Sunday, 3 August 2008

Mike's op-ed

That op-ed piece by Mike Burke-Gaffney in Friday's Toronto Sun was a rare treat.

Mike is one of those unsung heroes at the Sun who shines daily, but is seldom front row centre when it comes to reader recognition.

The veteran Sun staffer, managing editor since February of 2007, has done it all since he moved over from the Catholic Register in 1980 to join former Register buddy Bob Vezina in the Sun newsroom.

Mike has been news editor, assistant managing editor, Sunday editor, associate managing editor and also an Ontario Press Council professional member.

In his early years, the Winnipeg-born media vet was a Public Works Canada information officer, spent time at the Inverell Times in Australia and Canadian NATO forces in West Germany.

All of that, plus an op-ed piece, and the tireless father of four won't turn 60 until next year.

We Googled "Mike Burke-Gaffney" tonight. Only 18 results showed up and one was Mike's op-ed piece from Friday. That count is hardly reflective of his contribution to Canadian media since the 70s.

As Sunday Sun editor, Mike took the Sunday paper to peaks that will never be reached again. He was at the helm in the early 1990s when the Sunday Sun zoomed passed the 500,000 circulation mark. What a milestone it was for Mike, the paper and its readers.

You can't take that away from modest Mike, a dedicated newsman who is highly respected by colleagues.

Another Mike, Mike Strobel, was in newsroom management when he decided to switch to column writing and what a huge bonus that has been for Sun readers.

Hopefully, we'll see more of Mike Burke-Gaffney in print.

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