Toronto Star will hold training sessions for reporters following front-page apology

Toronto Star |

Star investigations editor Kevin Donovan will lead mandatory training sessions for reporters following an embarrassing incident last week, Star Public Editor Kathy English writes. The Star published a story accusing provincial parliament member Margarett Best of vacationing in Mexico while she was on medical leave; reporter Richard Brennan misunderstood a tag on a photo on Best's Facebook page, English writes, and didn't tell her that was the subject of his story when he tried to get comment.

Now all the reporters are getting a brush-up.

“Everyone is entitled to give their side of the story. I preach that on a daily basis,” Donovan told me this week. “Telling a person or organization about an allegation gives them the opportunity at the start to tell you that you have it wrong, partly wrong, or mostly right.

“Calling last minute doesn’t cut it. I often inform people or organizations on Day 1 of my investigation,” Donovan said. “People need to be told precisely what it is you are calling about.

The paper apologized for Brennan's story on the front page of its print paper last Wednesday, but English writes it also "tweeted the apology and posted it on Facebook," and linked to the apology from its home page. It unpublished Brennan's story, too: "While the Star’s policy says it rarely 'unpublishes' and usually only for legal reasons, the fact that this story was based on a false premise called for such action," English writes. has a couple of photos of the disgraced article.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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