It is not hard to rip on the future of newspapers. If it is easy to kick someone while they’re down, it is even easier to punch them in the face while they lie on their deathbed. When it comes to fishwrap, I’ve done both. Sometimes gleefully. Sometimes while bemoaning the future of a world where free dailies and blogs halfheartedly attempt to duplicate the real work that newspapers do.
I also pick on the Toronto Star a lot. Once again, it’s easy. I worked there, I know the culture and I can still predict, with startling accuracy, the angle and lead they will use on any given story. That doesn’t make them a bad newspaper, just an easy target.
Regardless, I wanted to share this fantastic investigative piece by Kevin Donovan. It’s a all-too-rare reminder of what real investigative reporting can uncover. This wouldn’t happen in your favourite free daily — nowhere near enough staff, or space, to get it done. It wouldn’t happen online. Bloggers don’t have the credentials, the time to devote to the project or — for the most part — the years of experience required to navigate something like this.
It’s a good ol’ fashioned newspaper expose-a-crook yarn, and you should read it with your feet up, a big cup of coffee in your hand and then reflect on the fact that there are still a few good reasons we kill millions of trees every week.
Job well done.