Saturday, 14 April 2007

Lorrie circa 1985

On this quiet Sun Media news day, we offer a flashback - a Toronto Sun column by Lorrie Goldstein that recalls the freedom of expression Sun writers had circa 1985.

We will let Lorrie's comments speak for the freedoms we enjoyed at the Sun of old, but in light of the current newsroom environment, perhaps a copy should be sent to Quebecor's Pierre Karl Peladeau.

Lorrie's column begins with:

"I wasn't a "Day Oner" at The Sun, joining up instead seven years later in November 1978. And it was six years after that, on Jan. 22, 1985, to be precise, that I first learned how passionately Doug Creighton believed in giving his writers freedom of expression.

"Even when he thought they were dead wrong.

"Even when he thought they had betrayed him.

"Even when they were driving him nuts. Like me."

Lorrie said it all about freedom of expression while Doug was at the helm.

It makes us wonder what Lorrie would say about freedom of expression at the Sun in 2007.

It is a newspaper where free speech has been muffled, veteran staffers exit without a word of thanks being published and employees wanting to express their feelings to TSF are forced to do so in anonymous e-mails because they fear being fired.

Toronto Sun Family has received far too many "not for attribution" e-mails from current and former employees at all of the Suns, a paranoia Doug's newspapers never would have created.

There have been a few refreshing exceptions, including comments by Jim Jennings, Andy Donato, Rob Lamberti etc., but far too few attributable e-mails from journalists who should be dedicated to raising the flag for freedom of expression.

But read Lorrie's flashback piece from 2001 and ask yourself what kind of a Sun environment you support.

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