Journalism Matters: World News Day 2020

Toronto Observer joins 150 newsrooms

The Toronto Observer is a proud supporter of the international World News Day event to showcase how journalism matters. The one-day campaign, being held Monday Sept. 28, 2020, involves nearly 150 news organizations around the world, including The Globe and Mail, The Straits Times, CNN, the BBC and more.

The Toronto Observer is an award-winning community newspaper in Toronto, Canada staffed by the journalism students in several programs attending Centennial College’s School of Journalism.

The newspaper began as a bi-weekly print publication nearly half a century ago, serving the East York borough, but has now evolved into a multi-platform digital publication. The Observer‘s brands include a digital newspaper, with a radio news and podcast vertical, the Observer TV News YouTube channel, and social media storytelling via the Observer’s accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

The newsroom of the Toronto Observer, 2019.

Award-winning journalism

As part of their training, senior Centennial journalism students work for the Observer over the course of an entire year. They cover breaking news, sports, features, politics, business, and, of course this year, the students had to overcome the challenge of meeting their reporting responsibilities when COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March.

In the last decade, Toronto Observer‘s website and feature stories have won or been nominated for top awards at the annual Ontario Community Newspaper Association’s gala.

Homemade reusable face masks.
Some of the reusable face masks made by The Wanderly volunteers for frontline workers and vulnerable people.

International Newsrooms

This year, with COVID-19 upending society as we know it, our Toronto Observer staff from the Contemporary Journalism cohort turned their livings rooms into newsrooms. They used old and new reporting techniques to document the impact of the pandemic on their local Toronto community.

Their focus spanned important topics such as arts coverage, fashion, the restaurant business, getting groceries, even trying to find a job as a journalist. Our internationally-based students looked at how journalism was doing in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

A dozen Observer stories were submitted as part of the World News Day special publication, a pool of impactful stories made available for free to all participating newsrooms who wish to reprint them on World News Day.

So far, we know some of our work has been picked up by the The Straights Times in Singapore, and the Kristeligt Dagblad in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Making Sense of Your World

As COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise again this fall around Canada, our journalists know they have a duty to continue to present the clearest, most accurate and factual information about the pandemic to our 20,000 monthly readers. They will also focus on coverage of human rights issues surrounding Black Lives Matter and on Canada’s Indigenous communities.

A protester in Toronto on June 20, 2020. Taken by: KYLE PATRICK CRUZ/TORONTO OBSERVER

On World News Day, this is “not an occasion for journalists to pat ourselves on the back for the work we do,” said Warren Hernandez, the president of the World Society of Editors, and a sponsor of WND2020. “Rather, the focus is on how journalists go about reporting on issues that matter to our audiences.”

The Toronto Observer‘s editors and staff invite you to turn to our website for trustworthy journalism that you can use to make sense of the world around you. This has never been more important in a world where fake news has also become a pandemic.

World News Day logo
Can you spot the Toronto Observer in the World News Day logo wall?

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Posted: Sep 28 2020 3:00 am
Filed under: News