Its evolution, not termination

The 2009 issues of the Ryerson Review of Journalism were launched last month at a gathering in Toronto, and the Spring edition of the award-winning mag is now available on newsstands.

In her editorial, “Relics of the Shifting Present”, Spring issue editor Marit Mitchell compares the current upheaval in the journalism world to a “mass extinction” in evolutionary science, wherein global conditions change so quickly that most species don’t survive. “The current economic recession may be journalism’s giant asteroid,” she writes.

But she’s unshaken. As in the days of town criers when the printing press came to be, she writes, the industry is evolving.

“The status quo is a dinosaur, unable to adapt rapidly enough to survive on a warming planet. Yet, the evolutionary remnants of dinosaurs are alive and well in modern birds and reptiles. The form changed, but life itself carried on unfazed.

So it will be with journalism. It has weathered such a culling before…News didn’t die then, it mutated and moved on. The fundamental hunger for information won’t expire under new conditions; the mode of delivery will evolve.”

RRJ_Spring09Here are some of the highlights from the first of two annual issues:

One Powerful Union Tactic
The inside story of the labour-management conflict at Le Journal de Quebec

What About Bob?
A case study in Robert Hurst’s aggressive leadership at CTV News

Rookie of the Year
New editor Sarah Fulford changes tacks at Toronto Life

Declarations of Independence
Are privately owned alt-weeklies really a better alternative to their big-corporate counterparts?

The Man Who Flipped Off Trudeau
Quebec’s troublemaking journalist Michel Vastel: a retrospective

The Body Politic
How much of columnist Terence Corcoran’s bombast and umbrage is just for show?

Did the media overreact when reporting on tainted meat?

Ideas Man
The life and death of celebrated public intellectual Lister Sinclair

Book Camp
The writers, the parties and one memorable elk: a look at two decades of Banff’s exclusive Literary Journalism program

Gearing Up
The race is on to become Canada’s premier news site

Guerrillas in Our Midst
The citizen journalism trend that could make us redundant

Proceed with Caution
Sex sells. But shouldn’t the facts be right first

The Mission
The United Church Observer tackles controversy, faith and a dying audience

Dear Ian Brown
Thank you for your query. Unfortunately…

Missing Links
Why we should care about science reporting

Pissed Off
The dying art of headline writing

Barbed Relations
The military and journalists: our writer reports from the front lines

The Spring 2009 issue is now on newsstands and the Summer issue will be available later this summer.