National Post in 1998 shook up the Toronto newspaper market. [47] In the upheaval that followed, editorial spending increased and there was much hiring and firing of editors and publishers. [48]

Current developments

Sing Tao Daily

Sing Tao Daily editorial office in Markham, Ontario SingTaoDailyToronto.jpg
Sing Tao Daily editorial office in Markham, Ontario

In 1998, [50] the Toronto Star purchased a majority stake in Sing Tao's Canadian newspaper Sing Tao Daily, which it jointly owns with Sing Tao News Corporation. [51] Sing Tao Daily encountered controversy in April 2008, after media watchers discovered the paper had altered a translated Toronto Star article about the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games protests to adhere to Chinese government's official line. [50] Sing Tao's then-editor Wilson Chan was fired over this. [52]

Paywall

In October 2012, the Star announced its intention to implement a paywall on its website, thestar.com, [53] which was made effective on August 13, 2013. Readers with daily home delivery had free access to all its digital content. Those without a digital subscription can view up to ten articles a month. [54] [55] The paywall does not apply to its sister sites, such as wheels.ca (automotive news and classifieds) or Workopolis (career search). However, during late 2013, the Star announced that it would end its paywall, which it did on April 1, 2015. [56]

In June 2018, the Star announced it was implementing a paywall again and has the same restrictions as its previous paywall implementation. [57]

Star Touch tablet app

On September 15, 2015, the Toronto Star released the Toronto Star Touch tablet app, which was a free interactive news app with interactive advertisements. It was discontinued in 2017. At launch, it was only available for the iPad, which uses iOS. Based on a similar app for Montreal-based La Presse released in 2013, Star Touch is the first such app for any English-language news organization, quality-wise. [58] In slightly over 50 days since launch, the app had reached the 100,000-download milestone. [59] The Android version was launched on December 1, 2015. [60] The iOS version is rated 12+ by Apple's App Store guidelines [61] and the Android version is rated Mature 17+ by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). [62]

Closing of printing plants

On January 15, 2016, the Toronto Star announced it would close its printing plant in Vaughan and outsource all print production starting in July 2016. The newspaper said the closure was effected so it could better focus on its digital outlets. [63]

Circulation

The Toronto Star has seen, like most Canadian daily newspapers, a decline in circulation. Its total circulation dropped by 22 percent to 318,763 copies daily from 2009 to 2015. [64]

Daily average [65]
100,000
200,000
300,000
400,000
500,000
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

Internship program shelved

In February 2018, the Toronto Star suspended its internship program indefinitely in order to cut its costs. [66] Long a source of Canada's next generation of journalists, the paid positions were seen as a vital part of the national industry, and their suspension, a sign of its continuing decline. [67]

Notable Star personalities (past and present)

Publishers

Presidents and CEOs of Torstar

Journalists and columnists

Cartoonists

Office locations of the Toronto Star

The Toronto Star has been located at several addresses from 1892 to 1970. [74]

See also

Notes

  1. owners of the Riordon Pulp and Paper Company, and investors in The Hamilton Spectator , Toronto Mail and the Toronto Evening News . [13]
  2. The Charitable Gifts Act , R.S.O. 1990, c. C.8 , repealed in 2009 by the Good Government Act, 2009 , S.O. 2009, c. 33, Sch. 2
  3. But the Act's repeal in 2009 does not mean that charities in Ontario can now set up for-profit companies or pursue business activities. [23]
  4. being the Atkinson, Hindmarsh, Campbell, Honderich and Thall families

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Further reading