Blabbing with Blatchford

Last night Massey College hosted the third Press Club Night, a series devoted to “celebrating Toronto’s community of journalists.”

Well known Globe columnist and author Christie Blatchford sat down with the college’s master, journalist and former chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation John Fraser, in a snug, book-lined room, with 30 or so others (mostly journalists, both newbies and vets). Organizers had also invited Rosie DiManno, Star columnist and Blatchford’s close friend, but she chickened out is in Libya bravely covering the revolution.

Blatchford answered questions, from Fraser and the audience, about her often discussed (and rare, for someone who covers the criminal courts) friendly relationship with the police; some of her favourite editors over the years (she prefers the ones who trusted her, unsurprisingly, and the ones who weren’t afraid to tell her off when she screwed up); and how she handles nasty reader mail (she claims her skin hasn’t been thickened against it, even after 25 years in journalism).

Toronto Star EIC Michael Cooke, who was in the hot seat for the previous Press Club Night, asked Blatchford about Ontario’s justice system, starting a heated discussion about the destruction of key evidence following the Paul Bernardo trial — which Blatchford covered extensively. The previously subdued crowd weighed in on the matter, while Blatchford staunchly supported her argument that the decision to burn the Bernardo tapes set a dangerous precedent.

Having earlier discussed her frustration with the Globe‘s request that its writers “engage in a conversation” with readers and stating, “I don’t want a f***ing conversation… It’s my column,” it was clear that Blatchford is not super-keen about journalists’ changing roles. Then, at the end of the evening, she was asked for her “comments on the future of journalism.” Blatchford responded, with no hint of flippancy, “I’m glad I’m nearing the end of my career.”

Posted on March 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm by editor · · Tagged with: , , ,

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