• Toronto, University of Toronto
  • May 25, 2010 - 18:00

Keeping an Eye on Journalism
May 25, 2010, Toronto

Keeping an Eye on Journalism

TORONTO -- May 25 -- 6:30 p.m. -- INNIS TOWN HALL, 2 SUSSEX AVE.


Wikis, bloggers, media critics...or ombuds? Which is better? Is the watchdog function more effective inside or outside a media organization? The New York Times, the Toronto Star and the CBC have ombuds or public editors. The public says it trusts a media organization with that position. So why don’t more newspapers and broadcasters follow? A CJF Forum asks the question – is an ombuds still needed these days?

Join our panellists -- CBC ombuds Vince Carlin, Toronto Star public editor Kathy English, and National Post assistant managing editor John Racovali -- as we answer this question and more. Ryerson journalism professor Jeffrey Dvorkin will moderate.

Death of the ombud? Only in Canada
Let the public help guide journalism ethics

WHEN: Tuesday, May 25, Presentation 6:30 p.m., Reception 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto


Vince CarlinVince Carlin is the Ombudsman for the CBC's English Services. Prior to taking up the position in January, 2006, Carlin spent eight years as an Associate Professor at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University; most of that time as Chair. Carlin began his career with Time Magazine in New York, later serving as the News Editor in the Washington Bureau of the Time-Life News Service before becoming Bureau Chief in Montreal. He was recruited by CBC Radio in 1973 as host of the morning program Daybreak. He subsequently held a number of different posts in both radio and television, including Managing Editor of National Radio News, Chief News Editor of CBC Television and Head of CBC Newsworld.

Kathy EnglishKathy English is the Toronto Star's Public Editor. The Public Editor position encompasses the roles of reader advocate and guarantor of accuracy, serving as a liaison between the Star and its many readers, both print and online. Kathy began her journalism career at the Brantford Expositor in 1976 and was a Star reporter and feature writer from 1983-1989. She has reported and edited for the Hamilton Spectator, London Free Press, Toronto Sun, and the Globe and Mail. Kathy taught newspaper journalism at Ryerson School of Journalism for 10 years and launched websites for two Canadian media companies, SunMedia and Transcontinental Media. She also served five years on the board of the National Newspaper Awards.

John RacovaliJohn Racovali has wandered. The count is 11 daily newspapers in 28 years: from one of the smallest (Kenora Daily Miner & News, circulation 3,250) to the largest (Toronto Star, weekday circulation 314,173); from one of the oldest (St. John’s Telegram, established in 1879) to the youngest (National Post, established in 1998). Inexplicably, he has taken root at the paper with the shakiest prospects, the Post, where he was the founding world editor. For the last five years, he has been assistant managing editor and his duties include corrections, clarifications and obfuscations.


Jeffrey DvorkinJeffrey Dvorkin held the Rogers Communications Distinguished Visiting Chair in Journalism and Professor of Distinction for the 2009-2010 academic year. He came to Ryerson in 2008 from Georgetown University in Washington, DC where he taught ethics and journalism at the graduate level and also served as the media advisor for all four student newspapers. Prior to teaching at Georgetown, Dvorkin was the executive director of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, Vice President of News and Information at NPR (National Public Radio) and NPR’s first ombudsman for the listeners, a position he held for almost seven years. He still appears frequently on public radio and television in the US.