The timing is very interesting, when their leader is making rounds demanding the federal government give them some money. Is it a coordinated optics campaign? I do believe they are in trouble, but their proposed solution makes much of this hard to believe on the face of it.
Their forays into the digital have been bad. They do not know how to do journalism, but they do know how to present narratives with super evil bad guys they taunt on a daily basis.
I remember interviewing one of the managing editors for an article for Presstime about the debut of a new rival, the National Post. He said that the Star had seen other papers come and go, and they’d see the Post come and go, too. (He later denied he said that to my editors, and I had the taped interview that confirmed that he did. He promised my editors to apologize to me, but that never happened and he is no longer alive to make good on it).
Is the Toronto Star going to disappear before the Post? Neither is in a good position, and while the National Post never did get the traction they needed to be entrenched to an audience, the Star did have it many years ago, and then got cocky and squandered much of that goodwill. When the city you cover is a mosaic, and your structure stubbornly stays patriarchal, you are playing a game that you will lose.
But if its fortunes are as bad as they say they are, the city, province, and nation should not bail them out. Not one. The rot is too far into the core of the profession, and what this country needs is a replacement for journalism that starts fresh from scratch.
Not this mess.